I had one of those days from hell this week.
You come in as controller and within 20 minuets of sitting down you’ve picked up 10 new jobs. But the officers starting the same shift have almost to a man, and woman, booked unavailable because they’re either trying to catch up on stuff they did the day before, or have been tasked with stuff which actually is no more important than all the new victims calling in, but because the results appear on the¬†divisional¬†chief inspector’s tick chart, take presidence ¬†over everything else.
Because you can’t assign any jobs for an hour or often much more, you know the rest of the shift is just going to be one big stress-fest and by the end of the shift you’re gonna have a whole heap of shite to hand over to the next shift who will just think you’ve spent the whole day sitting on your arse doing f-all.
I never used to get stressed at work, I was¬†generally¬†considered as completely laid back, but these days I’m finding that less and less the case.
The way we work is we have one person who is the controller, whose responsibility it is to filter all the jobs, be responsible for what gets done and in what order, who decides who is and who isn’t going to be seen, and why, and decides which officers will do what jobs. The other person is a kind of assistant, they generally do the updating of the logs, field and make the phones calls from officers and to members of the public.
So when it is busy, they are usually somewhat less stressed than the controller, as they don’t have the same level of responsibility.
When you have a really busy day, it’s kind of a standing joke that you hope the ‘assistant’ has a really busy day the next day, when they’re in the big chair, just so you can kind of get your own back.
So when I came in after a particularly horrendous shift the day before, I was all but hoping for another manic shift, just so I could take the piss out of my colleague.
It didn’t happen, I was gutted. Whereas the day before, I had an average of around 40 open incidents (there’s now way on God’s earth you can keep tabs on 40 jobs, so you spend all day just reading and re-reading them trying to remember which are important, what happened when and where, and what needs doing next. It’s just bloody impossible, which is why mistakes wdo and will continue to happen, but nobody gives a shit.) The following day my mate had a maximum of about 10 jobs open at any one time, complete bloody luxury.
There is no rhyme or reason as to why two shifts a day apart can be so different. One the quieter shifts you can take the jobs as they come, stress-free, you even get time for a bit of uplifting banter which makes the job more pleasant (though you have to be careful, walls have ears), on the other days, you walk out with your head spinning, feel completely drained, stressed to the eyeballs not having had a single decent or fun moment at work. It can;t be good for productivity, health, or the public.