It has been quite a week! We began our new shift assignments tis past week; I am now on swing shift. It will certainly be better than graveyard! I admire the people who can do graveyard shift, I really do. Because I am not one of those people. I suppose I could do graveyard if I HAD to – if that was the only shift that was available to me, and I had to work that or my family would starve. But by choice? No. Way. Please.
So I am now swing shift, which still involves a couple of late night/early morning end-of-shifts for me. But it’s not nearly as much of a body-clock-changer as graveyard was for me. So I am pleased with that – because it certainly could have been worse. I (and my other 3 newbies) have no seniority, so we pretty much get the leftovers when it comes to the shifts we get assigned.
The only drawback to this past week was that I was not only starting a new shift at work, but also trying to help run a county fair at the same time. Yup, I am the beef superintendent at the local county fair, and our county fair was this past week. Stress much? Bring it on! :)
It actually went very well – thanks to a lot of prayer, and some pre-planning. And the fact that I have a great group of kids and parents in my 4H club, and in the beef section overall. But my days pretty much went like this for most of the week: in the barn at the fairgrounds by 6 a.m., morning exhibitor meeting at 8 a.m. then kids started showing their cattle around 9 a.m. or 10 a.m. (depending on the day), superintendent stuff right up until it was time to leave for work at 1:30 p.m., start work at 2 p.m. then either an 8 hour shift or 12 hour shift – so some days I was done around 10:30 p.m. (totally do-able) or 2:30 a.m. (ugh!). Then it would all start up again the next morning.
But I survived it! And the kids had a great time at the fair, from what I could tell. So we will do it all again next year. But next year – without the shift work that week. I have vowed that, when we bid for shifts and vacations for 2015 this coming October, I am bidding for fair week off FIRST THING! Work AND fair was fine once, but not something I want to do again. :)
Staying healthy is important as a dispatcher; not only do I hate to be sick, but if I have to call in sick that means they have to call in someone else to take my place. And our center is under-staffed enough as it is; no sense adding to that problem. So that’s why it’s important for me to do everything I can to stay healthy, and part of that is taking my vitamins every day.
These daily vitamins are full of anti-oxidants, etc. And they meet the requirements I have to keep my body going at it’s best. I try to stay healthy with exercising regularly and these give me the energy I need to do just that. Because I hate to exercise about as much as I hate to be sick. Staying motivated to exercise is difficult for me – its too easy to back out on my exercise plan if I feel like I have no energy.
Plus, they help to manage stress – something that all dispatchers battle every day.
Well, it’s been a long six months, but I have reached the point where I can now say:
I AM SOLO AS A CALL TAKER!
I have completed the in-house academy, the 2-weeks of training at DPSST, and the six months of one-on-one training on the phones. My training review was last Saturday, and I was told that I am now a solo call taker. No more DOR’s! :)
There is a little bit of apprehension with all this; without the safety net of a trainer, how will I do? I am now responsible for my actions and instructions on the phone. It’s all me, liability-wise. But as my trainer pointed out, fully-trained does not equal fully-experienced, and no one expects me to be fully-experienced at this point. I will have questions and I am allowed to ask them. I have all the “tools” that I need; it’s just a matter of getting proficient at using all of them.
For now, I am just basking in the congratulations of my co-workers and the sense of accomplishment that I have right now. :)
Dispatchers need energy. Period. They do, honest.
OK, we all need energy. Whatever line of work you are in, we all need some extra energy to make it through the day, able to do our best.
It can be exhausting to deal with other people’s crises for 8 – 12 hours per day. You need to be thinking clearly, and able to focus. Can’t do that when you’ve had a “sugar crash” and/or are groggy from lack of sleep or not eating right.
I need my energy fizz; I can really tell a difference when I haven’t had my “fizz” for the day. Some day’s (i.e. graveyard shift) are “2 fizz” days. I just mix this into 16 oz. of water in my water bottle. It has a small amount of caffeine, and the best part is the B vitamins it pumps into my system.
So much better for me than Red Bull or all the other “energy” drinks. I don’t get the “crash” that you have with other products. Just sustained energy, and no jitters. Just one products that make my job (and life) easier. :)