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moxter

suitable for the chronically disorganised?

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Hello folks

I hesitate somewhat before posting this as it's a little painful/embarrassing so bear with me, and please excuse the "me me me" nature of it.

I'd like to get people's thoughts on how suitable the police is for someone who is, frankly, chronically disorganised, hugely lazy and needs to be micromanaged or closely supervised - relative to other careers.

A little background - I'm in my early 30s and after falling to pieces during my degree 10 years ago I've coasted along in a few professional jobs. I can talk a good talk but frankly can't walk the walk and am utterly hopeless in a situation where I'm given a medium- or long-term project to get on with unsupervised. Give me a task which is likely to take a few weeks and it just won't be done (or done badly). It's not that I'm stupid (I'm fortunate to be extremely bright actually, I've just wasted it), and it's not that I can't be bothered with tasks, I just hit a brick wall in starting them. I suspect there's some form of underlying depression but can't be sure and that's another question entirely.

Having been in the specials for several years I do think that policing is the one thing that I'm actually pretty good at - and generally have the respect of colleagues. I'm not particularly cut out for confrontational, proactive work but I'm not hopeless, and my written work (statements/reports/etc) is extremely good. Joining full time is something that I didn't want to do, but I'm coming round to the idea again. It would be good to get an idea from some regular officers:

1. Is the police somewhere you can "hide"? Or do you find yourself being scrutinised on a daily basis?

2. How regularly is your work checked? How often do you have one-to-one catchups with your supervisors to look at your work returns?

3. How often are there tasks which are assigned to you which might take several weeks/months of work? I'm thinking proactive neighbourhood work here which probably has some long-term projects?

4. What about CID? (The route I would definitely want to take asap, but I suspect has more unsupervised work?)

5. What are your thoughts on policing as a career for someone who is well-intentioned, but hopelessly lazy and frankly needs strict discipline in order to achieve anything?

BE grateful for any thoughts - thanks in advance.

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Sounds like you should have gone into the military mate, they'd have organised you!

But I agree, without trying to be mean at all, you are not suited for Full Time Policing.

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I agree with the above... full time policing isn't for you, I think you'd end up getting stuck on a lot and getting on the wrong side of your supervisors, possibly not passing your probation.

In answer to your questions:-

1. You can hide in policing, but there is also regular scrutiny of what you're doing, what you've done and what you're planning to do. You'll get a bad reputation if you are lazy both with your colleagues and supervisors, who will not trust you or ask you to do more interesting jobs or projects, thus making career development/progression much harder.

2. Your work is constantly checked to a certain extent and people can see what you're doing, but nobody talks about it in terms of 1:1 a regular basis... for example, if you arrest someone and pass the job onto CID, they will review what you've done in order for them to understand it and make their plan of action. If it's a load of rubbish, they'll be getting in touch with your Sgt who won't be pleased. Then CID won't want to take anything off you in future. You'll get a bad reputation if your crime reports, arrest notes, intel checks, etc aren't thorough and properly done. You also have to tell the control room how you've resulted your job and if they don't agree with it, more arguments. Basically, supervisors want people who work, take calls, deal with their jobs and just get on with stuff. They don't want hassling constantly about stuff you should be doing or have done correctly.

3. Depends what team you're on. A 999 response team is very short term, going from call to call. CID is very long term, managing and investigating cases, but that falls to you to plan and manage effectively.

4. CID is all about long term, working independently, motivating yourself. Definitely not for you.

5. Join the military.

I would also add, that being a Special is VERY different to being a regular officer.

If you're a good special, please don't leave.... we need good, experienced Specials!

Edited by policey_man
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1. You can hide in policing, but there is also regular scrutiny of what you're doing, what you've done and what you're planning to do. You'll get a bad reputation if you are lazy both with your colleagues and supervisors, who will not trust you or ask you to do more interesting jobs or projects, thus making career development/progression much harder.

Thanks for this. To clarify, I hope I didn't give the wrong impression, I'm not considering joining full time in order to be able to hide away and get away with doing nothing - quite the reverse in fact.

I think what appeals to me is the way that so many things do have to be updated constantly (CADs, CRISs, etc) so everything can be done in bite sized chunks, and there are defined expected actions in any given situation. I take the point about CID potentially being unsuitable doe to the timescales and independent nature of the work.

Good stuff above, any other opinions welcome.

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Perhaps you're being hard on yourself and you're actually not that dis-organised. If you were a complete shambles then I'm sure you'd not have got as far as you have done.

Maybe speak with someone like a line manager or HR and ask if they can organise an anonymous 360 review of you. You may be pleasantly surprised that your colleagues think of you more highly than you think of yourself in some of the aspects that you've mentioned.

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