Bonus points to whoever knows the song that has the blog title in! Happened to be listening to it as I was thinking of a name!
As the title suggests, its been a long time to start my PC training. I'll start from the beginning. Some will be vague for a reason.
Ten years ago I was in a rut. In a job I hated (petrol station) about to start a uni course I wasn't interested in, but felt forced to apply for uni at college (radio production). I was at work and got talking to a police officer whilst their colleague was fuelling up. There job sounded amazing! The conversation was cut short as a job came in and they went off on blues.
Whilst at work I googled joining the police. Actually found this form (before it was Police Community) from that search. Annoying my local force had just stopped their most recent recruitment phase. No worries, they recruit a number of times a year.
In the meantime, I learnt about the Specials. I've always been a quiet person and wasn't sure if I was suited to policing. Was I fit enough? I grew up wanting to be a policeman officer (won't lie, Hot Fuzz has something to do with it!), but never thought I would do it. I figured by becoming a Special first, I could at least try before I buy as such.
Ten years ago today I found out that I had passed the papershift and was invited for a interview and some tests. I don't remember much about these, other than the interview was over really quickly. A few years ago a supervisor told me the scoring system for it (its changed now). It was scary how bad it was and how easy it was to pass! Not that I was complaining...I was joining as a Special!
I started my training in January 2010. The training wasn't brilliant, in fact it was rubbish. 13 days in total. One a week other than personal safety which was a full weekend. But I passed. My station choice was a mistake thinking back, but also a good thing. Thankfully things have changed massively now. It was seen by regulars as a place to get away without doing any work. They didn't want to be proactive. Their patrol would be from one nick to another for a cuppa. Annoying to say the least. Even more annoying as I don't drink tea or coffee!
Anyway, I moved stations. It wasn't as easy as just asking to move though. But that's a whole different story that ended with me resigning and coming back a few months later. My new station was brilliant. The regulars were amazing. Supportive and happy to see me. Felt like one of the team. My tutor was great. Saw what I was good at and what I needed to improve on quickly and helped me with all that.
I got signed off as independent and got a A to B car course. Traffic was my passion. I would take the laser out and go to any places members of the public had moaned about speeders. Would call up for any jobs that came in and deal with them as well. Call up for the rubbishy jobs to help out. Annoyingly my force didn't allow Specials to take statements from witnesses (I know!), so there was only so much I could do. We also couldn't interview. But, the squad were happy to help.
Around 2013 recruitment finally started again, although not in my force but another one. Seeing as I was with my girlfriend who lived in this force, and we had talked about moving in together it made sense to apply for them. Thankfully that didn't go any further than the papershift as we broke up in 2014!
I applied for my force again but failed the papershift. I was never any good at application forms!
2014 I moved to another department. Traffic. I loved it. The squad was amazing. I still did some shifts at my old station, but mainly with traffic. Crewed with the regulars and with other specials. Dealt with some cracking jobs (mobile phone stop ended with a PWITS and the person getting three years inside for his first ever offence!).
Once a year I seemed to get a phase of not enjoying it. I was doing a lot of hours (100+ a month). I had moved departments at my day job and was now a delivery driver. It was normally around Xmas this happened, when work became manic. Things were also stressful at home and my on/off relationship was now off fully (woo!).
2016 I applied again. Passed the papershift and had my assessment centre. Wow...I don't remember much of it, but when I got home I slept for 16 hours. I was sick twice during it as well. Unsurprisingly I failed. I wasn't upset though.
2017 I applied again. This time I had been giving extra time due to my dyslexia that had been diagnosed between the two. Failed again...but got the paperwork late so appealed. This was upheld. All this meant was another AC in six months time.
2018 was my third attempt. I had told myself that this would be my last attempt. I considered other careers, was looking at becoming a driving instructor. I had been given my response ticket in 2017, was loving my role and work was OK.
I passed! Not a great score, but I passed! I got my email whilst waiting to see a doctor about a injury from a car crash, so couldn't really jump up and down like I wanted to! Next stage was my interview...they didn't know when this would be.
I passed my AC in June/July time. September I emailed HR to see If they had any update. Didn't hear anything back (I had huge problems with HR during the process). December I still hadn't heard back. The MET had removed their requirement to be a resident there before applying so looked at transferring my AC result across. For family reasons I decided to withdraw this in mid January.
A week later I got a email saying my final interview would be a week and a day later. Result! Thankfully I had the day off. Annoying the day after I put my back out and couldn't walk! Three weeks off work in the end. But as I couldn't do anything but revise that's what I did!
Interview was so much better than the AC interview. I think it helped it was at my HQ compared to Ryton College of Policing HQ and knew my way around. The interviewers were great. Friendly, relaxing. I also had man flu. Everything was against me. My back was killing and every time I coughed I wanted to cry!
I found out there and then if I passed or not. Longest five minutes of my life waiting in the HR room. Thankfully just myself and some HR people. Small talk was awkward! Called back in, sat down and told I've passed. I was over the moon. Massive sigh of relief. Had to remind myself not to swear!
Next was medical and fitness with vetting in the background. Only thing I was slightly concerned about was my medical due to my back, and my vetting due to my dad who I have nothing to do with.
Medical passed. Fitness test passed. Vetting passed. Told I was given a start date of July, but would hear once my references had returned. Annoyingly my day job required me to sign some paperwork to say they can give my reference to the Police...but no one knew this! In the end a friend who is a Special and a manager at another store phoned my manager and asked him to email one across to HR that day (company policy is Head Office do references not managers at the store). Got my offer the next day! (This was made more stressful as I was buying a flat at the time and needed my offer of contract for the mortgage company to give me a mortgage!).
I have never been so happy. There is something nice about knowing you can quit your job you hate at any time! I lasted a week before I handed my notice in (only had a week to give), giving me two weeks off beforehand.
I'm now into week three of my training and loving it. Being a Special has helped massively. Some days are a bit boring (IT for example. My access got taken away and wont be given back until I do all the training again!). The class is great. We all get along really well. The trainers are fantastic. I'm struggling with the Monday to Friday bit though. Most my shifts were lates as well, so my 0600 alarm five days a week is a killer!
I've got no social life at the moment as I'm so tired. I'm doing two hours+ revision a night. But its the best thing I've done (other than meeting my girlfriend if she sees this!). It doesn't feel like I'm going to work. The saying 'if you find a job you love, you'll never work again' is true.
I'll do a post about what I've done so far later. I'll do it on a weekly case as its easier.