When it comes to my profession, there are many instances where I go without. I do not have a clean workstation, a printer with adequate ink, or hot and cold running female cops. That’s fine; I have come to expect as much.
What I do need is an adequate computer which runs a stable, effective data entry program.
My night work tour started Friday, and two hours in the computer system crashed. The front desk system is arguably the most important station in the building, because its purpose is to log the information from every report, crime, and arrest. That information can be seen department-wide, so if we say, have a shooting, the bosses can map the data adjust patrol patterns.
There is one detective in the entire division who is trusted to work the front desk system. No one else will be trained for reasons which I do not understand. The detective works during the day, Monday through Friday, so when the computer crashed on a weekend, the entire division grinds to a halt…
The detective was in yesterday and fixed one of the many bugs in this system. (You see, if you’re a computer genius, you get hired by Apple and Google. If you’re a computer novice, you get hired by a bankrupt police department. The person who designed this system knew there were fatal flaws in the system, and fixes would be costly and/or time consuming. But hey, at least he got paid.)
After three days of night work, my squad amassed forty-one jobs. I entered them into the backup system – which, ironically, is much more reliable than the main system – but the bosses demand they are reentered into the main hub. So, my first two hours Monday were spent reentering data which was already available.
You’ll never guess what happened just after the three-hour mark…
The system crashed.
A normal night work would have us see maybe twenty jobs in a tour. I had entered thirty-one jobs and still had ten more to add. These were the weekend jobs, not Monday’s current jobs which were also quickly piling on my desk.
And before you say, “Wyatt, you’re off Tuesday and Wednesday, so it’s not your problem.” Oh, but it is. First, it’s my job to get these jobs entered, so I want to be the one to do it. Second, my day-off replacements don’t care, and they’ll leave the jobs for me when I go back Thursday.
Look, I understand the city is broke, the department is broke, and the bosses stopped overtime altogether. Is it too much to ask for a computer program which is stable and not prone to dumps? At this point, I’d settle for a system that doesn’t crash two hours after the computer guru goes home for the day.