An Inspector Calls
No, this Inspector Frost works for the Greater Manchester Police, isn’t named Jack and was calling to let me know about my job. For some months now we have all been toiling away under the looming shadow of government cuts and inevitable job losses, hovering above us as… OPTIMUS! It’s an unfortunate choice of name for the review, since as a result I now have a very negative view of an entirely innocent heroic Autobot leader who is, at least as far as I’m aware, nothing at all to do with the chopping and changing throughout the force.
Mine is a civilian post with GMP, which means that I can be made redundant. Every day is spent trawling through job applications and criminal records to ensure that anyone applying to work with children or vulnerable adults is suitable to do so and not hiding anything awful in their past. It’s given me a rather jaded view of taxi drivers and thrown up some genuinely shocking incidents, but I’m very well aware that I’m not on the front line dealing with the horrors face-to-face.
I still need to eat, though, and to pay the mortgage, so the news that my position was “at risk” was a hard blow and has been sitting heavily over Christmas, breathing down my neck like a sinister asthmatic parrot. In a quite typical example of my exemplary timing I was off work today, just as the announcement was due regarding how many jobs would go and who was first for the chop, so the first part of the morning was spent waiting nervously for the ‘phone to ring with news. I’m always nervous if I expect a ‘phone call anyway – absolutely hate the bloody things, to be truthful – so there was the very real possibility of my day off being utterly wrecked by anticipatory dread, but Inspector Frost did call and the news, for me at least, was good: my job is safe, for the moment.
The full details are waiting for me at the office, so I don’t know who is leaving, how many people opted for voluntary redundancy and who, if anyone, is fighting over a position, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I am immensely relieved, even though I know that this is only the first round of cuts and my role may well vanish entirely in the next.
So The Lovely Emma and I went out for tapas and a cold glass of lager and had an entirely lovely lunch, without the fear of nervous indigestion. Sometimes a few words from a policeman can really brighten your day.