If you are looking for Glamour, Gadgets and Grissom you won't find them here. Forget what you think you know about 'Forensics', these are the tales of one man and his brush. Of course these views do not represent the views of any Police Force or indeed reflect any Force Policies ya da ya.
Wednesday, 5 March 2008
The other weekend the photocopier nearest our office had broken down (again!), so I found myself in the unfamiliar area of the 'Command Suite' using the 'never-fails-due-to being-underworked' all singing all dancing colour (gasp!) photocopier. It was eerily quiet down there during a weekend, not a soul walks by and I sense no life beyond the closed doors adorned with name-plaques and important titles.
Then I notice something I have never seen before, the trophy cabinet shining like a beacon of success in the corner of the corridor, shiny trinkets fight for space on it's laden glass shelves and I think 'Wow what a successful station we are, what have we won?, Force Football Titles?, Cricket Success?, National Police sport trophies?, Hockey?, Netball?, what?' I start to feel a sense of pride well up inside of me and I edge closer to the cabinet to get a glimpse of the etched wording on the surface of such reflective souvenirs that represent local greatness, my mind wonders to the lavish ceremonies where such relics are handed out and I wonder why I have never been invited (on Overtime of course) to photograph such events.
Then I find my answer, these trophies do not represent great sporting achievements at all, there are no gold medals from the Police Olympics, there isn't even one for the egg and spoon race. Instead the trophies and plaques read 'Best Call Handling Operations Centre August 07', 'Best Detection Rates June 2006', ' Best performing station Sept-Dec '07'. There was even a certificate for our Office! - 'Best Performing Police Staff Dept 2007' (tied with Personnel and Admin) it goes on to list the criteria this is based on - Receiving Phone calls, answering and clearing voicemails, attendance!! I could just imagine my acceptance speech ' I would like to thank the phones for making annoying sounds when some one is ringing, without which all of this could not be possible, I would like to thank my colleagues for doing the same and for turning up everyday.........'
When did we start rewarding mediocrity? What is point of receiving such adulation for turning up and doing what you are paid to do. These awards took no effort at all to gain other than doing the job you are asked and indeed paid to do! Why don't we actually concentrate on rewarding hard work that goes beyond our contracts of employment? What is there to inspire you to do better or work harder when coasting along brings such rewards. Now it's nice to have your work noticed and be thanked for it, but handing out trophies for menial day to day tasks doesn't help anyone and highlights the absence of good line supervision and management.
Right I'm off to polish my 'Makes a nice cup of tea' plaque.