Monday, September 1, 2008

No Light at the End of the Tunnel- Part Two

When I last spoke of work I mentioned a dramatic shift in hours and my schedule due to the fact that two of our dispatchers had left the fold. Since that time, we have hired two new folks to fill the vacancies and are in the midst of training said individuals. During the 3 month training process, the rest of us have had to cover the two open shifts. Now add to the mix, the fact that this has occurred during the summer months when vacations are planned, days off requested, etc. I have been working an extra 16-24 hours a week for what seems to be an eternity. One would think that in another month we would be able to return to a more normal work week but this is Public Service and here nothing seems to go according to plan! So just when you think you've seen a little light at the end of the tunnel..... wait for it.... two more dispatchers have given notice. (They are relocating to a different state). So...... starting in the middle of September...... we will be filling four open shifts..... please just kill me now! Most of you who know me, know that I love my job and generally only complain about the hours.... and the same goes for my co-workers.... they also enjoy their work and are extremely dedicated individuals. However, WE ARE TIRED!!! If I could, I would give each and every one of us a month off - to just chill, gel, relax, party, have fun, de-stress, catch up on sleep, and reintroduce ourselves to our families. Instead, we will sit in our chairs for 8-16 hours at a time, day after day, night after night; answer the 911 phones, dispatch the calls, listen to and monitor all the scanners, and do our jobs. In the wee hours of the night, when all is quiet and most of the world is sleeping, we will be staring at our computer screens, reading SOP manuals, keeping an eye on the storms headed in, maybe playing a game of solitare, until the phone rings.....


  1. There's no temporary augmentees available from other locations? I know management can't possibly plan for every contingency, but temporary manning assistance would seem to fall into the category of "planning." Speaking from a position of TOTAL ignorance, of course.

    I feel for ya. Being overworked, and its attendant lack of sleep, stress, etc., just sucks. And mightily, at that. Hang in there!

  2. I applaud your dedication. Will things slow down as the tourist go home?

  3. I feel for you! My previous shift was forced to work 14-16 hour days 3-4 days a week for over a year.. They finally got permission to hire more people.. but our traning takes 18 months to go thru. Smart/dedicated people can do it in 9 (there's a raise at the end of training!) and some never pass... I changed shifts!! Now - overtime? what overtime? hahaha..

    Hang in there! I'll be praying for you and your family! -Dispatcher