Archive for May 6th, 2010

May 6th, 2010

Come on, Guys

Posted in The Job - Experience by 200

All I ask is a little quid pro quo.

Having been a front line officer for so long, I like to think I have a special affinity for & understanding of the requirements placed on & needs of the officers I ‘control’. (I don’t control them at all really, it’s silly to pretend otherwise)

So I might be seen as ‘softer’ on some than other controllers. What this means is when they call up to say they have paperwork to attend to, unless I can’t help it, I let them get on with it. When they ask if it’s OK to have a grub break, I invariably say yes, even when there are people waiting to be seen who will have to wait longer. We may have a committment to sort out people’s problems but anyone out there for ten hours or more deserves a break.

So it really grates when officers take the piss. If they have genuine stuff to do, fair enough, I’ll help out. But I expect them to fair & honest in return.

For instance, when they call up & ask if it’s OK to take a grub break, I kind of expect them to take a grub break & not reply, when I call them 90 minutes later, that they’re just about to start their grub break because they suddenly found they had ‘other matters’ to attend to & couldn’t find time in that 90 minutes during those ‘other matters’ to call me & tell me what they actually were doing. Which has meant that the person I thought would have to wait an hour to be seen so that my colleagues could have some dinner, now has to wait at least 2 1/2 hours & that’s if the officers are free when they finish their kebab or whatever else they’ve got on board.

If they’re dealing with a job which takes a little while, I kind of expect to be kept in the loop, not find out 90 minutes later that they actually finished the job 70 minutes ago but haven’t bothered to let me know. They’re supposed to update the control room about what they’re doing & where they are, apart from anything else, because if something goes pear-shaped it’s important we know exactly where they are.  If someone calls for urgent assistance it’s amazing how often they fail to say or can’t say where they are. I get the feeling that plenty of officers don’t let you know when they’ve dealt with a job so they can avoid being given a new one, and not only because they have enquiries or paperwork to do on the job before they really finish it.

The problem is, that it becomes a culture, if one or two officers do this, especially if they have a bit of service in, then all the probationers get to learn that this is the way things operate. Conversely, if there is a strong work ethic amongst those older in service, it follows that this behaviour is copied too, so you tend to find whole shifts either really good or really bad & they can be in the same police station too; it’s not geographically specific.

It would be really disappointing if I had to spend all my time calling people every ten minutes to check on what they’re doing.