Remind me never to volunteer to work New Year's Eve.
I'm pretty sure I say that every January 1st, or the 2nd when I finally wake up and am functioning like a normal human being.
New Years Eve in and of itself wasn't all that bad, busy but it was exactly what I expected it too be, an evening of excess and its aftermath. No, the real problem these days is that after long night's work, I want a long day's sleep and that is never in the cards. Traditionally most companies make January 1st a Holiday, a day for watching parades and football.
Citywide is not a normal company. They can't afford to be.
January 1st of any given year is the traditional day of renumbering and this January 1st was just like any other. Well, not exactly. Today is the day I went from M7-1 to CW1.
The whole renumbering process makes it easier to keep track of rank and order and keep the organization well... organized. Once everyone gets used to their new numbers, it really works, but there's usually a two week period where the units call in and have to correct themselves. That too is one of those changes that forever remains the same.
I ran into Ray on the way in and he gave me a long suffering look. "You hear we're getting a new chief?" He asked me.
I could tell from his tone of voice he wasn't looking forward to breaking in a new 'boss' but I wasn't sure if he knew the rest and was just teasing me or he was truly in the dark...
"Give 'em a chance," I mumbled. "They may work out..."
"The day a pencil pushing accountant can hack this job and do it justice is the day I go to fisherman's wharf and pig out on crabs. The look he gave me said it all. It was saying that the folks in Seattle could do Maryland Blue Crab justice... and no one but one of us could hack the Chief's spot.
We filed into the briefing room. The Paramedics, EMT's, Motor and Air medics, Fire and Rescue... I sat with Ray until the meeting was about to start and excused myself. Judging by the look on his face when I took over as the New Chief, he really was surprised.
We went out for crabs after the meeting. Not a bad start to the day, but after about 20 Dungeness, I was really missing my good old Maryland 'Blue's.
I don't know if this is a good thing or not, but it seems Ray's nick-name for me is no longer 'Trouble' or 'T'.
I showed up for work as Ray was walking out. He greeted me with a single nod and a cheerful, "Pencil-Pusher."
Now, I was expecting his usual greeting and it really didn't even register at first. By the time it had he was well out of range but I could still see his shoulders shaking. To be fair, the day was pretty much spent pushing papers, filling out paperwork and reviewing reports but it was also spent reviewing my staff and their qualifications.
The administrative side of Citywide seemed to be made up of two classes - people who'd trained for administration and people who'd come up through the ranks. There were a few administrators who had actually gone back and started training 'to give themselves a better idea of what they were managing', but what really bothered me was the number of people who'd come up through the ranks and let their certifications lapse.
I'm not exactly sure how I'm going to do it, but that has got to change. You cannot manage a job you don't understand, and the job changes, sometimes every day. I'm sometimes amazed by how much it has changed since I first came to Seattle.
I refuse to fall behind.
Copyright 2010 M.T. Decker