I get asked it frequently.
“What made you want to do this job?”
“Do you ACTUALLY enjoy night shifts then?”
“Don’t you mind working weekends?”
“Aren’t you scared?”
It’s sad really, that the majority of questions asked of us are negative. The way we are portrayed in the media, the risks to our safety both nationally and locally, the abuse we suffer both verbally and physically, really why would we enjoy what we do?!
But I love it. And ask yourself, could you do our job? If the answer is yes, then I guess you have more right to judge then those who answered no.
Yes we work weekends, yes we work nights. Guess what, we also work public holidays and Christmas. We have to apply for summer leave about 12 months in advance to make sure we can get it. We miss birthdays. We miss those family events that are always “on Saturday when everyone’s off” and we miss those evenings when you get to have dinner with your loved ones and ask them about their day.
But flip it on its head. We get to arrest the worst people in society. We get to help send people to prison for doing wrong. We get to protect the most vulnerable. We get to eat cake at 10am because we’ve been at work 3 hours already so technically it’s acceptable. We get to drive fast, to share stories at 3am in the back of the van on Saturday nights. We get to predict who’s so drunk they’ll fall over, and then go and help them up. We get to be nosey because “I wonder what’s up this road?” We get a second family, because we genuinely do spend more time at work than at home.
It’s an amazing job. It’s so damned hard sometimes; but it is so worth it.
I’ve recently come off response and gone onto investigations. No night shifts for me – result! However in the past two weeks I’ve worked 30 hours on top of what I was meant to – less of a result, more of feeling hungover from lack of sleep!
It doesn’t matter what department or role you have.
We are all knackered.
We are all chasing our tail because demand is overwhelming.
We are all struggling.
We are all letting people down.
We are all working overtime to try and finish the jobs.
We all get assaulted.
We all get labelled by the media.
We all get blamed.
We all get shouted at for not doing a good enough job.
Despite that, we do our best. We can’t do more than that. Could you?