by Alana Hackman
A few weeks ago, I accompanied a friend to the University Police Department after her wallet went missing during the Durand Jones and the Indications concert.
While in hopeful pursuit of her wallet, I was quickly reminded of the dystopian nightmare we live in when I came face to face with a neatly stacked pile of yellow “PRAISE COUPONS” prominently displayed atop the UPD information desk. “When one of our officers or staff members treats you in an exceptional way, please let us know!”, the coupons exclaim in a migraine-inducing font combination of Papyrus and Comic Sans. There are also blank lines left for comments and the name of the officer or staff you wish to praise.
Good to know our Cal Poly windfall went to these babies. Who would’ve thought University police would need “good job” stars to get their jobs done? Although the pile did look pretty untouched the last time I saw it. After this experience, I pondered the reason for these praise coupons’ existence.
I wondered why UPD officers are the only ones with access to these praise coupons. Why can’t I give one to the nice lady at the housing desk? Or the groundskeepers who wake up at 5 a.m. to beautify our campus? Why isn’t there a pretty little stack of coupons at every help desk on campus to show some love to our staff? Sure, I could make my own coupons to show my appreciation, but how come the UPD gets the fancy ones on cardstock?
I then began to wonder what the reason would be for an officer to receive these praise coupons. Refraining from use of excessive force? Oh, I know, maybe we actually got someone to stay in the position of police chief for longer than a year?
Then it hit me. It was right in front of my face the whole time. Praise kink. I realized that maybe all of the UPD officers might just have a little bit of a praise kink. Hey, I’m not judging you! This is the only plausible answer to why you have “PRAISE COUPONS” strewn about your department. I mean, you even give people the opportunity to mail the coupons to you if they slap a stamp on them. At least you’ve made it easier for the sender by pre-addressing them to the Chief of Police on the back of each card. It comes off as a little desperate to me, but I’m not here to yuck your yum.
I may have judged you too soon, UPD, when you’re just trying to find some pleasure in your work—literally. I wouldn’t say incorporating others into your fantasies is the most humane choice, but you’ve gotten away with far worse human rights violations.
For real though, students: show some appreciation for university staff that help you with your daily dilemmas without needing a PRAISE COUPON. Cal Poly Humboldt would crumble without their behind-the-scenes work. Remember kids, validate your local cop’s praise kink, because we don’t kink shame!