November 24th, 2008

Taking down the Umbrella

Posted in The Job - General by 200

I’ve noticed recently that I’ve been a little bit more ratty at home. My patience quotient seems to have gone down a bit. When I stopped to think about it I wondered whether I was a bit more stressed. The only reason I can think of is because of the big changes coming.

As the 200 weeks approaches almost single figures there is an almost doom-laden air that something is coming to an end.

I was chatting with someone who isn’t in the job last week. Every time I see him he asks how long I’ve got to go & invariably the phrase ‘not long now’ enters into the conversation. He asked me whether I got any preparation for entering ‘civvy street’ & the answer is ‘not a lot’.

I did do a resettlement course quite some time ago, and to be honest, I don’t recall too much about it other than there were a few people from financial institutions ready to advise me where to invest my commutation, there was a little bit about applying for a job but this was more the sort of jobs you might consider applying for rather than how to write a great CV & how to recognise what skills as a police officer are transferable to other roles.

I’ve said for about 30 years that being a police officer isn’t like any other job. As a person you’re not usually defined by the job you have. This is not the case when you’re ‘in the job’; you are defined as a police officer. When people talk about you they don’t usually say, this is John, he’s an electrician. But being a police officer is usually in the introductory paragraph, if not the first sentence.

When you’re a police officer you are one 24 hours a day, it affects everything you can or can’t do. It’s an umbrella which is forever above your head rain or shine. You’re in an exclusive club. Your friends are police officers. Much of your social life is spent amongst police officers.

I think it wil be a big step when I leave the club. Hopefully, despite my current mood swings, this will be like stepping out into a fresh, new & sunny world.

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8 comments

  1. Stressedoutcop says:

    Really Scary if you’ve got nothing lined up

    You can always hang on – for a few weeks longer

    November 24th, 2008 at 15:20

  2. ted says:

    With under a year to go myself I feel your pain. It is a big life changing step. I have not though spoken to a single retired cop who didn’t report feeling much more relaxed within a few months of going. One described it as not actually realising what stress he’d been under at work until he was retired several months for it all to unwind.

    It’s still a big step but 30 years mostly spent doing 24 hour response is long enough for me. I’ll not be hanging on a day past my 30.

    November 24th, 2008 at 21:01

  3. Core blimey says:

    I’ve been out 8 yrs now, and it was like taking a heavy rucksack off my back and slinging it. Slowly you will stop getting visits as all your ex colleagues move on or away. Now every day is a rest day, and I do less than I used to on my two days off a week, bedroom needs decorating, I will do it next week.

    November 24th, 2008 at 21:20

  4. john says:

    The first thing about a CV is that you don’t “right” it, you “write” it.
    Unless you want it to be “right”, in which case you “write” it “right”, right ?

    November 25th, 2008 at 02:24

  5. 200 says:

    John,

    right as in to right a wrong, i.e. CV already written, but how to make it right i.e improve it.

    OK, fair cop, I know how to spell but when the mind is a creative torrent of exploration sometimes the fingers don’t type what the brain thinks.

    November 25th, 2008 at 02:39

  6. Civ_In_The_City says:

    Retiring after 30 years must seem intimidating. My father had the same issue a few years ago, his career with one company (always doing much the same role) came to an end and he took redundancy and early retirement after 37 years.

    Initially the prospect of finding gainful employment elsewhere was daunting, but the facts quickly overcame the unfounded fear. Don`t confuse lack of preparation for lack of transferable skills.

    If you choose employment that involves dealing with people you`ll still find opportunities to make a difference, often the only job satisfaction that`s needed.

    November 25th, 2008 at 21:11

  7. Plodnomore says:

    Ah, those retirement seminars which seemed to consist of ex-Police independent financial consultants who each tried to persuade me that it would be best to let them look after my commutation (for a small fee – investments can and will go down in value but as I’m independent you won’t have any comeback and in any case I’ve moved to the Bahamas).
    I don’t know if anyone else experienced the same, but the day after I retired, I felt as though my place in society had altered. As a Police officer, you hold a certain place in the social hierarchy but then it suddenly goes away. Technically, I was unemployed being under state retirement age, though not being entitled to any form of job seekers allowance, unemployment benefits, tax credits, etc, (you know, that ‘investment’ you’d paid into for so long) and I no longer held that position. It felt as though my place was lower than the local drug dealer (based on the fact that he at least had a job). Fortunately, as James Blunt said, “I’ve got a plan” and my florist shop is doing very well thank you, now employing 4 people trying to ensure that the only thing that goes up one’s nose is the scent of various forms of legal plant life.
    It’s a strange feeling leaving a profession you’ve been in for so long but life outside The Job can be oh so sweet (and that’s not the petunias).
    Best wishes.

    November 25th, 2008 at 21:58

  8. Agent Douane says:

    I find that as a customs officer. This is how it goes at a party:

    HOST: This is Dave, he’s a customs officer.
    GUEST: Oh really, I, my Granny/Wife/Cousin etc once smuggled in 600 cigarettes stuffed up my, my granny’s/Wife’s/Cousin’s rectum.
    ME: Really. We really prefer finding drugs or large quantities of revenue goods or firearms (trying to belittle theirs or their Granny’s/Wife’s/Cousin’s feeble efforts to smuggle).
    GUEST: You have more powers than the Police…innit.
    ME: No.
    GUEST: Yeah but you don’t need warrants.You can kick down doors and nick everyone.
    ME: We do (if you ignore the ‘writ’ used only when necessary).
    GUEST: What was that TV programme on in the 80s? The Booty Men? Ahhh the Duty Men!
    ME: Excuse me I have to insert razor blades in my eyes….

    40 years we have to put up with this before we can retire!

    November 26th, 2008 at 17:44

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