Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Things I love about my job

I feel I've been a little bitchy of late, so I thought I'd give ya'll a light-hearted list of all the things I love about this job.

The "ding-ding-da-ding" of the MDC announcing a call. I love hearing it come across the radio as a unit answers a hail. I've been doing this five years and I still smile and think "I did that."

Being perversely chipper at 0600. If they don't drop the phone, I wasn't happy enough.

Cleaning up my status board. I hate shit that blinks at me. If you sit on a call long enough, you will blink at me. See also: hunting down wayward ducklings.

Decontaminating my console at the beginning of the shift. I like knowing it's clean.

My beginning of the shift log off list. I go through my district roster and make a list of everyone that should already be logged off or will be going off duty in the course of my shift. Leads to sometimes funny conversation. "What time are you done tonight?"  "Why, you want to go to dinner?"

Hunting down wayward ducklings. This involves calling station to make sure they completed prisoner transport, sometimes embarrassing them via radio into telling me they are in fact on scene at a hot call, and not allowing them to sit on a call for an obscene amount of time. See also: cleaning up my status board.

Being the information czar. Do this job long enough and you too will be able to find the number for the albino horse and albatross rescue in two clicks, have the White House switchboard and number to the local crisis agency memorized (yes, they are related items-- if you doubt me you haven't had sufficient crazy person exposure), know the address of every problem bar in your jurisdiction, and remember the APB message number associated with that suicidal jackass you entered and cancelled in the same night last week (who, by the way, is off his meds and on the run again).

Doing that weird memory thing that freaks out my cops. I remember tags from stops two weeks ago, the occasional drivers license number, and dates of birth. See also: information czar.

Knowing without being told. Don't get me wrong, I don't ever like it when an officer is in trouble. But I like having experience enough to know that if his radio is clicking a certain way; he's fighting, that if he gives out a traffic stop with too much information; he needs another car, and if he keys up and the engine suddenly revs; I need to pull up the traffic pursuit command mask NOW.

Being the voice of reason. Calming down an upset cop is a zen skill.

1 comment:

  1. Ah if only more were like you! Though yes, I know a few dispatchers with similar talents. The kind that can hear how I call a stop or say something & know that I need a hand; or who go through the extra moment to look up some vital piece of info before I even think to ask for it. The kind that help keep us alive out here...

    Of course, there are also the ones such as the idiot who ignored me in pursuit of a stolen truck for over a minute while he kept dispatching other calls...

    Thanks for being the first kind!