I've never written a blog and so I apologise in advance ... Thought it was about time I started blogging as I'm quite often told, I've always got something to say.
02/02/2016 - Here we go I may as well start the blog and share where i'm at at the moment.
My "special" journey began 15/18 months ago I suppose, I had heard word on the street that there was going to be a recruitment for regular officers as well as special constables coming up in my area and having been patiently waiting for an intake for about a year, my new dilemma was now which role I would apply for. Would I give up my current, happy career, go for a complete change in life and dedicate my life to the police service, which is what i've wanted to do my whole life. Or would I bide my time with my career, gain another years service (and add another year to my pension) and join as a special constable, to get my feet wet and see if it was indeed a job suited to me and also me suited to the job. And also most of all, to make sure the dream job I had imagined myself in my entire life, was not going to let me down by not living up to my own expectations.
My decision was basically made for me, there was no regular jobs coming up and so either it was apply for the special constable roles or wait. Sit it out and wait for that fulltime job coming up. I'm a very impatient person, and I didn't want to pass up the opportunity to get a taster of what I would be letting myself in for and so it seemed like a no brainer. I have many friends who are serving police officers and I told them my thoughts and was urged to get my application in as soon as I could, get that foot in the door. One officer in particular was an integral part in me taking that step and putting my application in, my inspiration to become the best i could possibly be, regardless of the role i was doing. And so the studying began!!!
The jobs went live November 2014. Special Constables for Scotland, several different locations available. And I got my head down, putting together the best application I could, I am a bit of a perfectionist and so it needed to be right. I had a month between the job being advertised, and the closing date, and I used every day of that month, writing up my application, perfecting my answers, learning my answers inside out and changing things I wasn't happy with. I finally submitted my application on 5th December 2014 and I was told it could take up to a month to have a reply. And so I had to wait.
... And wait some more!!!
January 2015 and I get that all important "PING" in my mailbox that I had been checking for multiple times a day for a month. My application was a success and i was invited to the assessment centre in Glasgow to hopefully further my dreams of joining the police. Now time to prepare all over again. I spoke to those friends who helped push me into applying and i got some assistance, some pointers and some truths ... all of which were essential in my preparation. I planned my interview, and the presentation i had to give, I learnt several vital things that i will take with me throughout my continued application and hopefully long career in the police. I ran through my presentation with friends, i changed what needed changed, i went to the gym, i got myself fit and prepared for the fitness test ... and pretty soon there was nothing else i could do to prepare and it was assessment centre day.
I was ill!! A really bad viral infection had knocked me for six, and left me with no voice and struggling to breathe!!! How the heck was i meant to do a fitness test like this? How was i meant to give a 10 minute verbal presentation when i could string two sentences together without struggling for breath or coughing up a lung. I started to freak out. I text my pal, told him i was freaking out i was ill, I was going to have to pull out of the assessment centre and hopefully reschedule, there was no way i was going to be able to go through with it. I was told, not as politely as this, to get a grip. To sit myself down, sort myself out, get my notes together and get my butt to that assessment centre and smash it out of the park. I knew he would tell me like it is and give me that much needed support and push in the right direction. So off i went after my lemsip and Benelyn with my notebook in hand.
I managed to cough and splutter my way through my interview section and my presentation. The maths test etc were the easiest part of the day and i would have happily done those for 6 hours than the interviews and the fitness test. The fitness test, well .... thankfully i had prepared for it let me put it that way. Had i not prepared then i don't think i would have managed it given the fact i struggled to breathe just talking. But i made it! i survived the day and it was all over. Now again, the waiting game!!!
Some waiting ... and more waiting ... and then a little bit of waiting!!!
"PING" ... there it was. THAT email again!! "We are delighted to say ....." I don't think i seen anything else, i was elated. I had done it!! Now the last part, the medical and the vetting. Easy stuff. The email says, medical would be 06/02/2015, a Friday, and i had to have my vetting paperwork etc completed by this date. Again easy ... right?!
Monday 02/02/2015 ... I had a horrible accident which left me in hospital. A badly fractured clavicle my injury, a borderline compound fracture that required an emergency operation in order to stabilise me and my arm. Everything i worked hard for and towards was ruined in a moment!! There was obviously no way i could sit my medical in this state, especially not in 4 days and so the day after my accident i had to phone and withdraw my attendance for my medical and possibly even my entire application as we weren't sure if i would ever be able to fully use my arm again until i had my operation. Recruitment were amazing!!! Gave me their full support and also said not to withdraw my application yet, see how my operation went and what time frames etc i was given by surgeons and then go from there. Should i not make this intake i would be put onto the next intake of specials or if regular came up i could apply, given i had recovered.
Fast forward a year! Well almost a year ... what a horrible year it was, full of operations and recoveries and set backs and impatience AND another break!!
30th December 2015 "PING" THAT email again ...given that i was fit and healthy and still interested then i would be put into the next intake!!! HELL YEAH!!! I owe it to myself and to everyone who supported me and most of all to that one special person who always believed in me and supported me when i wasn't supporting myself.
And so here we are, sitting waiting on another "PING" into my mailbox, telling me when my medical is and then it really is all systems go!!! Its been a helluva year/18 months ... one which i would happily never think about again ... But i suppose im a year older, I've had another year to mentally prepare, to learn even more, another year of life experience, and especially another year to think about whether this is definitely the job for me and if im ready for it!! AND I AM READY ......... Im sitting waiting here right now, looking at my phone every 10 minutes waiting on that "PING" that i know should be coming soon.
Monday 09/02/16 ..... I attended an open day/ workshop in Glasgow on Saturday, a workshop to help people prepare for the assessment centre and interviews as well as their application. Now I know I've already passed this stage, and so you may be wondering why I went along, many folk I met there on the day that I knew and knew my story asked the same thing, I even had an Inspector ask me why I was there. Truth is, I went to be nosy!!! I wanted to see the people who I would possibly be joining with and training with, I wanted to speak to serving officers and specials about current plans and how the job currently was, I wanted to see if I remembered what I learnt a year ago and take in anything new that I may have missed or forgotten. I also wanted to nab the recruitment team and have a personal face to face chat with them, its all good sending emails back and forth over the past year keeping them updated on my situation but face to face is more personal and it meant I could thank them in person for their help and support over the past year. It really did mean a lot to me to have these guys have my back.
The day was a success for everyone it seems, I learnt more than I already knew, got to speak to several members of current serving staff and most importantly I got to thank the recruitment staff who ive been pestering in emails for a year.
All in all a good day and I felt so much better and more positive and focused coming out of the workshop than I already was.
Just waiting on that "PING" in my inbox now with the vetting and reference forms, and hopefully a medical date shortly.
Monday 15/02/16 - "PING" .... "Please fully complete the attached Vetting Application form and reference form by 12pm Wednesday 17th February 2016!" ........... Here we go we are getting there slowly but surely.
Time to get form filling.
Hopefully not much longer before the medical is sorted and then its all systems go for sure.
Had my medical today ... 90 minutes of lots of paperwork and talking ... Pass all relevant parts with no hassle but had to go in with the doctor so he can have a look at my shoulder and decide if they need to speak to my GP or surgeon before I can be signed off ... He decides this is not necessary and passes me off as fit and healthy and good to go, HOWEVER has had to write about my shoulder on the form and that because I have a metal plate in it, I could be at higher risk than any others to have a re-fracture should I receive a direct heavy blow to my collarbone but not enough of a risk to even recommend restricted duties. BUT also that at the same time I have more stability than most because of the metal plate, so basically contradictory.
So it is all out of my hands now, just waiting on the vetting and the references coming back and my uniform fitting and that is me, good to go!!!
Here we go :D:D:D
Sorry to have babbled on a bit ... told you I had never written a blog before but i can certainly talk ... i hope you've enjoyed this "story" so far and hopefully ill be adding to this in the not so distant future updating my journey.
Any questions please ask away.