T Nation

What To Do, Where To Go, After You Hit Rock Bottom?


#1

I am 24 years old, a recent college graduate on the President’s list. I had a job lined up in law enforcement that would be starting after I finished my reserve training for OCS for the military. This past weekend I went away with some friends to celebrate halloween. I’ve never been much of a drinker, and I drank way more than I was used to as did my girlfriend. I don’t remember anything. There was some type of complaint from someone else staying in our hotel and the police came and took my girlfriend and I to the drunk tank just to sober up. No arrest, no charges. My background is still clean. I was released a few hours later when my dad made it up to come pick us up. My department found out, and I lost the job. I also lost admission to OCS. I know this is completely on me, and was irresponsible of me to let myself get that intoxicated. I feel like I’ve completely hit rock bottom. I work in car sales now and fucking hate it. My degree is in law enforcement. My whole life path has been dedicated to me reaching this point. I have already made arrangements to get out of my lease while I am away at training. My girlfriends parents have already given me the okay to stay there over the weekend while I am home from training. My whole family was proud of me for following this path. I don’t know how i am going to break this news to my family. I’m not sure where to turn - I doubt I will be able to get hired by another law enforcement agency for a few years. I need some advice from those who have more life experience than myself. I’ve only been out of college for a year - I’ve already decided I am going to quit drinking for good. My thoughts are apply for a correctional officer position or go back to college for another area of study - Which would rack up more student debt and take another 3-4 years for me to get a second Bachelor’s degree. What would you do if you were me? I know it is all my fault. I shouldn’t have let some fun with my friends turn into a career ender.


#2

The situation is a fuck-up for sure but definitley not rock bottom, you’re still very young so loads of avenues ahead of you.
Im sure this will be the first of many cliches offered to you but dont focus on what-ifs etc just keep moving forward


#3

Enlist. Get straight for a few years, then figure out what you want to do.


#4

Quit running gear while trying to pursue a future in enforcing laws. There is a clear conflict of identity there.

You’re very young. I think @alphagunner has a good plan.


#5

Just for some perspective, you’re pretty far from “rock bottom”, man. Rock bottom is having to sell your dog to support your crack habit. You’re a young guy who needs a job that he likes, exactly like the majority of recent college grads (like most people, probably).

It sucks that you had one lined up and it got thrown away because of one out-of-habit night of binge drinking, but much worse things have happened to good people.

I don’t know how law enforcement jobs work where ever you are, but can you apply to places a few towns over or in the next city? Or are you, like, on “a list”? If working corrections is a possibility, that certainly seems like a related-enough field that’ll let you follow a pretty similar career path.


#6

Unless you have some other more serious charges you haven’t mentioned, most, if not all places will look past a little one night oops.

Learn to ask for forgiveness. Do it with a genuine earnestness without any pretense or expectation.
Once you’ve received it move on and don’t cause the people that made that decision any reason to second guess it.


#7

Everyone’s rock bottom is different. It just depends when you want to stop digging. If you have nothing on your record, then move elsewhere and apply for law enforcement jobs there.


#8

I think @JMaier31 Might have some insight


#9

Okay, I’m going to give you slightly different advice.

I’ve been in the workforce a long time. There are rules and there are rules. There are also people who can think for themselves and people who just apply said rules. Maybe losing your admission was justified but maybe some asshole was having a bad year and is looking for someone to slap because her husband doesn’t touch her anymore.

You’re on the President’s list, you should have good contacts and you should have someone who can vouch for you.

Take them out for a coffee and ask for their help (either finding a contact or doing the dirty work for you). Once you have your opening, you need to make your case. You made a mistake, no one was hurt, you will learn from this, yadda yadda yadda. Then sell your credentials, yes you potentially miss out here but so do the Military by passing on you (dont phrase it like that).

Or go via another path but you owe it to yourself to scrap and fight to get back what you worked (very hard?) for.


#10

You are right, but there has to be a considerable amount of time in between a little “oops” and when you apply.


#11

Not really. I ran into something similar as a kid. I wanted to be a Navy Seal. Everything I did from 12 yrs. old onward was directed toward that end. Well, not the selling weed and partying, but a lot of stuff. As soon as I could I took the ASVAB at school and did really well. Told the recruiters that this was what I wanted to do. Went to the federal building and enlisted, got a contract for Intel, and scheduled to leave for Seal prep boot camp after graduating HS.

Then I beat the living hell out of a guy that owed me money down at one of the local bars. I got past that with an assault charge and a minor weed possession but it screwed up my security clearance. What I had to do was interview with a Senior officer in charge of recruiting and apologize, ask forgiveness and accept any consequences that may come my way. It turns out that it screwed up my security clearance and I had to accept a less sensitive MOS. Not a big deal and still in line with my intentions

That all got derailed later from a different incident but the point stands. These things can be gotten past, but you have to be willing to own your part and correct your own course.


#12

Thanks, I just applied for the FBoP - Hopefully they’ll give me a shot.


#13

You just have to keep applying and keep your nose clean. They’re evaluating your judgement. This little incident might delay things a bit but it’s not over.

Police departments can accept stupid things from your past but they make you show them that you can behave yourself for a while before they give you a shot.


#14

How long should I wait before I re-apply?


#15

I’d ask the department that just rescinded their offer. Ask them why they pulled it. Would they reconsider? Are you permanently disqualified?

In the meantime, apply to other agencies. They will probably ask if you’ve ever been disqualified by another agency and if you have then you have to be honest. They’ll ask why and you’ll have to tell them about your drunk night.

The rule for dealing with police departments is always be honest. You can almost always survive stupid decisions as long as you’re honest.


#16

I can back this up. I’m not a cop but I worked with a police department in the past. I applied for a job, I needed a clearance. I had been found guilty of reckless driving in the past.

At the end of the interview, they asked if I had any offences, I said yes. They looked stunned. I told them what I was found guilty of and flat out said the officer took the stand and lied about what happened. Probably not the smartest move as there was a sworn on the interview panel lol

They all looked very unimpressed, after a bit of silence the cop says “a traffic offence? That’s nothing”. A few days later, I had the job.

On a related note, I heard that officer was recently found possessing unregistered firearms… so maybe not that surprising he wasn’t fussed lol


#17

They pulled it due to the incident that had happened over the weekend. The officers were from a different department so I’m not sure how they found out as I wasn’t arrested. I had already went through this entire hiring process and turned down an offer from another agency because this is the one I wanted. I passed the polygraph, background, etc. He told me this was the only issue. I don’t blame him because obviously they are questioning my judgement. Should I apply for other agencies now? Or should there be time between what happened and when I apply. This isn’t on public record, only police agencies are able to see it. Would applying in a different state help any?


#18

Did you get disqualified though? That means you can’t reapply in the future.

Your name is probably on a police report. We write lots of reports that basically end up being history documents. Some cases don’t even have a criminal element. We call them. Miscellaneous Reports.

Any agency investigating your background will probably contact the departments in every town in which you lived so going out of state might not change things.

You need to clarify the terms of your lost job offer. Maybe they’ll just hold you back until the next class.

One of my friends was permanently disqualified by our agency but he fought it and got hired.


#19

They told me I was not permanently disqualified, and that I could reapply in a year. But I’d have to go through the entire process again


#20

I applied for a county jail and should have an interview in the near future with the federal prison closest to me. Not really what I wanted to do. But it’s a start. I feel as if I apply for other police agencies they will see this information and disqualify me. I asked the department I turned down if I could re enter the process… the chief is reviewing…