It’s not often you get a Q shift in the control room (you’re not allowed to say ‘quiet’). So sometimes a quiet shift or two is really welcome.
The trouble comes when you have a quiet night shift. At least with a decent workload you are less prone to fall asleep. And you have to remember that if it’s a busy shift then some poor sod somewhere, or maybe even lots of poor sods, are probably having something of a bad day.
Ideally, nothing would happen which would be great for members of the public, but bloodyÂ awfulÂ for us sitting on our arses in the control room trying to while away 8-10 hours.
We had a really quiet set of shifts last week. We even went one night without a single ‘immediate’ incident, that was probably the night we only had 3 or 4 jobs all night spread across 1/5th of the entire force area.
It’s trying to kill the time. We do have access to the internet, we can bring in books, magazines or iPads, but when you are really tired, you just can’t bring yourself to do any activity which involves the brain. I’m lucky in as much as I use a remote headset, so I can stand up and walk around my desk, which is quite interesting, for 10 seconds. You can do minimal exercises standing behind the chair. Lots of people in the control room don’t like the remote headsets and are therefore tied to the desk by a bit of curly wire.
I shouldn’t really complain about Q shifts, I mean, it’s not as if we get them that often, at least we’re not getting wound up by the high level of not-jobs we have to deal with on most normal shifts. But if it takes a little bit longer to answer the radio, just remember to shout up a bit.