Good evening, lovely readers!
After the completion of my full second day of work (granted it’s only the introductory part) I feel better prepared to write about things. So allow me to explain where I fall in the grand scheme of things in government line…
The Cayman Islands are a British Overseas Territory and it is composed of three islands. Grand Cayman, which is where I work and live, Cayman Brac, and Little Cayman. The government is a parliamentary dependency under constitutional monarchy. The current Governor is Her Excellency Helen Kilpatrick. The Deputy Governor is Franz Manderson. The Chief Officer of the Ministry of Home Affairs, which is the “umbrella” over the Department of Public Safety Communications, is Eric Bush and I got the chance to meet him today. So far, he’s pretty much been the only person who didn’t look at me like I was insane when I told him I worked in Antarctica for a while. Under him is Deputy Chief Officer Wes Howell, whom I also met today. And the other DCO is Katherine Dinspel-Powell. I didn’t get to meet her. My Director, Mr. Brent Finster, falls right under Wes Howell.
*Other disciplines that fall under the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) are the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service (RCIPS), Department of Immigration, Her Majesty’s Prison Service, Her Majesty’s Fire Service, Department of Community Rehabilitation, Hazard Management Cayman Islands, and the Department of Computer Services
In the 911 center, we have a director, two assistant directors, Leslie “Lennox” Vernon and Julian Lewis. Lennox is over training and day to day operations of the 911 center and Julian is over the electronic monitoring system and CCTV access over the island. The next step down is comprised of four communication supervisors. Then there are 12 telecommunicators or dispatchers. Whichever we feel more comfortable being called. I’m either number 11 or 12. Not sure which one I technically am. But I’m at the bottom of the totem pole. I’m okay with this.
The first two days of work have entailed of getting familiar with the building in which we’re located and going over SOGs – Standard Operating Guidelines. Let me tell you. These people have it together. I can’t go into details about work stuff due to signing a non-disclosure agreement, but I can share the vision statement of the department with you all:
Vision – Provide the highest level of service possible which could be favorably compared with any public safety communications centre and electronic monitoring operation anywhere in the world.
Having read a fair number of the SOGs now, and having seen the training outline and being in the program… I can say that this place has high expectations for their employees. They set the bar high and they expect you to meet every one of there standards. They invest time into you with the attention to detail in training as well as getting to know you. However, not only do they have these high expectations and a strenuous training program, they want you to enjoy the job. When management comes in at the start of business hours, they come in and say hello to everyone and see if anything is needed. At the end of the day, they tell everyone goodnight and ask if they need to take care of anything before it is time to go. They’re willing to come out and work the consoles if needed.
Not only is the management an absolute dream, the people working there have been so amazingly nice. I posted it on my Facebook page, but I know not all of my readers are on my Facebook, one of them has not only offered to rent a room of her apartment to me for a while, she’s also offered to let me rent her car for a few months. Another co-worker has offered to take me around on one of her days off to help me set up my bank account and complete other errands. She’s also getting people together to meet Candy, my new co-worker who started with me, and I Friday night. We’ve been given advice on what areas are good to rent places to stay (as well as warned what areas to avoid), we’ve been told the best place to locate automobiles when it is time to obtain our own if we choose. They haven’t been completely sugary sweet though, there has been some good natured picking at each other which helps me feel more at home.
The department is comprised of about 50% Caymanian people and 50% outsiders and I am not the only one from Georgia! My fellow southerner, much like myself, has little to no southern accent but loves the Braves (no matter how craptastic they play). We have a few ladies from Jamaica, a few from Canada, one from the Turks and Caicos, and I’m not sure where the rest are from because I haven’t met them yet.
So, that’s a bit about my work. And will probably be the only thing about work that I actually write about. I don’t want to get in trouble because now that I’ve actually driven some, I think I’ll manage to survive here.