Wednesday, June 29, 2005

The "Shell"

Sometimes I feel like the redheaded stepchild at my job. Very little support, no information and zero communication. The "Mushroom Effect"; Kept in the dark and fed a lot of shit.

Sounds like my marriage.

I can't even get a weekly schedule out of my supervisor. I have to call him on Monday morning and wait until possibly Thursday until I have a firm grasp on when I'm supposed to work and I can't get a straight answer out of anyone.

Last night for instance. I show up at 10 PM for my shift, expecting to see the new vehicle I use, as I've been bitching about the lack of a vehicle for several weeks. I had been walking my patrols, which isn't too bad unless it's raining.

It was gone, nowhere to be seen and in it's place was a five-year-old piece of shit with over 300,000 miles on it. Nothing works on it either. It's in need of a front-end alignment that's so bad if I let go of the wheel I'll automatically make a right-hand turn.

It brought me back to the PD... Our district had one car we called "The Shell". That about summed up that vehicle. Nothing worked on the damn thing. Not the red & blue roof lights, siren, radio (both police and AM/FM), windows, heat or air conditioning. Dash lights were out, turn signals didn't work. The engine started, the headlights came on and it drove. That was about it. A shell of a car.

a 2000lb piece of bat guano.

It sucked in the winter because of no heat, and was even worse in the summer because the power windows were stuck all the way up and the air didn't work. There was only one other vehicle in the district that was worse and that was one of the wagons, or "Paddy Wagons". It was a 1979 Ford Econoline, that had one of the old mechanical sirens in it like the old fire trucks. It ran off a fan belt from the engine and actually sounded pretty cool. The one problem with it though came from it's operation. Since the siren was belt-driven, and the engine was old and tired you could use the siren, or go fast. Not both. It was either one or the other.

Why the city didn't replace these hunks of shit is beyond me. Maybe it was a way to keep the troops in line.

"Fuck up one more time, Wolfenden and you've got The Shell permanently!"

Unlike most smaller departments where the cops get to use the same vehicle every day or some even get to take them home, we were stuck with what was available in the lot at the beginning of our shift. And the vehicles were assigned by the sergeant, who, in his sick sense of humor would mete out punishment to those who've pissed him off in the past.

Those who pissed Sarge off got "The Shell"...

I only got it once, surprisingly enough, but others in my squad got it almost as a given.

Anyway... I must have pissed someone off, because my nifty new truck that only has 600 miles on it and was really comfy has disappeared and I've been relegated to another Shell.

Tonight I think I'll walk my beat.

Copyright 2005 Thomas J Wolfenden

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