Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Dad is work fun?

My son who is in the first grade asked me one day, "Dad is work fun?" Now I had to clarify his question. Is what I do for work fun or being a grown up and having to work fun? He meant the latter.

I told him that was a good question, IS WORK FUN? I explained to him that its important to chose a path in life which makes you happy in every respect. I told him when I finished my military service I had actually gotten out without having a job set up. Irresponsible? Maybe, maybe not. I was kinda tired of having Uncle Sam running my life and being away from home more times than not gets real old.

So as a new civilian I took the first job that I saw fit my military experience. I started out making $7 an hour back in the day. After almost two years of working this dead end job, my employer saw fit that my hourly wage was $9 an hour. Now I knew this job wasn't my future.

My original plan was to get out of the military and apply for law enforcement jobs. Little did I count on our country being in a recession and little to no law enforcement agencies hiring. Those that were hiring wanted a college education which I lacked. To better my career prospects I had enrolled in night classes at the local community college.

I was fortunate enough to be hired and paid to go through the Police Academy with benefits with a bay area agency. I can honestly say that every assignment I've had in my law enforcement career has been fun and challenging.

So to get back to my son's question. I told him there aren't very many people who work their days living their childhood dream of being a motor cop. Hey I loved working graveyard patrol, but being a motor cop is icing on the cake. I had dreamed of being a motor cop as a child but really never thought it would happen. I was happy enough just wearing the uniform and badge.

I told him every day at work is fun for me. I work with a group of great guys I've known for years, I work for a great department with a great schedule (I work 3 days a week, hell I'm off more days during the year than I am at work).

I told my son to chose a job / career that he would absolutely love. He told me he didn't want to be a policeman. I'm proud that he had the cojones to tell me that at his young age.

So my son's little comment allowed me to reflect on a topic that I too often take for granted. My first job out of the military SUCKED! Every Monday I'd try and think of an excuse I hadn't used before to get out of work. As many years as I've been a cop, I still love going to work. Don't get me wrong. I enjoy my weekends like everyone else, but when my Monday rolls around I'm ready to get back to some fun.

Now the question I asked my son is what he wanted to be when he grew up. He told me he'd like to be a veterinarian or a chef. I told him to go for it and as he grew older he'd realize where his passion lay.

Kind of odd choices together.

Of course the cop humor came quietly to play in my mind...... veterinarian or chef..... the light bulb came on! He could open a veterinarian clinic right next to his Southeast Asian Cuisine restaurant.

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