Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Burn Out

I think I've hit the wall. There's always a certain amount of stress involved in my job. But for the last few weeks, it's been overwhelming. I feel like I can't breathe, like there's a huge weight sitting right on my chest. As I'm getting ready for work in the mornings, the headache starts and it stays with me all day. Your job shouldn't do that to you.

I used to love it. The job. But I'm beginning to question that commitment.

We're down over 100 police officers in a city that is becoming increasingly more violent by the day. I understand this is a bad economic time right now but I'm tired of hearing "do more with less". No matter how hard I work... I don't feel like it makes a difference. That's one of the reasons I became a police officer. To make a difference. Sure I liked the thrill of high speed car chases and the lure of free donuts. But when I was 22 yrs old and full of hope and opportunity, I truly felt like maybe I could contribute something positive and maybe make a little difference in this world with the career I'd chosen. Now 14 yrs later, I'm feeling totally defeated.

I see the same people over and over again. Do we really ever take a criminal off the streets? Temporarily maybe. But he'll be back.

And we're always fighting. Fighting to do the right thing, to stay on top of the work that needs to be done. Fighting the criminals who hate us, and increasingly more and more of the citizens that feel that way, too. Even that fight I can handle. It's always been there since my very first day out of the police academy.

But I feel so beat down right now by all the fighting that's going on within our organization. We don't feel supported by the command or the government in this city. Not at all. There are changes being proposed by the people in power that could completely change the course of my career. Derail it, in fact.

(Caution... major venting ahead.)

And why would I be removed from my position? Not because I don't do the work. Not because I don't bust my ass for this job. Not because I get bad evaluations. Not because I don't have the knowledge, skill and experience to effectively perform the tasks of my current assignment. I'd be removed why? Because I'm a woman? Not on the SWAT team? Not kiss ass enough? Not one of the "favorites"? Or is it just because I'm me and this person in power has preconceived notions of who that is? Cuz lord knows he doesn't really know me and never has. Well, I can't change being me.

So how difficult do you think it is to come in every day and feel motivated to do this work? When no matter what I do it's already been decided that if these changes take place, I'm out? Unfairly and unjustly, of course. But still... I'd be pushed backwards in my career just because you have the power and I don't. That really fucking sucks. Why should I bust my ass for you when you've already decided and publicly announced that you want to pick your own detective? Well, since I'm already your assigned detective, I think your message is very clear.

On top of that uncertainty, this has been an especially bad week with the shit we've had to deal with, too. I try so hard to keep my emotions out of it. To stay strong, put on that brave face and just deal with it. But seeing the tragedy day in and day out just wears you down.

This week alone we've seen a 66 yr old pizza delivery guy robbed and beaten so severely that he may never recover, a 21 mth and 8 mth old left by their father in the bottom of a trash can.... alone, scared, hungry and thirsty.... for 13 hrs, an 85 yr old veteran of 3 wars robbed and beaten to death in his own home and today a 6 mth old was murdered. I sat at my desk this afternoon and had to listen to that baby's mother wail in despair over the loss of her child. The sounds of that pain coming from the depths of her very being made the hair on the back of my neck stand up. I haven't been able to shake it off even 8 hrs later.

Today I feel broken. My heart hurts. Tears have been shed. I don't have the strength to deal with any of it right now. Today I wish I had gone to college, chosen a different career and settled out in the suburbs where I could live in a bubble like a normal person and not have to see this shit.

My broken spirit needed some mental health days so I'm off work until Monday. Hopefully by then I'll be refreshed, recharged and ready to face the world again. But for right now.... I'm just gonna pull the covers over my head and try to make it all go away.

Friday, July 24, 2009

How Much Fun Is This?!

I saw this couple on one of the morning shows as I was getting ready for work today. I just love this! It makes me smile every time I see it. These guys know how to party like rock stars and soak every bit of fun out of life. I wanna hang with them. LOL! Enjoy and Happy Friday!!

PS. Still haven't decided which rug. LOL!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Unexpected Porch Re-design

I made the mistake of clicking on a Home-Depot link while I was on the Rate-My-Space page the other day. Speaking of... I love that site! There are tons of photos submitted by real people of their own decorating jobs. It's interesting to see other ideas and tastes. I check it out often to see what people are doing with their nurseries... especially since I'm in the process of doing mine.

Well, by "in the process" I mean I started painting and that's as far as I've gotten. Summer has been busy.... and we all know how I procrastinate. LOL!

Okay... where was I? I'm jumping topics. Sorry. Home-Depot link. That's what I started talking about. So I click on it and absolutely ~fall in love~ with a patio chair.

Now ... am I in the market for a patio chair? No. Do I need a patio chair? No. Should I spend the money since I just shelled out $750 bucks to update my I-600a again? Probably not.

But have you ever just fallen in love with a piece of furniture that spoke to you so deeply that you decided you should find a place for it? I've never really done that. I've always had a space to fill in my house and then shopped for a particular piece for it. Not find a piece and then find a space. Different concept for me.

But I finally figured out a place for the patio chair I was drooling over. My porch swing is broken and has been for awhile. I've actually been looking for a replacement. I decided to get rid of it and buy 2 of these patio chairs for that space. There's plenty of room cuz the swing actually sits about 3 feet from the end of the porch.I think the deep cushy chairs will get a lot more use than the swing does. I can already see myself curled up reading a book. Or sipping a glass of wine. I can't wait until they get here!!

And guess what? The chairs are BLUE!! What?? I know.... crazy, huh! They even come in a lime green color. Which y'all know is my fave shade. Right behind hot pink, of course. But I actually like the chair much better in this turquoise blue. And the frame is black. Just freakin' love it!!And they'll go better with my gray siding and gray/blue/black stone on the front porch. I just hope I'm as happy with the chairs in real life. Cuz I totally just bought them online and had them shipped only relying on the photo. Whatcha think? Can you picture them tucked back on that end where the porch swing is now?I'm suddenly redesigning my entire front porch around these chairs! Now I'm shopping for an outdoor rug. I'm thinking black and white. I originally was looking at blue rugs but decided against that. Blue is too hard to match. There are way too many shades. And since I'm shopping online and relying on photos... better stick with black. I like this one. But I'm loving this one! Which just figures because it's about $200 more. Anyone care to register an opinion? Mom... you out there?Then I decided I need to replace my pink and green flowery house number tiles. Cuz we're moving into a new blue phase on the front porch, right? Help me rationalize, people! I found these on Etsy. Gorgeous, no?
So just a word of warning. Don't ever just innocently click on a Home-Depot sales link that pops up on the web. They have eerie mind controlling powers or something and before you know it you'll be buying stuff and re-decorating. What happened to my normally frugal self? I've think I've lost it....

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Help Bring Ellis Home

Y'all that know me are aware that I'm not a big fan of the chip in button. Especially for those who drive Escalades, take expensive family vacations and/or own very expensive cameras. LOL! But my very good friend, Kris, has taken some pretty big and unexpected financial hits recently and if anyone deserves a little help... it's her. So I'm stepping up to do my part. I hope everyone else out there will, too.
There's a fabulous raffle full of spectacular prizes. There's also an auction for some pretty cool stuff that you can bid on. Please click over and help Kris raise the funds to bring her beautiful Ellis Gao Mei home.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Fun Times In The City ** Update

Thank goodness for small favors ..... because I was already home when the SWAT team showed up. Apparently, my armed neighbor 4 houses down is feeling a little suicidal tonight and has decided to barricade himself in his house. The entire neighborhood is shut down. Which would have sucked even more had I not been home when it started. Cuz I wouldn't have been able to get back to my house. Oh wait... they just started the annoying blasting of the police car sirens in an attempt to get his attention. I may have to re-think my position on being glad I'm stuck here.

There are SWAT guys positioned about 10 feet from my front porch so I went out and chatted them up earlier. Behind cover, of course. ;) I told them to let me know if they needed anything. Most people might find it strange to get a call from a SWAT dude asking if the snipers can borrow some bug spray... but in my world it's perfectly normal. LOL!

The bullhorn chatter is annoying but the sirens... Oh My Lord! They go for about 5 minutes at a time before they stop. It's a tactic to try to get the bad guy's attention and unnerve him .... but so far it's only working on me and the other neighbors who have hunkered down waiting this out.

Here ya go... I thought I'd share a taste of what I'm being subjected to. I've got the lights off cuz my house is actually in the line of fire and since I was standing in the upstairs window and all....

I don't think I'm getting much sleep tonight. :(
I'll update when it's over and let y'all know how it ends.

** Copious amounts of tear gas convinced him to surrender peacefully about 2am or so. I got about 4 hours of sleep. I see a nap in my future. All I can say is thank gawd it's Friday!!

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Are You F--king Kidding Me?

I feel like one of the violinists standing on the deck continuing to play as the ship goes down....

Just as a follow up to yesterday's post... our dept received word today of layoffs* for police officers. In a city where the police department was once 500 strong, our numbers are already now below 400. And yet our city leaders want to chop us off some more.

We made the number 19 spot for most dangerous cities just a couple years ago. But yeah... we don't need more police. By the way, let me tell you about some of my recent cases.

Here's a great one. A home invasion burglary involving 4 suspects... 3 are siblings (brother/2 sisters). The 2 armed men forced their way in to get to the tenant's boyfriend who had told one of the sisters to "shut up". Yep... I'm serious. She called her brother to "handle it" cuz she was "disrespected". Luckily, no one got shot.

Or how about the one where the suspect broke in and sexually assaulted my victim while her 10 and 11 yr old were sleeping down the hall? They were awakened by the screams of the mother. By the grace of God... he fled without harming the girls but not before the girls saw him running down the stairs.

Better yet... the baby daddy kicks the door in cuz he's pissed his baby mama has a new boyfriend over. Baby daddy and new boyfriend struggle over baby daddy's gun. New boyfriend gets it away and shoots new boyfriend. Then he's scared he's in trouble and runs. So I spent some time this afternoon in a couple of city alleys digging through trash cans looking for the bloody clothes he ditched as he was running. Glamorous, eh? I know. Don't be jealous. Tomorrow I get to spend my afternoon at the hospital interviewing baby daddy who has a collapsed lung.

But no worries... this city is safe.

* As a side note... we realize the economy is bad all over and many people (cops included) have lost their jobs. But the rationalization going on in our city government about some of their frivolous expenditures is ridiculous. I won't even start to list some of them. Just trust me... some are downright laughable over how idiotic they are. We only think those things should be cut before coming to their safety forces and eliminating people.

* I have enough seniority that this should never happen to me. Unless they decide to reduce our numbers by more than a hundred.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Plate Full

Haven't had the mental energy to blog lately. There's a lot going on in my world right now and I'm just struggling to stay afloat. My job is causing a tremendous amount of stress. Like "knot in the pit of your stomach, headache causing" kinda stress.

The summer time always brings more work. The heat brings people outside and makes them a little crazy, I guess. Plus with co-workers taking vacations it increases the workload for the rest of us. I'm not faulting anyone for taking a summer time vacay. Just saying.... my workload is about triple what is normal right about now. And it's full of drama. Why can't a bad guy just break into a house and steal some jewelry anymore? Why does it have to be all about the drama these days? It's driving me over the edge. I have no tolerance for drama.

On top of that this city is in a pretty bad place. Our leaders have dug us into a very deep hole and some days I'm not sure we'll be able to climb out. They're suggesting changes that will make it much more difficult to do my job. That's if I even have a job. Well, not saying I'll be without a paycheck ... but there have been some suggestions of major restructuring which would most likely eventually remove me from my current position and send me back to where I started from. Which just makes me want to cry. A step backwards in my career would be heartbreaking for me..... on so many levels.

So I may not be around much until I can find a more peaceful place for my heart. Lately, by the end of my work day my head is aching and I feel like I can't think even one more constructive thought. No thoughts... leads to no blogging. Be back when I can catch my breath.