As a patrol officer everything is quick, you stabilize the scene, make sure everything is safe and stays safe, get everyone off the road or out of the house, write a quick report and go 10-8. If the case would take longer than a shift, or goes out of town or had complexity it would just be shipped to the investigators.
So when I was on my first surveillance we followed the guys right to the deal, the deal was made and we followed them away. I, while driving, threw on the full gear and got ready and waited for the take down. I waited, and waited and waited. After we had followed them for another six hours I broke for the post surveillance meet geared up. I was meet with quizzical looks and soon after derision. We ended up following those two guys for another three weeks before there was a bust signal. Those first months I was just crawling out of my skin sitting in my car waiting for something to happen and waiting for something to do. Then no matter what, I had paperwork that would take days, weeks, in one case, years, to complete. It was a culture shock.
The funny part, is when I first came back to patrol I keep saying, "what's all the hurry?"
So here I sit waiting again, somewhere between the zen of an TFO and the impatience of a patrolman waiting for the surgeon to stop cutting on my wife. Funny where a worried mind takes you.
Picture Credit: http://www.apuregeneration.com/blog/what-are-we-waiting-for/3763