The 5 Must Haves for a Happy Dispatcher

While it is entirely possible to get through a shift without the list below, they definitely make work life more enjoyable and as we all know, "if your dispatcher ain't happy, ain't nobody happy!!"

5.  Your own, well fitting, personal headset. I've heard of some comm centers sharing headsets, which is unfathomable to me - especially if you have ever taken a close look at your earpiece. Mine usually has makeup caked on it and needs a good cleaning from time to time. Personally, the one I like best is the one that hangs over the ear, with the little flap that covers your ear and can be flipped closer in or all the way out.

4. The perfect pen! Now, even though I use the word "pen" in the singular sense, I actually have to have two on hand usually. Why is that, you may ask. Well, I'm a colorful gal, especially when it comes to pink so my favorite pen is a PaperMate ballpoint pen with pink ink! I also have a purple one, depending on my mood. The only issue with this is that I also keep a pen with black ink on hand as we notarize documents and affidavits for our officers. I'd venture to say that the powers that be would not appreciate a legal document notarized with hot pink ink ;)

3. If there is one thing that can make a dispatcher happy, it's coffee! There might be a few rebels out there that refuse to conform to the dispatcher drink of choice, but for the most part, the easiest way to get on your dispatcher's good side is to bring them coffee! Which leads us into a very important item for every happy dispatcher - the perfect coffee mug, filled with coffee of course. We are lucky enough to have a Keurig at my comm center, so I can bring my own K-Cups, but I know there are plenty of my cohorts out there that drink crappy coffee because it's potent and provided.

2. As a dispatcher, we spend a LOT of time sitting on our backsides. It's not laziness - it's the job. Some of us are lucky enough to have consoles that can be adjusted to stand or sit, but many, many comm centers do not have that luxury. Which brings us to the ultra-important sitting device - the chair! Our center has replaced a couple at a time, which means we have a variety of different chairs in the center, and we each have our favorites. Personally, I prefer the one with a little more cushion and wide enough that I can fold one leg underneath my derriere and be comfy. Some prefer the adjustable armrests and lumbar support. What I do know is that it seems like no one chair fits all preferences. And what really sucks is when you are working with others who prefer the same chair you do and you're stuck in the wrong chair.

1. Even if you have all of the aforementioned luxuries (or necessities), if you work with jerks, it all means nothing. Awesome coworkers are a must! Granted, we all have certain coworkers we like less than others - I might even venture there are some that dread going to work when they know they'll be working with certain others. But for the few annoying and obnoxious coworkers I've had in my career, I've been super blessed to have had some incredibly awesome ones, too! Especially in our field, you're only as good as your weakest link - which means if I have a crappy call-taker, I look like an idiot on the main PD channel when I don't have any of the information I should have to dispatch a call. It's the most awesome feeling when you have coworkers that work together and have your back before you ever have to ask.

What are some of your must haves for a great shift?


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