Friday, July 2, 2010

First impressions

Now that I've been reminded that I do actually have a blog, I'm feeling like catching up a little...

A few nights ago, I did something out of the recent norm for me and I went out with former co-workers. Several people were getting together to celebrate two promotions; new Sgts. Cuffs and Chatterbox. There were several people out initially, but it ended up being Cuffs, Chatterbox, myself, and two newer officers I had never worked or played with, MD and CMS. I have known Cuffs for my entire career and I've known Chatterbox for about 5 years. MD and CMD are young guys who I have very little experience with at all.

I came into the night with previous notions about who all these people were and how I should behave in response. Cuffs and I have had our dust-ups in the past, but over the last year, especially, those have been put to bed. Chatterbox was someone I would've said was a friend, well, as much as any cop can be a friend to another cop. MD always struck me as a nice guy and hard worker, based on what I'd been told about him. CMD came off as a good cop but a cocky asshole who I wasn't sure if I would like or not. I left that night with my opinions of Cuffs and MD intact but my views of Chatterbox and CMD were drastically altered.

Let me start with CMD: the more I talked with him, the more I came to understand that, like me, he can sometimes rub people the wrong way unintentionally. He's one of those guys that you either love or hate, and he doesn't care which it is. I can respect that, especially since that's quite similar to me. I'm not excusing either of our personality "quirks", but I can understand where he's coming from a lot more than before that night. I had a good time with CMD and count him as a "friend".

Chatterbox, on the other hand, disappointed me. Early in the night, before anyone was too plastered, she told me that she is the gas in the rumor engine at her department. She almost sounded proud. She admitted she had started the rumors flying about another officer and his girlfriend (he was married to someone else) that ultimately ended with that officer being demoted. I'm not saying that officer wasn't in the wrong - he was. But it was none of Chatterbox's business and she inserted herself into it for fun, basically.

Chatterbox finally worked up the liquid courage to ask about my divorce from The Ex and how I became involved with my girlfriend. I have no problem talking about any of that because I am living my life authentically for the first time ever. I've finally stopped lying to myself and have accepted that I am who I am, nothing will change that. I'm happy and healthy, and so is my daughter. So I told her how things happened. She was curious and respectful, which I was pleased to see.

She also confronted me on a few rumors that had been flying about me over the years. OLD rumors. I had heard them myself but did not know she was the reason they'd had momentum as long as they had. None of the rumors she asked about were true and I expressed that to her. I don't know if she believed me or not, and, at this point, I don't really care.

My view of Chatterbox has been significantly damaged. All cops gossip, including me. It's a personality flaw of mine that I hate and I try to avoid it. I know my name is in the rumor mill pretty often for a lot of reasons - I'm a female in a male dominated profession, I am not very good at blending in, I have the kind of personality some people really detest, while a few others tolerate... Since I've been in my current posting (3 years) it's been a lot easier because I don't socialize with the people I work with. However, on the rare occasions I go out with old co-workers, it's hard to remember to shut my mouth. But I'm thinking about it and stopping myself, which is a huge improvement from before.

It's hard for me to be okay with someone saying "no matter what, we all still know you're you and you're always welcome here" and then turning around and telling me, proudly, that her actions have been what has kept a lot of the bullshit rumors about me alive over the last several years. I've done a lot of things I'm not proud of, but everything she mentioned was flat-out false. Those rumors caused me stress and heartache and I wish I never had to deal with them. I'll take responsibility for my actions, things I've actually done. But it pisses me off to have to deal with lies that are being spread about me for sport.

Additionally, she gleefully admitted to getting involved in other friends' personal lives that were none of her business and telling me details about people I had no business knowing and will never repeat, no matter if they're true or not.

Coming into the night, I had high hopes for her supervisory abilities. I thought she'd be a Sgt. that would have her cops' backs, even when they fucked up. I'm not saying covering up shit is a good idea, but there is a way to support your people even when they're wrong, and to help them get through the consequences.

Now I'm not sure. I don't know if she'll have her peoples' backs or if she'll pick and choose who she supports and who she fucks over. I truly hope my impression is dead wrong and she works like I initially thought she would. Only time will tell.

I wanted to hash it out right there and tell her how much of a load of bullshit that is, but it was a party and no one, including me, wants drama at a party. So I shut my mouth and put on my "grin and bear it" face. At some point, I'm going to have to address it with her or it will continue to eat at me.

On a positive note, Chatterbox's behavior reminded me of what I did not like about my old department; everyone in everyone else's business like it was their right. I don't miss that at all. So I guess the night wasn't a total bust.

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