Sunday, 23 May 2010

Nirvana - Maybe The Problem Is Me !



This is my final post and after today this blog will remain forever in the Blogosphere possibly being of interest to somebody. The whole blogging thing was just a questioning of myself searching for the answer to something. There have been no agendas or need of approval from others, it's all I'm afraid been about me. I put it up and analyse it myself and have been helped in my stress battle by those who have visited and taken time to comment. To each and every one of you I am grateful.

Why finish today? Well I made the decision ages ago but my mild OCD wouldn't let me go unless the blog was symmetrical. It is two years since I started and you don't know the agonising I've been through whether to finish yesterday or today. I finally took the plunge for 23rd May, but you know what it doesn't really matter it's just my thoughts that have caused this illogical turmoil.

I've had a good look at myself through the last two years and want to examine further how I can progress along my journey. A narrative has been useful up to now but it is I think a negative influence in my life. I wouldn't leave it and just close without comment like one of my favourite stress blogs Intelligence Detective, I'm going on a positive. Whatever did happen to the General?

I've got a few stress monkey followers and to you I say stick with it and try reading the above book by Jon Kabat-Zinn which I've found very useful. I could go on about it but that would be my judgement, so be open and see if it helps you too.

I've had to get my head around how I go about being a police officer. I have always been a high achieving productive individual and that's before the target culture of recent years. I pushed myself to near destruction to the detriment of my personal life and for what? I think what is happening in policing is unhelpful and gets away from what it's about. Policing should be about compassion and fairness things that are generally lacking in society today. Unfortunately especially on the front line people are driven from higher up to produce more and more, never having time to actually take a moment and think. All these performance departments get caught up in this madness too - when actually if we took a breath and became more open we'd see it was all crap. Policing is simple - just let us police as individuals - all these figures don't matter because they are lies anyway.

I have hopefully managed to break the cycle. I have seen the light and no longer have the desire to be at work all the time striving to be the best and competitive in the extreme. The financial rewards of doing that for years have enabled me to pay my clever daughter through university. No debt for her, paid for through me taking all overtime available over the years. You can call it performance related pay.

So it wasn't being a policeman that done for me I did it to myself, and all the negative stuff was I think just a reaction to job pressure. It would have been the same in whatever job I'd done as that's the way I'm wired up. I think the technical term is emotionally intelligent. I accept that label and all that's happened in my past including a difficult personal life. I'm still here so the past is irrelevant and the future an illusion, all that matters is now.

I'm back in the Zone and have learnt that one can make judgements and decisions in the right way. This needs to be done without automation where we as police officers often fall into the trap of labelling jobs. There is no such thing as just another domestic or just another call about problem kids. I approach things with a beginner's open mind and I've found that connection with my old self. I'm happier in my life and am now only a slightly stressed cop. When Ian Blair left the Met on his last day he said "You have good days and You have bad days". That really does sum up policing for me, in fact it can be applied to life itself. It's how you cope with things that matters.

In my new role I find myself dealing with countless officers suffering from stress in one form or another. Currently 25% of my people have got issues ranging from total Burnout to bereavement problems. I line manage over 20 so that's alot at one time. I'm best placed to deal with it having been there myself. When is somebody going to wake up and look at this within the police? I suspect the baseline data would be shocking if my team is replicated across the force area.

I'll pop into the usual places now and again just to be sociable but for now it's Goodbye. I don't intend to come back but you can never say never. Not had a video up for a while so enjoy ..... just a few more years then I can grow my hair like Kurt's again !!





11 comments:

Joe said...

Thanks for blogging! I've found it an incredibly interesting read, and have had much enjoyment out of it.

I hope that your daughter appreciates how hard your job is, and the hours that you put in to enable her to have the best possible chances in life!

I wish you the very best for the future, and hope that I'll see you popping up on the blogosphere at some point in the future as "Strangely Unstressed Cop", rather than becoming increasingly (and understandably) stressed!

Above all, have fun, enjoy life, and stay safe!

MTG said...

Many police bloggers are their own worst enemies; unwittingly declaring themselves coarse, foul mouthed, intolerant and bigoted.

I will remember your blog for the finer qualities of decency, forbearance and other gentlemanly conduct, SoC.

Merlin said...

This, IMHO, has been a sterling, thought-provoking & far from predictable blog. Like Joe says, Officer Stressed - here's hoping your "Chilled-out Cop" side comes out on top. All the best for the future.

Officer Dibble said...

SOC
Really saddened to hear this may be your last one.I have read and enjoyed all of your posts.Like yourself I look around me and wonder what the hell I can do to make things work....but I am just wasting my time.

Take up the baton again and post something in the future. I will look forward to it.

Blue Eyes said...

It's been an honour to read your stuff. Thank you for blogging. You have certainly opened my eyes to a huge raft of things.

The people you work with and for should be very grateful to have you!

All the best.

BE

Oi said...

Sorry to see you go.

NightJack said...

What everyone else said. I expect to see you popping up in comments every now and then.
Take care.

The World Weary Detective said...

I packed it in four years ago, swearing never to do it again. I made a life style choice which has worked out, and now I'm back.
Your blog is excellent, and I'd encourage you to think again. We need good thought provoking police blogs that don't conform to the macho us and them stereotypes!

Metcountymounty said...

I'm going to miss the blog SOC but totally understand your reasons for knocking it on the head! Being off team for the last two months has done more for my sanity than anything else I've tried over the last few years. I miss the job and some of my mates, and the buzz of turning up to god only knows what and having to deal with it.

Compared however to the ever increasing grief from on high aimed directly at response teams, seeing a drug dealers face at 0600 when you just obliterated his front door and stormed the flat in a couple of seconds (after he thought he was untouchable as team never had the resources to deal with him properly) and then again on finding his rather well hidden stash..... I'm glad I'm left.

Good luck mate.

The Brunette said...

For what its worth I enjoyed reading your blog.

Look after yourself and stay safe.

Stressed Out Cop said...

Thank You all for reading. Forgive me giving personal replies.

Joe

Thanks for that - I'll pop up elsewhere with the chilled view.

Melv

I have been the UK champion rudest policeman at times but have developed a cutting response style that brings me more pleasure .. it's all a stress thing in people .. more work please strategic guros. I hope IG lets you back .. you yanked his chain and you enjoyed it you naughty man !!

Merlin

I now understand those "born again Christians" ... As I am a perfectionist I'm happy to overcome it - Been treading water for years and can crack on with my creative side.

Dibs

I can make it work by just doing it my way and ignoring the diktats. I sat with my new Boss who was purring over the MDT stats of one of my cars and he points out that single patrol works.

This was until I pointed out my laziest PC was the driver and I knew that he'd picked up a motivated operator with my approval and they ploughed through the calls.

I cheated the system. His calls answered so he's happy - The centre think they're great by bringing in single patrol which they think we're doing to the letter, so they're happy. My people think they're being naughty so they're happy.

Just leave me to it with my people and we'll get the work done... don't worry how. Tis easy !!!!!!! army trained see.

Blue

They missed the most important P off the pledge lie. PEOPLE - look after the PCs and make their working conditions good and they in turn will look after the punters = public confidence

Oi

I'll still be around ... but concentrating on positives.

Richard (NJ)

I'm now where I want to be. The injury is still there but I embrace it. Mentally I'm good. Thank you for my first ever link .. I think you got this blog from the start.

WWD

This was always a stress blog. I just happen to be a policeman.

I could have really blown some whistles on high profile stuff .. but the restrictions on police blogging is against us.

I actually believe these blogs are good for the general public. We see the waste / poor management. Now we are bankrupt I actually think we can get back to core policing - old styles will return -I think we are even bringing back the old controller at my place .. Great news .. Lots of pain for community (yes you can take calls) / back room staff to come. The real jobs stay.

MCM

Been there done that. Once it becomes the norm you will look for other ways to get your buzz. This will involve you pushing yourself even more.

Build in the downtime. If you are where I think you are .. it's a good life. The beer club is a good thing.

Brunette

Very kind of you. Do you do Blonde?