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.