August 15th, 2009

Returning to Work

Posted in The Job - Experience by 200

I got the idea for today’s entry from Stressed out Cop, who was basically saying  that he was envious of officers who found they weren’t enjoying the job as much as they once were & basically told the job where to stick it before buggering off to something more satisfying.

He mentions something which a lot of police officers experience. Basically you reach a stage in your career where you feel you can’t chuck the job in because you will lose too much in pension rights.

Stressed out Cop feels he’s in that stage. I don’t know if he is the same as me, I joined more or less straight from school so if I had of left I’d have had no skills with which to aid in the search for a new career, and I had a wife & kids with no other income; it’s not easy to walk away from a job with real security & a decent wage.

Stressed out Cop ends his piece with the words “One thing I will not be doing (hopefully) is returning to the fray in any guise whatsoever on the civilian side as 200 Weeks did. Unless it’s as a consultant on 500 pounds a day.” Which is how I come to today’s entry really.

I often get asked how I’m finding life as a civvy or why I came back. Apparently there are lots of people who you couldn’t drag kicking & screaming back into the job. To be honest I sometimes wish one of those people were me.

The trouble is that I still have kids at home. With luck & a following wind, they’ll want to go to university so they can start paying back all the love & nurturing invested in them as they grow up by looking after me in my old age with the assistance of buying their good old dad a nice open-top sports car or sending me on frequent bouts of respite care to foreign lands with strange names & lots of sun.

At the moment I am faced with university fees, bills & expenses which look to outgrow the equivalent of the gross domestic product of Lichtenstein, with the gloomy prospect that my future sports-car fund will be rapidly diminished by regular payments from my kids’ bank accounts into the rear trouser pocket of one Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Sure, I would have loved to have been able to settle back on the couch with Mrs. Weeks & live off the pension, but the reality is far less idyllic.
I did consider other avenues for employment but the nuts & bolts of the situation were that coming back to the police control room was a job I know almost backwards, it’s a job which has its own stresses & strains, but nothing I’ve not been able to cope with. But more important than that was the money isn’t half bad. Without giving too much away, with the pension & civvy salary it was like walking out the door one month for a holiday break & returning the next month to find someone had sneaked a 30% pay rise onto the system, and you didn’t have to do anything extra to get it. Now I don’t care who you are, in the current financial crisis, there aren’t many places you can get a pay rise much above 2%, lots of people are taking pay cuts or being laid off, so coming back, for me turned out to be a no-brainer.

What has this meant to me? Well my family’s lifestyle has changed dramatically. We are able to afford things we never could before. Simple things like going out for meals, we’ve been out more times in the last 5 months than probably the last 3 to 4 years.

If something breaks down we can go out & replace it without putting it on a credit card or taking out a loan. Speaking of which, we don’t have anything on credit, if we use our cards the bill is paid when it comes through the door. If we buy something for the house we don’t have to buy the cheapest, we can do our research & get the best.

I might moan about my working conditions, but the truth is, coming back as a civvy has opened some rather pleasant doors for me & the Weeks family.

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