September 14th, 2008

If I had any hair left

Posted in The Job - Experience by 200

I feel it’s time for another moan.

There are times I really love my job. The thought that I’m actually helping my colleagues still out on the streets, assisting them in any way I can, being friendly & helpful. And sometimes aiding them to catch baddies. There’s no greater feeling than playing an integral part in a job which ends up with people being locked up.

There are times I don’t like my job, putting up with all the moaning, work-dodging, sarcasm & downright rudeness of some of the people I actually just want to help (police officers, my colleagues on the street)

Then there are times that I just can’t wait to get the hell out of the place. These are usually brought about by the people whose sole aim appears to fuck my job up & make it more stressful & demanding than it needs to be.

Three years ago was probably the last time I enjoyed my job in 2 out of the 3 aspects mentioned above (you’ll never get every officer to be helpful & courteous). Then the ‘management’ started to fuck my job up.

Three years ago we had several tens of people on the shift, now we have under two. You’d have thought that depleting the shift of controllers by more than 50%, they might have lessened the workload. No.

Not only have they not lessened the workload, they’ve actually (unbelievably) increased it. We now have to cover all the extra radio/controlling work brought in by the ANPR-worship-be-all-an-end-all now taking place on the roads. We have to provide staff – from our depleted numbers – to cover all the extra intelligence functions required.

Three years ago complaints were made by officers that their radio channels were being single-crewed & the service was suffering. Radio calls were being missed, logs were not being updated with important information & officer safety was compromised because the single controller, who has to spend a significant time on the phone also, was unable to answer the radio sufficiently speedily.

The ‘management’ went on record to say that radio channels would never be routinely single-crewed. Since then they have allowed over 50% of the controllers on my shift to leave & replaced 2. We now have, routinely, 80% of our radio channels single-crewed.

There are two main repurcussions; one, you simply cannot get annual leave & days off approved. There are people on my shift, with children, who have been declined a summer holiday this year. One has been told they cannot go to their own daughter’s wedding. Someone wasn’t allowed to move house on the day his sale/purchase went through. There are many examples of people not being able to get time off for things they feel are really important. Time was when you had a problem getting a day off when you went to your sergeant or inspector, explained the need for the day & ‘things happened’ to allow you to take it. What does the job do now? Fuck all.

You want a day off in 13 months time to attend your parents’ golden wedding.? No chance, do a late shift. What they’ve only got over a year to sort out cover for you? Go swivel.

You need a certain level of staff to man all the positions? Tough, we have to save £200,000 off the budget, let the staff we don’t let go pick up all the extra work & stress.

Oh, stress, it seems more people are going off with stress, so everyone else will just have to cover their work too. And just to make sure nobody else goes off sick with stress, we’ll visit you all in your homes to make sure you’re not shirking & we’ll stick up notices threatening to stick anyone on who takes a day off on sick for a day they’ve previously applied for leave.

I have to go in to work again tomorrow. For the 3rd week in a row I will be single crewed, on a late turn & by 10pm I won’t know whether my arsehole is drawn, bored or counter-sunk. I’ll probably get told there aren’t enough staff to have a full break & will have to put my hand up if I want to go to the toilet.

And I’ll have another application to use up the leave I’m still owed turned down.

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