Hubs is bummed out.
It’s a rare occurrence, like a total solar eclipse or sitting next to Leonardo DiCaprio at IHOP. Hubs isn’t the type of person to usually get melancholy and introspective. You won’t find him sitting in bed with a pint of Haagen Daz wondering why someone doesn’t like him or worrying if he really did the right thing. He acts with no regrets, addresses problems and conflicts face to face as soon as they arise, and never frets over being liked or disliked. If he feels like he did the wrong thing then he steps right up to remedy the situation. I envy him because, well, let’s just say that there are some sizable Haagen Daz stains on my side of the bed.
Hubs is suffering from job dissatisfaction, which is highly unusual for him because he loves what he does. From chasing a gangster with a gun to comforting little old ladies–Hubs loves it all. What other occupation could combine so many of his favorite things: fast cars, dangerous toys, problem solving, variety and the constant threat of danger? It would be like giving me a job that combines telling stories, eating and getting massaged. And what’s more? He’s good at it. Really good.
You probably think I’m biased because he’s my husband and he looks so cute in a gas mask. That’s a logical conclusion but I assure you that I’m pretty honest about my husband’s strengths and weaknesses. If you ask me whether he’s good at washing dishes I’ll tell you straight up. He isn’t. Is he a dandy dresser? Not so much. Would I let him decorate my living room? Now you’re just talking crazy. But law enforcement? He might as well have been born with a badge.
I’ve met plenty of good police officers, but most are good at certain aspects of the job and not as good at others. Some officers are very proficient at dealing with hardened criminals but hate talking with the public. Some are great at dealing with regular citizens but not as good in a life and death situation. Some guys can write a gazillion tickets. Some are gifted at polishing their desk chair with their backside. Everybody has their strengths.
Not many officers can become “STEP INTO A SLIM JIM” scary when needed then flip the switch to transform into Officer Cuddles, community liaison. Hubs can. He will pull over to change someone’s flat tire in the rain. He will wrestle a 200 pound, gun-toting victim of society. He will also get out and dance at a Martin Luther King Jr. parade (but he would advise you against checking that out on YouTube under “Martin Luther King Parade-Cop dancing!” –I’ve already said too much.) And he has an uncanny knack for spotting felonious intent. He’s a complete law enforcement package with a cute butt. I will admit that the cute butt has no impact on job performance–it’s just a personal preference.
Here’s the thing: some bureaucratic organizations, as well as many large businesses don’t necessarily appreciate super efficiency. I know, it is shocking, like discovering politicians don’t always tell the truth. People hate over-achievers. They ruin the curve and make everyone else look bad. They set a pace with which it’s hard to keep up and people resent that.
If you come into a detective squad and close a bunch of cases all at once, everyone else looks like they’ve just been sitting around playing computer solitaire every day. If you arrest too many violent offenders, you get a lot of “uses of force” in your career file and Risk Management sends you to sensitivity training to learn how to hug homicidal maniacs. Career-savvy workers keep a low profile, play the political game and pace themselves, doing just enough to tow the line but not enough to ruffle feathers.
Hubs doesn’t operate that way. He goes all out to the finish line, pukes, tapes up his injuries, sleeps like the dead and then does it all again. That’s just how he rolls.
The criminals are holding up their end of the bargain: breaking the law and trying to get away with it, running away, lying, throwing guns and narcotics in bushes, wetting their pants…you know, the stuff they’re supposed to do. That’s heartening. However Hubs has grown weary of watching peers (not all, but some) coast along doing the bare minimum and cutting corners that affect officer safety. And he’s tired of being penalized by superiors (again, not all, but some) for being outspoken and proactive, especially when the superiors doing the penalizing are more skilled at climbing the career ladder than actually doing the job. See, not every skill will get you a big high-five from your co-workers.
So what do you do when you’ve become disillusioned with the job you always wanted to do? Do you grit your teeth and stick it out until retirement? Do you find an alternative and redefine yourself? How do you find something as fulfilling as cracking skulls for the good of society and still receive good health care and a retirement package? Can you get a job doing Mixed Martial Arts in retirement communities? Become a professional surfer and shark wrestler? Maybe a rodeo clown?
These are some of the questions Hubs is asking himself and frankly I don’t blame him for feeling down about it. Crossroads typically aren’t fun road trips in a Britney Spears movie, though they can be as painful to watch. More often they feel like bald-headed Britney taking an umbrella to a SUV.
But you always come out the other side. And if you play your cards right, you come out a better person with a cute butt. Okay, again the cute butt is not required to be a better person, but Hubs does have one and I feel compelled to point it out. I just wouldn’t feel right if I wrote a whole blog post about him and didn’t objectify him a little. He’d do the same for me.