The Challenge!
See Terri's site for details

Count Your Many Blessings
By Peg Keeley

(July, 1971)

The list of review questions the guy see:

  1. Has the officer's shooting ability improved in the past year?
  2. Has the officer had any car accidents as a result of rushing to an emergency call?
  3. Has the officer's car been destroyed for any reason?
  4. Does the officer have good interview skills during the course of an investigation?
  5. Have the officer's communications skills improved or do they need improving?
  6. Is the officer a team player?
  7. Has the officer been brought on charges by the grand jury in the past year?
  8. Has the officer been involved in any shooting activities in the past year?
  9. Has the officer shot any unarmed civilians in the past year?
  10. Has anyone died as a result of a shooting involving this officer?
  11. Has the officer left skid marks in ten or more streets in the past year?
  12. Does the officer have a good attendance record?
  13. Would you recommend this officer for more challenging assignments?
  14. Does this officer dress appropriately to perform his/her job function?
  15. Has the officer's weight changing in the past year?

Jenny Sherman usually picked up the both the general and interdepartmental mail. She usually sorted it, dropped the stacks on each officer's desk, then resorted Steve's by assumed priority, and placed them in the upper left hand corner of his desk. That was what she usually did. Today, upon coming to the detail of sorting McGarrett's mail, she stopped, two items in hand.

It is going to be a bad day, she decided. The first was a large manila envelope bearing the seal of the State of Hawaii in the return address -- except it had come through the departmental mail. She knew exactly what it was. The dreaded reviews. We've gotten along just fine all these years without reviews; who was the idiot that decided to start this mess? The second item was a business sized envelope that had blazed across the front OPEN IMMEDIATELY--DATED INFORMATION in bold red letters. The return address bore an insignia even more dreaded than the reviews. Internal Revenue Service. Steve's about to be audited!

She opened the heavy oaken door to his office, saw instantly that he was on the phone, but he waved her to come on in. She hastily deposited the mail -- choosing to put the large folder on top, and retreated. As she sat down at her desk, Chin entered the office, followed by Kono.

"Good morning, Jenny," Kono said, scooping up a cup and helping himself to the coffee.

"Not a good day," she warned.

He glanced at the closed door. "Already? It's only eight o'clock."

Chin gave a tolerant smile. "It's Monday, what can be worse than that?"

Jenny shivered. "Trust me, it can be worse."

The outer office door opened once again to admit a very red Dan Williams who tried to make a quick dive towards his cubicle. The attempt was unsuccessful.

Kono gave a whistle. "Look at this boy, will you."

At the age of 33 Danny felt undignified at being called "boy", but it was a title Kono bestowed on him regularly. A look of tolerance on his blistered face, he turned back towards the group.

"Thought you knew by now that you haoles ain't made for de sun," Kono joked.

"Quite a sunburn, Danny." Chin's statement of the obvious was in a more fatherly tone.

Jenny gave a smug look. "What was her name?"

Kono roared with laughter. "Jenny's got your number, Danno!"

Kono's laughter stopped abruptly as the door to Steve's office opened. "Gentlemen." That one word said it all. Chin gave a glance towards Jenny, recalling her warning as the three of them headed into the office.

Steve shut the door and motioned towards the conference table. "Have a seat."

Hey, this is really serious, Kono mused since the informality of camping on top of and around the desk was being put aside.

McGarrett, who never missed anything, was aware of the sunburned appearance of his second in command, but made no comment. "Gentlemen, I have received a -- request from the Governor. These need to be completed." He tossed the forms out across the table. As he did so, the stack slid apart so that the papers spread out.

Danny reached out and looked at one. "Peer Review? What's a peer review?"

Kono, who not examined one yet, asked innocently. "Does the Harbor Master do those safety checks?"

Danny smirked. "Not pier -- peer."

"Huh---oh." He at last looked at the review form. He glanced back at Steve who was not smiling. "What they for?"

"The attached memo says that raises will now be granted on a rated system of merit. The points go from zero to five. The fifteen questions are answered by circling the number that best applies. Comment fields at the bottom." Steve looked genuinely miserable.

"And we rate -- who?" Chin asked.

"Each other."

It was so silent you could hear the window sash tapping in the breeze. "Knock me over," Kono murmured. "I only get a raise if Danno likes me?"

They exchanged looks. "Better be nicer to me," Danny finally remarked.

"I don't like this either," Steve supplied.

"And do we -- um -- rate you, too?" Danny asked cautiously.


"And you rate us?"


Danny blinked once. "Then what happens?"

"I turn them in to the Governor who uses the evaluations to make recommendations to the personnel board," Steve explained.

"Recommendations? What kind of recommendations?" Chin spoke.

Steve raised an eyebrow. "Look, this is not a witch hunt, it's just evaluations. Be honest. We are all a pretty good team here. They are not looking to get rid of anyone."

Their stoic looks and silence told him that the statement had fallen on deaf ears.

"Well, if we're 'a pretty good team' then why don't we just fill these out as a team?" Chin suggested.

"What?" Steve frowned.

"You know, fill them out together as a group."

"That's not the idea," Steve replied.

"Does it say we can't?" Kono asked.

"Doesn't say we can," Steve answered.

"Well, if it doesn't say we can't...." Chin shrugged. He quickly sorted the forms out so that each man was looking at another's form. By random, he had Danny's. "As long as nobody's handwriting shows up on their own form we're okay."

Kono, looking at Chin's form, squinted at the first question. "'Performance evaluation descriptors. Performance consistently exceeded expectations for this position.'" He looked up blankly. "Performance and positions? Danno, sounds like your girl friend ought to be filling this out."

Chin chuckled.

"Knock it off," Steve snapped. He tapped a pencil on Kono's review.

"Sorry," Kono muttered, but by his smile it was clear he was not.

Danny cleared his throat and took off his jacket, revealing that the skin on his arms was as burned as his face and neck. He slid his hand over Steve's name on the review. I would get Steve's. "Here, this is pretty easy. Shooting ability. Chin -- didn't you take that side arms safety course?"

"Yeah," he nodded. "And two days later Kono pointed his gun in my face during the Johnny Mala case. Maybe I can give him lower points. And while we're at it -- I've seen everybody running around pointing his gun up instead of at the policy forty-five degree angle towards the ground. Someday one of you guys are gonna shoot yourself in the face."

"What's this one about car accidents?" Danny asked.

"Where?" Steve asked.

"Right there, half way down. 'Has the officer had any car accidents as a result of rushing to an emergency call.'" Danny glanced at his superior. "How many years count here? Just last year?"

"Doesn't say," Steve replied, for the first time looking less than professional.

Danny was tapping his fingers on the tabletop counting off the occurrences. "Steve, I have yours." He sounded a bit sheepish. "Does it count if you could drive the car away?"

They looked at each other a moment. "Nah," they said in unison.

Danny jotted a number down. "I think you only totaled the car twice -- or was it three times?"

"You're the one that dove the Mercury nose first into a sand dune," Steve reminded him.

"Yeah, but nothing beats blowing up the Lincoln."

"That wasn't on an emergency call," Steve reminded him.

"How about when you rolled it?"

"Well, unexpected things happen." He glanced at the form. "We need to remember that the Governor is going to take these seriously."

"Hey, at least it doesn't ask if you ever leave the keys in the car or if you wear your seat belt," Chin commented.

"Yeah, we'd all fail," Danny agreed.

"On the having good interview skills, do I have to mention that Chin beat up that smart mouthed kid a year ago?" Kono asked.

"I did not beat him up. I got his attention and he fell over his own feet," Chin replied hotly. "Danny, you most definitely got carried away that Gregson case. Remember that? You just about killed that artist guy. Now that's bad interview skills."

Danny pulled off his tie and opened the top button on his shirt. "That's not funny."

"Are we supposed to be funny?" Kono asked. "Steve said to be serious." He made a mark with his pen. "I'm gonna rate you good, Chin. I like it when you cross examine 'em in three languages."

"Thank you -- I think," Chin replied.

"Does it say anything about insults in here?" Danny asked. "I mean, Steve, some chick is gonna file a suite against you someday."

"What for?" he demanded.

"All the 'honey' and 'sweetheart' stuff, not to mention referring to certain ethnic groups as 'gooks.'"

Women like being called 'honey,'" Steve defended himself.

"No they don't," Danny countered.

"Yes, they do!"

"Hey, wait!" Kono said to stop the verbal volleyball developing "I got the answer." He raced to the desk and hit the intercom button. "Hey, Jenny."

"Yes, Kono?" came her voice.

"Come make us some new coffee, would you -- Honey."

"Kono, knock off the 'honey' you male chauvinist pig," she snapped.

Steve's jaw dropped. "She's never said that to me."

"She doesn't dare," Danny ventured to interject.

Steve stared at the review sheet. "What else is there to call a woman?"

"How about her name?" Danny offered. "I think they like 'Ms.'"

"How about 'Chick?'" Steve commented sarcastically.

Danny flushed even redder than his sunburn.

Kono scribbled something on the review.

"Hey! What are you writing there?" Chin demanded.

"It just asks about bein' a team player and all. I know you're a good team player," Kono assured him with a broad smile. "You lost to everybody in the football pool last year and you paid up just fine."

"I don't think that's what the Governor is referring to," Steve said a bit coldly.

Kono giggled. "Yeah, I know. I'll give him a good grade anyway."

"What about this grand jury thing, Steve?" Danny asked.

Steve glanced at the question. "'...Has the officer ever been brought on charges by the grand jury.'"

"Anybody in this department not brought up on charges?" Danny asked.

"Well, nobody got convicted," Chin offered.

"Hey, I didn't get any grand jury charges," Kono announced.

All three looked at him in silence.

"Um," he hesitated. "Does that mean I win? I get the raise?"

"This isn't a contest," Steve replied.

"Oh, well you were talking about points and all...." Kono let the sentence die.

"I like this one. 'Has the officer been in any shootings in the past year. If yes explain,'" Chin read. "We got some more paper around here? This one's gonna take a while."

Danny sat staring at his watch.

"Danno?" Steve finally asked. "You need to be somewhere?"

He looked up. "Just trying to figure how long since your last shooting, Steve. Wasn't that at about four o'clock yesterday?"

McGarrett sighed. "He didn't die."

"That's a different question."

Chin put his pen down for minute. "What do I do with the next question about shooting unarmed people?"

Everyone turned and looked at Danny.

"What are you all looking at me for?" he demanded. "I didn't shoot any unarmed people this year. That was last year. And he wasn't really unarmed anyway. Remember, the girl friend took the gun. It's not like I shot someone who was armed with a soldering gun or something." His sunburn itched. He got up to make the coffee. "Thanks to you, Kono, Jenny won't even make the coffee now." He unbuttoned his shirt and scratched his shoulder.

"This one's tough. 'Has the officer left skid marks in ten or more streets in the past year. So, who's left the most skid marks?" Kono asked to change the subject.

"Steve," Chin voted.

"Danno," Steve replied.

"Not me." Danny poured the water into the coffeepot. "Mine were all on the same three streets. Not on ten or more streets."

"Well, I have to go to more places," Steve replied. "If you take my total driving miles and divide it by skid marks, I have less than you do."

"This is crazy," Chin muttered.

"Let's get on with this," Kono muttered. "We all have a good attendance record."

"Yeah, we know when one of us gets kidnapped cause we don't show up at work," Chin remarked. "Except for Kono."

"What?" Kono snapped.

"It's okay. We all know there's real time, and there's Hawaiian Time," Danny whispered to him. "You have great attendance on Hawaiian Time."

"Anybody get hurt on the job this year?" Chin asked.

They all looked around in silence. "Guess we can't say 'no' huh?" Kono commented.

"'Fraid not," Steve answered. "The rates were raised on the whole police department's insurance because of us."

"Well, I only got one concussion this year," Chin offered hopefully.

"I just got beat up twice and tossed in a box underwater," Kono defended himself.

"I got shot -- but you got blown up and shot," Danny remarked to Steve. "I guess you get the lowest number." He abandoned the dress shirt and pulled out the T-shirt tail from his slacks to get the cloth off the sunburn on his back.

"'Would you give this officer more challenging assignments?' Who wants more challenging assignments?" Steve asked, reading the next item.

"We chase spies and underworld kingpins. We blow up cars and leave skid marks. We got shot, blown up, hit on the head, beat up and kidnapped. We arrest bad guys --except when we are getting arrested. We shoot people -- armed and unarmed." Danny paused for breath. "How can our assignments get any more challenging?"

"Ever try teaching kindergarten?" Kono asked.

There was a poignant pause. "Forget the more challenging assignments," Steve muttered.

Chin rose from his chair to fetch hot coffee and donut.

"You might want to put that pastry back, bruddah," Kono remarked.

"Why?" He took a bite and cream squirted out the end.

"Talks about your dress and weight," he remarked.

"I dress just fine," Chin replied.

"While we're on dress," Danny commented. "Who says we have to put on suits in the middle of the night to answer emergencies anyway? I have ruined more pants climbing gutters, crawling over roofs, and falling out of vehicles. I need a clothing allowance. Can we vote on what we wear? I'm for polo shirts and jeans."

"Some of us won't do so good in jeans," Kono replied. "Board shorts would work though."

"I don't think so," Steve muttered. "The dress makes the man. We are professional."

"Next time I see a man in a dress, I'll compliment him," Kono added as Chin and Danny stifled a laugh.

"How do I rate the attire of a guy sitting here in his underwear?" Chin asked.

This whole review thing is out of hand, Steve thought. Maybe it's just as well. We really needed a light moment or two here. At least I do.

"What about the weight thing?" Danny asked with an evil look towards Chin.

"Let's not go there," Steve advised.

The team relaxed back in their chairs. "Then we're done, huh?" Kono asked. "We total up the points and the winner gets the biggest raise?"

"I told you that's not how it works," McGarrett reminded him.

"Yeah, right. So, we have fifteen questions with a total possible of 75 points." Kono scribbled furiously on the cover sheet. "Hey, Chin, you got 50 points."

Steve looked at Kono. "55 for you."

"See! Told you I'd win," Kono proclaimed.

Chin smiled at Danny. "34."

"34!" he shouted in disgust.

"All those shootings and all, Bruddah. And you did get shot."

Steve looked expectantly at Danny who flushed under his sunburn again. "Well, Steve, um, some people just don't test well. Know what I mean? You had a bad year and all."

Steve snatched up the review. "13 points?" He looked crestfallen.

"Hey, Boss, you said the points don't mean nothing, remember?" Kono supplied.

Steve nodded quietly. "Yes, that's right. I did. Thank you, gentlemen. Dismissed." As his team filed out, Steve took the reviews back over to his desk. With a quiet smile, he set them aside and then proceeded to pull the originals out of the envelope and write the highly commended reviews for each of his men. There are plenty of bad things afoot, but it's great to know that my people are more than co-workers, they are a team of friends -- blessings I can always count on. As he signed off the last one, the intercom beeped.

"Hey, boss." It was Kono. "I heard about that audit."

The audit! Jenny must have told him. "Yes, Kono," he replied patiently.

"Well, I think the local agent is my cousin and I know how we can get this thing fixed...."


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