Better And Better

If you don't draw yours, I won't draw mine. A police officer, working in the small town that he lives in, focusing on family and shooting and coffee, and occasionally putting some people in jail.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Mud in the welt,

...spear grass in the laces, crap on the uppers.

It sucks that I'm expected, if I am to appear professional, to maintain sharp creases on my uniform trousers and shirt sleeves, have no spots, and maintain a spit-shine on my boots fit for court, while at the same time I have to chase critters (4-legged and 2-legged) through the brush and mud.

My next house will have a utility slop sink outside or in a shop or in a mud room. At present, I must use my kitchen sink and a vinyl brush to get the mud and crap out of the corners of my uniform boots. This is effective, but causes something of a mess, which makes my wife unhappy. Heck, it makes me unhappy. Then, after my boots dry, they desperately (!) need a good shine.

Occasionally, I can make it into town during daylight hours and hit the jail and get a trustee to shine 'em. Some of 'em are pretty good. Others... not so much. You never know what you're going to get. But for a dollar, it ain't bad.

Lately, I've been dropping my uniforms off at the dry cleaners. When I first started, I never did this. Frankly, I wasn't paid enough, and also, I hadn't fully grasped why those guys that always looked great looked so good. I'm pretty handy with a steam iron and a washing machine, but my very best days pale in comparison to what the couple of better local dry cleaners do to my uniforms. They give a minor discount to cop uniforms (which is smart-- gets cops, who are generally kind of blue-collar, to bring their stuff in, which in the long run brings in more business from themselves and other cops, and from word of mouth. It also puts good guys in badges and uniforms in your shop at unpredictable times all day long, which is very nice to have for a largely cash-oriented business.), and both of the shops I hit are small in-house family-owned businesses. I like supporting such businesses-- the counter lady at each one took to calling me by name the very first time I walked in, and they provide rush service when I need it. I try not to abuse that privilege, though-- they've got a rhythm to maintain, and I'm screwing it up when I ask before 0800 for my order to be ready by 1430. Like those old-timers that I used to notice always looked professional when I started, I figure that I'm making an investment in my overall outlook.

The price I pay is a couple or three of sawbucks a week, and the necessity of being organized enough to drop my stuff off and pick it up in time.

Right now I've got the dryer running on Permanent Press, trying to dry out my vest carrier, which reeked from last night's activities. The ballistic panels are lying in the sun on the back porch, airing out.

I need to move the collar brass and badge and pins and keys to the new uniform, which is just a daily thing, like shaving.

Yeah, it's part of the job. But like cleaning guns after shooting, it's not the fun part.

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