Suffice it to say, I get transferred around a lot. A lot of the supervisors want me in their section. I work hard and I try to not push stuff up the chain of command unless it warrants it. I have a good reputation at my agency and I do my best to uphold it.
However, the down side of being transferred all over is that I don't normally get much time in a section. I stay in each section for approximately a period of two years, so I'm often the "new guy" in the group.
What irritates me is that there seems to always be a group of people with whom I have to "prove" myself to. I have to show them that "I've got it."
Guys, I've got a message for you. I was dealing with drunks and 10-96's before you were out of high school. I've dealt with some variation of just about every issue that we could have at our facility. (I will admit that I've not experienced everything that could happen, and for that I am thankful.)
But there are those that think everyone needs to "earn their respect." Nothing I do is good enough to satisfy their ego. If I'm working with an officer, I give them time to prove themselves. If they make mistakes I work with them and help them improve.
Recently we had a situation where an inmate had a shank. (A shank is slang for an improvised knife.) Two of the officers who demanded that I earn their respect and I were on scene dealing directly with said inmate. They rushed on in and were hopping about and shouting, just out of arms reach of the inmate. I'm behind them and I'm taking note of the scene. I direct other responding officers into locking the other inmates on the unit down and I directed my focus on the inmate with the shank.
The inmate had the shank in their hand, but their body language was not threatening. As a matter of fact, the inmate was not saying anything at all, while my two irritants of an officers were gesturing and babbling like baboons.
First lesson to take from this. Concise verbal commands help greatly. If you are shouting and panicking and talking over someone else, no one knows what you are talking about. I pulled the first officer behind me and stopped the second officer from talking. I addressed the inmate quite simply. "Sir, it's not a good idea to have a weapon in the unit. Do me a favor, please turn around and place your hands on the wall." Voila! Compliance. The baboons did not realize that the inmate had gotten in over his head and wanted an easy way out.
Second lesson. There is the "21 foot rule" for edged weapons. It's the reaction time against an attack. My fellow officers had gotten just outside of arms length They did not even position themselves with the tables between them and the inmate. I had to put myself in a disadvantaged position just to protect two morons.
Third lesson? I'll write more up later, as it's getting late.
After the incident, my to co-workers come up to me and let me know that I've earned their respect. Really? I'm so happy that I now have the respect of two fools who put me in danger.
I tried to explain to them what they did wrong... but they would not listen. They didn't care. I was hoping that our supervisors would light in to them... but it was all grins and handshakes.
I don't need your respect. Do you think that was awesome? I've had worse shank encounters the first year I was working! I've got the scars to prove it! OK, the scars are really tiny and only show up if I've got a deep tan... but you get my point.