Do we get called Probationers anymore? Student Officer? Probie? Newbie? Depends where you are, who you talk to, and what they fancy to call you on the day!
Never bothered me. I knew I was new, I knew I was in my probationary period, and I knew when I joined, that this was a two year long process. Call me what you like, I’ll probably answer to it!
After a loooong 16 week course at a Police Training Centre, I was free to fly the nest! I was a Special Constable prior to joining up, which I thought would stand me in good stead, but my god, how different is it doing the job every day!?
I was going to work in a place I hadn’t even visited before, to a shift of strangers, and I had this horrible feeling that I would be expected to be competent already. Thankfully I was wrong!
Before I started, I went to meet my shift. I walked in, having remembered the three different door codes, and asked for my tutor. “Oh he’s on his way back from a shooting, he will be here soon.” Well, shit. If that wasn’t a reality slap around the face I don’t know what is. In those very few seconds, what I had just joined up to do became very real. This would be me. I would be going to those jobs. The biggest question in my head was “and what on earth would I do if I got sent to that?” Well, it really is amazing how fast you learn.
My first “actual” day couldn’t have been better. I got on with everyone on my shift, they all wanted to help me, everyone was friendly, and I got on with my tutor! It’s a bit of a blur, I don’t remember what jobs we went to, but I remember going home that night, feeling content. I did it. My first day, often the hardest, was done, and I survived!