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Monthly Archives: February 2015

Dispatch Days

For years, I mistakingly believed that “working a double” meant twelve hours. This na├»ve opinion stemmed from my early retail experience in Pigeon Forge, where the stores were open 9-9. So if I worked open to close, that was “a double”. When I went to work for 911 dispatch, I learned that was not the case. While 12 hours of demanding tourists is enough to kill anybody, it barely holds a flame to spending 16 hours in a 20×20 room with three people tethered to three computers each and a radio system the size of a refrigerator. You don’t get a 30 minute lunch break reprieve in another room, you eat right there at your console with your headset attached. You can go to the bathroom, but you better make it snappy. And that’s the 8 hour days. You don’t work sixteens every day, just the days when weather catches you & your coworkers unaware. Because if you knew a big snowstorm was coming and you didn’t think you could get back, then the county would put you up for the night in some luxury accommodations–the Landmark Inn. It wasn’t the Four Seasons, but it was close to work. And if you got stuck at home, well, the Rescue Squad would be sent to retrieve you. IF they got time, that is. The county has a limited few that are…