Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Police? Not for me.

A few months ago I took the civil service exam for the local police department and was pretty pleased with how I did. I made a 94 out of 100 points. I took the test after reading in the paper that 50 openings needed to be filled. Evidently over 2000 other people read the same thing and decided to take the test. I didn't hear anything from them for a while and just assumed I wasn't what they were looking for and then a few weeks ago I got the call to come do the physical agility course.

The physical agility course is an obstacle course that includes scaling a 6 foot chain link fence, running up 4 flights of stairs, a couple of laps, a push/pull machine, dummy drag and simulated pistol shoot. The cut-off time is 2:55 and it is pass or fail. I wish you could have seen my fat gut and little legs getting over that fence! That's a Funniest Home Video right there. But I made it with 3 seconds to spare. The Olympics might not care but I was pretty proud. Not bad for an old fat guy.

Next in the application process was more physical testing as well as the background check and personal history book. I got to the testing facility this morning at 0830 as assigned. I'm pretty sore today from a strenuous day at work yesterday and was dreading the physical part of it but even more so I was not looking forward to giving every bit of my personal history to somebody no matter what uniform they wore. I have absolutely nothing to hide but I also have enough distrust of Big Brother (warranted or not) that I was leary about how that information might be used someday.

Something else kept bothering me about this as well. I had such a good day yesterday cleaning the windows at the house of some very nice people who made it clear how much they appreciated the work I did and it made me really enjoy what I do for a living. I'm my own boss and don't have anybody looking over my shoulder telling me what I did wrong or that I need to fill out a TPR report in triplicate for the home office. As I stood in line waiting to do the dreaded testing this morning some washed-up drill sargeant-wannabe who thought he was as tough as he was funny was walking around screaming at people not to block "his" doorway and not to lean against "his" wall.

I have to say I appreciate that impotent old banty rooster now because he helped me make an important decision. I realized the chances of them picking the short old fat guy out of 2000 other applicants was pretty slim and since I didn't really even want the job all that bad I could save them and me a lot of time and trouble. As the line moved forward I hit the door and headed to my car. It felt like somebody had given me a birthday present and a massage as I left there. I appreciate the hard work that our police go through but now I realize how glad I am that I'm not ever going to be one of them.


Anonymous said...

The dilemma of trading liberty for security seen in the small (and ugly) scale.


The Donald said...

Todd, are you the one in the middle?

If I were you'd I'd have joined the Police if I thought they could introduce me to Roxanne (Daryl Hannah).