September 24th, 2010

Different breeds

Posted in The Job - Experience by 200

I was talking to one of our calltakers recently.

The normal career progression in the control room is for staff to join as a calltaker. Here they spend a couple of years answering calls from the public, either via 999 or non-emergency lines. This is where they learn about the job, our internal procedures & policies & how we deal with stuff.

Then a good number of calltakers will come over for radio work. It’s not a promotion, just different work.

Rob has been a calltaker for 2 or 3 years, so I asked when he was coming over to the dark side.

I was surprised to hear that he wasn’t considering such a move & furthermore, that he enjoyed his work as a calltaker.

To me this was the equivalent of someone without a toothache admitting they enjoy home dentistry.

Now I make no bones about it, I bloody hate calltaking. Fortunately I don’t do it too often, which is just as well. I fail to see what enjoyment people get from spending half the shift or more either talking to numpties, being abused, shouted √ā¬†& sworn at or banging your head on the desk from the frustrations of speaking to people who don’t understand the concept of answering simple questions. Of course, not every caller is like that, there are some√ā¬†perfectly√ā¬†reasonable & pleasant callers.

A good calltaker is like gold, they get all the information, filter out the crap & never get annoyed or upset by the callers. It’s a job I hate.

So it was a real surprise to hear that Rob didn’t want to leave calltaking behind & move onto the radios.

Good luck to him, I couldnt do it.

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