Mixed Priorities

For as long as I have been working in law enforcement, I have worked on the holidays. I have come to expect it, my family has come to expect it. But, something changed this year when I was told I had been “ordered” to work Christmans and New Year’s. I think that it took some of the pride of service away when someone thought it was necessary to order my unit to work, even though we know we are considered essential employees and have to be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. I had to think to myself “after all this time, was our service taken for granted?” When we (in the global sense) have to patrol on Christmas Day, sit in the fire house waiting for calls, or sit in a booth at a factory what are we really doing it for? Those of us in the military or public safety sectors sacrifice so much all of the time, have we really gotten smothered with employer obligations? Most of us are proud to lay down our lives for others; but when that personal sacrifice is glossed over like it’s the equivilent of delivering pizzas, when do we need to re-evaluate our priorities and use that vacation time we have been saving for our families? When we are always available for overtime shifts but somehow no one else is, or when we are constantly early for our shifts, but we get relieved late all the time, when do we need to “enlighten” others that we are not to be taken for granted? We don’t stop serving our communities, but we do need to stop enabling those who benefit from the sweat of our brows and pain in our backbones. Everyone should pull their own weight and it is our responsibility to remind them of that. If you haven’t noticed, this is directed to those that work right by our side and, are oftentimes, our own worst enemies.

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