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True Detective Stories

By Wyatt Earp | April 29, 2009

divisionNice, huh? This was the scene that greeted us in the division on Monday morning. Apparently, when the city said they were going to renovate our building, they didn’t say that they were going to demolish it . . . during the day . . . while we were working!

The department, in its infinite wisdom, told us that we were getting a new floor (tiles placed over the original asbestos ones), new ceiling tiles, and cubicles. Mind you, we were never asked if we wanted this – we were told that this is what we wanted. To a man (and a woman), every one of us is dead set against this construction, primarily because of the cubicles. They are the same ones that were installed in our sister divisions, and they are too small and much too high. At six feet, you are isolated from every other detective in the division.

The best part? We are scheduled to receive about 24 cubicles . . . and the floor only has 11 computer stations! The city told us that we wouldn’t receive any more computers, so we will have 13 empty cubicles that will simply collect dust – although we could probably sit in one of those and take a nap. I’m just sayin’.

So, let me try to describe that indescribable picture for you. Our main divisional floor – where most of the detectives work – is rather large, maybe 36 feet deep by 30 feet wide. The construction guys cordoned off half of the floor with stylish plastic tarps, probably to contain the dust and the grime. Unfortunately, they also removed the old ceiling tiles, so the dust gently wafts above the tarp and into our noses, mouths, and other delightful orifices.

I know what you’re thinking, “But Wyatt, your bosses let you dress down during the construction, right?” WRONG! We were told that we must still arrive for work, dressed in our usual dress shirt, tie, and dress pants. Lord knows you want to look your best when your expensive clothing gets ruined by filth. Besides, try conducting an interview or an interrogation while a guy is drilling holes into a concrete wall.

The construction is scheduled to last for weeks, if not months, so until then we should probably sit down, shut up, and go with the flow. Nah, I don’t think that is going to happen, especially since the work is making our jobs virtually impossible.

Topics: True Detective Stories | 11 Comments »

11 Responses to “True Detective Stories”

  1. GroovyVic Says:
    April 29th, 2009 at 11:36 am

    I’m just going to say it…you can put doughnuts in the empty cubicles.

    I know, terrible stereotype, but I couldn’t resist.

  2. Randal Graves Says:
    April 29th, 2009 at 11:51 am

    “The construction is scheduled to last for weeks, if not months,”

    Who are you kidding? This is unionized city work…it will take years or, better yet, never get finished.

  3. JeffT Says:
    April 29th, 2009 at 12:52 pm

    Wyatt, with the new cubies that are scheduled for installation it is likely that some of johnny doc’s goons will be over soon to wreck the power/voice/data wiring. Is there any chance you could preemptively “slap the bracelets” on them? Two or more men forming a union is an unnatural act in the the eyes of G*d.

  4. Alan B Says:
    April 29th, 2009 at 1:53 pm

    Which Nutter planned this?

  5. Doghouse Says:
    April 29th, 2009 at 3:02 pm

    You should all start wearing blue hard hats to work, along with bright-colored coveralls (with your dress clothes underneath of course, so you meet code).

  6. Mike47 Says:
    April 29th, 2009 at 4:34 pm

    Where is your union in all this??? Sure looks like a “Change in working conditions” to me, which usually requires umpteen days advance notice and right-to-bargain or else it’s an Unfail Labor Practice (ULP). Also: Does Philly have on-staff Industrial Hygenists (as in Dept. of Public Health) who might get interested in air sampling for Asbestos in that ceiling dust if someone called them?

  7. CaptainAmerica Says:
    April 29th, 2009 at 6:45 pm

    Dude it took them a YEAR to renovate the kitchen in our firehouse. They took three feet out of my office in order to expand the HANDICAPPED bathroom on the other side of the wall. Mind you it is a PUBLIC bathroom that never gets used as none of us are handicapped. They structured the contract so that the bathroom was the primary renovation and the kitchen was the secondary job that way it could qualify for federal money. That means the bathroom has to be ADA (Americans with disabilities) compliant.
    In the time they took to do this job our station was a construction zone (kind of like my house) for a YEAR! That is as long as it took to build the condo towers on Delaware ave. Every week I would pass them and another floor would be added. The running joke was that we bet the condo kitchens were operational already.
    It’s a mess.

  8. RT Says:
    April 29th, 2009 at 8:12 pm

    Be careful with that particle dust floating through the air. Seriously.

    I had a guy drilling a wall adjacent to my classroom while I was trying to teach. That was fun.

  9. Lergnom Says:
    April 29th, 2009 at 8:17 pm

    What Doghouse said. Hey, if you’re in a construction zone, you need hard hats, and why not do it with style, viz:

    One of the vendors is Smith & Wesson.
    The only concern is people might mistake you for Texas Rangers.

  10. marvin Says:
    May 1st, 2009 at 10:06 pm

    I wonder if you could make one of those construction hard hats at least level II ballistic resistant? Might not be realistic, but I heard a statistic that said that in 2007, two thirds of all cops killed by gunfire were killed by thugs who aimed for the head or neck. It would reduce the target area if it could be done, and done so comfortably. Plus it wouldn’t look militaristic.

  11. Dave Says:
    May 1st, 2009 at 10:49 pm

    Hey, Wyatt- dont feel impregnated. The town I work for just spent $1.5 million to build a new VOLUNTEER fire dept, and then told us that they were going to “renovate” the old fire department as our “new” police department. That sucky METAL building is smaller than what we have now.