Politics

It’s been awhile…..I feel like that is an understatement; to some a little over a month is a very long time. I haven’t known what to write, honestly. So much has been going on and I’ve had a lot of ups and downs so far this year that my thoughts are pretty sporadic. 

 I guess to begin with, I am thinking about finding another job. I’m very burnt out. I’d like to say that this decision has come from the types of calls I’ve dealt with throughout my time being a dispatcher, but that’s just not true. I am burnt out on the politics. I am not very good at kissing ass; therefore, my supervisor seems to literally enjoy making my life hell when I’m on the clock. Take today for instance. Today is supposed to be my day off, but she scheduled me to work a 7am-5pm shift. “What’s wrong with that”, you ask? “Getting off at 5 isn’t that bad”, you say. Well, my supervisor loves me so much that my regular schedule is a combination of alternating evening/night shifts, meaning I don’t work days. To make matters worse, she scheduled all of day shift….I’d like to point out that she didn’t pull an employee or two from each shift to leave shifts covered, no she pulled all of day shift to go to a class…and scheduled me to work on my day off to cover their shift, split my days off so I couldn’t claim the overtime, and scheduled a mandatory meeting on an off day. I might be the only one that this doesn’t make any sense to. Maybe I’m annoyed with her over the fact that just last month she wrote me up because she called to let me know I was going to be working the end of my shift alone so I said “Thanks for the heads up! I’ll go grab something to eat real quick before I’m alone and can’t leave.” Yes. I seriously got wrote up for telling her “Thank you”. All the while she covers up a few dispatchers who lose their officers, and not on simple calls either. One dispatcher actually lost her officers who were in a foot pursuit calling for an ambulance because she “just didn’t want to make a card.” She has covered up dispatchers stealing time and she refuses to reprimand anyone who is her age or older….but I get written up for saying “Thanks for the heads up!”? Why don’t I follow the chain of command and report her? Sadly, I have. She is so buddy buddy with the assistant chief and the chief that whatever she does is over-looked or they just don’t believe me. I think her actions are over-looked though because there have been other complaints from other people and the person/people who make the complaints are the only ones to receive any attention….and not the “good job” kind either.

I just don’t know what to do. I love my job. I love helping people. I love the feeling I get when I know I actually made a difference in someone’s life. But I have started to ask myself the question “Do you have to be a dispatcher to do all those things?” I have begun to question if I really want to do this for the rest of my life….that question has led to thinking about college, so this can’t all be bad, right?

Well, since this has all been a Debbie Downer, I will leave y’all with something funny. The first 911 call of my day was an elderly man who wanted to complain about his neighbors allowing their dog to poop in his yard. If that’s not 911 worthy, I don’t know what is!

Any comments or advice would be greatly appreciated, but most importantly, I hope everyone is having a fantastic day!

-S

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A couple of thoughts…

The holidays really made me think about a few things.

1. I didn’t have to work, so I was thankful for my coworkers that were working because I know how depressing it can be to be away from family during the holidays.

2. I need to work on spending more time with my family.

3. People can be so selfish.

My last realization was actually brought to me by my newest coworker. She worked Christmas and she was astonished by the number of vehicle burglaries and domestics she had. To me it’s become expected; any time family members are brought together for long periods of time, there’s going to be fighting. Also, if I were a criminal…well, a criminal that thinks, I would probably choose Christmas to commit a crime too. I’m not writing a “How To” book for getting away with crime, but Christmas just seems like the holiday that beat officers would be stretched thin; ergo people can be selfish.

Numero Dos is my weakness, I think. Sometimes this job takes a lot out of me. I love my family and I love seeing them, but when I have personal time, it’s gotten to where usually I just want to stay home. People, including family, want to ask questions about calls or give their two sense about how a call “should have been handled”…all in all, sometimes I feel more drained after visiting family than I do working a 10hr shift alone. However; this year was different. I truly enjoyed spending time with them this holiday season and I enjoyed seeing family that I haven’t seen in a very long time. Maybe they have gotten use to the “I can’t talk about that” or the “I don’t want to talk about that” and just decided not to ask, or they just weren’t interested, but for whatever reason I didn’t have to defend the guys I work with and I didn’t have to talk about work on my personal time. Leave work at work and home at home, right? Anyway, It’s not always selfishness that keeps me from seeing them, if you’ve done this job then you know the sacrifices you sometimes have to make, but in all honesty I realized I really should put more of an effort into spending time with loved ones.

Lastly, due to not having to work on Christmas or New Years (I got lucky and they were on my scheduled days off) I was thankful for the people that did work. Emergencies don’t go on Christmas break so unfortunately dispatchers are still needed and, unlike the officers I work with, we are not allowed to take calls from home. I like to believe it says a lot about a person that willingly stays in a career when they know there’s a huge chance they wont be with family on major holidays and they’ll undergo some of the most stressful situations most people will never experience in their lives, and still choose to stay. So for that, I am thankful for all the first responders that worked during the holiday season…and had the holidays off because most likely they’ve worked them at some point or another.

Well, that’s a wrap. I enjoyed my holidays and I hope everyone else did as well.

-S

 

 

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The end of calls…

So my coworker, who was just recently released from training but hasn’t even been dispatching for a year, got her first structure fire call…..let me back up a little. My town is very small. Small enough that usually two dispatchers work at a time but for a couple of hours one dispatcher can be singly responsible for the entire town. That one dispatcher handles fire, ems, pd, 911, non emergency phones, city workers….everything! By themselves…ok, on with the call…like I said, she handled her first structure fire. Alone. And it wasn’t a regular organized structure fire. It’s been snowing and freezing here so when the fire department got on scene, the hydrants were frozen. Their tanks were frozen. Everything that could go wrong, seemed to go wrong. To make matters worse, no one knew if anyone was inside the home or not. Baptism by fire, right?!

Thankfully she is still with us and doesn’t seem too upset about the ordeal. One thing she did mention though, is that she wishes she knew how it ended. We found out, after the fact, that the family was out of town visiting family for Thanksgiving…but what about everything else? Do they have a place to stay, what about their stuff, not to mention how does one recover from losing everything right before Christmas? Even worse, if children lived there, how do you begin to explain the beginning to such a rotten Christmas?

Anyway, she has a point. I wish I knew what happens after I hang up with my callers and after all my guys clear from a scene.

Well, that’s been the most excitement that’s happened during my workweek. The majority of the week has been laid back due to the snow and freezing weather. I hope that family somehow has a wonderful Christmas, along with anyone who reads this.

-S

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Virgin Blogger

Basically, like the title implies….or at least I hope that’s where the title is supposed to go, this is all new. Yes, this is the year 2013 and I have never blogged before. No, I am not 80 years old. The idea of blogging has never before crossed my mind really. As a child, every time I tried to keep a diary I quickly lost interest and forgot to keep up with the entries….so we shall see how this goes.

The reason I have decided to do this is because I read a blog that a 911 dispatcher/call taker wrote and thought it might be a great idea for job related stress relief. So, if you haven’t already guessed it, I am a 911 dispatcher….actually, since I live in a small town, my dispatching isn’t limited to only 911. I, along with my coworkers, dispatch for pretty much any and all emergency personnel. I’ve had calls that will forever be with me and I’ve had calls that left me scratching my head and worried I lost brain cells. I LOVE the career I have chosen, the men and women I work with, and the experiences I’ve been privileged enough to be a part of.

Advice and comments are welcome and hopefully I can provide some insight, laughs, and maybe a little crazy on one of the most stressful, but rewarding careers out there.

Until next time….If I remember!!

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