I work in Law and Order. I am aware that what I am about to say is going to be unpopular. Welcome to my world.
There's big changes afoot for policing. Changes in terms and conditions, in pensions, and possible privatisation for some roles traditionally carried out by uniformed officers.
I don't much care. I accept that the world has, circa 2008 and the banking crash, changed. I expect to have to work for longer, and possibly for less. I accept that I will not be the recipient of as much comfort and security as I might hope for.
Once again, I don't much care. What drives me is a desire to make people's bad days just a bit better. What drives me is an urge to play some small part in keeping the good guys safe from the bad guys. I do not expect to earn a fortune for this. I never did. I do, however, want to go home at the end of a day and feel that I have done a little good. I don't do this for the money, nor the hours, nor the shift pattern (which is shit), or to look good in the eyes of other people. I do this because somewhere, deep down inside this cranky and erratic shell is a person who wants to see others have a fighting chance at having a better life. I spend long hours marvelling at the sheer vileness of some people with whom I deal; the deceivers and the sadists and thieves. But more than that, I know also that there is a vast and varied ocean of human goodness that ebbs and flows every second of every day. I cannot change the world, and I recognise that my sphere of influence is tiny. But I like the thought of doing something, and I'm going to keep doing it even if my pension is smaller, and even if we've less resources to do the job, and even when everybody else thinks that the police are brimming with goons and thugs.
I do not think I am a voice in the wilderness here. I think a lot of my colleagues feel the same desire to help. So if it's all the same to you, and cutting through the cheap sentimentality and melancholy, that's how I'll be spending my time.