Saturday, January 22, 2011

How Did I End Up Here?

Was reading a book recently where the hero realized he never reached his life goal of occupation. During his path to the dream job, he started a job that would pay bills, in other words, temporary until he got where he wanted. Realized he had quite the knack for the interim work so it was very easy to lose track of time as the work was stimulating. It would end up being his bread and butter job for many years before he realized he had taken the fork in the roadway that led him in a different direction and was no longer on a path that would get him anywhere near his original goal.

Dispatching was not the job I originally thought I would have for so many years, so I truly empathied with his soul searching and eventual resolution this was his life now.

I doubt there are many dispatchers out there who started their career dreaming and planning with hopes to be a dispatcher one day. They may have started the work/fallen into the work accidently, like I did, and ended up many years later still talking to citizens and telling officers where to go. It was a job that was just suppose to help pay the bills while they worked towards their original career goal. Or maybe they fell into the job because it fit their schedule, a time killing occupation, until better offers came along.

However you ended up as a dispatcher, the job has a way of grabbing you. Time goes quickly because of the lack of routine. Each shift has a differnt challenge. Each phone call for help or guidance is different. Each call for service is not quite like the call before it.

Dispatching is not for the weak of heart or soul. Look at all those new hires that never finished their training because there was too much to know or too much multi-tasking or, just, too much. Those people who left after a short time because their hurting hearts and mental anguish of listening to the hour upon hour of pain and drama became too heavy a burden to carry and sleep with.

Those of us who have survived many years on the other end of the phone or behind the radio deserve a pat on the back and a hug. And a good dose of happy meds.

Monday, January 3, 2011

The Race Card

Once again, accused of being racist because I have yet to send an officer to take care of the caller's request.

The facts:

- there are fewer officers than requests for assistance pending
- the accuser only called for the help 15 minutes earlier (hello, drive time)
- I am blind to their ethnicity due to talking to them over the phone
- there are set priorities established by department policy for different services
- caller doesn't know my ethnicity for the same reason I don't know his

Dear Caller - Save the race card for when it really matters (like life and death are involved) and when there is clear evidence of discrimination. Threatening to contact my supervisors and the Chief and the media is NOT going to get you any help any faster. Grow up, shut up, and wait your turn.

Enough said.