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Week 11: High Browns, High Stress

“A slippin' and a slidin' we will go!”

Police car with pylons

2005-09-04

This week we were issued our high browns, and with these came high expectations as they need about 20 coats of polish in addition to other prep steps before we can wear them, or even leave them in our closets. And let’s not forget that the Sam Browne and the Stetson band also need to match our boots in colour. Did I mention that there are about four different polish colours that need to be applied in a certain order? And that some of these are no longer being produced so we're required to go on a hunt of the last of the mahogany polish tins? Yes, there's a recipe for polishing your high browns, and here's the fun part: everyone's boots (in our troop) need to be the same colour! (Depending on the polish colour and coat number combinations the boots will have a different tint to them. For example, some troops have boots with a brown shine while others have more of a red tint, etc.)

We had our third patrol drive at the end of the week. The drive went fairly well for me, but for some of the others the increased multi-tasking requirements were a little more than they could handle and that's when the panic started to set in. For my part, I did not have any type of meltdown, but I was not pleased as I managed to mess up my right-hand side parallel park. It's just frustrating when you know you're capable but when it comes to the evaluation you just can't seem to get it right, and subsequently look like an incompetent nincompoop! Of course, in the end I passed and I have almost 10 weeks to work on any little inconsistencies.

Another little evaluation that I will not need to worry about for the next while is the final PARE. PARE #2 is done and out of the way, which is great because I find it to be the most stressful component of Depot. It's not that it's a hard task to accomplish, but rather it's the pressure that goes with it: you only have the one chance, there are no redos. For this particular PARE the conditions were as follows: over 4:00 gets you an NI (Needs Improvement - never good to have on your record, but also not as bad as a U - Unacceptable), over 4:45 gets you a plane ticket home. Personally, I was pleasantly surprised with my time as I managed to shave 23 seconds off of PARE #1 and achieved an end time of 3:33!