Sunday, 8 March 2009

Lay The Secret On Me of Man's Red Fire - Clue Me What To Do

My job search goes on and I've decided to network to see if somebody wants to offer me a nice little number. I know quite a few people who I've worked with and more importantly I haven't upset anybody so this could be the time to collect.

I have worked directly under the supervision of two current chief constables before they made it, and a few colleagues I'd started out with as new sergeants have reached Superintendent level and beyond. Despite two failed attempts in intelligence posts, for reasons I've explained previously, I'm just drawn back to the streets and all that entails. Shit hours shit weather and drunken shit people. My potential networking group is quite influential and I need to use it.

So where did I go wrong? Good people that they are, many of my peers were no better than me and probably couldn't do half what I do, half as well. The answer is they've got the hunger and ambition to fight their way to the top. Whilst I'm quite happy to work the crappy estates and be the king of my little empire, they are swimming in a different pond and looking to be the next big thing.

I went for a drink with an old mucker, who is doing very well. There might be a job going so we met up to see how the land lies. He is going along very nicely and has just reached SMT level. He was really good old bill on the streets and I like him. We had a good gossip about who's done well and who's going no further. He told me how much work he did for his promotion, and he played it right. His portfolio of skill examples was set down and he was mentored by the right people who could put him on the right path. My own boss who is truly hard working dipped this year and the difference was obvious. She has done work that needed doing and used it in examples instead of doing work to fit her career path.

He told me I had talent but was wasting it chasing two bit drug dealers on my estate. Yeah I told him, but my punters love me. "Think of the pension", he says. I counter "I'd give up pips for knowing I've done good on the street". But he's right I need to think about a late dash for world domination. The job? not as good as he made out, and not for me, he knows it but it was interesting to see how things work at that higher level.

The next day I was passing through custody to cancel a bail. The custody officer tells me I've got a fan in cell one who was asking after me. I pull the wicket down to see an old foe. "Fun Time Frankie", who is just out for firearms offences. I'd had the briefest of chats with him the other week-end but got called away to deal with a drunk unconscious bloke before I could do a name check. Of course he would have been wanted, nothing serious mind. He's been inside for several years but wanted to tell me how well he was doing. He is trying to qualify as a fitness instructor and sort himself out. Good for him, hope he gets there, wished him well with encouraging words, always liked "Fun Time". That's what I'd have to leave behind, several years of local knowledge and making a little bit of difference to people's lives, but that doesn't tick many boxes if you want to get on.


MetAnon said...

Off topic and nothing to do with the post I know, but-

A moment’s reflection for the families and colleagues of the two soldiers murdered in N.I. last night.
The job isn’t too far removed from what we do and perhaps tragedy is never too far away.
I hope a quick recovery for those injured although for the families of those killed I know the pain will never go away.
To all of our servicemen and women all over the globe, Thank you -you are this country.

Officer Dibble said...

I have often asked the question what your Post header says
I agree.I basically just enjoy what I do but realise there is a finishing line at some point and hope to cross it on a higher incremental scale than I am on now.

Knowledgable,hardworking and doing the job dont count for much.

Met anon

Totally agree

Stressed Out Cop said...


Indeed a brutal cowardly attack and thoughts also to colleagues in PSNI with hopes people power ends this escalation now.


Hope your new job is going well -It's a tough choice because nobody misses you when you finish. The larger cheque lightens the blow, but I'll be happy in my own self if I know I delivered and made a little bit of difference.

Anonymous said...

Man's red fire is a tricky one. From what I have seen there are a few basic steps to be taken to ride that rocket

1.Hitch your wagon to an already rising star.

2. What the boss wants is what the boss gets. Never piss them off, not ever. Policy goals achieved, messages passed, local targets met, all boxes ticked with a smile when facing up and a scowl when looking down.

3. Never, ever accept the blame. Always move on to another post before your chickens come home to roost. They always do.

4. Publicly and loudly espouse whatever management technique / model is coming down the tracks next.

5. Get yourself a post at HQ in something that will get you a lot of top table face time.

Alternatively, struggle against the tide of lack of support aet the top table and check out of the process at Ch. Insp. because without those friends in high places, that's likely as far as you can get on outstanding ability alone.

Sage said...

Good luck with the job search, trouble is that you may find it isn't much better than what you have got but may just look greener from a distance.

Stressed Out Cop said...


You are SO VERY right in all respects.


Loving your blog. I work on a pilot project and funding expires at FY end, so I have to go. Would rather sort myself out before I get shafted.