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.