Archive for June 7th, 2009

June 7th, 2009

End of the Tunnel

Posted in The Job - Experience by 200

I worked with Gail again this week. She changed her shift pattern a few months which has meant her doing more shifts with my team.

I dread it when I have to work with her, not because she isn’t a nice person, but because I never know how long it will be into the shift before she snaps & either starts swearing at people or runs out of the room in tears leaving me to cope on my own for anything between 15 minutes & two hours. (actually, once I think it was longer ‘cos she never came back for the rest of the shift).

Late shifts is where you are so busy with limited resources that you can’t send an officer to all the jobs. Traditionally, it’s the job of the late shift controllers to ring up all the people who we haven’t seen to tell them the bleeding obvious – that we haven’t seen them yet – apologise, & ask them if they’ll be available the next day, if they are we can then suspend the log for the following day so the night shift don’t have to deal with it.

Spookily, because we are so busy that we haven’t been able to send someone, we are usually too busy to ring people up to tell them we’ve been too busy to ring them. So we have to do it as quickly as possible, which is a shame because people often want to discuss the ins & outs of a cat’s arse on the job & recount in every detail, everything that happened to prompt their original call, together with every detail of the phone conversations, of which there are probably already several, from me & my control room staff who have rung to apologise for being too busy to send someone.

Most people are quite understanding but some get really annoyed. I don’t blame them & find it best just to agree with them about how disgusting it is that they haven’t been seen & how I’d feel as pissed off if it was me waiting three days to see someone.

I can always tell when Gail gets one of these calls, the noise level of her voise rises by a magnitude of decibels, there are frequent interrupted blurtings of “Sir, can I just stop you there…Will you listen to….If you’ll just….Can I speak now…..if I can get a word….”, usually followed by the crash of a telephone as it his the cradle with the force only a woman scorned can summon.

Some people really shouldn’t deal with the public. It’s not their fault, they’re not just cut out to deal with the frustrations of someone who feels hard done by.

But good news. Gail has got herself a new job. It’s within the organisation but it won’t involve dealing with members of the public or police officers. I’m not sure exactly what it will invoilve but it’s something to do with filling in forms or logging statistics or something.

The problem for those who are left behind in the control room is that she probably won’t be replaced.