A new year dawns - and how can I tell?
Still at the rank where a Public Holiday (note the capital letters - very important) means double time payment from 7 o'clock.
Grim-on-th't-moor divisional HQ has been like the Marie Celeste all day, and the car park has been strangely empty.
And new crime numbers - starting from a shiny new '1' and no doubt heading for a six figure one come the end of 2009 - and Grim-on-th't-moor has had the honour of recording the first crime of 2009. Yay!
Apart from that, same stuff, different day, apart from the detritus of another night of shouting, drinking, fighting, and breaking stuff. God bless 'em, our 'service users' - or are they 'clients' now - or are they 'customers'. They did terribly well, filling Grim-on-th't-moor custody, and then the overspill, and heading off to the neighbouring division, to fill up cells with inebriated revellers. How many made new years resolutions this morning? The answer is certainly not enough.
At least for me, this festive period has meant a lucky combination of time off and overtime... not bad when the vagaries of shift patterns and clamours for time off, and our 'support departments' (that is the departments that front line officers support by the flow of emails, files, reports, updates and the like...) all being off on their jolly hols mean that for a lot of bobbies, Christmas and the new year are dismal. Imagine having to go in to work while the rest of the world is on a break, having to deal with more domestic disputes and relationship-related misery than normal, and having to work a little harder as either budgets means less staff on those expensive public holidays - or else all those annual leave forms were approved, and there's just you and the station cat for the next 10 hours.
This year, not working 24/7 shifts, and having missed out on the usual seasonal stupidity - can't grumble.