Saturday, March 24, 2007
Goodness! What a week!
I surely can't believe it's been a week since I posted here. It doesn't feel like it's been that long. Really, though, I can believe it. This has been the LONGEST and most EXHAUSTING week ever! My poor brain and body are completely worn out!

So I was in my first week of training Mon.-Fri. this week, and man, was it brutal! The first day was pretty cool. We went over the basic schedule, then went on tours of all of the various offices we work with. Easy enough. The second day we got into the actual bookwork, and it was the same on Wed. It was a LOT of stuff that was pretty much foreign to me before then. I sat for about seven hours each day, which killed my back, and the action was, well, NONE. On Thursday, I was tested as soon as I got to work on all of the stuff we went over on Tues. and Wed., which was ten long chapters that covered stuff like:

all of the districts of Charleston County and whose jurisdiction each one is, as well as the boundaries of each (did I mention that Chas. Cnty. is the largest in the state?)
the history of 911
all of the liability I will be held accountable for
all of the references I will be using in my job to answer the millions of questions people will call in for (we are undoubtedly the answering service for the county as well), and where and how to find all of them and what they do
the complete CAD (computer aided dispatch) system and the tons of codes that must be used to access anything in it--might I add that it is not at all user friendly
major roads and highways in Chas. Cnty., all of the bridges and their jurisdictions, all of the fire stations and who dispatches for them, etc.
phone numbers, the phonetic alphabet (A-Adam, B-Boy, C-Charles, etc...), the county alphabet (completely different, a set of codes)
the rank order (Do Silly Little Coles Make Candy and Salads?=Deputy, Seargent, Lieutenant, Captain, Major, Chief, Asst. Sheriff, Sheriff--Yes, I made that up all by myself!)
the scariest part of it all--10 and C Codes: 10-04 (ok), 10-18 (theft), C-03 (lights and sirens), etc.--there are 173 of them, and I must have them all memorized and be ready to use them off the top of my head by next Wednesday!

I'm sure I'm forgetting plenty, but really, is that list not scary enough as it is? On Thursday I was tested on all of this stuff, including the 10 and C Codes, which I did horribly on. I managed to make an 86 on the test, which I was super happy with. On Wednesday, when she told me at the very end of the day what was going to be on the test, I cried the whole way home and contemplated never coming back again. I sucked it up and studied my brains out and did better than my trainer thought I would. Then, on Friday I had another test and got a 97. That was cool. Here's what I don't get, though, on Thurs. my test was over almost everything we'd covered. Then, Fri.'s test was just on reference materials and was just ~10 questions that were directly pulled from the test on Thurs. Like, why would she give me the hardest test first, then the much, much easier one? Whatever, I needed a 70 to pass, and I got it on both, so there!

Yesterday afternoon we got on the phone for a while and I took some calls. I was sick I was so nervous at first. Once I found out I wouldn't have to take any 911 calls I felt better. I think I did reasonably well for my first few calls, especially considering I was still completely lost as to what was going on! The traffic people started calling in around 4 or so to find out if there were any accidents, and the first guy said, "Hey, this is AJ," right as I was answering the phone. I thought he was telling me I was AJ, I was like, "Uhhh, no." Undoubtedly, I'm going to have to remember who all the people who call in on a regular basis are and just know what they want, among other things. Oh, and every deputy has his own number, as well as his name, that we have to know for when we talk to them. Lord!

Honestly, though, I'm still not sure if I want to keep this job or not. I mean, it's not that I don't think I can do it. Once I got on the phone yesterday, it gave me a boost of confidence, somewhat, and I realized it wasn't as hard as it seemed. However, I'm not sure if I can handle sitting at a desk for 12 hours a day, breaks or no breaks. I'm not really the sitting type. I've been sitting for most of the day all this week, and these are just 8 hour days right now w/an hour for lunch. My back is miserable, and it makes me want to sleep. I'm hoping that once I get into actually taking lots of calls and get to know people better, that it will be better and I will get used to it. We'll see...

Anyway, that was my week. Next week I get to train 8:30-4:30 Mon.-Thurs., then on Fri. I start my shift work, and I go from 7am-7pm. I do that Fri.-Sun., and I'm off Mon. and Tues. Yep, so I get to work 7 days straight next week. I can hardly wait...I hope your week is a little less, uhhhhh LONG, and I'll see you sometime soon.
posted by Christi at 10:29 PM | Permalink |


  • At 10:06 AM, Blogger Kurt

    It sounds exciting, but do they really work 12 hour shifts?!

  • At 10:45 AM, Blogger gina

    how are you going to manage this all?? yikes. with three kids too? sounds too stressful.

    you can do it !(if you want to- i am not so sure you want to!)
    good lucky sister.