Friday, August 7, 2009

Life Coach?

Life coach, or a personal coach, is usually a hired person to help assist another person with their personal developement. They help a person set and achieve specific goals.

The above is not in my job description as a police dispatcher.

But yet, every day, there are calls with questions and requests for help that would fall in line with what a life coach would assist with. Not criminal matters, but people needing help and guidance. Sometimes it is a matter of voicing what the caller already knows, they just seem to need someone to say it out loud. Sometimes it is more serious and the call taker can only give them names to numerous agencies and phone numbers to contact to get the needed and necessary help.

The bottom line is, why am I not getting paid the big bucks that a certified life coach can and does make? Am I not, many times a day, doing the very job a life coach is hired to do? And they get more respect than a lowly police dispatcher.

What is wrong with this picture?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Only So Many Hours In A Day

Law enforcement is a 24 hour / 7 days a week / 365 days a year job. This means there is a need for someone to answer the phones and work the radio at any and all given minutes. This means many of us don't exactly work 8-5 Monday through Friday, which means we sleep at odd hours and work weekends and holidays.

This isn't exactly news now is it? So why do people have a problem understanding that those of us in the law enforcement field aren't always available when families and friends are together? Why do they cop (excuse the pun) an attitude when you're not available?

This has been grating on my lately as friends and family have really been having a problem and 'tude with the fact I am not available for all the meetings and gatherings they have been planning. That I sometimes have to work late and so arrive late at the party. Since my shift starts super early in the mornings I go to bed really early. So please understand I am not able to answer the phone to just chat at 7:00 pm. Yes, I am sorry I am missing that baby shower but I will be getting off a 14 hour shift and have to return to work in nine hours. I am sorry I can't attend a club meeting that starts at the hour I go to bed because I have work the next morning.

So Back Off! Quit Whining About Me Not Being At Your Planned Event! It Is Not A Snub! Don't Take It Personally! I Am Working!

-Whew- That felt good.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Awww... The Bliss of Ignorance

It has been nasty busy lately. Yes, the heat and the increased alcohol use and abuse is common to this time of year creating higher calls for service phenomenon. But the type of calls lately has really been nasty.

A definite increase in violent crimes. A definite increase in crimes where drugs and/or alcohol are present. A definite increase in crimes involving identity theft and fraud.

Some say it is caused by the poor economy. Many people out of work and have nothing else to do but take drugs and drink alcohol. (Never understood that phrase... if you don't have money for rent and food, how do you get the money for alcohol and drugs? Oh, yeah, something about choosing the effects caused by alcohol and drugs over sustaining your life.)

Most people in the community I work in have no idea just how bad it is getting. That is to their advantage in many ways.

Because I am privy to so much information it makes me really happy and safe feeling to know I don't live here. Yes, I know that there are probably many of the same horrible things happening in the large community I work happening in the small community I reside. But I don't know about it so I feel much safer.

There is great bliss in the ignorance.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Not On My Watch

I yell and scream and gripe about this job a lot on this blog. That's why I created it. So I had a place to vent my anger and frustration. After all, this job is nothing but stress and trauma and drama.

But... ever so often... there is a call... that reminds you why you are here and going this job.

I played an important part of stopping a woman from committing suicide.

She called to let the agency know she was preparing to step in front of a train that was due shortly at her chosen location. She knew the schedule and knew approximately how fast it would be going. She just wanted us to know so we could respond quickly to help clean up the mess (which she apologized for) so others didn't have to see it or come up on it unexpectedly.

She was very matter-of-fact. Was talking very calmly. Explained why she felt it was the thing to do. How taking too many pills hadn't worked, just made her sick. And cutting her wrists only gave her new and additional scars. That this was the fastest and easiest way to do it.

I know in many ways it was my training that helped to keep her on the phone until officers arrived to get her the necessary help. Not my winning personality. I know that there is a good chance, a very good chance, she will eventually make good her attempt at suicide.

But it didn't happen that day on my watch.