Thursday, August 31, 2006


In an hour, I'm off on a mini vacation! Where else? Back east. I leave work at 0230 and drive 3 hours to the airport. I get home early Monday morning, and its back to work Monday night. I have been burning the candle at both ends lately, and its really starting to wear me down. I get to see my WK!! Can't wait. It's lousy being so far apart. We are going to do some sight-seeing on Friday, not sure where yet, and then going to a wedding on Saturday. I will get to meet his neice and nephew for the first time too. Will update when I get back. I'm thinking this will be a good trip... : )

Trainee update

Ok, maybe I was too hasty to pass judgement. She is doing well, I am pleasantly surprised. She is catching on to entries quickly, and answering in house phones. Unlike trainees in the past, she actually can remember the name of the person she just talked to and what they wanted when she hangs up. Woohoo- she has potential! Then she started feeling pretty comfortable with her entries, so I decided to take your advice Wadical.

She was working on some research for an officer, when I reminded her that, btw, you have a stolen veh recovery to do, a vehicle storage, an ATL to cancel, and a booking package that the officer is waiting for right now,, so whenever you're done with what you're doing, those need to get done. All of which I could have just done for her to save time, but I felt a lesson was in order. So I sat back and watched. :) And voila', when I applied that leeettle bit of pressure, she forgot the simple commands she was confident in 10 min ago. Yes, I took some pleasure in that.

I know its sounds like I'm a horribly mean trainer. I'm not really! but there is a method to my madness. Nothing tweeks me more than someone walking in off the street and thinking they can do what we do in a few weeks. Perhaps I speak for myself, but I have worked hard for 6 years to be good at what I do- I'm proud of it, but there is still a lot that I have to learn. It's not a walk in the park!- doesn't matter how smart you are, or think you are.

Sooo, later on I smiled and explained what had happened earlier. Memorization is great, but if you can't recall it when under pressure, its useless. She is where she should be for how long she has been here. Watch, listen, learn, practice. Learn the building blocks, then put it all together, a little bit at a time. She got a tiny taste of the multi-tasking that we do, and she wasn't even taking calls and/or working the radio at the same time.

Bottom line: I'm not intimidated anymore, she has lost the arrogance (which may have been nervousness or intimidation- misinterpreted by me) and she is showing promise!

Monday, August 28, 2006

Parenting Styles

This is from another dispatchers blog

Dispatcher: "911, where is your emergency?"
Small Child: "Please don't send the cops over. I'll listen to my Mom."

Not that I support threatening your kids, but I think a healthy respect for authority is a good thing...

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Bed rest

R is doing well! Baby Jacob is too, staying put for the time being. R has to take it really easy. She can sit up to eat, and can take one shower a day, but otherwise she has to remain in bed. She is a real trooper. She won't be out on sunday because she can't sit up for even the car ride over there. What do you do on bed rest? For 8 weeks!!! I'm bringing her my DVDs and some books on tape, and maybe she can find a cross-stitch project, but anyone have any other ideas that she can do? Poor Waterboy is going to have to be the cook for a while, so we're helping out by bringing him easy to nuke food.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Doctor updates

R came back home last night. She is on a medication she has to take every 4 hours to avoid going into labor again. Apparently the insurance company is only authorizing half the amount of meds that she needs. The doctors felt confident they could get the auth for the correct amount if they contacted the insurance company, so we have to wait and see. Waterboy said the meds make her really shaky, but as bad as it sounds, maybe that will keep her from trying to do too much. I can't imagine being told to be still and not do anything. It would be incredibly frustrating, seeing everything that needs to be done around you. I feel really bad that I have to work every day for the next 2 weeks (3 days in Baltimore aside). Mom and Dobug will be helping out when they can. R's mom is still in WW with Mary I think. She just had a little girl, Zoe. And yes, I'm sure that adds to some of R's emotional load/anxiety. R is having a boy btw! I can't wait to have 2 nephews!! Loved spending time with Little Buddy. He is just adorable, he talks your ear off and you can understand about half of it.

And in not so important news, the MRI of my neck came back. After all the nerve scans and chiropractor apts, and massage apts, I was thinking maybe it was all in my head since all the tests for carpal tunnel or nerve damage came back negative. But turns out its in my neck! Doc said I have 3 disks that are slightly "protruding" and cause transient pressure on the nerves going down my arms. See! I knew I wasn't crazy. Sometimes the pain in my hands is excruciating, but I could never pinpoint the exact activities that caused it (other than softball, which sadly I had to give up). I had figured out that when my neck and shoulders would get really tense after a bad day at work,, I could pretty much count on my hands hurting the next day. So I have been going to a chiropractor and it has really been helpful in preventing hand pain. So the 'cure' at this point is to take anti-inflammatories, which I have been doing. So we shall see. The comforting thing is that they actually found something. I have been fighting this for so long I really was beginning to wonder if it was just psychosomatic.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

At 0730 Waterboy called mom to say that R is back at LL. So far so good I think, aside from the fact that she is back in the hospital. Is is possible for a baby to survive at 6 months?

Baby Trouble

Please pray for R and baby. She went into labor again last night. Mom stayed with Little Buddy and Waterboy took R to LL. Mom said they gave her a shot and sent her home and told her not to do laundry, lift anything, exert herself etc. She isn't due till mid November, so its a little scary especially after losing Jes. Makes a little knot in my stomach. I think we will take turns going to help out with chores and rascally Buddy. Hopefully I can be some kind of help in spite of my hectic schedule.

HOT! Agaaaaain.

My A/C broke AGAIN. This is getting rediculous. At least it's the old one that broke instead of the new one. And yes, I tried flipping the breaker. I even used an extension cord to make sure it wasn't a problem with the outlet. No dice. Its dead. It was 106 today, and I ended up sleeping on the floor in front of my other A/C unit; it's closer to the floor. I feel bad for poor Squeek too! It was still over 80 in my little studio. Its not all that little, about 25 x 25 with a kitchen, bathroom and big closet, but it takes 2 a/c units to cool it when its soooo hot. And it's been humid, so that doesn't help either. Ug. The clincher is that my landlord is out of town til 9/18,,, so I broil till then.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


I have a trainee. Normally, I would be jazzed, but things are a little different this time. I normally train on fire dispatching and on phonecalls, and usually get the trainee at month 3 or so after they have learned how to use CAD and have figured Vesta out. I love teaching and love to see them figure things out and succeed. We all have 'areas of expertise' and mine happens to be in the fire service.

For some reason, management decided to give me a brand new hire. I'm her first trainer, and I have no idea what she needs to learn first. There is so much information that needs to be covered and so much memorization that she needs to work on. It has been the most frustrating week ever! She is only 22, and thinks she knows everything- which really ticks me off. The nerve of someone to walk in and think they can do what we do after watching for 1 day! I wanted to smack her. I was a nervous wreck my first 4 months thinking I wouldn't be able to do it. I stayed up nights memorizing codes and commands, had notecards everywhere, and set up a montage of post-its at my workstation each day. But nooooo, she doesn't need to take notes, she 'just remembers' things. Thats hoooey!

I'm feeling a bit intimidated because, for the first time, I dont have a plan of attack! Normally I know what I want to teach each day and know what goals to set for each week etc. I'm kind of stumbling thru this and it ticks me off. (I have control issues if any of you couldn't tell already) This is only her first week. I'm supposed to give her weekly eval tomorrow so I think I'll come up with some tests to see how many codes shes actually memorized. Grrr. Help, anyone?

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Creatures Great and Small

I have seen all kinds of great critters since I have been out here in NJ. I actually saw dolphins at the beach yesterday! We went down to OC and they were swimming around the surfers. It was really cool seeing them "in the wild" rather than in a big tank at Sea World. I saw my first groundhog too! He was sitting on a hill on the side of the freeway, I thought it was a really bold raccoon at first, but then saw the coloring was all wrong. They are a lot bigger than I imagined. Today over morning coffee, we saw a deer walk thru E's front yard. Very cool. He was just munching on the grass, minding his own business, like he always came there for breakfast. I love animals, and we've always had a pet (or two or three) running around the house. However, I have been told... that should I move back east, my precious Squeek can't come with me. So, its good to know there is a wealth of wildlife out here to enjoy.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


I have been on vacation this week! I am sweating it out in NJ. Its only been in the 80's but the humidity is rediculous. They say you get used to it... great. On Sunday we had dinner at WK's parents house, and Monday we went to see WK's grandparents up in PA. They are both doing fairly well. On the way home we decided to tour Lancaster and see the Amish countryside (ok, Amish shops). Beautiful furnishings to be had, but for a pretty penny.

Click on the wagon picture to see it enlarged, the kids in the back were so cute.

Then we got lost on the way home. Well, maybe not lost, but we went the looooong way. WK and I have been having a blast together. Tomorrow Firechick and I are going to try to hit the beach. Its only 30 min away. The jury is still out on which coast has better beaches. They do have a cool boardwalk out here though...

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Silly Cabby

Taxi driver calls to report a male subject inside his cab, refusing to pay the fare. He took him to the north end of town (notorious drug area) for... gasp!... a drug deal. The drug dealer took all of the man's money. The taxi driver politely returned him to the hotel where he picked him up from, then called us because his rider didn't have any money left to pay him. Mental head slap

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

You lost what?

A male caller wanted to report his gun as 'missing'. That sets off your radar. A missing weapon has the potential to be a real problem. What if a kid finds it? So, I asked where it was missing from.

Well, it was in his friends car. It got broken into. . . While he and his buddy were shopping at the outlets. . . He left the gun in the car. What a thoughtful young man! His mother must be proud.

Silent groan ~ I should have seen that coming, but it was early in the shift. That fresh, ready to help, ready to make a difference feeling is usually shattered much sooner each day. I didnt know whether to be glad that it wasn't in our jurisdiction, or upset that I couldn't send an officer to cite him for something or at least lecture him.

Breath in, breath out and answer the next call...

Thursday, August 03, 2006


I am in a blogging slump. Not much going on to write about, at least that I can share just yet.. No awesome calls to report. Tonight has been one exasperating call after another.

Why is it that the more desperate and volatile the situation is, the higher the likelihood your RP has no clue where they are? and English isn't their first language? and they forget to mention the knife/gun until you're about to hang up?

Here's the one that takes the cake tonight.

"Dispatch." [The call came in on our personal in-house line]
[Female sniffing] "I need someone to help me."
"Ok, what's the problem?"
"My boyfriend was just stabbed."
[I sit bolt upright, immediately ticked at whoever dumped this call on me without saying they were transfering someone. (Turned out to be a jailer)]
"Where are you?"
"I don't know. We were coming from the casino. I think I'm on S-- St."
"What is the nearest corner street where you are?"
[crying] "I don't know. I can't see a sign, but I can see the casino from right here."
[If I had a nickle for every RP that said they were "right here", I would be rich.]
"Is he still breathing?"
[sniff] "I think so."
"Ok. What's your cell phone number?"
"I don't know it, just send somebody quick."
- click -

Now I am ready to scream. She called on a line that doesn't show her location or her number, and she didn't know it so I have no way to call her back. She didn't know where she was, and hung up before I could ask anything else. Officers checked the area for 20 minutes without finding anyone. Hospitals were notified, and we are still waiting for a 'victim' to turn up.

My calls have been like this all night. I think I may take up boxing.