Monday, October 1, 2012

Watching paint dry

Well I have these days I gotta serve as unpaid leave from the incident that almost ended my career. I have quite a few of them, but my LT is a rock star and hooked me up with some good timing. That makes them not so bad. 

Anyway, ole' Shamus can't really sit still the whole time, so I have some chores around to do while I'm off. Last week I had the bright idea to paint my kitchen ceiling. Now I know this has absolutely NOTHING to do with being a cop who is picking up the pieces and moving on, but bear with me a minute. I went on down to the hardware store and was cruisin' up the paint isle when I saw it. They have a ceiling paint that goes on pink and dries bright white. Now, that just blew my mind!  So, ole' Shamus plunks down the cash and buys some. Fast forward two hours, and there I am. Standing in the kitchen, staring up at this pink ceiling, watching it turn bright white. I was impressed, and felt like a total idiot at the same time. What will they think of next?  I will probably buy it, whatever it is....

Well this week, I am doing some work at Mrs. Shakleford's mom-mom's house. I get to do some plumbing, and light carpentry. 

I like that kinda work. I like looking back and seeing something tangible from my hard work. Something I can see, touch, feel, use. 

That's the problem with being a Police. We go out and bust our humps for 9, 10 hour days, at the end we really can't see what we've done. Sometimes we have a case file, or a stack of tickets. But especially now, that everything is going paperless, you really can't see your work. 

Our job is different. We are still held by quotas. {I know, I know, "quotas" are illegal and we aren't supposed to use that word, but a duck is a duck. } But instead of a product, we are "graded" on car stops and lock ups....but mostly car stops.  We respond to folks homes on the worst day they've ever had. To us, it's just another day, to them, it's the end of their world. We show up, we slap a band aid on festering cancer. It is all we can do. We keep peace, enforce laws, protect lives. 

Someone asked me once if Police-work was rewarding. I answered that question lime this, Police-work in itself is not rewarding. It is ball-breaking, and hard work for little pay, and a strained home life. It is, however, fulfilling. At the end of the day, you can look at yourself in the mirror and know that you're doing the best you can and doing the work. You are a Police. A sheepdog,the protector. 

When you're on the job, you never truly know the extent of the impact you make on someone. Most people don't think to say "thanks", or send a note, so we never know how the situation ends after we step off the porch. 

It's about closure. As a Police, you never get it. That is one thing that takes a bit to get used to. But trust IS worth it. 

If there are any Police out there reading this, what type of "regular" type work or hobby do you have to help you stay grounded?

For anyone else who aren't on the job, please pass this link around, tell your friends, and drop me a note, or ask a question down there in the comments.  Let me know how you like these stories. 

'Til next time....stay safe. 

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