Sitting at my workstation in the control room, when you’re not concentrating on talking on or listening to the radio, you can hear what the other controllers are saying to their units -and themselves; talking out loud to yourself seems to be pretty common round these parts, usually in frustration.
“Why dont you listen?”Ã‚Â is one of the most frequently used phrases.
It is usually in response to an officer who has failed to take in what you’ve already told them, sometimes several times.
When you give out a job, you frequently don’t have as much info as the officers want. In this case I will always say something along the lines of “10 High Street, sounds of a disturbance, no other information available, I will update you as more info comes in.”
You can almost guarantee that within 15 seconds someone will ask for either more info or a description of offenders or a direction of travel if they are making off from the scene. I try to resist the temptation to say “like I just said, there is no further info available”, because I really don’t want to sound like I think they’re either stupid or incompetent, honestly. I’m sure there is something in the human psyche which means at times of heightened stress or excitement, the brain cannot retain all the information given to the ears.
It is quite annoying when someone, usually a sergeant, calls up in the middle of an immediate job you are trying to coordinate just to ask if you can do something you’ve already done AND already said you’ve done.
Me: “Can you go to a report of two males fighting outside MacDonalds in the town centre. No weapons seen, CCTV are aware.”
Twenty seconds later:
Sgt: “Can you get in touch with CCTV, get them to have a search round see if they can find this fight.”
Me: “Already done.”
Twenty seconds later:
Sgt: “Were any weapons seen?”
The problem is when it’s the same people all the time. You can forgive people missing vital information that you are telling them direct sometimes, we all have moments when for one reason or another something goes in one ear & straight out the other side. But when it happens on almost every job it can be exceedingly frustrating. One of the reasons being while you are listening to someone asking a question – the answer for which they should already know – replying to said question, you are robbed of valuable radio airtime in order to deal with that question, when you could actually be using that wasted time to give some pertinent info or to do something else to make the job run smoother for the officers, like ringing the informant back to get better information.
And yes, there are serial offenders. I worked with one this week for several days running.
I lost count of the number of times I said out loud, to myself, “why you no risten??!