By Wyatt Earp | February 15, 2006
If you were wondering why posting was light (and inconsequential) yesterday, it had to with the burst blood vessels in my brain. Our division still does not have heat, and although it hit the fifties in Philly, the morning and early afternoon were brutally cold. On top of that, I was assigned to be the deskman yesterday; a position that usually causes seemingly normal people to go postal.
Throughout the department, the detective division deskman is widely accepted as the most obnoxious person in the building. They are always angry and short with the officers who drop off jobs, and are notorious for “eye rolls” at cops, victims, and offenders. Cops never really understand why this is so, because when a detective is assigned to be the deskman, he or she does not have to handle any jobs. Thus, most cops think that being the deskman is easy.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
In my division, the deskman takes and reads every report, and decides if a detective will handle it. Reading some officers’ reports is an exercise in futility, due to atrocious handwriting and grammar. If the report will be handled – and for the record, I have never refused a job – the report has to be entered into not one, but two computer systems; a redundant task at best. Once the report is entered – twice – the report is photocopied and given to the assigned detective.
Simple, right? Not always.
Yesterday, our division handled twenty-four jobs in a six-hour period . . . in the winter . . . after a blizzard. It takes time to enter and assign jobs, and when the division is averaging one job every fifteen minutes – not to mention the fact that the desk man has to answer the phones (all five lines), and talk with the walk-in complainants – it is easy to get backed up. And when I get backed up, I reach for the Metamucil. Then, I get unnerved. I quickly transformed from the nice, easy-going detective that gets along with everyone – yes, it’s true – into the guy who writes People I Hate every Friday. It was ugly.
So, I apologize for the half-hearted (and witted) posts yesterday. I just wasn’t in the mood.