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Enter John Child's WORLD!!

all in the day of a HATO

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Our forums regularly see the latest rumours, fears and worries of the H.A guys and gals who hit the UK's motorways each and every day.


Tricky – Friday 30.3.07
[text blocked] means that words which occurred in the interview have been withheld in the security interests either of the individual speaking, or the national traffic site itself, please do not ask for these words to be revealed as more than likely you will receive no reply at all or a curt reply telling you what to do

[interrupting] the person speaking now, talked over the one before

[laughing] chortling sniggering or cackling are all included in the broad term ‘laughing’

falkor: hello there is that Tricky?

Tricky: hello falkor

falkor: [laughing] how are you? select to view Tricky's profile

Tricky: I’m fine, how are you?

falkor: I’m not too bad – are you phoning from a long way off?

Tricky: I don’t know, where are you?

Tricky: [text blocked]

falkor: Oh my god that’s a long way from me, I think that’s about 100 miles away

Tricky: oh that’s not very far

falkor: no that’s true, just didn’t recognise your number that’s all, completely foreign

Tricky: [laughing]

falkor: so do you fancy Major Incident Training?

Tricky: Yes. I personally think that they have all these scenarios to deal with, like in the Dartford Tunnel and other places like that – the job we do now – we get involved with all the closures and everything and they’re still doing all this incident training, but not involving us

falkor: just been talking to Don actually about the Dartford Tunnel Traffic Officers – have you seen them in action?

Tricky: yes

falkor: is it the Dartford Tunnel Police?

Tricky: at the minute, it’s what they call the Dartford River Crossing Police yes

falkor: I thought it was y’know - that’s what I said to Don – he wouldn’t have it though, he said it was Traffic Officers!

Tricky: not at the minute

falkor: he’s absolutely determined that it’s traffic officers

Tricky: apparently there’s quite a bit of animosity between the Dartford River Crossing Police and the Traffic Officers

falkor: oh you’re joking! Really?

Tricky: yeah, the problem is, I’m led to believe, I don’t know how true it is, but the crossing is going to lose the contract, the Highways are taking it back and that those at the Dartford outstation, will be policing the crossing

falkor: so it will be traffic officers

Tricky: eventually I’m led to believe yeah

falkor: because at the moment they’ve got blue lights haven’t they?

Tricky: yes

falkor: how are they going to carry on with blue lights then?

Tricky: ah! Who knows

falkor: actually they are permitted under Regulations, so they might just write it into the Regs

Tricky: I suppose they could do

falkor: not sure on that

Tricky: no

falkor: but going back to the major incident training you should have it

Tricky: I think we should

falkor: I do too – I mean what are we talking about? 1 day in a year?

Tricky: something like that yeah

falkor: at the most 2 days

Tricky: If you look at outstations like Heston and places like that, they’ve got major airports on their doorstep, what happens if a plane comes down on the motorway?

falkor: exactly! I don’t think that you can argue it, you do need major incident training – you would be involved on a major incident. I find it unreal to think that some people are trying to turn a blind eye to that argument

Tricky: down at Stansted now you’ve got the M11 and the A120 dual carriageway by the side of it and there’s a major junction there now. I used to work as a taxi driver out there years ago and that’s when the 747 came down

falkor: oh my god

Tricky: and the traffic chaos that ensued from that! I watched a blue light coming from London got stuck on the M11 – I timed him and it took him over 40 minutes to get round that junction

falkor: cor jesus

Tricky: because there was no traffic management then. Police had just closed all the roads, traffic had nowhere to go!

falkor: and this is where Traffic Officers will now assist

Tricky: yeah if they say “this area is shutting down” then hand it over to the RCC and we deal with outside of it

falkor: I like it, sounds good to me. Now over to another subject close to your heart Tricky …..

Tricky: yes

falkor: Jacket Potatoes

Tricky: I love ‘em

falkor: You love ‘em don’t you

Tricky: I do

falkor: Do you know what, I went down to my local “R BAR” the other day for a Jacket Potato, Baked Beans, coffee £5.20

Tricky: cor dear me!

falkor: including the side salad

Tricky: yeah?

falkor: yeah I mean I love the old Jacket Potato and B/Beans

Tricky: We’ve got a local lass who comes down our High St over the weekend to the market, she’s got a stall up there. Jacket Potato …. you can have anything from chillies, curries, b/beans, cheese, corn salads, you name it, it can go on it

falkor: how much?

Tricky: £3.50 a hit

falkor: that is good

Tricky: yeah

falkor: have you had the curry one?

Tricky: no I’m led to believe that it’s a bit on the warm side

falkor: [laughing] yeah I can’t take that – too much heat

Tricky: yeah I like to actually taste the food and within a couple of mouthfuls of that, the taste is just gone, so I don’t see the point

falkor: that’s a point, well I’m a Chinese man myself, 'take away Chinese,' I love all that

Tricky: I love Thai, my wife got me a Thai cook book for Christmas and I’ve started working my way through it

falkor: I’ve got to admit I’m useless on cooking, not my field at all that

Tricky: I do most of it in our house – my wife works full time as well you see

falkor: blimey you have got your hands full then

Tricky: I’ve always loved cooking anyway, but when the eldest was born, she usually ended up feeding him, which left nobody to do the cooking - so one had to get off one’s fat lazy bum and once I started, got quite fond of it

falkor: oh my goodness so what’s your favourite that you like doing then?

Tricky: One of the ones I like doing, is on one of those George Foreman grills, it’s sweet chilli chicken, the book I’ve got is called “Street Food.” It’s all these vendors out in Thailand, they’ve got the basic ingredients and they just whop it into their woks on the skewers and that and ten minutes later, it’s all done for you

falkor: what’s the most amount of people that you’ve actually cooked for then?

Tricky: ummmm at the minute I would say probably 12

falkor: that is enormous! Twelve!!

Tricky: yeah

falkor: where did you do that?

Tricky: oh that was over at my parents years ago, for Christmas lunch.

falkor: wow and you did all that?

Tricky: I did have some help from my mother

falkor: I’ll tell you what, what a hero!

Tricky: [laughing]

falkor: I’ve never done anything like that, I’ll put my hands up

Tricky: Well I don’t see any difference between cooking for twelve and two, apart from the quantities

falkor: that must have been 2 or 3 Turkeys mustn’t it?

Tricky: no just one large one

falkor: for 12 people?

Tricky: yeah

falkor: how did you do it?

Tricky: I carved it thinly

falkor: ahhhhh I wouldn’t have believed that would go round

Tricky: well it was an 18 pounder and if it was any bigger than that, I would have had to have cut it in half to actually get it in the oven

falkor: yeah it’s grief when you’ve got to start doing all that

Tricky: I must admit that it being just the missus and the family now, we just get a ‘Turkey Crown’ now – we don’t bother with the whole bird

falkor: do you know what, I don’t actually know what that means

Tricky: well you know the white breast meat

falkor: Yeah

Tricky: well you come down either side of the ribs – you cut a whole lot of that off, that’s called the “crown”

falkor: that sounds good to me, never heard of it though

Tricky: yeah a lot of them have turkey stuffing inside

falkor: do you know what, you’re making me wish it was Christmas right now [laughing]

Tricky: [laughing]

falkor: but steering it back onto nationalTraffic A > B > C

Tricky: Accuracy Brevity and Clarity

falkor: yeah – you’re the one who quoted it! So what are your thoughts on the messages coming over the radio? Are they in accordance with that?

Tricky: a lot of them no and it’s not just Traffic Officers, a lot of it is RCC staff

falkor: they like the sound of their own voice don’t they?

Tricky: yeah

falkor: are they doing all this “goodbyeing business” and stuff?

Tricky: yes

falkor: yeah I’ve got to see both sides of the coin there, because in one way, they’re trying to build up a bit of rapport, but on the other side of the coin, it’s not complying with A > B > C is it?

Tricky: no

falkor: I don’t know what to say really

Tricky: the shift I normally work with at RCC are not too bad – I mean they’ll say “good morning” “good afternoon” “good evening” but that’s as far as it goes

falkor: yeah I think that’s right

Tricky: you don’t need to go in for “and thanks for all your help” and all the rest of it

falkor: no you don’t need that more than once do you?

Tricky: no. When I first started, the existing crews took me down to the RCC and introduced me to our shift on nights

falkor: good idea

Tricky: so we know the faces, we know the people – we still regularly go down there on nights

falkor: I am so much of a supporter of that – that should be done more often

Tricky: I think everybody should do it at least 2 or 3 times a year

falkor: yeah I think that’s so good, because otherwise you can start getting an “us and them” situation

Tricky: and apart from anything else you get to know the people you’re working with, they get to know you

falkor: yeah it’s a two way thing

Tricky: and I must admit if I ask for something, I tend not to get an argument about it, it just happens

falkor: brilliant! Well you can’t say better than that can you?

Tricky: there has been a couple of discussions, but on the whole, I’ve never had a problem, if I asked for a certain signal to be set, it’s not ‘why?’ but ‘how soon?’

falkor: oh well, I’m glad to hear you say that

Tricky: yeah I quite like the RCC people. I think one of the advantages of where we are, is a distinct lack of cameras, so they have to trust us. So since we’ve been down there and introduced ourselves, they’ve got to know us a bit

falkor: yeah

Tricky: but the trust exists, it makes it a lot easier I think for everybody

falkor: too true, but moving onto the …. Badges for £2.50

Tricky: I’ll have one

falkor: what are they, muttley badges are they?

Tricky: yeah

falkor: oh it’s all about Muttley is it?

Tricky: I think so

falkor: because I saw your post and I thought “what is going to be on the badge?”

Tricky: well I’m assuming Muttley in the hi-vis

falkor: ah right, it would be nice to see a picture of it wouldn’t it?

Tricky: apparently TW’s got a picture of a link for a store on e-bay

falkor: I see

Tricky: so just waiting for him to send it across and we shall have a look

falkor: I was just talking to him actually about half an hour ago

Comment on this interview! Have your say on what falkor and Tricky were talking about : just click here

Tricky: yeah?

falkor: yeah we were talking about that particular thing as well

Tricky: I think it’s a good idea

falkor: Because Don was saying that there is a slight problem with sending the badge to the recipient, because it’s all that business about security again

Tricky: yeah

falkor: because if you know enough about a person to send them something …. But don’t you think it’s absolutely horrendous, with the way we’re going on with this on the site, “oh my god I’m worried about if they find out it’s me” isn’t it terrible?

Tricky: yeah

falkor: it’s horrific really

Tricky: yeah I mean if they find out who I am, I’ll deal with it as and when, but personally I can’t see how they can tell you to shut up, if you’ve never slated management off. If all you’ve set down is decent constructive comments, nothing vindictive or nasty, I think they should spend more time reading it and paying attention to what’s being put down

falkor: well I don’t agree with members who make ‘vindictive’ or ‘anti’ comments against any supervisors or management, but quite honestly if they DID, even then what have they got to say to them about it? Why are they so poxy sensitive??

Tricky: at the end of the day, what’s the difference between us communicating on those forums and me and you meeting up down the pub and having a chat?

falkor: ah, there’s a lot of difference, I’m afraid you’ve lost out on that one Tricky. The difference is that anybody on the internet can read it – that’s their whole flippin gripe! They wouldn’t care about somebody else meeting up down the pub, because no one else is party to that information – their whole gripe is “oh other people are reading this” and they think you’re representing the HA. I don’t go along with it at all and as far as I’m concerned that’s their excuse

Tricky: I can’t really see that myself – if you just read the website, you can see that it’s just a group of Traffic Officers from different regions and how they do their job

falkor: yeah but sooner or later there is going to be a topic where all hell breaks loose – there’s some anti feeling coming out – I mean that’s what happens on forums

Tricky: yeah

falkor: Sooner or later somebody comes on – it could be an existing member, it could be a stranger, it could be a new member, sooner or later there is an almighty great punch up and there are no moderators around, quite possibly that is when members of the public are reading it and this is the whole thing, but this is what happens on forums and I tell you what, sometimes …. if it doesn’t happen, it does tend to get a bit bloody boring really y’know [laughing]

Tricky: I think we’ve certainly got enough topics at the minute to keep us going, without us getting too bored

falkor: oh yeah I know but UKpoliceonline has just been invaded by 70 football hooligans, who have put loads of spam on, obscene topics and stuff and I got warned about it – told y’know this is what’s happened on UKpoliceonline and I thought, “I bet they’re loving it! I bet they’re absolutely loving it” I mean how long does it take to delete a topic? Not long

Tricky: no

falkor: but the furore it causes it’s like a flippin tidal wave coming through

Tricky: all it takes is someone from “TheSun” or something to be on the site reading when it all starts and it’s in the national press the following day

falkor: hmmmm yeah, but moving on to the assessment centre – do you think it’s tough to get in as a HATO?

Tricky: I can only look at it from my point of view, which was a civil service transfer

falkor: Transfer?

Tricky: Yeah I went through the whole assessment centre thing, but I did have one advantage which was an existing line manager’s referral, which I think carries an awful lot of weight, but I am curious as to whether as far as the assessor’s concerned … I mean it was a whole new ball game … how do they work out the criteria of people they require? I know there’s a wide spectrum of people but some people should have got in and they didn’t and some people did get in and shouldn’t have got in

falkor: [laughing]

Tricky: but that’s the same in any job, but I’m just curious as to who their ideal traffic officer was. I mean they would have had a role model that it was all based on

falkor: but it is beyond dispute that they have got hundreds of people queuing for just a dozen jobs

Tricky: yes

falkor: that’s happening all the time

Tricky: yes. I think I was quite lucky A) as I was an existing civil servant and B) the outstation that I work at, they acquired quite a few staff at the same time

falkor: nice one

Tricky: and I was just there at the right time as far as I was concerned, but they’ve had more than enough time, to look at all the people that they’ve recruited – learnt lessons from it and fined tuned their assessing

falkor: well you would have thought so

Tricky: but whether they fine tune it in the right direction or not remains to be seen

falkor: did you speak any French on your interview?

Tricky: no

falkor: because you’ve been speaking French on the forum!

Tricky: oh I know I do

falkor: do you speak French then?

Tricky: only pigeon English French

falkor: you’re enthusiastic on the froggies aren’t you?

Tricky: I’ve been to France on holiday once. We’ve had a French market come down to our local town a couple of times and that was really good, a whole different ball game as far as fast food is concerned

falkor: is it expensive?

Tricky: not overly so no, they were here a couple of months ago and you could pick up 12 bottles of wine for £15 which wasn’t too bad

falkor: that sounds excellent actually

Tricky: didn’t taste too bad either

falkor: nice one, you’re a bit of a wine connoisseur

Tricky: not really no I prefer the beer myself. I do my own home brew, I regularly keep a supply of that churning away

falkor: crikey you are a food and wine man you are

Tricky: yes I know – if you look on my profile it says “Interests: Many and varied, but mostly food and beer”

falkor: I think your missus is a very lucky lady y’know

Tricky: oh I know she is

falkor: too right, now let’s go onto the Yahoo spammers … ‘$10million are coming your way’ and I seem to be getting quite a few of these coming through on my email now

Tricky: I haven’t had one yet

falkor: what I’m noticing now is that if I’m getting any spam through, I quickly check who it’s from and if it’s anybody from Yahoo, I’m straight onto the abuse desk because they actually follow it through. I think what they’re doing is, they’re shutting these Yahoo email accounts down

Tricky: yeah

falkor: with a bit of luck

Tricky: yeah

falkor: which is better than what others do, which is just sit there and do nothing

Tricky: I did have one come through, but that was as a result of advertising a car on auto trader – I had someone try and do the old “we’ll deposit X amount in your bank account and we’ll come and collect the car and you can pay us the change” and all the rest of it

falkor: Oh they did that one on you did they?

Tricky: that was a Yahoo one. I sent that one off to Yahoo

falkor: nice one

Tricky: Obviously I didn’t hear anything for a little while – 2 weeks later he sent me another email from a completely different mail provider and he said “I can’t understand why I can’t get into my Yahoo account.” I thought ‘I’m not bloody surprised it’s obviously been closed down!’

falkor: because what they do is they overpay you by a £1000 or something don’t they and then say, “Oh what a terrible mistake, can I have the balance?” don’t they?

Tricky: yes

falkor: and meantime it’s all bounced anyway, I tell you what it’s a cruel world nowadays

Tricky: it is, but if you go with the philosophy ‘You get nothing for nothing’ if they’re coming at you with that one, then run away from it

falkor: I quite agree

Tricky: at the end of the day, nobody’s going to give you £1000 for nothing

falkor: and I was reading about your PS2 experience on the “SSX TRICKY” game

Tricky: [laughing]

falkor: that’s an old game now!

Tricky: I know but it’s a favourite of my son’s, he loves it to bits

falkor: even now?

Tricky: yes

falkor: that is a fabulous game and I just love the music on it

Tricky: I think that’s what makes you stick with it

falkor: you’ve seen him in action have you?

Tricky: yeah we’ve played pairs on it before and he just whitewashes me, he really does

falkor: I tell you what, that is one of the classic PS2 games. What else has he got?

Tricky: Stars Wars, the phantom menace game, he’s got Star Wars Lego that’s a good one, he’s got a couple of racing games but at the minute he’s heavily into Dr Who

falkor: oh I can’t stand that new Dr Who, I’m sorry

Tricky: [laughing]

falkor: I love the old ones like Patrick Troughton, Jon Pertwee but the new one I can’t even watch it, how about you? Don’t you mind it?

Tricky: I don’t mind it too much actually. It’s a step away from the original format, it’s certainly brought Dr Who up to date

falkor: They’re hyping it all the time. Aren’t they? I mean it’s always on the front page of the Radio Times that bloody thing

Tricky: I know, well they’ve spent so much money on it now, they need the viewing figures

falkor: but the people who are featuring in it are forever changing

falkor: every month they seem to get a new crew in

Tricky: I must admit it would be nice if they could do a few programmes with the same Dr in

falkor: who was the first new one? Quite a way back, he was quite a well known actor

Tricky: I can’t remember what his name was now

falkor: and he just did one series and said “oh no I don’t want to get typecast “I’m off” That for me was it – I thought oh that’s it, that definitely did it for me. He started off with Billie Piper – that was the bloke. He could have stuck around with her for a bit – that would’ve been nice

Tricky: well she’s still around

falkor: not as Dr Who?

Tricky: no she did 2 series

falkor: is she still the assistant?

Tricky: the last I saw she was yeah, a bit of consistency there anyway

falkor: true

Tricky: it’s my missus I feel sorry for

falkor: why?

Tricky: well she’s got addicted to LOST

falkor: [interrupting] ahhhhhh I love LOST

Tricky: well I got half way through the first series and because of shift patterns and everything else I missed a few episodes

falkor: ah that’s baaaad

Tricky: and LOST is completely the right word, I’ve got no idea [laughing]

falkor: no you’ve got to see each episode and the only way to do that, is to buy the DVD box set, which is what I did

Tricky: we got box set 1 for Christmas

falkor: it’s like a movie then

Tricky: and got boxset 2 for her birthday

falkor: that is so good

falkor: but on those box sets you get all kind of additions

Tricky: yeah

falkor: and you can also put the commentary on as well, I tell you what I’m absolutely addicted to it – I really am, but I’ve been cut off from LOST now, because the cable firm won’t pay SKY ONE, so I just said “well ok forget it.” I thought it’s not the ideal way to watch it anyway to be quite honest, but I do love it

Tricky: my wife’s quite lucky because one of her colleagues she works with, her Dad’s got SKY and he records it all onto DVD

falkor: oh he’s not the only one

Tricky: and lends them all to my missus select to view Tricky's profile

falkor: they’re all doing it, very nice too

Tricky: and she watches it in between episodes of neighbours

falkor: [laughing] well it’s been very nice chatting to you, thanks for phoning

Tricky: that’s alright

falkor: I think we’re all done – thanks very much

Tricky: thank you falkor

falkor: yeah see you back on the site

Tricky: yeah will do

falkor: bye

Tricky: bye

interviews 2007: summary information
#sitememberinterview date GO TO includes
1national Traffic Race Track27.3.07 V I E W  ever pressed the emergency button?
risk of litigation on RRBs
12½% shift allowance or 20% shift allowance
PITO | the site before NT
national-PCSOs early days
2national-PCSOs alihowe27.3.07 V I E W  dogs and cats | street wardens | 3 litre Capri | Granada 2.8 Ghia
Lotus as a summer project
judo for PCSOs
going over to the dark side
heavy confrontation | actually doing crime reports
3national-PCSOs GlynB27.3.07 V I E W  UNISON PCSO working group
Drum and Bugle Corps | South Yorkshire Police Band
PCSOs can go onto age 65? | membership of UNISON
Met Police's PCSOs are gradually replacing Station Officers
lower pay for PCSOs? | zig zag lines
PCSOs being issued with batons etc
4national Traffic mondeoman28.3.07 V I E W  Gist logistics | Prospect, union
Police ride ons
verbal abuse in the course of your duties
the site before NT | we’ll be traffic police
get rid of all the PCSOs
5national Traffic Tricky30.3.07 V I E W  Major Incident Training
Dartford River Crossing Police
cooking | Accuracy Brevity and Clarity
Muttley in the hi-vis
French | spam | Dr Who
6national Traffic pongolad30.3.07 V I E W  caravans | legless on the motorway
United Nations
tropical fish
7national Traffic Keokeo31.3.07 V I E W  the problem of passwords and usernames
firefox V IE | subMerged
H.A. model of Toyota Landcruiser
Silverstone grand prix | night security
maglite | driving instructor | CSMA | Blues Brothers
Bradford's media museum | a windy Thursday
8national-PCSOs micky1.4.07 V I E W  'PCSO observers' | s59 seizing a car
offduty | 'pointless taxi productions'
challenging people to races
access to crimint and CRIS
PCSOs being posted to the front office
the 2004 survey!
9national-PCSOs CIDB1.4.07 V I E W  Kew Gardens 2005 | £80 PNDs
PCSO ANPR operator | seizing for no insurance
XBOX 360 | shoplifters
going to the gym 4 times a week
a power to detain, but without using force
UNISON | handcuffing someone
10national Traffic Guinness Man1.4.07 V I E W  police rideons | incident support units
Traffic Officer grade assessors
Rover TC and the Rover 3500S
union | bank holiday working
11national Traffic TheWanderer30.3.07 V I E W WorldWidePolice | emergencyservicesonline
Dartford River Crossing Police
YouTube and the motorway videos
cover shifts | John Child
car stickers and metal badges
#sitememberinterview date GO TO includes

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