A great entry level job.
Pros: study time, pychology of people, and great places to work from
Cons: no overtime (or vary rarely and read fine print), ignorant people, obstanence, and inflexablities in all aspects of things.
Typical day for a site dispatcher.
1) arrive 15 minutes early for insanity while you overview the previous shift and sign in.
2) 1 hour 45 minutes covering short comings in previous shifts, scheduling problems with staff, and listening to complaints from tenants, co-workers, supervisor, and security staff.
3) Dependent on the previous time block you could spend anywhere from an hour to 8 hours dealing with issues arisen.
4) System checks; usually take about 15 minutes for experienced personnel, unless there are work projects than it could take up to 2 hours.
5) Cleaning the office for an hour. – more... Other shifts were obviously not very tidy.
6) Recording everything said on the radio, recording and dispatching for contractors and cleaning staff, recording and controlling emergency systems and building equipment, recording any video of interest, and monitoring all sensors in sky rise for issues to be recorded and dealt with prior to building opening. (For 12 hours)
7) Receiving and investigating complaints about security staff. Taking action when necessary. (about 15 minutes to 4 hours)
8) Staffing for holes in security teams while they occur. (0 minutes to 6 hours)
9) Reading all Incidents, updating when required. (1 hour)
10) filing (15 minutes to 6 hours)
11) Dealing with at least on problem per shift. Emergency response, theft, something other. (2 hours)
12) prep for 15 minutes of crazy for relief shift (1 hour)
What I learned;
I learned what to be flexible and deal with customer problems efficiently. I learned that I was needed in the role I was in. I learned how to recognize and develop people in the roles they needed to preform. Lastly I learned I would have rather been more active than I was but, still in a lead role.
In management you are taught it is better to wait and see rather than take active steps to reduce chances for bad things to occur. It has to do with budgeting. Risk management is not seen as of any import to most companies except as an afterthought. This is why they are assigned the smallest budget to work from. It also is associated with Health and safety but, somehow seen as a different thing entirely (marketing). It was disappointing how seeing how the machine runs and not people ensuring my hands stay tied. Even more disappointing was being told, "don't rock the boat". Sad thing to tell someone taught to report thing they see that is wrong or could be improved.
Good people but, fit in three worker types. The first is the star. A star knows everything they need to do and what you need to do to help. Hey preform well but, seldom allow help from outside because they set the bar higher than the industry has. They are very hard to keep happy and even harder to satisfy. They commonly have problems with all other types of workers and are comfortable were they are at work. They all claim they want to continue in the field or improve themselves in new fields. Most of them achieve that if they don't stay in the industry long. Like themselves, they seek improvement of everyone else, but are unwilling to assist in that because of worker type two.
Type 2 worker is the reason movies, TV, and every other type of media sees Security as dumb, not willing to work, and foolish. They don't care about work at all but, pretend to. Often they show up late, don't do the job, and don't listen or respond to concerns. Worst of all the scoff at any evidence you accumulate and don't take you seriously until you threaten to fire them. When that occurs they break down in front of others to ensure no actions can be done. Most of these people don't understand even basic instruction, making them impossible to work with. Unfortunately at least 1 to half of the crew fits in this category. After long exposure to these people cycling in and out of the revolving hiring door, you make a type 3 from a type 1.
Type 3 is a type one with no motivation to do more than what is required at best. At worst they see how the Type two's can get away with murder at work and decide that some or all of these traits make sense to incorporate into work habits. Unlike Type 2 they are reasonable and will do the bare minimum to keep employment. They scoff at anyone who still feels they can make a difference. Sometimes they even make it into a pool to bet on or a game to see how long a Type 1 will last.
The hardest part of this job
It has to be marketing and people management. Most would say conflict resolution or enforcement but, I found in most cases in the security industry balancing what you are allowed to do, with how training is supposed to look like when finished made us look more and more like idiots. It was more than a full time job dealing with Type 2 and 3 workers add the Management attitude, and up hill budgeting opportunities and you have the wall from The Hero of Haarlem the difference is the wall constantly has new holes to fill and always more developing. I always felt I could not ever do enough but I keep trying because I'm not the type to give in or give up.
Most enjoyable part of the job.
It has to be the time to learn. I read thousands of publications, studied from text books of interest in many fields far outside security. The things I am most interested in are civil engineering, architecture, rocket science, and medicine. I'm sure I could preform a few basic task in those fields if I wanted, but it would not be legal for me to do so. I don't claim any certification in any of those fields and i obey the laws that guide them because I'm a security geek.
I also enjoyed meeting professionals from all walks of life. Each time I learned a little bit of what it's like to live in their lives and what they think of unimportant things in my perception. i.e. light timing programing; hint the light switch over rides this 100 percent of the time.
I digress, thank you for the opportunity to chat on my most experience field, Risk Management. I hope it was enlightening for those who never get to experience it from the inside. – less