“They” Owe Me, Part II

Competitive MarksmanshipOver time, I did earn more money with my government job. Not that I ever got a promotion, but that I did receive annual cost of living increases and step increases.

Even without a promotion, an officer’s existing pay level enjoyed small incremental increases just for sticking with the job. Like anybody else would feel, I certainly resented the officers who did not shoot competitively, but got picked to be firearms instructors. Like anybody else would feel, I definitely resented the officers who were granted work time to go to Police Games while I had to use my own leave time. Like anybody else would feel, when I did get the fireamrs instructor position, I deeply resented the lunch hour pistol practice the male instructors were allowed to engage in while I, the only female instructor, was expressly forbidden to fire a single round. Sound crazy? It was. It was confounding, unfair, discriminatory and degrading. But no one owed me. The managers showed great levels of preferential treatment and selective punishment, but that all showed their flawed natures, not mine. Being determined and disciplined and focused always wins. I exercised those character traits and more and I became a winner. I assigned a line item to my personal household budget for shooting. I knew ammo and match fees and practice sessions all cost money. I accounted for this and paid my own way. I had to work at the range during the week and then pay to go practice at a different range on the weekends. Yes, I was pissed. But, no one owed me. When officers say they refuse to practice unless the workplace gives them ammo, when officers say they won’t compete unless work pays for it or they can’t because it is too expense, I shake my head in pity. No one owes them. It is time to quit whining and to quit looking for someone else to carry our grown adult selves into self fulfillment. We are capable human beings. I am living proof and proud of it. What are you all doing to make your mark? To claim your pride?

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"I worked as a Federal Law Enforcement Officer for over 14 years, in a firearms carrying capacity. First assigned to LAX (1994), then to the Los Angeles/ Long Beach Seaport (1997-2007), I took an early retirement from my final duty station of El Paso, TX (2007-2008). Never having handled firearms prior to this job, I give full credit for my initial shooting lessons and safe firearms handling skills to the government. As I began to compete, I gleaned tips and coaching lessons from the best law enforcement instructors across the nation, turning myself into one of the best, too. I was a firearms instructor in Los Angeles and a national level competitor on a formally sponsored team from 1999 through 2003, being sent all over the nation for pistol match competitions. As a result of this gift of an experience, I went on to set five national records in the law enforcement shooting sports. Check in regularly to read about those and other adventures and misadventures!"
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