Last night was National Night Out which our local police department and Target lovingly sponsor. It's a great event! Lots of local organizations come out to participate. It's the "go to" for all things police and fire related! There are police cars, fire engines, the county helicopter landed to great fanfare, etc. My kids think this is the coolest event. They love being able to ask questions of our public servants and getting to look inside the equipment they use. Especially Ren. He's told us since he was about 3 that he will be a fireman someday. Hey, if that's what he wants to do then he's got our support.
Then as we were leaving to head to soccer practice, we stumble upon a local firefighter. He was parked next to us and having a rather loud conversation on his cell phone. It went something like this:
"Hey, yeah. Well I'm at this Night Out thing. Yeah, I hate these things. I hate dealing with all the little kids and events like this just suck. I wish this wasn't part of my job"
Ummm, wow. Not only did my children overhear this, but several other children/families did as well. You should have seen their faces. Ren was about to cry.
This did upset me a bit as well. For a number of reasons.
First off, they are public servants. Their job is to directly deal with the public. We are their bosses. We pay taxes to help pay for their salaries. I want happy firefighters at kid related functions, go that. ;)
Secondly, to a lot of children, police and firefighters are their heroes. They look up to them, emulate them, and are taught that if they are ever in danger or scared to seek out a police officer or firefighter. I'm not sure any of my kids would want to walk up to a firefighter with an attitude like his and that's dangerous in my book.
Finally, I know everyone has a bad day. I also know that big community events can be draining. I get it. I've been there. However, there are times when you have to dig deep and just do it. The kids in our town love this event and look forward to it each year. It's like a big party that officially kicks off back to school. As a member of this community, I was both sad and angry that someone would "hate" to be at an event held for local children. Next time, stay home. Seriously.
**Please note that I am NOT bashing police officers or firefighters. I, and my family, have the utmost respect for them. I have several members of my family and many, many friends who risk their lives each day for the public as police officers and firefighters. This one instance just really bugged me and I felt a need to vent about it. **