By Wyatt Earp | December 31, 2005
“We’ve got a detective down! A detective down!”
Today was the biggest day of my career: the first day at work as a detective. The sun was shining. The birds were singing. I was putting on a pink shirt . . . um, I mean a “manly, light red” shirt. Everything was peachy keen.
Then, I got to work.
In the grand scheme things, something as simple as access to the police computer system doesn’t seem so necessary . . . until you don’t have it. The department – in its infinite wisdom – revokes your sign-on when you get promoted. You then have to re-apply for it after you get to your new assignment. Unreal. Since God hates me, my sign-on is still revoked. Swell.
Since I couldn’t access the computers, my sergeant told me to be the “Desk Man” today. The desk man is a detective division’s version of the Grim Reaper – he assigns jobs to the detectives in the squad, whether they want them or not. When a desk man approaches, most want to run away screaming. As Wagonsux pointed out, this person is usually the most miserable in the room because no one likes getting bad news (read: new jobs) and every time you turn around, there is another cop with a report in his hand – waiting for you. I had to enter every job into the computer system (I got access from a co-worker) and doled them out to the detectives.
Right off the bat, we get a bank robbery. Thus, two detectives had to take the scene, and since the FBI was going to get involved, they wouldn’t be available for anything else today. The detectives left were in my graduating class. It was the first day for most of us. By the end of the shift, every detective had at least five jobs on their desk; I had a serious stress headache, and serious doubts as to how I am going to make it here.
Tomorrow is another day, but now my co-workers have a day’s experience on me. The desk man doesn’t get assigned jobs. And I was stressed out without the added pressure of investigations! Looks like tomorrow will be another “first day.”