Lot 48: what i am almost ready to talk about

November 9, 2016

what i am almost ready to talk about

aaaagghh, bleeggghh why am i talking about this. because i want to. but i don't.  i have issues with this and i have to work through them.  i don't want to talk about this.  but it is really important that i do.

i don't know what every one in the world thinks of 9-1-1 dispatchers.  i don't know if you think we are superheroes or normal people or if you the thought of dispatchers passes through your brain briefly and you think "there's no  way i could do that."  i don't know what you think.  but it seems that the consensus is that "i would/could never do that.  i wouldn't want that to be my job."  at least, that is what pretty much everyone said to me when i told them i was going to be a 9-1-1 dispatcher.

my first and foremost instinct in life is to protect people.  i really really wanted to be a dispatcher because i wanted to be a cop but couldn't because of health reasons, so i made a different plan for myself and decided to become a dispatcher.  i could still help and protect people without being a cop. it took me 4 months to get in and it was a terrible time of waiting, waiting, waiting to get into a few places i had applied.  i finally got in january of this year and started the next month.  the next two months were some of the awful of my life.

i was prepared to deal with terrible calls with women crying that their boyfriends were trying to kill them, that their children were missing, that their cars were stolen, etc.  that all happened.  and more.  i was prepared for that.  and i naively thought that was enough.  but it so, so wasn't.

there were so many factors that i never considered because how could i consider them?  i didn't know what i was getting into.

for one thing, i was a terrible dispatcher.  i could never hear the people on the phone.  they talked fast, i thought a b was a d when they spoke, i spelled things wrong, and i was perpetually terrified at all times.  think of the most stressful moment of your life.  the MOST stressful moment of your life and imagine living in that moment every. single. second. of your work day.  so stressful.  i took the job extremely serious and knew that i had the lives of police officers and civilians in my hands.  i took it so seriously, it prevented me from doing my job.  i was so nervous all the time.  i was perpetually frozen.  i couldn't hear people.  i didn't do things fast enough.  i was terrible.  and the worst part was that i wanted to be able to do it well and protect people but i couldn't.  i was ill equipped.  nobody studied harder than me.  i knew all the 10 codes, all our zones, everywhere we served.  i knew things people who had been there for years didn't know.  but it didn't matter.

when i started as a dispatcher, i planned being there for years and years.  i had big plans in the law enforcement field.  but i couldn't do it.  my 5th day, there was a horrible event that happened.  really, really terrible.  i was so upset about it.  i was thrown into this environment where we heard the SWAT team clearing houses looking for the suspect that held a woman hostage for days (i can say that because it was on the news) and i listened to the search happen on our radios all day.  my trainer didn't understand why i was upset.  she couldn't comprehend it.  people there were so incredibly desensitized.  this horrific thing that happened to this woman, it didn't even faze my trainer or anyone else on the floor.  i didn't realize that i had to be a robot to do my job.  but that is what i had to be.  a robot.  that job wasn't meant to be done by humans.  i thought i was a special being who could do it.  but the hours away from taran, working endless weekends, the office politics, the dehumanization of essentially human existence, it was too much for me to take.

all in all, it was a complete disaster.  i'm still glad that i did it because now i know that i am not meant for that life.  but i had to try.  i always envisioned my a protector and i had to try to live out that dream.  so at least i tried.

at least i tried.

thanks for indulging me with this story, with sharing this.  i needed this.

and this is a post that has been sitting in my drafts for a while so i'm linking up with alyssa again.


  1. Being a 9-1-1 dispatcher definitely has to be a very stressful job and yes, you have to basically desensitize yourself. I personally could never be one because I'm very sensitive and easily feel others' pain and I have a hearing problem where I can't hear well over the phone and when people talk quietly or too quickly. I do better when I can read the person's lips. But you never know until you try. I tried going to EMT school and dropped out very early on and then decided to go back the next year to see if I could do it/ want to do it again b/c I was in a better place in my life but I dropped out even sooner the 2nd time- I realized it was definitely not for me.


  2. I always thought that caring *so deeply* about the job you are doing is good thing! But I have recently discovered that it isn't really. Some jobs, you just can't. It makes it too difficult. It's amazing that you tried. I'm so sorry that it didn't work for you.

  3. I imagine being a dispatcher has to be so hard. You have to hear the raw emotions from people calling in. I can't imagine. It takes a certain someone. You tried which is amazing! You will have no regrets. Thank you for sharing a look inside.

  4. I wanted to be a 9-1-1 dispatcher. I applied and was invited to test for it, but they rejected me before I ever had an interview. I don't know why. No idea. But I think it was probably for the best. I have the ability to compartmentalize and turn off my emotions, but I don't think I want to do that for 40+ hours a week.

  5. I found your blog through a comment on The Daily Tay (she and Alyssa are two of my faves, too!) and I am SO glad I did. This is incredible, and if you think of yourself as some sort of negative-word because you had to leave, I ask that you please try not to. You are a hero for doing this at all. It takes a lot of love to care for people you don't even know. I think you are a hero no matter what.

    You have a new reader in me!


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