Before I started with the department, I spent several years in the military. Quite a few of us are ex-military or retired military and a good percentage are still in Reserve and Guard units.
So I know how to wear a freaking uniform.
But many of us don't have a clue.
I'm not one of those "A.J. Squared Away Razor Sharp Creases With Mirror Shined Boots" types. That's just not me. I never cared for shining like a diamond. I always preferred glowing softly like an old silver dollar. My uniform is clean and for the most part wrinkle-free. My boots are in the same condition. Clean and serviceable.
There are times when I can go several days in the same uniform. Then there are the times when I come home with a fine layer of pepper spray and other assorted Hive Funk on me and I drop my clothes into the washer as soon as I can home.
But if I do come home fairly clean I hang my clothes up on hangers each night. What wrinkles the previous day gave me usually relax out during the night. And if they do not and I just don't like the look of it, I'll toss them into the laundry hampster and get a fresh one for the day.
I try to look at least competent.
But there are a few of us that come in looking like ten bags of what the snap. Like they had either slept in their uniforms or kept them in the glove compartment of their car and threw them on out in the parking lot.
And this isn't just C.O.'s either. There are a few of the upper echelon types that come to work looking like a used tea bag. That kind of behavior in a supervisor tends to trickle down and the whole place unravels.
The uniforms they give us are as low maintenance as can be. Wash them and hang them up. Wipe the dirt off your boots and put on a minimal layer of polish once a month.
If I can't trust you to take care of yourself, how can I trust you to have my back when things get bad?
Take at least a little pride, there.
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