I changed jobs about a year ago, moving from working the street to being in plain clothes, working investigations with another department. It's kind of a tradition in my old department that the late night crew from that department and a couple of surrounding departments eat breakfast together at 0400 at a local all-night restaurant.
Two nights ago, I was driving home from working late and I stopped to eat with the fellas. It's been over a year since I've eaten with them, and I didn't realize how much I missed it. Don't misunderstand, I really enjoy my new job, especially the hours. Even when I work late, I'm done in time to get home, get some sleep, and get up with my kid without feeling like death warmed over. That could not be said after over 6 years working as a late night patrol officer.
I never really realized before I left how much I would miss certain things. I DO NOT miss the bullshit; "Why aren't you writing more tickets?"... "Forget about drugs, go find some seatbelt tickets to write"... and so on and so on.
But I really do miss the adrenaline rush that could be had almost every night. I really do miss not knowing what I'm going to do at work that night. And I really do miss sitting around the breakfast table, bullshitting and telling stories.
So, anyway, about 6 uniformed cops and I (in my business suit) were sitting around the table, laughing and joking away. We were reminiscing about lots of "good" memories - the time I started a pursuit about 15 miles outside my jurisdiction, for example. In addition to being WAY out of town, we also had a strict "no-chase" policy. Oops.
Or the first time each of us tasered someone. I was the first in my deparment and I still hold the record for most tasings. I love that little thing!
As we were finishing up, a few younger males approached us. These guys looked like your typical stoners... shaggy hair, unshaven, long sideburns, big earrings that leave big holes in your ears, baggy jeans, etc...
You all know how much cops hate getting interrupted while eating. I think these young men saw our irritation when they spoke and it looked like they were ready to turn and run. But one of them stepped forward and handed me an entire chocolate pie that he had just bought at the counter for us. He thanked us, said he appreciates our hard work, and then they all left.
Of course, we all assumed he had taken the pie into the bathroom and did all kinds of bad things to it before he gave it to us. But several employees vouched for him, saying that he paid for it and walked straight to us.
As we each took a piece to eat, one young patrol cop sitting across from me said, "And as we sit here eating his pie, he drives off with 100 pounds of dope".
It was good pie.