When you work in law enforcement or security for as long as I have, going on eighteen years now, you get use to living in a fishbowl. I call it that because that's exactly what it's like. You are under a microscope from the time you start your shift until you end it. You are out in public and not only are you exposed like that, you are wearing a uniform and driving a vehicle that draws attention to you.
You are far from being inconspicuous.
That being the case, I've come to be used to being accused of screwing off... One time I was sitting in my RPC doing the reams of paperwork and a elderly woman actually walked up and began to berate me for goofing off and reading the newspaper... "Why wasn't I out keeping the city safe?"
I should be used to it but it still pisses me off to this day. Those who haven't a clue what we do still have something negative to say when they see a cop just sitting in his car. Or seemingly standing in a convenience store "goofing off". Maybe he's not goofing off. Maybe he's there for a reason...
Maybe the store was robbed at gunpoint the night before and the owners requested a little police presence?
The thing that annoys me more than someone making assumptions about what I'm doing is those who, after making those assumptions, act on them, feeling they've done something good.
I've got a suggestion for those of you who feel it necessary to report the "goofing off".
Mind you own fucking business.
Case in point.
Tuesday night I walk over to work and see my boss' vehicle parked in the parking lot. Not a good sign. I see him and he says he needs to talk to me... Again, not good to hear. And he gives me an ear full.
Apparently, I've been seen "goofing off" at the Deli Mart drinking coffee and joking with the guy who works the counter. Eh, no shit. It's my job to hang there until they've made the night deposit. So what if I help myself to the coffee and talk to the kid? I'm not going to stand there like a dime store Indian for an hour and say nothing.
The second thing, and this got my blood boiling... I've been hanging out for hours at the firehouse... Which is pure bullshit. I may stop in for a few minutes if I see someone is there... And only for a few minutes. It is in my patrol area for Christ's sake. When I'm at work my main responsibility is my JOB and the things I have to check and protect. I won't even answer the fire page if I'm at work... I did that only once because the Chief was stuck with no one else. I do my job when I'm at work... And think I do a pretty decent job too, for the money I'm paid. If the person who had the patrol I'm doing now was still working it, the diner would have burnt to the ground back in November.
God, I was hot...
I hate rats.
So, if you ever think you see a cop or guard "goofing off" he or she may not be... Mind your own fucking business because you just MAY cause that person to lose their job.
Copyright 2006 Thomas J Wolfenden