An ugly job, but it’s a living

It’s about the people

I found this little gem in an email today and wanted to share it. It’s from a 26 year veteran of a PD near Chicago:

“Don’t love your agency because it’s not your agency’s job to love you back. You can love the people, the mission, and how you feel about your contributions, but don’t love a bureaucracy.”

It’s actually a more artfully written way to express my own philosophy:

You should do this job because you love it – any other reason puts you on the path to depression or insanity.

The things I will miss about the job in retirement are simple: The people I worked with (most of them anyway), and the thrill of outwitting bad guys and locking them up.


It was to my benefit that I wound up in Narcotics for about half of my career. It wasn’t exactly my choice to go there. My opinion had always been that it looked like damn dangerous job (it is), and I was happy that there were other people who actually wanted to work there – so I didn’t have to.

Going to Narcotics was just about the best thing that ever happened to me during my career.

I say that because, it combined the two elements in my philosophy for loving the job: Great people and lots of opportunities to lock up of crooks. In Narcotics there were plenty of both.

In 27 years I made a lot of “work-friends”, but all of my close brothers and sisters are narcs. Funny how that worked out.

I haven’t been to work in over 2 years, and I left Narcotics two years before that. But not a day goes by that I’m not talking on the phone with a brother narc, and hardly a week goes by that I’m not at a party with narcs, playing golf with narcs or just drinking a beer with some narcs.

The opportunities to play practical jokes still come my way.

A call came in on my cell this afternoon that was a golden opportunity. There was a narc who worked for me that was famous for doing things the hard way. Being his supervisor for two years was a challenge, and I don’t think a week passed during that time where I didn’t ask him at least once “what the hell have you done now?”

Today he found himself in the middle of doing something ass backwards, as usual, and his brothers were hammering him without mercy. After verbally abusing him for half the day, they decided to expand on the abuse and called everyone that every supervised him or worked with him.

Dude, he’s in the middle of this goat-screw where nothing is going right, and we’re killing him. Call the fucker on his cellphone man. Tell him you heard he’s screwing up again and ask him if he needs you to come show him how it’s supposed to be done.

I kept getting his voicemail, so I left a message.

Hey, what the hell have you done now? I got the Chief calling me telling me I can’t retire because you need intense supervision. Didn’t we take the training wheels off you already? It’s simple man, get the crook and the dope in the same place at the same time and you’ve made the case. Call me if you want me to come hold your hand or something.

The prank leader called me soon after. The target was hit and on fire.

Oh, he is so pissed. I don’t know what you said to him, but your ears should be on fire he’s cussing you so bad. Good job.

Now I guess I’ll have to call him back in a few days and take him to lunch.
It’s all about the people you work with and expressing your love.

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