Friday, December 26, 2008
A general symptom
When I became a new California Highway Patrol Officer in 1971, you soon found out the Seniority System that was in place.
You learned that you were in the order of Seniority for Transfers and for Vacation sign-up. So if you were a "Newby", you got your vacation in Janauary. Get some seniority, you could go finally to summer months when your kids were not in school.
You learned that on the job, Senior Officers got to pick their Shift and the Beat (Area--Road--Neighborhood, as the CHP has to patrol County Roads). Newbys got what was left, often crappy roads or neighborhoods.
Senior Officers got an "assigned Car", which meant only they got to use that car.
Then came 1975: Women.
You soon found out that women had kids, and kids were their leverage. "I have to work Day Shift (Or Night Shift) because my I have to take my kids to ___"
Seniority went out there, becuase the Sergeants, Lieutenants, and Captians caved. Get an Equal Opportunity Complaint in your file, and your chances of promotion were dead.
You see all those above the rank of Traffic Officer--now, just Officer-- lived for the next promotion. The idea was sold to you,"You are not successful unless you promote".
From about 1990 on, Police Agencies found it hard to recruit new people.
Potential applicants heard about situations like the police officers involved in the Rodney King thumping--who were accused (But committed no crimes--they followed policy all the way)--charged, tried and found NOT GUILTY. Then President G H Bush then sent the FBI in, who charged them with violating Rodney's Civil Rights, and sent two of them to prison. Potential applicants saw O J Simpson get away with murder, and have attorneys destroy the reputations of an entire Department, and convict an detective for Perjury, based on something he said, and his memory of saying it.
So appicants became scarce. The Department began catering to Newbys.
No longer was the use of a car by a senior officer unique. Days Off were decided by a Supervisor--A sergeant--who was often influenced by the Department catering to women, minorities, and new officers. You found yourself following a Rotation System, that could have certain people exempted.
Now, it is 2001. The ONLY thingto show that I had the most seniority in my office is that my picture on the Office picture board is at the top. I am given a Parking Spot in the fenced back lot--which I usually found that some day shift (0600-1430)officer had parked in. [My preferred shift was 1300-2130, and only three people were assigned that shift. You were one of three officers out there from 1300-1500 that could be sent to crashes] I am taken off my favored beat, and constantly sent to an undesirable beat at the Sergeant's whim.
The ONLY thing that remained was Transfers and Vacation Sign-up. Yet, vacations took a hit as Newbys would sign up for summer vacation--then ask for Vacation days at Christmas -New Years--because " I have kids at home".
Sept 11, 2001.
After the World Trade Center Attack, all officers are taken out of their cushy path-to-promotion Office Jobs and put "On the Road". Two Officers are assigned to cars working from 1800 to 0600. You can be alone from 0600-1800 hours.
I find that I have been assigned to the 1800-0600 shift. I went to the Captain, I told him that I could "Get sick" from then until my date of retirement--Imposed by the Department (Mandatory Retirement at 60)of October 1, 2001. He said "Just change it".
What has all this got to do with the title?
We see a poser get picked by the Democratic Party. Qualifications? He's Black ( By his choice, as his mother was White). Yet, they put him in a place that should be occupied by someone with more experience in National Government.
We see an offspring of a President, long ago assainated, who had a reputation built by the Media. JFK.. Got us into Vietnam, chickened out of the Bay of Pigs, and was a womanizer who had an extensive prescription drug use--pushed to be a Senator from New York--based up her father and her mudering drunk uncle from Massachussetts