This is the official blog of ex-Sgt Ellie Bloggs. I was a real live police constable then sergeant for twelve years, on the real live front line of England. I'm now a real live non-police person. All the facts I recount are true, and are not secrets. If they don't want me blogging about it, they shouldn't do it. PS If you don't pay tax, you don't (or didn't) pay my salary.

(All proceeds from Google Ads will be donated to the Police Roll of Honour Trust)

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Overtime Survey - results.

You can read the results of my overtime survey here.

As I suspected, with its customary efficiency some police officers who want overtime aren't allowed it, and those who don't want it have to do it.

It's the story of my life.

But I have the solution. I am going to HAVE A BABY. No, this is not an announcement that I am pregnant, nor that I even have a bloke (sigh). For some reason men aren't attracted to women who work 65 hour weeks and spend the remaining 50 waking hours sitting in front of a computer. Anyway... it struck me that when a WOMAN POLICE OFFICER returns to work after having a BABY, she is allowed to do what she wants.

I long for the day when I can swan up at nine o'clock having called to say that my poor little tot has a temperature, dash off home at twelve to sort out a car-seat-emergency, come back in for a few hours and then knock off feeling "tired". When I start to build up my hours (if I can be bothered to do so at all), I won't really feel like working lates, so I'll find a nursery that closes at four. Then I'll ask to work solely early shifts with the exception of bank holidays, when I would like whichever shift will mean running into overtime, and when I am fully fit and ready to milk them for all they are worth, I will claim that I can't afford to do the job any more unless they let me work extra hours here there and everywhere.

What a joy to have a BABY.

I should temper my sarcasm by saying I am not having a go at women who have babies, just policewomen who have babies.

I support the police in their discriminatory tactics, but I do think they run the risk of encouraging non-baby-producing officers, like myself or MALES, into thinking that we too should be allowed to work flexible hours. It is ridiculous to suppose that a right-thinking man would want to work different hours simply in order to see his spouse, child or golfing partner (no euphemism intended). Just because the more pathetic of us can't handle spending days apart from our loved ones, living in perpetual exhaustion and being spammed with overtime on the one night per month we actually have planned something sociable, doesn't mean the management should give in to our moaning.

The best solution is to just fob us off into some department or other where we will never touch any real crime again. That way we can work whatever hours we choose and as our work is meaningless, it won't be a problem.

I should add, the only reason police forces pander to the needs of mothers is because they HAVE TO.

Copyright of PC Bloggs.


Anonymous justacop said...

Ooh, contentious. You are going to open a can of worms with this one. As a serving officer, with a wife also serving and a family it can be done without alienating the rest of your colleagues.

What officers need to realise is that you must not assume the job has to bend over backwards for you. We both work shifts, opposite of each other, and cover the gaps with paid childcare. We don't have much of a social life 'together' as we have different rest days mostly. I see others, like you, who expect that every little whim should be catered for. They spoil it for the majority and cause the perceptions you mention. The job can accomodate to a certain extent without this 'them and us' scenario.

Yes there are still times when I am late off and cannot pick the kids up on time. There are times when I must finish on time and someone else has had to do the overtime.

Yes it has been difficult but now the kids are getting older its getting easier. My famiy comes first but by the same token I knew I was part of a disciplined service and the difficulty that would create if we had a family.

Part time working is relatively new and there is a place for it within the service. It is important to retain skills, especially from older more experienced officers, the ones that have chosen to have families usually.

02 September, 2006 10:41

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Flexible or part time working hours and protected duties(non public contact)posts are here to stay.
What I am surprised at is the fact that as far as I am aware no force has gone to the goverment and said "these changes mean we have lost the equivilent of x% of our force. Can you increase our establishment by a similiar amount and fund recruitment of the extra officers".

02 September, 2006 18:14

Anonymous Anonymous said...

One would think that if a person is intelligent enough to be a Police officer, they are also intelligent enough to know about contraception, unless (and this is purely conjecture), the officer deliberately chose to become pregnant KNOWING that this would give her the opportunity of claiming a shedload of money from an organisation which depends on the 24 hour availability of it's staff. Current employment legislation favours the plaintiff and this very clever, if amoral, female now longer has to work again. The taxpayer has paid for her children's future and she can now sit back, satisfied that her job is done. There used to be a term for women who used their body for financial gain - what was it now?
Mother of 3 and working shifts.

02 September, 2006 21:14

Anonymous ranter said...

In the 80's my then wife and I worked opposite shifts and made things work just like 'justacop' and his comments are spot on. It used to get really stressful, especially when you couldn't get off on time. But we just got on with it as we had a job to do as well - it was how things were. These days it just seems to get worse, so whilst laws, rules. regulations can be adapted for people working office hours, no account is made for other occupations including the police and armed services. There should be some clause in the initial contract between the organisation and the employee, BUT this in unenforcable in todays world, and especially with HUMAN RIGHTS & EQUALITY LAWS. I remember the articles a few years ago about the probationer at a District Training Centre who was pregnant, allowed to continue the programme, a break for the birth, and allowed to resume so many months later! I bet that got used on a few senior officers CV's!!! The stance by many women's networks and representative groups also adds to this, see recent BAWP awards and the MET's 'Dancing on the Glass ceiling' & 'Dancing Partners' seminars (mind boggling). Abuses such as the one used to illustrate this chaos mean that supervisors are also involved in such peoples family lives, the child, its care etc becomes their problem too (haven't they enough to do?). Plus they don't need the grief if a Michelle Chew starts moaning - they acquiesce anyway. The great shame is that the vast majority of women who just get on with it and don't take the p*** are labelled the same as this individual. There was a simialr case from Herts not so long ago too - another big 100K+ payout there too. Great blog by the way!

03 September, 2006 08:05

Anonymous Anonymous said...

A friend of mine was married to a WPC they had a child and shortly afterwards the wife ran off with another officer leaving John (not real name) holding the baby.

The Job went out of its way to make things as difficult as possible for John. Had to stick with his rostered shifts, wasn't allowed to take time off etc. etc.

Fortunately his Mum, the ex wifes mum and colleagues rallied round to help out and they survived.

The person responsible for this intransigent attitude? A Chief Inspector whose new girlfriend was the ex-wife.

03 September, 2006 11:23

Anonymous Anonymous said...

With such a cracking sense of humour, I can't believe there isn't a Mr PC Blogs around.

Someone relieve her frustrations - it's only honourable.

04 September, 2006 23:52

Blogger Phill said...

Maybe it's just bad reporting (and feel free to correct me if it is) but the Michelle Chew case reads like the police force's lawyer doesn't know how to do their job.

The claim is supposedly to do with sexual descrimination but if that's correct then surely there isn't a case to hear?

She wasn't 'descriminated' against on grounds of sex as it was her parental responsibilities that were the issue, not her gender. As you repeatedly point out in your own truly sarcastic way, men are often parents too.

What's more there doesn't even seem to be a case of descrimination as the problem seemed to be that she was treated the same as everyone else and expected to work shifts. That isn't descrimination.

In fact she wanted the force to actively descriminate against everyone else in her favour. I know that this is something you (and everyone else on this comments page) frequently rant about but it annoys me that a supposedly qualified legal professional can't argue what someone with little legal knowledge can.

I'm sure the defense lawyer in question still got paid for their valuable contribution to legal precedent.

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