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.


Harlequin said...

Ha! I know what you mean. 911/Police dispatch was only a temporary job for me too, I wanted to be a paramedic. Now I love where I am and have committed myself to this rewarding/challenging career for the rest of my working days. Oh and I read that last bit too fast, I thought it said ' and a good dose of Happy meals'. We all need a happy meal now and then, boy toy for me, always ;)

911 and the Randomness.. said...

Well written. Been doing the job since I was 19...And my how time does fly. I was just waiting to turn 21 so I could be a cop. Lucky for me I started the right job first.

I'm still pretty new, over 5 but less than 10 years on the job, but I'm glad that you have been doing the job and paving the way for folks like me. Thanks for everything you do. Looking forward to reading the rest of your blog now.


Jewels said...

Very well said. I am new to dispatching. April 26th will be 9mo. I must say Fire and Ems is my favorite. I have only had a few weeks at police dispatch. But it is a job that is fun, sad, repetitive in ways. Not something I thought I would be doing at 38 yrs old! I was previously in banking. Mother was a RN and husband a Firefighter. So that is why I prefer Fire and EMS I suppose.
Always so many stories that we come home with and are not supposed to discuss. Believe it or not, by the time I have made it home...I have forgot most calls. Even the cardiac calls.
We are indeed a unique group of "family" and def deserve pats on the back!