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Thread: At the brink

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    39

    At the brink

    I need to vent or something. Its been 3 years since getting on the job. The job i always wanted. I dont know if its worth it anymore. In the past few months i have been getting my * handed to me with incidents. Im now working at a station where you seriously dont know who you can trust because everyone has their own little cliques and agendas. Ive taken 4 fatal crashes in the last 2 weeks, one i witnessed the guy burn alive while there was nothing that could be done. Everytime i have anything planned i get pulled for mandatory overtime my hobbies my dreams and my goals all feel dead. I now dread comming to work everyday. Things have now gone to hell with me and my gf and its directly because of this job. Has anyone ever felt this way

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    6,371
    Madmax18, if not everybody has felt this way, enough have, including me to be almost everybody. It is also not unusual in that first 3 to 5 years at it. Suspect two things are happening. One is the adjustment of dreams to the reality of it. The other is that the job has begun to be your life in a way that good or bad starts excluding things outside it.

    Tough calls, bad work situation and related personal relationship problems.

    Some of this you can work through for yourself, but I would suggest upfront that you see what the options are through the job or through your insurance or just paying for it to talk to a professional counselor about stress management and work life balance. Won't make everything suddenly wonderful but will make it better faster and will give you some tools.

    Looking over your other posts, may also be time to sit down and write down what is right and what is wrong with the work for you. Worth facing up to the fact that the reality is far enough from the dreams and aspirations that this is not the business or place you want to wade through for the next 25 years. Or you may find that a lot is working for you, just not at the moment. A lot of us can share that experience. A recognition that bad situations change and that as we are at it longer we can handle the really bad calls without letting them all the way inside. You had a vision of why you wanted to do this and sometimes we go a long way on just occassional peeks at things that fulfill that vision. But if you can't see it at all, again maybe time to pursue other things.

    You might also factor in the likelihood or possibility of a change of assignment or situation. Sometimes a different look is good, although realistically the nature of the job in trying to consume us or frustrate us is always coming and going regardless.

    Lastly, you have to find a way break with the job on a regular basis. Can work hard and get the mandatory OT but need to block out space where it is not allowed. Relationships is one, hobbies and interests another. May seen strange to tell you to but you have to discipline yourself to do things for "fun". Like working out on a nasty day, plenty of reasons to not do it, but you do and you feel a bit better and in control. Practice working at things you like and you actually may catch yourself having real fun and establishing some balance and distance.

    What you are going through is not unique to you or unusual or strange. you may find with just a bit more time you have become really very good and professional at things that even right now with your time in you find confusing and unsure of how to deal with.

    Again, a chat with an unbiased professional might really help you get in balance faster. And if nothing else is working and you find yourself stuck and down both on and off duty, then some help is going to be required anyway, easier to get it done early on.
    ret.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Bergen County, NJ
    Posts
    1,897
    Quote Originally Posted by Madmax18 View Post
    Has anyone ever felt this way
    Me, too.
    ___________________
    Z! USDOJ Ret.

    The Answer is There is No Answer

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    39
    Thanks for the reply it just feels like im in an unfair situation where im working now. Alot of the guys have way way more time on than me and all i hear them do is complain over and over, 90 percent of them dont even change into duty gear at the start of shift, we have a station sgt that is scared to death of the older guys and wont say a word. Its the young guys or the guys that just transfered into the station that get stuck doing all the work. I cannot tell you how frustrating it is to know a guy is on a 3-11 shift and your working a 2-10 and some freakin how i get dispatched to a domestic at 930 or 945... And it happens shift after shift after shift. Its just a very bad situation because once you transfer into another station you are stuck there for 1 year.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    6,371
    The nice thing about building seniority is that you only have to hang around and it comes to you. As an extra benefit, while you are becoming senior the annoying senior guys are getting old and transferring out or retiring. Maybe helpful to take that kind of long view, hunker down and just do the work as it comes while humming that annoying "Tommorrow" song from Annie.

    Frustrating and crappy work assignments do come and go. But you still have to focus on the fact that this situation is bleeding over into your personal life and blocking other interests and damaging relationships. This is absolutely in your control to do something about and you should. Wiser old head shared with me the following: "You cannot control what happens to you; you can control how you respond to it." You leave work frustrated and annoyed, you need to be telling yourself that it is now your time and you are not going to carry that home. Got a whole shift and some the next day to be annoyed while getting paid for it.
    ret.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    39
    ATF i usually do calm down when im finally done my regular scheduled shift... then i get frustrated when i get mandatory overtime.. Then once thats over i calm myself down again and relax. Here is the kicker the last 5 days that i have been off.... i have gotten calls from work... while off !!!!! While i brought myself back to being calm they call me which sends my stress right through the roof... everytime its to work overtime. Im nearly to the point where i want to charge my corporals with harassment and tell them shove the overtime i would like to live a normal life outside of work.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Looking through your bank records & garbage..
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    1,301
    Quote Originally Posted by Madmax18 View Post
    Here is the kicker the last 5 days that i have been off.... i have gotten calls from work... while off !!!!! While i brought myself back to being calm they call me which sends my stress right through the roof... everytime its to work overtime.
    Rule of thumb: If your employing agency is calling you at home, or on your days off, it's never, EVER for something that benefits you.

    Simplest solution is to NOT ANSWER. Turn off the ringer & crank down the volume on the answering machine. Your friends & family know to call your cell phone anyway. When your boss asks why you haven't returned his calls, smile serenely and explain that you've been having trouble getting to sleep with the telemarketing calls all day and killed the ringer because of that. Or that Swami Jagdesh says you need to filter out extraneous noise when you're meditating. Or that you were handcuffed to the bedpost and otherwise occupied, or some such thing.

    If your agency requires that you be reachable 24/7 and answer your phone by the third ring, find your union and ask the president why in Hell this policy hasn't been negotiated into oblivion. Offer to rent him some testicles if necessary. Then start looking for an agency that gives a damn about its people.. emergencies are one thing, but this is another entirely.

  8. #8
    sleoII404 Guest
    Madmax,
    It sounds like you are in a difficult situation. I may be relatively new to being a gun-slinger like yourself but my father gave me the best piece of advice, which is you need to realize who is looking out for YOU. I think you will find your family and friends care a lot more about your mental and physical wellbeing than work. I worked very hard for an organization for a long time in hopes that all the overtime, blood, sweat, ect. would get me the position I wanted, but after putting in for the position nobody ever remembered all the OT I pulled, or extra assignments I took on. It is a sad reality, but you need to look out for yourself because your job is not.
    I know what it is like being the guy who takes on a lot of the calls because other people are not. If you have an astute boss they will realize the work load needs to be split up. Perhaps you could go to them for advise. The worst thing is to suffer in silence. GOOD LUCK!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    D.C.
    Posts
    287
    Whatever you do, don't quit your LE job.

    Fight through the issues you're having.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    5,320
    Brother, like many people on this board, I have been there. When I came on the job it was actually a lot worse. Back then, the old timers did not even talk to rookies. Back then, if you wanted to eat dinner somewhere, you'd have to ask the sector car in that area for permission first. Missing holidays, etc... -- I've been on the job since 1992, I have only had 5 New Years Eve's off since then -- similar numbers for other holidays also. Divorced?? Yes, back in 1994. Etc.................................. You have to keep your head up. You have to know that things will and do get better.

    The key right now is that you sound like you are going into a depressed state. WE ALL DO FROM TIME TO TIME. WE USUALLY DO NOT KNOW WHEN WE ARE GOING INTO A DEPRESSED STATE THOUGH. Rather than go super deep on the board here. My true, true suggestion is for you to give POPPA a call. --One of our many peer help groups. They won't tell the job anything (100% they WILL NOT), unless you talk about some criminal activity or hurting yourself. POPPA is a group of cops, just like us, and they volunteer their time to talk with those of us who are having some difficulty and stress on the job and off of the job. Give them a call brother, there is NOTHING wrong with picking up that phone and calling them -- The 24 hour helpline is (888)267-7267 -- Again - this is not about you calling and telling them you are about to kill yourself and you need help - though you can if that is the problem -- the number is really for us when we are going through the headaches and difficulties you are talking about. Give them a call brother--drop me a PM if you'd like to also

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Ontario,Canada
    Posts
    39

    Book Suggestion

    I urge you to do what "Papimike" is suggesting, - and be assured of confidentiality of the EAP programs etc. I'm sure they will offer you everything from a "listening ear" to suggestions on how to handle some of your stressors.

    If you are not ready to make that call, please think about picking up a book I just recieved at a lecture my Service organized for our training day. It was a talk by Kevin Gilmartin (who you may be familiar with). He is a retired police officer and a PH.D in clinical psychology who travels around North America lecturing. His book is called Emotional Survival for Law Enforcement - A guide for Officers and Their Families The ISBN is 0-9717254-0-3.

    Good luck and I wish you well getting thru this difficult time

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Posts
    38
    ** Please Read Board Rules Regarding Posting To Old Threads **
    Last edited by Kahuna5150; 02-21-2007 at 23:01.


 

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