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How to deal with bad leadership?

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  • #16
    Great 35 years of police service is a great experience

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Ratatatat View Post
      I could write a book on this topic.

      1. You have zero power to change the culture. As a low-tier employee, you are little more than a piece of flotsam in the Mississippi River, bouncing off the rocks, going wherever bigger currents take you.

      2. You can believe in yourself as a force for good, as a bright light in a dark space, as a seed for change all you want and hope for the day when the storms subside and the blue bird sings. But like the old saying goes... you can hope in one hand and poop in the other- see which fills up faster.

      3. You have three options:

      -Start documenting every misstep. Keep a little book chronicling dates, exact quotes, and circumstances. Hire an attorney for guidance on how to file lawsuits, and for advice on things like recording workplace conversations. Put on the iron pants when you have enough evidence and file a complaint or lawsuit. Be prepared to become a pariah and for the power structure to put you through the gauntlet. Be prepared for HR to do nothing, or next to nothing, on your behalf.

      -Reconcile yourself to the daily indignities. Hide in the weeds and don't make a peep. Pray for divine intervention or karma to deliver a bolt of lightning or a heart attack. Buy a punching bag and draw a cartoon version of his face on it and spar with it for 30 minutes every day. See a counselor about how to deal with workplace misery.

      -Spruce up your resume. Do what countless people have done in similar situations: get a new job. At the exit interview, thank management for the opportunity but when they ask why you are leaving, only say professional development. Roll the dice and hope things are better with new agency.
      I wish this wasn't so true, but it is. Every...single...word.

      I've been waiting for karma to come around for years now...still hasn't happened. The aforementioned poop, on the other hand, happens pretty much every day.

      As for books on this topic, there's a reason there are so many. Just google "toxic police leadership" and look at all the books and articles on the subject. It's a plague in the profession...one that destroys good officers and whole departments, but something that nobody wants to address. There's a reason that most officers cite internal office issues as the biggest stressor on this job (and that's saying something in a profession where we voluntarily strap on a bullet-resistant vest every day without even thinking twice).
      Last edited by Bing_Oh; 08-30-2019, 09:27 AM.
      "He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you."
      -Friedrich Nietzsche

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      • #18
        There's a reason that most officers cite internal office issues as the biggest stressor on this job (and that's saying something in a profession where we voluntarily strap on a bullet-resistant vest every day without even thinking twice).

        When I reflect on my 27 years in the biz (which recently ended with a retirement party with a dozen close colleagues on the patio deck at Schlitz & Grins, the local watering hole), what almost ended my career at one point wasn't a violent encounter or a vehicle accident. It was a grossly unfit manager with an axe to grind and the totally dysfunctional leadership above him who were intentionally indifferent about the volcano of sewer waste he was spewing.

        It's why I strongly recommend to anyone in the hiring pipeline to look close and hard at the turnover rate at an agency. There's a reason why some places are constantly hiring: because people are constantly leaving. Find out why before blindly investing your life's work into an organization that promotes and protects the worst element and treats the rank and file like cowsh*t under their shoes. Because once you're on, they got you by the short hairs and leaving is easier said than done....
        Be Smart. Be Safe. Be Lucky.

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        • #19
          ........................

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Ratatatat View Post


            When I reflect on my 27 years in the biz (which recently ended with a retirement party with a dozen close colleagues on the patio deck at Schlitz & Grins, the local watering hole), what almost ended my career at one point wasn't a violent encounter or a vehicle accident. It was a grossly unfit manager with an axe to grind and the totally dysfunctional leadership above him who were intentionally indifferent about the volcano of sewer waste he was spewing.

            It's why I strongly recommend to anyone in the hiring pipeline to look close and hard at the turnover rate at an agency. There's a reason why some places are constantly hiring: because people are constantly leaving. Find out why before blindly investing your life's work into an organization that promotes and protects the worst element and treats the rank and file like cowsh*t under their shoes. Because once you're on, they got you by the short hairs and leaving is easier said than done....
            If you could go back in time and start over would you have tried self employment instead or recommend it?
            Last edited by ACO88; 08-30-2019, 04:59 PM.

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            • #21
              If you could go back in time and start over would you have tried self employment instead or recommend it?
              If the laws of astrophysics allowed for us to go back 30 years for a do over, I don't know if I'd step in the DeLorean.

              Self employment has its upsides and downsides. You're a beeyoch to no one, other than your customers. Some people I know have done very well working for themselves; others have failed epically.

              All I know is I am very lucky and very grateful I made it to the end zone, because I witnessed many people who were a lot smarter than me or did the job a lot better than me, not make it.


              Be Smart. Be Safe. Be Lucky.

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              • Iowa #1603
                Iowa #1603 commented
                Editing a comment
                Amen...........

            • #22
              Lots of great advice has been given.

              Plain & simple-Keep your mouth shut (don't speak to ANYONE [you don't know who knows who] at your department about this) and get the f... out of there, as soon as you can.

              And, there's no reason to bring it up to anyone at whichever agency you land at. You will find stupid, idiotic things going on at any agency you go to. Just do your job & don't get wrapped up in nonsense.

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              • #23
                Hey Ratatatat:

                Since you are retired now, do you mind sharing which agencies you worked for over the years and what academies you attended.

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                • #24
                  As others have said, suck it up and ride it out, document to protect yourself, and if you are really unhappy, vote with your feet and find another agency.

                  Another option - one I took many years ago - is to improve the quality of management within your agency by preparing yourself, applying, and eventually getting promoted into a supervisory position. If you think you would do a better job than the current crop of managers, then man up and step forward. You may initially lose money and have to deal with a whole different bag of BS that first line guys don't lose any sleep over, but over time, you'll probably make your shop a better place for those that follow.

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                  • #25
                    Originally posted by hangman View Post
                    Hey Ratatatat:

                    Since you are retired now, do you mind sharing which agencies you worked for over the years and what academies you attended.
                    You first.
                    Now go home and get your shine box!

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                    • Ratatatat
                      Ratatatat commented
                      Editing a comment
                      He doesn't get that O.com is an internet forum where people share as much- or as little- personal info as they decide to....

                  • #26
                    Originally posted by Rockriver View Post
                    As others have said, suck it up and ride it out, document to protect yourself, and if you are really unhappy, vote with your feet and find another agency.

                    Another option - one I took many years ago - is to improve the quality of management within your agency by preparing yourself, applying, and eventually getting promoted into a supervisory position. If you think you would do a better job than the current crop of managers, then man up and step forward. You may initially lose money and have to deal with a whole different bag of BS that first line guys don't lose any sleep over, but over time, you'll probably make your shop a better place for those that follow.
                    The worse mistake I made in my entire career was to promote thinking I could make a difference.

                    I think I made the staff under me a bit better but the stress I ended up shouldering from BOTH sides (upper management and line staff ) beat me down to the point that after 10 yrs I started to hate going to work.
                    The last 5 yr of my career were almost unbearable and I ALMOST quit with a vested but incomplete future pension . I stayed until I could take my retirement but I left the first day I was eligible and have never looked back .

                    FYI the job has got worse since I left (9 yrs ago)

                    If I had to do it over I would have stayed an officer or at the most promoted to a Sgt position which was and still is not a managerial position in my old statewide agency
                    Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

                    My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

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                    • #27
                      Originally posted by hangman View Post
                      Hey Ratatatat:

                      Since you are retired now, do you mind sharing which agencies you worked for over the years and what academies you attended.

                      Sure.

                      Spent one third of my time wearing a uniform with a patch on the shirt. The other two thirds of my time was spent in jeans, 5-11s, and business suits.

                      Started off carrying a stainless S&W Model 65 .357 magnum. Ended with a Sig and a baby Glock (for court/office days). M4 SBR and shottie in the safe.

                      Worked in a bunch of places. Coast to coast, and in between. Extremely rural (as in more cows than people) to extremely urban (as in bloody needles on the sidewalk outside the office).

                      Went to way too many academies. If I were to add up the weeks and months from five academies, it's almost a year and a half. There's no reason for that. One of the first things I plan on doing is writing my congressman and requesting legislation creating a national standard for LE training. It will never happen but writing congressional reps about possible legislation is what retired people do.

                      Those academies ranged from community college, where we played hacky sack in the hall and graded our own tests, to a paramilitary academy with horse breath instructors in your face every morning at inspection. Good times.

                      Got to eat the salad bar at Glynco a few times too. That was like going to college again and partying like a 22 year old...at age 28, 31, and 40.

                      Did a lot of different things. Played a small but important role in a precarious situation in the rural West from the 1990s that resurfaced somewhat recently. A writer from the NY Times tracked me down a year ago and we talked about what happened for a couple of hours. His book came out in August and my recollections got a full chapter. How many other O.com posters have a book chapter all their own, eh?!

                      Worked for several outfits (five, total), some big, some small. I would recommend people go big. Yeah you're just a number on a spreadsheet but that can be good. Small outfits can get really effing weird real quick, especially when the wrong people are put in power.

                      Didn't succeed at everything I tried. Failed as much as I succeeded, in fact. Never gave up though.

                      And never hired an attorney, went to HR, or went looking for a boy in upper management for protection. Did things my way. Solved my own messes. Captained my own ship.

                      Also very thankful for karma, good timing, random luck, and divine intervention.

                      Worked with some really great people, especially at the agency I just walked away from. Only a dozen or so came to my bye bye party, but that's what I wanted- just the close friends. No shirt and tie management, no turds, no posers, no A holes. No tears but came close during final hugs (women) and bro hugs (men).

                      Got to see parts of the world that I would have never gotten to see on my own. If you ever go South Africa, stay at the Beverly Hills Hotel in Umlhanga Rocks. Verdant monkeys will try to steal the sugar packets from your breakfast table as you watch sharks feed in the shallows of the Indian Ocean. Armed guards stand at the front gates while you enjoy biltong (gnu jerky) and pinotage at wineries in Stellenboesch. Hard to believe someone else paid for that trip....

                      I think I covered most of it. What a ride.
                      Be Smart. Be Safe. Be Lucky.

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                      • hangman
                        hangman commented
                        Editing a comment
                        So you didn't specifically state what agencies you worked for but I am guessing it was NPS, USFWS and others. What other agencies? If you are retired, why are you scared to specifically state what agencies you worked for?

                        Was all your time with the FEDS or did you work for any local or state agencies?

                      • Ratatatat
                        Ratatatat commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Why do you care?

                    • #28
                      Originally posted by Ratatatat View Post


                      How many other O.com posters have a book chapter all their own, eh?!
                      Do you count a policy manual as a book and specific policies as chapters? Asking for a friend

                      Comment


                      • Aidokea
                        Aidokea commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Lol.

                        I've seen that happen...more than once. Some pretty funny stuff. Fortunately, I was never the subject of any of those actions.

                      • Bing_Oh
                        Bing_Oh commented
                        Editing a comment
                        [Raises hand]

                      • Iowa #1603
                        Iowa #1603 commented
                        Editing a comment
                        I refuse to confirm or deny that I am responsible for any policies due to situations where I was a party.


                        I will confirm that I have been / am in a position that is responsible for WRITING policy (in two different agencies)

                        It i fun to formulate a policy that has legal basis and had items that YOU think should be included and then sending it up the pipeline to see what happens at the administrative level

                      • TG110896
                        TG110896 commented
                        Editing a comment
                        lol funny guy

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