September 17th, 2008


Posted in The Job - Experience by 200

I don’t cry.

The last time I cried was nearly 30 years ago. I was helping my Dad move all his stuff out of our home into a small flat somewhere.

I joined the police force & haven’t cried since. I think it has something to do with the job. Not having much psychology training I don’t really know, but I’m bloody sure that seeing all the stuff you have to see can make you hard.

It’s not really the done thing to burst into tears when you’re delivering a death message, or picking up pieces of brain from a railway track, or telling a mother she can’t pick up her dead baby – preserving evidence & all that. Six foot, hairy-arsed coppers don’t have feelings.

To be honest I can’t think of a single occasion when I’ve seen any of my male colleagues cry either. Perhaps they go off & do it somewhere private, or perhaps they sit over a pint, tears mixing with the Guinness, or maybe they do it at home, down the bottom of the garden. Maybe they’re just like me. It’s not something I’ve discussed much.

In the earlier years there was certainly no appreciation that officers had feelings, you just had to get on with it. I guess now it’s more touchy-feely & maybe group hugs are encouraged.

It’s not that I don’t want to cry. I get a lump in my throat at Remembrance Service each year or at some soppy film, just like the next man.

A relative died last year, it was the first time I attended the funeral of anyone reasonably close, family-wise, at least. I had  a lump in my throat, sure, but that was about it. No more.

Sometimes, I sit back & wonder what being a police officer for 30 years does to you. I wonder how I would have turned out had I gone into IT or manufacturing or something. As a society we seem to always want to put the blame on someone else. I wonder whether I should be blaming the police because I don’t cry.

Maybe, when things slow down a bit after my retirement, I can go & get some acting lessons, I believe they have some great techniques to make actors cry at will.

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  1. Civ_In_The_City says:

    I find watching “Secret Millionaire” gets me most weeks, ‘er indoors says I`m a wuss. I used to look forward to “Noels Christmas Presents” each year, and Cillas “Surprise Surprise”. All had the same effect. Floods.

    (That last scene in “Schindlers List” works too).

    September 18th, 2008 at 18:26

  2. Plodnomore says:

    Following the death of a much respected colleague who died on duty, I was asked by his widow to deliver the funeral oration as I was the person who had worked with him the most and that we were very close off duty. Despite going over the reading many times and mentally preparing myself for it, I felt no shame in my voice breaking, my hesitating and my (hopefully quiet) sobs before I ended. It wasn’t my fault he died but I still felt guilty that I was here, his colleagues and friends were here and we would no longer hear his pathetic jokes, excrutiating puns and his oh so infectious laughter. When I finished, then I cried.

    September 18th, 2008 at 21:35

  3. Oi says:

    I have been known to shed the odd tear while the family cuddle their lifeless baby, dead of SIDs – but you are correct. a few years in The Job tends to layer on the armour-plating……..

    September 18th, 2008 at 22:19

  4. officer dibble says:

    I agree the Job does numb you to stuff.I have never become emotional at any incident I have dealt with (though some have stuck in my mind for longer than I would like).
    I hope this isn’t some form of repressed feeling so that when I get to the end of my time in the Job it all comes out in one big rush.

    Sure as hell will frighten the life out of my local’s barman if he asks how my days been when I have just got back from my leaving drink

    September 19th, 2008 at 00:44

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