I'm an ENTP, and an emergency dispatcher. I've been doing it for about two years now, and recently, (after transferring to full police dispatching but not being a 9-1-1 dispatcher), I pretty much hate it. The crux of my problem is that I believe fields like Emergency Management desperately need deep thinkers, perceivers, and NT types especially. Not only this, but if I stay with my current department, I could go a different route and become a police officer, and go up that ladder to a place where I could make much-needed positive changes. 

But I hate it. Because the world is relatively SJ, this is really prevalent in public safety careers. And, frankly, it's best that way. SJs make great dispatchers, officers, firefighters, and EMTs. But, the problem is that SJ types are perhaps most comfortable with "going by the book", and as those types and ways of thinking rise up the ladders and leadership positions, the entire system falls subject to being "by the book" despite the fact that emergencies are the least "by the book" thing on the planet. So, among my coworkers, I am certainly ostracized. Not only do police officers perceive me as some kind of "Casper Milquetoast" due to my mannerisms being "airheaded", polite, and non-confrontational, but my coworkers believe me to be incompetent because I "think too hard", "make up problems", and worry about what will "never happen". 

And I recently failed a certification test on what is basically a 3,000 page encrypted rulebook on the information systems we use, and it really hurt. I don't know why. I mean, I'm an ENTP! I should fail all the time because it means things can be better! Or something? I dunno. That test is made for Si-users, and I resent them for it. I just feel like I absolutely suck, not to mention the nitty gritty like not actually being able to connect with callers during their hard times. I suck at being 'detail-oriented' and I've begun to despise people who are, even if they're perfectly nice, simply because I find them to be stupid and too focused on the trees, not seeing the forest. Like, figure out WHY there's a forest fire! Don't just fight fires when they come close to burning the city down. Same to police, of course. Stop fighting a pointless drug war, and responding to everything with a mentality that you're some kind of indestructible soldier of justice. 

I don't know what to do, because I'm a slave to the idea that the field could really, really benefit from having someone as creative and thoughtful as I am implementing new plans, strategies, and so forth. So, I should be an emergency manager then, right? Sure, except it requires a degree, which I don't currently have, and don't want to get until I'm positive I'm ready, and have enough experience as a dispatcher to demonstrate competency in dealing with actual emergencies.

I feel sad, like I'm not ever going to fit or be happy, and I want to just quit. But, I feel like if I do, things will never get better for anyone else. Someday, the world has to change, right? "If you don't act yourself, that someday won't come."

TL;DR: I'm an ENTP police dispatcher, not happy with all the SJs I work among, and feel like my ideas and change re needed, but I don't want to be stuck behind a wall of people who can't see the forest. 

I hope somebody could help me direct my energies properly, because career-lists are not enough. Thank you. 


Salem (not verified) says...

    I had a similar experience. I previously worked in law enforcement (loved aspects of it), and even briefly worked as a public safety dispatcher (hated it). I am definitely an N-type, and you are correct that these fields certainly cater to S-types. Really, it is better this way. Police work is a details- and fact-oriented business, and people who are comfortable with and good at dealing with details do the best here. (Imagine the court case where the arresting officer doesn't remember what the suspect said, or who can't know the wording of the statutes, etc.) I now find myself in a management field, outside of public safety, and I am finally finding some fulfillment.

    I strongly believe that individuals should strive to be where they are happiest and most effective. For you, if you think you would perform best as an emergency manager, then work towards it. (Remember that you need to EARN respect from others, especially if you want to be in a leadership position.) Take some FEMA courses online, get the degree if they require it, and keep the ultimate goal in mind. Careers - and life - are marathons. You don't complete them successfully without hard, sustained work. (You may be surprised to learn how much you don't know.) Also, be open-minded to the fact that some of these Si folks may be more competent and/or intelligent than you give them credit for.

Personiquoi says...

Thank you Salem for commenting, and sharing your thoughts. I think I could find success where planning is done, and where change is a necessity for sure. I think it would be wise of me to get involved with local emergency management courses and look into a degree program too. I like hard work, and eagerly await the opportunity to learn more. And, I apologize for venting about Si-users. I know they are perfect for jobs like public safety groundwork, and the system would likely fail quickly with too many intuitives, (alluding to your court case analogy). I think I'm a little jealous, if anything, that it comes slightly easier to them. But, that's all the more reason for me to recognize my own strengths, and pursue them as you suggested! :) Thank you so much. 

Amanda (not verified) says...

You are trying to solve the problem from the bottom up. I would take a different approach. If you are passionate about influencing change in law enforcement and emergency services, don’t attempt to do it from within a very closed system. I would start a consulting firm that specializes in reforming these agencies from the top down. Yes, it would be more difficult, but you would have a chance to shine and not have to put up with the mundance aspects of the career field. 

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