Hello and welcome to episode 93 of Within the Trenches. I am back from the national NENA conference that was held at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver. It was an excellent week of networking, learning, presenting and podcasting. In this episode I got the chance to speak with Andrew, an instructor with Public Safety Training Consultants.
This is a very short and sweet episode that I hope you enjoy. I usually record a longer episode but Andrew was about to give a class at the conference. I am going to get a hold of him for a much longer episode in the future so stay tuned for that.
As always if you have any questions or would like to be a guest on the show, you can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Episode topics –
- How Andrew got into dispatching
- What it was like for him
- A brief overview of the class he was teaching
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Almost every day of my life has been good. Sure I’ve had some off days like everyone else but rarely have I had a bad day. Well, two days ago I had a bad day. It wasn’t just a bad day, it was a very bad day. So let’s go back a few days prior. On Tuesday I came home from Midland where I had been in training since Monday for work. I had taken my wife’s TomTom GPS to get there and back and if any of you have a GPS then you know there is something that pops up asking if you need to be at your destination by a certain time. Well, I decided to hit “no”. I wasn’t in a hurry and I knew the highway wasn’t far so I attached the GPS to the windshield and took off. I passed by familiar landmarks and started thinking about how long it was going to take for me to get home. I turned on the radio and drove on. After a few turns I began to notice that I was no where near the highway. Each turn and curve in the road led me deeper and deeper into the land of no where. I passed a few cities that time forgot and when I finally reached the highway the ramp was closed. I continued on and after hitting another closed ramp I finally hit the highway. It took about three hours to get home but it was all worth it when I finally saw my family.
Wednesday was a good day but the night was a bit different. I laid down around 11:30 p.m. after finishing up some homework. Lola, my eight month old daughter, was fussy and fighting her sleep. My wife and I let her cry it out. When I finally crashed it was probably 12:30 a.m. or 1. I had to be up early for work so I set my alarm for 4 a.m. or so I thought. When my alarm went off it was actually 3 a.m. I tried to go back to sleep but it didn’t happen. I got up, picked out my clothes and got ready. I took my time since I had to be in at six. That day I had to appear in court for a 9-1-1 call I took a while ago. Court is never fun. It takes forever and the majority of the time you don’t have to take the stand. You end up sitting there for a while and they let you go. If you’re not working that day, you can come out with a couple hours of overtime pay. It’s that easy! So when I finally left for work it was around 5 a.m. I turned the outside light on and walked outside. I stopped for a moment as I noticed that the dome light was on in my car. It looked as though my wife’s GPS was gone. I walked towards my car and the door was open. I looked inside and it was gone. My glove compartment had been emptied and the contents were thrown everywhere. My wallet was still in the console, thank god, and nothing was taken from it. I had to call for a police report since the GPS had been stolen and my bad day had begun.
My work day, however, was good but I had been called to be at court around 12:45 p.m. I had been told things were going fast and they would need me to take the stand around that time. I arrived and prepared. Court dragged on and around 2:30 p.m. I was brought down to a conference room across from the courtroom. There I sat with another witness until 4:30 p.m. At that time the other witness was brought in to testify. I was told that they were trying to get to me and to hang on. I was fine with it. I had no where else to be so I continued to read on my iPhone. Around 5:30 p.m. I got up to check and see if they had forgotten me. I looked into the first part of the courtroom and I could hear people talking so I went back to sit and wait. At about ten to six I got up again and checked. This time I went all the way into the courtroom only to find an empty room. Everyone had left for the day. I was pissed that I had been forgotten and not only were the rooms vacant but security was also gone. It wasn’t enough that someone had stolen my wife’s GPS from car, and it wasn’t enough that I had to tell ZPD that the one time I forget to lock my doors, is the one time it gets burglarized. Why is that bad you ask? Well for the sweet irony that I am a 911 dispatcher who tells people every day to lock their doors when they’re burglarized and I forget to do it myself. EGG ON MY FACE!
In the end I’m still a bit bitter about the whole day but everyone has to have at least one bad day right? It’s the bad days that help us appreciate the good ones. Yeah…I’ll stick to that train of thought for a while. I’ll try and look on the bright side but for the person who stole from my car? You’ll be caught soon enough. Had I caught you doing it, you would be walking funny because you would be missing a leg. Actually since you stole from me you would be missing your hands. That’s how it was done back in the day right? So…if you live in the Zeeland, MI area and you know someone who recently came across a TomTom GPS XL 340.s and no packaging, please turn them in. It might just be the one that was stolen from me. There won’t be a reward but if you count partaking in a thrashing as a reward then you’ll be rich beyond your wildest dreams. Yeah, I’m not bitter at all. I’m also not a violent person so have fun with the GPS. I’m glad that bad day is over and today was an excellent day! If anyone wants to know how that day felt you can view the video below. Cheers!
(Thanks Limp Bizkit for this awesome gem!)Post Views: 512
I’m sure everyone remembers their first car. Whether it was a piece of crap or something decent, the vehicle is remembered because it was our first and it got us from point A to point B. As for me my first car was a 1983 Z28 Camaro. Yep, you read that right, a 1983 Z28 Camaro. Now, my family didn’t have a lot of money but they bought this for me so that I would have something to drive. Oh yeah, did I mention I was 13 at the time? I know what you’re thinking, “This kid was spoiled”, but that wasn’t the case. The car was purchased from a relative and the car had been in an accident. One of the sides was smashed in and it needed some work so it wasn’t all that great but it was completely awesome to me. My parents told me that if I continued to get good grades that they would slowly fix it up for me. I hit the books and during that time I had big dreams for that car. I would wash it almost every day and I would blast the music in the driveway.
Once the car was fixed I would drive it around where I lived. It only took a year or so to fix it so I was not able to drive it to town or anything yet. Now, look back where I mentioned driving around where I lived and think about how long it took it fix it. Can you see me in the car driving around? If not I can paint a picture for you. Imagine a 14 year old and his younger sibling in a jet black Z28 Camaro with the T-Tops down driving on the property only. It makes me laugh when I think back on it. Nando, my brother, and I would get in and reverse and then pull forward over and over and over. We were the coolest…or at least we thought so. One time we brought our younger sisters with us down a back road behind our home and down toward some dunes that Michigan Fruit Canners owned. We thought we were so cool until the car turned off and I couldn’t get it to start. I remember we started freaking out because it was almost time for our parents to get out of work and all I could see was my father pulling into the driveway and seeing the car missing. Horns would sprout from his head and smoke would billow from his ears and nostrils. I kept turning it over and I started praying. When it finally turned over I hauled butt home. Thinking back on this incident I can only compare it to Ferris Bueller trying to race his family home. Once we arrived I put the car back where it was and we started to wash it because it got dirty. It was the perfect cover since I was always washing it and my parents were none the wiser…well until they read this. With everything that happened with this car, this was the beginning of the hijinks between myself and my Camaro.
I went through a lot during the time I drove my it and it was also taken away from me many times. The first that I can remember involves a speeding ticket. I had left work early because of a family emergency and a Saugatuck/Douglas officer pulled me over. I was going 45 in a 25 and I got a ticket. What’s funny about this is that I used to see and speak to this officer all the time when I worked at Lakeshore Convenience. He would come in to visit at night and he knew one of my co-workers so they would talk for a couple minutes before heading out. Then a year later he’s pulling me over and I had hoped that he was going to remember me and let me off with a warning but he struck me with a ticket. When I got home I had my ass handed to me. My car was taken away from me for almost a month. Later on I ended up working for Meijer. I had saved up enough money to buy myself an excellent sound system and I was throwing down Bass with the best of them. Sad thing is that my car was broken into and everything was stolen. I think it was Labor Day and I was going to give my friend Christina a ride home. When we got to the car we found the hatch shattered and everything was gone. No one saw it happen but they were out there long enough to unscrew every bracket I had. I was definitely crushed but thanks to them the insurance company paid for something I couldn’t afford on my own.
After my ticket it was more random moments that involved my car. It was taken away from me when I was caught for skipping class (see prev post), I was pulled over by three State troopers and hassled for fitting the description of a known drug dealer (see prev post), and I loved to race people. One race that pops into my head is a race between my friends, Christina, Angie, and I think Laura, and myself. We were headed straight for the church and we were both about to turn at 56th st (I think) just passed the railroad tracks at 118th avenue and there was a spot where a store used to be and I cut the corner to pass them up. It was a very stupid move because we could have collided but I squeaked by them and I won. It was a pretty good time but yeah…it could have gone a different way. Finally I remember a time when I was at a friends house and I crashed out there. I had lost track of time and I was awaken by a horrifying yell.
“Richie!! Get your ass out here!”
I remember the sweat building up on my body and I ran outside.
“Give me your keys.”
“Dad, I fell aslee…”
“Shut up and give me your keys!”
Imagine your worst nightmare in loud horrifying tones and words. That was my dad yelling at me that night.
“I told you not to be out late didn’t I?”
“I said, yes.”
He climbed into my car and peeled off. I was left to hear the first tongue lashing from my mom on the way home. It was bad and I lost my car privileges again. It went like that for years. I had some excellent times in that car and some that I can’t mention here but those who were there know how great they were. I really miss that car and I like to talk about my first speeding ticket at work since the officer who pulled me over is one that I speak to every day. When I brought this up to him he laughed and said he felt bad for writing me a ticket. It’s all good “TR”, we’re cool. In the end my car was stolen. It was stolen about a year ago by some drugged out meth head who I would gladly beat with his own arms but I’m not a violent person. I’m sure the suspect will simply burn their lips on a pipe that feeds their addiction. I’m content with that. I do wish I had that car though. I had planned on giving it to my first born but it’s gone. It makes me wonder what kind of hijinks my kids would have gotten into with my Camaro. Maybe it’s better that it’s gone. So what do you remember about your first car? Did you experience anything close to my stories?Post Views: 541