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.

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Friday, June 18, 2010

Persons with Clipboards

Sitting at my desk yesterday basking in the legitimacy of my previously borrowed sergeant stripes, I suddenly became aware of a looming shadow. A bespectacled figure, clutching a clipboard, was scanning my office. As my mouth opened to ask him what he wanted, he muttered the words:

"Six filing cabinets, three computers, one officer..." and in a tone of absolute horror, "AND one printer!"

I laid both hands on Sergeant1 protectively and tried to look like at least two or three officers.

Clipboard Man moved off down the corridor and I radioed up all my officers to get them back inside to make the report writing room look occupied.

"And you say this purchase will replace at least four printers... marvellous!"

In these days of budgetary constraint, an
ything that isn't being used 100% of the time is liable to get cut. Even if that does mean seven different departments printing everything off on the main photocopier in the broom cupboard down the hall where the cleaning lady can therefore read the contents of my complaint investigation into PC Knowles...

Not to mention the absolute nightmare that ensues when that one printer explodes through over-use. I never did understand how removing printers is supposed to save money. Perhaps they think we print off these reams of papers for fun, and if we have to walk down the corridor to get them we won't bother. Trust me when I say the printers in use by Blandshire Constabulary would not be worth more than a fiver on Ebay.

The Government's made clear that The Budget will hit all of us. Apart from the NHS, of course, which is allowed as many printers as it wants. The police will be expected to cut down on sickness, overtime, and unnecessary departments, whilst still ring-fencing neighbourhood officers, attending every report of anything that has upset anybody, and of course concentrating all our efforts on our policing priorities of all crimes that make our books look bad.

I've yet to hear a convincing argument of how these cuts are NOT going to affect front-line services. Anyone?

'Diary of an On-Call Girl' is available in some bookstores and online.


Anonymous IanVisits said...

I worked at a company once consolidated into just one building and wanted to work out how many printers (etc) were needed for the new staff, and decided that a large office floor could survive on two printers next to each other.

Our manager calculated how many staff would use the printers, how often, and the average amount of time spent walking to the printer to get the results.

The amount of time spent walking between desk/printer was shown to cost vastly more in wages wasted than putting in four new printers at suitable points across the office floor.

We won.

18 June, 2010 08:34

Anonymous weepeecee said...

We have TWO printers. One of them is broken though.

18 June, 2010 16:43

Anonymous Anonymous said...

," clutching a clipboard, "
brings back sweet memories, My Sarg Maj,I with pencil and paper on clip board, he doth say to me "Private wot ye be doin'"
I reply " Procrasting Sir"
He dothe reply " good carry On"
and I did.

18 June, 2010 20:07

Anonymous Anonymous said...

cameroooooony's fault

19 June, 2010 08:43

Anonymous Not Officially at risk, until July 2010 said...

We had two men come into the office where seven of us worked. With clipboard. They asked questions like, "What do you do here, could we do it with less people, do we need to continue that activity, how does it affect the front line, what would happen if we lost this office?"

The Middle Office Revue Team decided we could do without the people so in a radical shakeup, we will end up with just the boss, (Inspector), One grade 4 Civ and one civ officer grade.(They may go to different offices in their altered roles). The department as a unit will no longer exist after the Unison team decide if what is happening is ok. But HR have rewritten the rules to make it 'ok'.

I await, with others, our letters advising us we are no longer required.

Beware 'Middle Office Revue' Teams, Specially if you work in Diversity or Communities or similar. Man with clipboard = Antichrist.

19 June, 2010 10:18

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Our Chief Super has a brand new BMW paid for by the job, the Super has a similar LR Discovery.

The public have a right to know.

19 June, 2010 10:56

Blogger TonyF said...

Who pays for the man and clip board?

19 June, 2010 17:45

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have an old hp laserjet in my office at university. It's mine, brought from home (so is the toner and paper), i'm fed up with wandering around trying to find a department printer that is connected to the network, working and has paper in it. Estates have tried to 'reallocate' my printer twice now and I have had a complete stranger try to walk off with it claiming it was his.

19 June, 2010 23:45

Anonymous Anonymous said...


For real??

Our SMT don't even get a parking space.

20 June, 2010 17:59

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been amazed at what users can do to break printers, sure any idiot in it can remove printers but it all goes pear shaped when that one printer dies for a couple of days.

A good printer to user benchmark is four heavy users to one printer.

outsourcing or nu labours pfi is another problem - i was once in an nhs hospital and a man with trolley walked past and had a trolley full of premium brand new hp laser colour cartridges.

The problem is that supplier does well, but since we can buy ahem cheaper ink is that pfi deal a real money saver?

20 June, 2010 18:25

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just make a trip to headquarters next set of nights, find an (unoccupied cos its not daylight hours) office and liberate said printer. possession is nine tenths....

22 June, 2010 22:01

Anonymous Paul UK said...

Cheer up, it could be worse. I have just returned from Peru where one of the things we had to do was file a police report for my friends stolen mobile phone. In the police office there they only had one dot matrix printer which they had to use carbon paper to get the duplicate copy and change the lead around amongst the computers to use the printer. Nice report though, lots of impressive stamps and countersigned by the supervisor.

23 June, 2010 15:10


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