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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 5/11/2003 7:44:30 PM EDT
I am thinking seriously about hanging up the uniform. Been in it now for about 10 years and am getting a bit tired of all of it. The only thing I think I will really miss is the time I spend on the range as a Firearms Instructor helping others learn how to be more proficient with their weapons. Oh well, some of you guys/gals who have hung it up after 10 or so years tell me how you like your current situation if you dont mind - I think I've had enough....... TIA...
Link Posted: 5/11/2003 10:48:46 PM EDT
I've been in ten years and I sometimes think the greatest mistake I ever made was choosing law enforcement as a career. Not because of all the missed holidays, graveyard shifts, idiots you have to deal with, etc. but because of how our profession works. We eat our own. I can handle the street, my problems are with the knuckleheads I work for. It seems the only way to get ahead is to kiss a$$ and never do anything that has a chance of failure. I know they keep a few guys like me around because they know if the SHTF they will need me to save the pretty boys. If I could make as much money and have as much security for my family as I do as a cop, I would think about leaving this profession. It's sad because I view this not as a job, but as a calling, what I was put on this earth to do. Where did all of my idealism and enthusiasm go? I still do it for the victims and the people I try to help; one sincere thanks from a REAL victim is enought to keep you going for a few months. Oh heck, I'm just whining because I've had about 10 hours sleep in the last 72 and need to hit the sheets. Take care, brother, I hope you make the right choice.
Link Posted: 5/12/2003 7:36:20 AM EDT
We all get there sometimes. I am coming up on year 8. I've spent the last two years off the streets, and I am actually looking forward to going back when I promote in the next month or two. Almost like clockwork, I will get to feeling burned out about every two years or so of doing the same thing. It always passes, though. The two best things I can suggest are to take a break and get lots of aerobic exercise. The latter has dramatically decreased my stress levels. Working for a good agency helps alot, too, but not everyone has that to look forward to. This will pass, just don't allow your job disatisfaction to become self-fulfilling prophesy and make you start making poor decisions at work that screw up your career. You are halfway to retirement. Hang in there.
Link Posted: 5/12/2003 12:20:59 PM EDT
Burnout comes and goes and comes again. Fortunately, most agencies have lateral movement within the agency if not opportunities for promotion. Getting a new assignment is often like getting a new job, a fresh start. The way that I combat burnout is to set a personal goal for myself. That goal is; regardless of what comes my way, I stand committed to do the best job that I possibly can. I signed on and I accept the pay check come what may. Basically I keep "an honest days work for an honest days pay" attitude. This is a job not a crusade. Treat it like a job. Have high expectations only of yourself and no one else. 15 years and two promotions in and I have had my bouts with attitude. I am at peace with it now. I leave the job at work and home at the house.
Link Posted: 5/12/2003 12:45:03 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/12/2003 12:46:08 PM EDT by RAMBOSKY]
I spent almost eight years as a cop in Wash.DC. during the 70's. I got tired of rotating, court on my off shift and/or days off. Tired of wrestling drunks, directing traffic, writing reports, refereeing family disputs, pissing off people giving them tickets that they never felt they diserved. I really shouldn't go on with the negative. I did make a number of solid cases that I felt good about myself for. I respect all LEO's who have stuck it out. I salute all of you. I just didn't have it in me.
Link Posted: 5/12/2003 1:50:47 PM EDT
A few years ago my dad, who is a 25 year retired veteran, got ahold of me and said that he was starting to see some real trouble signs of burnout in me and I only had about 5-6 years in at the time. He told me that I had to remember that the only time we ever got called was when EVERYTHING had absolutely gone to hell. He told me to start spending more time among the living and less time among "the dead", meaning more time with family and friends and those that love the job and less time alone brooding and being a workaholic. Some days still get to me, but most days I get up and thank God Almighty that I'm still in the game that I love.
Link Posted: 5/12/2003 5:56:05 PM EDT
Yes, I think we all go through the phases. After Nineteen years of doing it, I still feel like just calling in and telling them to come to my house and pick up their F'n badge, creds, and weapons. It seems to run in cycles, some weeks I still feel like a snot hot rookie and can't wait to get to work and make a difference. Other weeks, it's a fight just to drag my happy ass out the door. After all these years of living in condition orange, (can you ever really relax?), It takes it's toll. That's why a good dose of God, family,recreation, and P.T. can make or break you. If it were not for the support of my wife and family I sure the hell would not have made it this far. My new mantra is Four and a half years to go!
Link Posted: 5/12/2003 5:57:52 PM EDT
Keep in mind that people in every job face burnout from time to time. Remember the good things and forget about the bad. Get involved in things off duty that get your mind off the job and have fun when you work!
Link Posted: 5/12/2003 8:53:22 PM EDT
Holy Cow Bro, Believe me you are not alone. You know what, the sad fact is your RIGHT the knuckle heads are the one's promoted. The don't stir the stick do nothings!! But ya know what. We still can look at ourselves in the mirror and be proud of a good shift,and career. The bottom line is respect, those guys will never have it we will. Hang in there, 10 years yep you can still get out if U want. Not me 17yrs. And 3 kids in school still. I say I'm going to rattle those knucklhead supervisors for the next 10!! Yeah!!
Link Posted: 5/12/2003 9:25:51 PM EDT
What has been frustrating for me is not only fighting the knuckleheads I work for, is also the constant backstabbing by the golden kids. Being a redheaded stepchild in the dept. has taken its toll on me in a lot of ways. I keep hanging on, for no other reason than to try keep doing a job I like. I would hate to work a job I detest, no matter how good the money was.
Link Posted: 5/12/2003 9:36:28 PM EDT
Damn Slotback, I had to look where you posted from to make sure you wern't posting from my sector!
Link Posted: 5/12/2003 11:35:23 PM EDT
Originally Posted By ColtRifle: Keep in mind that people in every job face burnout from time to time. Remember the good things and forget about the bad. Get involved in things off duty that get your mind off the job and have fun when you work!
View Quote
Burnout isn't just related to LE although it may be exacerbated in LE due the working conditions. I'm a Mechanical Engineer and I have to change assignments/projects every 2 years or so or I get bitter & cranky. Fortunately, I don't have to deal with the public in my profession. That said, I'm looking at putting myself thru the Academy in order to become an LEO. Engineering just isn't proving to be my 'calling' - I've been at it for 8 years professionally (+6 years in school) so I think I've got a pretty good read on the profession. Brian
Link Posted: 5/14/2003 1:50:05 AM EDT
thanks for the objective opinions guys. you are correct in that burnout seems to come and go, along with the job satisfaction. i'm taking a week off from work and clear my mind and perhaps things will seem a bit clearer when i return to work so i can make the right decision for me. maybe it's time to take up some more hobbies to get my mind off of work 24/7......
Link Posted: 5/14/2003 12:18:20 PM EDT
Burnsome: I really hit burnout after about 12 1/2 years at a local P.D. New wonderboy chief came in and had to change everything so the pols would think he knew what he was doing. Quit, stayed out of law enforcement for 2 yrs., then went back to work for the Sheriff's Office, have been here almost 8 yrs. During my 2 yrs. off the job I thought I had gotten the job out of my system, but when I went back to work I found myself back in the same old mode. If you're going to get out, go before you have so much time invested that you can't quit. If you'e like I was/am, you find yourself getting sloppy and careless because of the frustration. That's dangerous, and not fair to you, your family, other officers and the public we all love & respect. Like you, the training is the only rewarding thing left in the job. Hoping that what you pass on to someone else may help keep them alive.... I have about 8 months until I can go out....I used to think they would have to drag me out kicking & screaming, but now the idea of doing something else sounds better every day. The only thing I will miss will be some of the great people I work with.
Link Posted: 5/14/2003 8:22:25 PM EDT
I had about 8 1/2 years on the street when I decided that I seriously needed a change. I went to the Detective Office for about 4 years and then decided that I really missed the street. I came back to the street several years ago and it has been very refreshing. The break did me a lot of good and helped me to be a better street officer because now I understand the "rest of the story". If your dep't is big enough to have different divisions, consider a change of position. It did me a lot of good and will probably do the same for you. If you're like me, I don't think I could quit and enjoy anything else as much as I enjoy this job.
Link Posted: 5/14/2003 10:33:03 PM EDT
When I was going through some major stress with the job, I happened to spend some time on Officer.com, PoliceOne.com, and CalibrePress. They all have bulletin boards like this one and are secure. One thing I found as I read is that I could identify with a lot of people that had so many similar problems, and a lot of great ideas of how they dealt with them to make it better. I also found that no matter how bad I thought I had it, as I read I could find people that had much much much much worse situations. Some of the working conditions some of these cops go through is unbelievable, and it changed my outlook on my department. It aint perfect, but it's sure a ton better than what a bunch are and I can work with that. Take some time on your off time to look over those boards. There are a lot of questions exactly like you asked here, and a lot of answers given by guys that have been there, just like they're being given here. Give it a try.
Link Posted: 5/15/2003 5:20:33 AM EDT
Vojta: Yeah I know what you mean when you say we eat our own... WTF is with our profession that we constantly have to in fight with each other....do we not we fight with the public/bad guys enough? Sometimes I feel like I am back in high school.... At my old place all the Administration did was nit pick over everything and want to present a image of "consumer confidence" when in reality all they wanted you to ever do was shag business and doors and wave to the residents.No tickets, no arrests unless the state domestic violence law requires it, no follow up on anything etc. At my new place they let you be a cop, which I found refreshing. It saved me from burn out big time. But now I've been here three years and realize in one sense I'm on a sinking ship... my town is not getting any higher class clientele...rarely do two-three weeks go by w/o a stabbing, shooting or bank robbery. This last year and past year we have been averaging one homicide every three months.. WTF did I get myself into... Sound Similar Burnsome? But don't worry your're in the ten year slump... everyone goes through it and some of us just don't come out of it. It maybe for the best. YOU are NOT ALONE nor are you any different for feeling how you feel right now. Everyone here has offered great advice.. try some of it. You have to draw the line between work and relaxation- that's why I could never be a K-9 cop- you take the dog and car home.. when you're off duty your're off duty!I learned that quick enough when I changed departments..and that really makes a difference in dealing with the job stress. Humor is your friend.. laugh a lot.. it helps. maybe you should think of all the good things you've done as a cop...all the people you've helped and whatnot... don't think of the rotten shit that you've had to deal with...and finally JUST ACCEPT THAT OUR PROFESSION IS FUCKED UP AND DEAL WITH IT!! OKAY!!! [lol]
Link Posted: 5/15/2003 9:26:16 AM EDT
After 16 years of watching the kiss asses, soft bitches, scared of their own shadows, etc. get promoted, while I was told to not be so outspoken, I have come to the conclusion that no matter how good you do your job, if you are not "one of the boys", you can forget about being promoted. Guy's go out on job injury and stay out for years at a time, when they didn't even get hurt on the job, and the Dept, does nothing about it, while I still go to work every day and make LESS than they do by sitting home. Does burn-out come with that? Hell, yes. BUT, I have decided that I have too many years in and I refuse to let the Admin's get me down. So, I have a new look on my so-called career. I have less than 8 years to go, and while I will still do my job correctly and efficiently, I will NOT go out of my way to do anything extra for anyone. If a supervisor that I do not get along with wants something done, it better be told to me in the form of an order, or they can forget about it being done. And the best thing about this new outlook is that I WILL retire on the exact day that I am allowed to by law. And then this Dept. will pay MY way for the rest of my life. Simple as that! Sometimes you just gotta look at the future in an overall picture sort of way.
Link Posted: 5/17/2003 5:10:37 AM EDT
Thanks to all for the words of encouragement and forthright observations. I spent a week on the beach and feel quite a bit better and am going to hang in there for a while and see how it goes. I still dont have a burning desire to get back at it, but am going to focus on the positive aspects of the job. Things like the good folks I work with, the occasional saving somebody's ass or keeping it from getting kicked, the satisfaction that comes when I hit my driveway every night and appreciate what I have in this world as compared to many, helping transfer some of my knowledge in firearms and shooting to others which might save their ass (and others) in the future, etc. A friend of mine met up with me at the end of the week and gave ms some words of encouragement and they went something like this...."when you get back to work and it starts getting to you, just think of this place down here on the beach with the sun, the ocean, etc. and remember how much you like it here. Then realize that all that $%^* that you have to put up with at work really doesnt mean much in the overall scheme of things, and this place down here does which is where i'm going to spend most of my retirement time anyway. The good folks that you work with will rmemeber you, the ones that dont count wont, so just hang in there and keep the big picture in mind". i've thought about what he said quite a bit, and am going to try to absorb it and live it for a while. he's always given me great advice over the years on a variety of topics, and is one great friend indeed. take care all and see ya on the streets or the range soon.... thanks
Link Posted: 5/18/2003 5:07:30 PM EDT
Is there any chance of finding a better dept in your area? Sometimes a change is good for the soul. (so to speak) Not all depts are the same. I walked away from a darn good street job and went back to a rural dept. The job was great, but the stress from the front office was a killer. Is this job better, I doubt it. The pay is less, the retirement sucks and I will have to work an extra 4 more years with this job for retirement. BUT I dont have to check for stab wounds from fellow officers/management when I go home. When the negatives outweigh the positives, it time to go. I hope it works out. Only 16 more years til retirement.........
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