I'd just completed a double shift with a twelve hour surveillance operation tacked onto the back.
The two worst professions for doing this type of thing when they should have been the last to carry out this insane practise were the Cops and the Medical fraternity. Young eager Medical Students straight after completion of last term exams thrust into enforced 72 hour continuous shifts with sleeping on the job permitted.
Catnaps between car accident victims being transported in.
An absurd situation when life and death decisions and a clearness of mind are of paramount import.
Immediate reaction times.
Clear and concise actions.
The right decisions made, not blurred by lack of sleep for over 72 hours!
Fortunately my young partner for the elongated surveillance shift was an enthusiastic young Probational Constable not that long out of the Academy and wanting desperately to strip off the uniform and wear mufti as a plain-clothes Detective in the Murder Squad as first choice. Very few achieved this goal but it was not for the want of trying by so many. My young partner agreed to let me sleep two five hour shifts on the back seat of the unmarked hoping that this larger than life, legendary figure of many a homicide, an undercover Vice Officer and Narcotics Officer extraordinaire, would somehow be able to manipulate that leap into plain-clothes for him.
How? I ask you.
I have no idea and neither did he when pressed on the point.
It's purely a cop thing....but I wasn't going to permit myself from doing the honourable thing by refusing his offer of merciful sleep. We were somewhat better off than the other half of the surveillance team. They were tenting it in the backyard of the house lot directly behind the subject house of our operation. It was bloody cold, windy with squalling showers for the duration of the job. They took turns in 2 hour lots peering through some knot hole in the paling fence looking at the rear of the house.
Not one bloody thing!
I think even the ants were hunkered down for the duration.
A day later worried relatives who lived across the street from said house became concerned at the non-appearance of their loved ones living so close. They opened the front door of the house that our covert attention had been organised on to be assaulted by the very acute smells of human death and decay. Murder/suicide was the verdict handed down. Too much of a good thing in dabbling in their own product so it was believed. A huge bundle of money, a cache of weapons and enough Ecstasy tablets to make the worries of the world disappear for the entire 7 billion!
This murder/suicide act committed only hours before our surveillance shift began.