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Looking for advice

361 Views 12 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  Hack
So, a coupla of three years ago, I went to a new assignment. 90% plainclothes work, 90% nights: Go out and arrest bad people. Street dope, violent crime, fugitive hunts, etc. Great fun, great crew (they'd better be) pretty effective at what we do.

The problem is that it's kicking my butt. Some, maybe most, of it's physical: while 90% might be on nights, those one or two days each month that I need to work days is pretty disruptive to sleep and plans. The work itself is long, long hours of surveillance, sometimes 6 or 7 at a stretch, followed by a flurry of activity, sometimes. Yeah, patrol has long stretches of calm and boring routine, but this doesn't even let me get out of the car. Bathroom breaks are re-filling the big gulp. A side effect of all this is weight gain, and I'm starting on correcting that.

Besides being tired and knowing I need a vacation, the line between on- and off-duty gets blurred. Not swapping uniform for soft clothes daily seems to have removed a barrier. When I get dressed to run errands, it's just like I'm getting dressed for work (maybe I leave a gun behind). So, I catch myself driving down the road in my POV, looking for counter; thinking how I can block in the guy next to me; calculating the glass deflection for shooting the squeegie guy at the intersection. Not just once in a while, but more often than not.

It's not that I'm depressed or burnt on the job. I'm just looking for some advice on de-linking the on- and off-duty world a little more, relaxing, destressing.

So, who can help a brother out?
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· Registered
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Brother Sam,

I know you have said you are not burnt out and I believe you. But I think you have had enough of the street crimes job, at least for a while.

May I suggest a change in specialties? Perhaps a detachment to something else for a while? Maybe a stint back in patrol (you know I would be jealous of you then). :supergrin:

I don't know what else the other guys will say, but I am concerned and think you need a change.

I also know this is not the type of feedback you want to hear, but this is what I think given the information you have provided.

Good luck Brother. If you need anything don't hesitate to contact me or one of the other guys.
 

· Super Moderator
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And the other factor you did not mention is you do the job very well, right? My experience follows what 4949 said. I was living for the job, the mission. I dreamed about it. I volunteered for stuff that my best friend who knew me then tells me now was utterly and insanely stupid. Then, and now, I said, "Hey, it's my job. I do it better than anyone else. No reason for me not to do it."

Long story short. I got called in and told I was being reassigned for my own good. I pitched a *****, but the order was from way up the chain. So I took 10 days off. I remember maybe 4 of them. When I returned to the no stress, no real danger job, I was angry, but threw myself into it.

My perspective on life began to change. I actually had days off in a row. I got to travel some not related to the job. The high probability of being killed was much, much lower. I started going to church again. Started praying other than just when bullets were flying around me.

One day almost six months later, I got a call to suit up. There was a situation. The crews assigned had requested me. When I walked into the ready room the senior officer simply said, "Welcome back." Sitting in the briefing I realized I felt different, but it wasn't the time to think about it.

Ten hours later I fell into my bed and slept. The sleep was nothing like the sleep of six months earlier. Nor was the burn to get back out there as intense. And I didn't replay the mission over and over and over. The next night at supper I talked about non-work stuff.

Yeah, a couple days later I went to the person responsible for my reassignment. We'd not really had a descent conversation over the 6-months. I walked in, shook his hand and thanked him for saving my life. We talked for twenty minutes and he explained that I'd exhibited signs of dangerous levels of stress, dangerous to me and to others. I listened in amazement, because I had no idea. I did know I was different and I was alive.

I went back on a normal duty rotation. No more 10-12 days straight. And I took the five days extra time-off each month that came with the assignment.

You are ahead of where I was. I didn't recognize I was hitting the wall.

rp
 

· Why so serious?
45mm 9ACP
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69,065 Posts
Sam I echo what 4949 has said, and want only the best for you.

There is more than "burnout" that affects one's career. Sometimes we need to seek new challenges to refresh our own personal well. This may be one of those times.

I wish you the best and we are here and willing to help in any way possible.

Sincerely,

TBO
 

· nonplussed
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961 Posts
I think 3 years has been long enough.

You are showing signs of stress and burnout.

Is there another division you can go into?

You need to address this.....

I am not a psychiatrist but that is only because I didn't want to be in that particular specialty.

Listen to your peers.
 

· Caffeine Addled
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1,059 Posts
If your feeling it, it is probably beginning to show itself to others around you. These types of assignments will eat you up, we all have that type A personality that wants to succeed and never thinks we need a break. Everyone is giving you great advice, and kudos for you for being man enough to ask the question!
 

· Crazy CO
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17,668 Posts
Sam. I'm not going to give much in the way of advice. I think what has been said reflects how I feel on the subject. Sometimes, we need a change. Prayers enroute for you my friend and contact me if I can help in some way.
 

· Premium Member
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The best advice I can give would be to put in for reassignment. Seems to me you could use a change of pace. While you say you arn't burned out, it certainly seems like to me you like your job, but could use a change, just for your personal well-being.

As far as situational thinking, that's something we all do, just try not to let it eat you alive. Being in a constant state of condition yellow is really hard on the mind.
 

· Super Moderator
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Guys, thanks to all who responded here or by PM.

The FY '10 retirements/reassignments are still a few months away. That means zero openings now, but some good ideas as to what's coming down the road. I've decided to push the "rehab" angle until then. If it works, great; if there are still issues when the processes open, I'll put in for something else.

Obexemt---check your PMs.
 

· Registered
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Sam,

Do you guys have to do mandatory reassignments every couple of years, or so? I know they do up here for reasons like yours. Is there anything in policy that would prevent a change mid-stint (if something came available)?

As far as the rehab angle goes, what are your hobbies that aren't work related? I remember several guys on my shift used to get together and drink beers while trying to play golf. No one mentioned work, but instead spent the time talking **** to each other about their game. Great way for us to unwind. Sometimes we'd hit the links immediately following a 12-hr night shift. Pure comedic gold.
 

· Crazy CO
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17,668 Posts
I wish you well Sam, and expect it will work out well for you. Rehab can be a good thing. If you have someone who acts as a police chaplain in the area or a minister of your own, don't be afraid to approach them for advice as well. It may not seem like it, but God being for law and order among His people is for what you do for a living. He also understands.
 
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