You work with a whole variety of people in the control room.
There are your regular colleagues who you sit beside day after day, some of them you’ve known for years, & some of them you can class as friends.
Then there are usually new people knocking around, trainees learning the job.
You also work with regular staff from other shifts. They may be working at times when there is more than one shift present, or might be doing rest day working because we are short – we always have overtimers – or they might be part-time workers or ones who for ‘work-life balance’ issues don’t work a particular shift, usually nights, & so fit in their hours with different shifts.
Sue is one of those who don’t work nights. She’s not on my shift but every few weeks she does a few days with us.
Sue is quite forthright. She doesn’t mind calling a spade a spade & uses some of the more industrial language. She’s one of the, er, larger ladies in the department & with her rather brusque nature can appear quite intimidating.
She wasn’t in a good mood when I worked with her recently. This only magnifies the aura which surrounds her. Every other word rhymes with ‘ducking’ & you can see every sinew in her body railing against lifting her hand to the transmit button with a half mumbled “what does he fucking want now?” The transmission from the unit on the other end of the radio is then met with the standard response “twat”, which by some miracle hasn’t actually been broadcast yet, though the law of averages suggests it’s only a matter of time before Sue fails to take her finger off the button which limits the expletive-sodden audience to just her & me.
I kind of work on the principle that I’m sat on my arse earning a couple of thousand pounds a month to provide some kind of service to anyone on the other end of the radio, therefore it’s not actually a chore to hit the transmit button, answer reasonably cheerful & polite & do what’s required of me.
Nothing can be further from the reality when Sue’s in a bad mood. I’m not sure what the beef was this week, you learn not to ask lest you be caught up in an ever increasing spiral of hell & damnation as she tirades against someone or something with the audacity to refuse Sue something or other.
It’s amazing that a full shift of reasonably competent police officers that I deal with can suddenly transform into a group of ‘prats, twats & lazy fuckers’ at the hands of Sue in one of her moods.
A couple of hours of constant moaning & bitching is as much as any man can take. It’s hard to keepÃ‚Â a dignified air when an officer’s request for a PNC check is met with the same warmth as an invite to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, backwards, with a medicine ball up your diddly-doodah. By the end of a ten hour shift I feel quite drained & it’s all I can do on the drive home not to pull into the first field entrance & connect a Hoover hose up to the exhaust pipe.