December 26th, 2008

Bah Humbug

Posted in The Job - Experience by 200

Well that’s the last working Christmas as a police officer out the way.

It was standard fare really, nothing unusual or particularly exciting. I’ve been in the control room a few times over the years. It wasn’t unusual, when working patrol, to pop up to the Control Room at Christmas & distribute the odd card or box of biscuits or chocolates. I think it always helps to keep controllers sweet when they’re dishing out the crap jobs or wondering whether to get you backup or not.

We did get a few visits but nobody from the division I normally cover came up so I got bugger all in terms of Celebrations & Quality Street.

We did take in a mini banquet ourselves though. Our sergeant had preplanned a list of which staff brought in what, just so we didn’t have 3 cases of sausage rolls and a peanut. I was eating for most of the shift.

The one thing missing this year was the silly clothes. Traditionally, folk have dressed up at Christmas; we’re shut up in a little room with no windows all year, nobody ever sees us & once a year some of us like to shrug off the mantle of a proper uniform to wear another uniform, often consisting of lots of red & white plus the obligatory stockings, a little bit of de-stressing in what can be a fiull-on job most of the year.

After 40 years someone must have discovered some research that says it makes you do your job badly or something because someone in an office who was doubtless half pissed on port & could call on the services of a driver, had decided we shoudn’t indulge in this outrageous behaviour, not on his watch.

We only had a buffet after everyone in the room had signed the Official Secrets Act & agreed to shoot anyone who breathed a word of it outside the confines of the room. The last person whose mobile phone went off in the room, Andrea, is still recovering from hypothermia having spent the entire shift hanging on for dear life to some metal girdering at the top of the police radio mast with a telescope looking for any sign of the chief constable making his annual visit to the control room, lest we be discovered with the crusty end of a cocktail sausage between our lips when on post.

Still, it wasn’t too bad & I did get home in time for a few bottles of my favourite tipple. Even if I did discover that Mrs Weeks was in such a rush round Tesco that she grabbed the non alcoholic version without realising it, so I couldn’t even blot out the disappointment of not being able to wear a santa suit & a pair of black stockings at work.

You can leave a comment, or trackback from your own site. RSS 2.0


  1. Stuart says:

    I find it funny you had to be so secretive about the banquet.

    I have a friend who’s friend (a police officer) not only took a picture of a computer monitor displaying evidence, but actually gave her a mobile phone that was confiscated as evidence. Didn’t seem entirely appropriate…

    December 27th, 2008 at 00:21

  2. Tony F says:

    Still an all, the last one!

    December 27th, 2008 at 20:20

  3. Plodnomore says:

    In a way, it’s a sad thing that you’ve done your last Chrsitmas Day stint as a Police Officer, albeit in the Control Room. I can only hope that next Christmas you’ll remember the boys and girls working and give the switchboard a ring to pass on your best wishes to all who will be working (something I’ve done every year since retiring). When on earlies on Christmas Day in the Workhouse (sic) we usually had a visit either from the Divisional Supt or Ch Insp bringing ‘fortified’ coffee in a flask to help us through the shift. We also had themed dress sessions, ie, as 1920 US gangsters,circus performers or super heroes. Rather than hindering us on our jobs we felt it helped us work better. One young lady even brought her pony and did some bareback riding in the back yard wearing a tutu (the girl, not the pony). Unfortunately, political corectness, aka the ghost of Orwell’s 1984, came upon us and it all ceased. I do think you’ll find that you’ll never know what you miss until it’s gone and that includes working Christmas Day in the Control Room. Season’s greetings to you and yours from me and mine.

    December 27th, 2008 at 22:11

Leave a comment