US Marshal: A Short Story

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Nine long years represented a huge investment of Jared’s time, energy, intellectual output and he wasn’t about to let anything fracture his team. The task force needed to be operating at peak efficiency at all times and one member of his team couldn’t stay sober for more than an occasional weekend. Deputy Randall Robins had come to work hung over, three of the last four Mondays. The team was hard hitting and no one had time for Randall to have his morning coffee, aspirin, and then wait another half an hour for him to become an asset.
“Being a US Marshal is not something that’s cut out for everyone. I never like to have this conversation with a new person, but you’re not working out for us.”
“I’ve got a ninety day probationary period.”
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I don’t want to burn bridges out from under myself, but when things go tits up with the new chick keep me in mind.”
“I feel obligated to inform you that your derogatory attitude towards our female team members factored strongly in our decision to go in a different direction with your position.”
The man’s mouth fell open in apparent shock.
Jared tilted his head and pursed his lips together as he considered whether or not the man could possibly be that lacking in self-awareness. “I can’t believe you’re surprised by that information. This isn’t 1964. Female officers have just as much right to their positions as men and don’t deserve the snarky attitude coming you put off constantly. Our team in particular has some of the best talent in the field. You’d do well to drop the attitude towards people who aren’t just like you. It’ll hold you back no matter where you go.”
“I honestly never thought I was being offensive to women in general.”
“Ask for a female partner and let her help you become more aware of how you’re presenting. Better yet, the department has several sensitivity training opportunities we can link you
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“You mean like a second job?”
“Take a second job, volunteer to mentor a disadvantage youth, or take up a hobby that requires you to be sober. Do anything other than what you’re doing. I would love for you to find professional success and eventually be part of our team again. Do something to set yourself up for that kind of success.”
Smiling, he joked. “Know anyone looking for a weekend cop.”
“I do every other weekend at a women’s shelter over on 57th street. You could stay busy on the weekends, do a good public service, pick up some extra cash, and even learn some soft skills all in one fell swoop.”
Tossing him a lopsided smile, Randal held out his hand. “Thanks, man. If I had to be fired by someone, I’m glad it was by you. At least I have a handle on what the problem was.”
Shaking hands with the younger officer, Jared watched him leave. Sometimes, hiring the young and energetic backfired on him. This was one of those instances. He hated slamming the kid, but if someone didn’t come clean with him about his behavior he’d just slip into the same bottle that claimed a lot of good
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