Amazon, Wall Street Journal & Washington Post Best-selling Author

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R R Haywood

Written by R R Haywood, July 14th, 2020

Posted in Blog | Currently 50 Comments

One chapter closes. Another begins. Life goes on.

There’s been a slight change to my life, and one that’s left me a bit stunned. Let me briefly explain…

I’ve been on a career break from Hampshire Constabulary for the last three and a half years so I could focus on writing – but that time ran out recently and I was contacted by Hampshire County Council HR department to ask if I was returning.

I asked them what’s the minimum hours I could do. I love writing, and it’s enough to support me full time, but I also really loved my policing career too, so I wanted to try and work out a way to do both.

Unfortunately, HR couldn’t quite grasp that concept and after some verrrrry confusing, very cold, and somewhat inflammatory emails I said hey, it’s cool, maybe I should just resign and save the hassle.

They didn’t really reply to that, but I figured I’d have to formally resign by way of completing a form. (There’s a form for everything in the police). Which also meant I could make contact with someone other than HR and see what role I could do – if any. I mean, there’d be an exit interview, right?

Then my P45 dropped through the door.

That’s it. 22 years of policing without a single substantive complaint and multiple commendations and awards and I get a couple of emails then a pro-forma P45 thereby ending my career and a very important part of my life.

The coldest thing is that it wasn’t even signed by a human being. It was just a generic form used for anyone that Hampshire County Council have HR responsibilities for.

Just to sum up (and forgive me if in anyway this sounds like a rant) but I was the highest performing officer in my division for a long time. I’ve been seriously assaulted multiple times and required hospital treatment. I still have pain from some of those incidents, and I always will.

I’ve been targeted by criminals, had my car written off and had to move home due to the severity of those threats.

I’ve had piss / shit / blood and puke all thrown at me. I’ve been attacked with knives, threatened with firearms and bitten by dogs (and people).

I’ve saved people from burning buildings and freezing cold seas and talked people down from suicides more times than I can remember.

Car chases. Foot chases. Protracted complex investigations. I was first on the scene for plane crashes and major incidents and done more than my share of picking body parts up.

I’ve had people die in my arms and done CPR on casualties. I’ve dealt with deceased children and some of the most distressing things you could imagine. I’ve had to give evidence against corrupt cops too when others stayed silent and suffered the subsequent backlash.

However, I wouldn’t change any of it. Not one day. Even at the worst times, it was still the best job in the world, so to end that 22 year career with a couple of cold emails and a generic unsigned P45 made my jaw hit the floor.

I even emailed HR to ask if that was correct. I honestly thought maybe something had got confused because the process seemed so detached. So uncaring and brutal. I mean – surely someone would at least call and say hey, thank you for your service, and this is what happens to your pension now, and ask if I had any questions.

HR didn’t reply.

I guess that’s done then, and honestly, right now – I’m not sure how I feel about it.

I loved my career, and I’d always recommend anyone to consider a career in policing. I believe in good values. In honesty and decency. In fairness, tolerance and respect. I believe in the merits of hard work and how having discipline in life will help you achieve your dreams. Anyone who reads my books can see the recurring theme of doing the right thing for the right reasons.

But I also believe in treating people decently – and that was not in any way a decent thing to do.

I also didn’t leave for any negative reason. It’s not like I got kicked out for being naughty and left under a black cloud.

I left to do something positive and become a full time (and thankfully) successful bestselling author. I’m in talks with Hollywood producers and scriptwriters! It’s nuts and brilliant and super amazing. Honestly. I’ve been so lucky. I’m not saying that to brag, but to try and process it – because right now, there’s a teeny bitter aftertaste left from how that was done.

You just don’t treat people like that. Especially not people who have gone above and beyond on countless occasions.

Pick the phone up and make a call, or even, and hey, I know this is out there, but get one of the local divisional commanders to do it. Blimey. What a concept eh? Hey, Rich. Heard you’re not coming back from your career break. Just thought I’d say thank you and good luck for the future.

But nothing. End of. Blimey. Way to go, Hampshire Constabulary. I love you too.

Ah, but hey ho. It’ll pass, I guess. You can’t let bad shit dictate how you go forward. One chapter closes. Another begins. Life goes on.

And if you are considering a career in policing – and right now the country is crying out for recruits – then go for it. It’s just an insane job and if you do it right, and for the right reasons, you can have a very positive impact too. I just hope that at the end of your service someone remembers to say thank you.

Just that simple act means so much.

Anywho. There you go. I’m not a po-po anymore. I’m just a writer.

Man. How cool is that.

I’m a writer.

Much love

RR Haywood x

 

50 thoughts on “One chapter closes. Another begins. Life goes on.

  1. Oh gosh that’s awful
    I work in social care for my county council and to be honest they have been rubbish with me and I am seriously considering a career change.
    Chin up we still love ya and thank you for the years of service you gave
    Much love Lynds xx

    1. Wow I feel for you I worked for Next over Christmas and on my last day I just walked out and not one person said thank you or goodbye. Its not 22 years but its the principle and the show of gratitude.
      One thing that is a good outcome of this is your books are just going to be even more epic and us readers will always be grateful your putting pen to paper!!!

      Much love

  2. Thank you for your service, the big organisations tend to forget the cogs that keep it running and I’m sure someone will eventually go ‘whatever happened to that chap that started writing on his career break?’. They’ll find out when one of your books is a movie
    Keep up the good writing.

    1. That really sucks Rich really gutted for you glad you’ve dealt with it so rationally and not let the shit get you down. I worked for many years as a special in the Met, it is one of the most amazing jobs you could ever do, but for personal reasons I couldnt at the time go full time, and I’ve since had to quit altogether to focus on what’s become a really good career in construction. I’d also highly recommend the Job to anyone thinking about it. Even with all the lows the highs far outweigh them.

      Good luck in the next chapter and thanks for all your books, we are all so glad you decided to take the plunge and go for it writing full time.

  3. Thank you so much for your service. I can’t believe they would treat you that way after all those years of hard work… I am so sorry that happened to you. If it brings you any comfort, your writing brings so much joy and laughter into my life! Your stories take me on adventures that brighten up many a dull day. Thank you dear full time writer… You definitely deserved better!

  4. How awful that they treat you like that, can’t believe that was it, so much for exit interviews, talks about pension & just a plain old simple thank you!
    Equally, how awesome that you are now ‘just’ a writer!
    Here’s to the future x

    1. Wow thats cold, but can take nothing from your amazing 22 years of service. Smallest silver lining is you already have another amazing career ready to go. After 12 years in my career this pandemic (a 300% increase in workload, early starts, late finishes, overtime, cancelled annual leave) has shown me the worth of my employer or rather lack of it, and that we are all just a number and unfortunately easily replaced.
      All the best to you moving forwards and in the words of Mr. Howie “Fuck it.”

  5. That does not sound right I think you should take legal advice because I believe they have to do exit interviews . I am not sure but worth a chat with a legal advisor It is totally unprofessional way to treat someone and from what you say a good officer too. But good luck in your new career it should be alot safer one too.

  6. I’ve re-written this paragraph many times now.

    In the end I guess I just want to say “thanks for your time making our community/country better” and “thanks for the books that have had me the edge of my seat, laughing at 1am (to my wife’s annoyance while she tries to sleep) and craving the next instalment of Cookey and the gang or Mad’ Harry Madden and Safa.

    So in summary… “thank you”

    1. There is something very very wrong and ‘off’ about this whole business and I can only begin to imagine the utter confusion and dejection you may be experiencing.
      Not. Ok.
      I can see someone beating a hasty path to your door to correct what has no doubt been a ‘clerical error’…..
      Hmmmmm….

  7. It’s not right. I retired on medical grounds afte 28 years front line. Never worked in a back office. When i signed for my pension it was with a kid from hr who wasn’t even shaving and was unable to answer any questions I had. Be joyful that you have the skills you have so you don’t have to jump through their hoops. TJF.

  8. That seriously sucks big time !
    I commend you in protecting us during your 22 years policing and thank you from the bottom of my heart.
    I’m so pleased you had a career you loved and not even a nameless cold hearted ignorant hr drone can take away from you.

    Your a fabulous writer and I’m thankful that you decided to take a career break to put pen to paper , your stories make me believe that there is still good in the world , keeps me on the edge of my seat and makes me laugh out loud ( much to the shock of the family when all is quiet )

    Thank you for you utter brilliant ness

  9. Wow that’s horrendous! I’m ex mil and even though I finished up in my workplace 3 months prior to my actual exit date my boss still phoned me to say all the best on my last official day.
    Thank you for your service and their loss is definitely our gain!
    Keep em coming boss!

  10. There is something very very wrong and ‘off’ about this whole business and I can only begin to imagine the utter confusion and dejection you may be experiencing.
    Not. Ok.
    I can see someone beating a hasty path to your door to correct what has no doubt been a ‘clerical error’…..
    Hmmmmm….

  11. My husband did 28 years as a PC he retired 5 years ago and still misses the job, our youngest son started his training yesterday and hubby is so proud and excited for him.
    22 years is a massive achievement in a difficult and challenging job. I salute your skills as both a police officer and an author.
    Hampshire Constabularys loss is literatures gain.
    Keep smiling and keep writing
    Love and hugs
    Lisa xx

  12. Awrite chief,
    At 19 , with two and a half years done of a 3 year naval degree, the MOD informed me that due to the defence review 1992, myself and 4000 others were no longer required…. boom, ur done. Since then i have been crapped on by many other big institutions , and yet am still kicking around . So take heart that literally when one closes another opens my friend, and throught all the crap , just remember it could be worse.. you could be Mr Howie, and its happening tae him every bloody half hour !
    P.s. whats the betting some of us readers recognise some new character that just happens to be arrogant but stupid, loud but uninformed, pedantic but cold, and who just happened to previously work in a polis station in their HR dept !

  13. Not a nice way to finish, endings are as important as beginnings and that was a s**t end. Their’s and the community’s loss.
    Unfortunately this seems to be the way of the world. Onward and upward, stuff ‘em!.

  14. Your service is remembered by those that you have helped in their time of need.
    I would rather have not heard from them than get some spiel by somebody who doesn’t mean it

    Thank you for your service We appreciate it
    Now get back to writing sharpish as I’m having withdrawal symptoms

    1. I love this comment. There will be people right now who still remember that copper who helped them when they needed it. There will be funny stories that you’re the unintentional star of and sad stories that mention the nice copper that did exactly the right thing. These are the people who remember you and thank you every day – thank you for saving my life, thank you for showing my boy the right way forward, thank you for being kind, thank you for protecting me when nobody else would. Your work is like throwing a stone in a pond. Even when the stone reaches the bottom, the waves continue to ripple on and on.

      Yes, the bosses should have done better, but you didn’t do it for them, you did it for us. Thank you for your service.

  15. That is awful, it must have left a real nasty taste in your mouth. I agree with the others, it doesn’t ring right – there should be an exit interview and also forms from HR about your leaving. I had one when I left the council i worked for – and I wrote what i thought! I never heard anything about what I wrote which would have been nice and given me a sense of closure. You deserve better!

    1. Their loss is our gain. Thank you for the service you gave, and look at all of the lives you touched. You can touch even more through your words…

  16. Wow, that’s a bit cold.

    Thank you for being on the thin blue line for 22 years, I often think how bad things must have been before 1829 (maybe you could do a story incorporating those times?).

    I am glad you posted the (not so nice) news on twitter, I’ve left Facebook as I am fairly disgusted with their content control (or lack thereof), and refusal to police their own environment.

  17. Wow ! Speechless and like you fuming, As a nurse with 30+ years in the NHS, I get your frustration, we’re just a number not a person. Your back story Will make another good book series!!
    How amazing to read that you’re in talks with Hollywood, which series is being talked about. ?

  18. Thank you Rich, you did a great job and no way did you deserve that shitty treatment.
    I’m just glad you did leave. We LOVE your writing. Thank you so very much for sharing your stories with us. I hope for a lot longer than 22 years xx

  19. VERY poor treatment and, if I were you, I would be feeling highly peed off about it.
    Actually that doesn’t do it justice because it is an injustice. But admin is admin and, in my own experience, are always well divorced from the real world.
    So sorry, good luck, keep writing (please!) and my best wishes.

  20. I’m really sorry that 22 years service, because that’s what it is, service – ended like that. It’s not right and it shouldn’t have happened.
    Unfortunately though, reading some of the comments below, it seems to happen more and more frequently. It seems as though there’s an attitude of ‘well, you’re no good to us now, off you trot’.
    It happened to me too, I was a J.P for 7yrs. I put in thousands of hours, hearing cases both in adult criminal court and in family court and like you, I’ve found out things about humanity I wished I was still ignorant about, particularly in family court cases.
    Sadly I had to step down due to ill health and like you and many others here, didn’t receive so much as a thanks, kiss my a*se or a fare thee well.
    My 7yrs is only a third of your service, my work was voluntary and not a career or vocation as yours is, but it still smarts, doesn’t it?
    Without wanting to sound cliched, Thank You – for your service, for putting yourself at the sharp end in order to protect others and for being one of the good guys.
    Noli illegitimi carborundum.

  21. So wrong, 22 years, that’s a life time commitment of service, they should be ashamed to treat people like that.
    Onwards and upwards, heres to many new goals and achievements to come. 🙂

  22. I am so sorry that this happened to you!! That definitely is not right! My Husband has been a LEO with our Sheriff’s Dept for 26 years. We are blessed to have a dept and fellow LEOs that care about us and would never let that happen. I can’t believe they thought that was the right way to treat you… no thanks for your many years of very commendable service and not even a goodbye. That is so very sad! I feel like you should probably go talk to your superiors there and let them know how you were treated. Maybe they aren’t aware of HRs treatment of you? They should know about it. BTW, THANK YOU for your service!! And, another btw, I absolutely love your books and I am reading a Town Called Discovery right now.

  23. I am sorry, I know how shitty that feels. My dad, his two brothers, a female cousin, and my ex-husband were NYC police officers, each served 20+ years. Oh the stories they could tell, but rarely did until after they retired, not wanting to frighten family members. I know what you have been through during your years of service. Sadly the attitude of HR seems to be a plague that travels across the ocean. Needless to say, I am grateful for everyone in who chooses to serve in your field.

  24. One of your US fans. Many friends in law enforcement. I know many who have served and suffered much the same. It is appalling to have sacrificed as much of yourself for a job that cannot show gratitude for one who has done so much.

    I assure you there is no such lack for your writing. Ready to see what is next!!!

  25. RR, thanks for sharing this and as a fellow human being (unfortunately not a fellow citizen, but I am a member of the human race!) I just want to thank you for your devotion and protection to your local community. That treatment is awful, but I am so glad you have found another career and all of us very much enjoy being your readers. Big middle finger to the HR who acted this way, and carry on sir! You shall win.

  26. I would just like to say you saved and saved well from what you said you where an outstanding officer.
    But what I do know is you are an outstanding writer I would gladly put you up there with the best Mr James Herbert Sr Terry pratchett Clive Barker then you
    Thank you for your service
    and thank you more for your stories may they go on forever

  27. I read this last night and couldn’t think of the right words to say because it is upsetting for you to be treated in this way. What I can say Richard is that you have a big family and a lot of love in your fan community, we feel your disappointment but we also know what a relented author you are, and an amazing man with a great sense of humour and fantastic personality. So today is the beginning of the rest of your life, one great big excellent adventure and I for one am coming along for the ride. Embrace your new chapter, eat your croissants and drink your coffee in the mornings and love life. Take care

  28. Thanks for being a good man with a badge, Rich. It only gets better from here. After all, a good man with a keyboard is a pretty useful thing, too.

  29. Wow that’s shit. “Hey, Rich. Heard you’re not coming back from your career break. Just thought I’d say thank you and good luck for the future.” That’s literally all it would have taken. What a let down.

    That said, all the best being a full time writer now. Maybe I’ll finally get a new instalment of The Second Really

  30. Holy Crap and I thought the civil service was bad I just wonder when these type of public service job bosses will understand that firstly if you have happy staff 9 times out of 10 that positivity helps to motivate their staff and helps them on the truly awful days that you have when a member of the public tells you I hope you die of cancer or I’m going to come round and rape your children ( I had the audacity to say no to them) when I reported this they looked at me and might as well said so what nothing was done. I can’t imagine how betrayed you must feel for them to have done that to you, someone who gave 24 years of their life and they reduce it to a brown envelope would it have killed your line manager ( sorry no idea of the term used in the police) to have picked up the phone and said we’re sorry to see you go it kind of beggars belief. What can you say. I will say I really hope to see the undead at the cinema one day soon
    Take care

  31. No contact from your line managers? Surely any one of them would’ve/could’ve/should’ve gripped an obviously wrong process….

  32. Don’t let this go by – think of those who follow and may suffer similar experiences. Do write to the Chief and to the Commissioner and ask to see both of them. Your experience is sufficient to change policy for the better: use this opportunity well! Good luck.

  33. Just a P45 through the post? Mate, you need to seek legal advice, as on the face of it that is unfair dismissal. You have just been fired – for no reason. Even a serious misconduct (“instant dismissal”) has to follow a process.

    Redundant on health grounds? No – you were on a career break, not sick leave.
    Redundant due to other reason? Still requires consultation, and a recognised process which is applied evenly and consistently. And an at-risk letter to all concerned.

    No UK employer can just fire you. You could be looking at some serious compensation here – 1 week per year of employment for the statutory award, unlimited for the penalty award, and of course other losses such as the other 8 years pension contribution.

  34. Mr Haywood,
    Thankyou for being you. as we say in Oz…TJF..The Jobs F…… That’s wrong though. The Jobs a calling, and one that needs to be done, and done well and honourably. The Chairshiners and Suits who will never comprehend the depths required from frontliners, are the true ones who should be F……
    Be yourself Mr Haywood, remember your days in the job with pride and honour. Your writing alone changes and saves lives, your previous role (no such thing as an Ex-Cop), will always be a part of you, and those you helped then.
    I only lasted fourteen years on the street, and treatment in oz no different.

    Peter Brown

  35. Mr. Haywood,
    First off I’m glad to see so much support from your followers/fans of your very intellectual, talented writing. I’m sorry to hear of your plight and somewhat understand being a municipal employee myself. Those who matter and worked hard throughout their career can only seek satisfaction of their job on a personal level. I found over my 34 years that working in a municipality, HR lacks a tad bit of humanity and empathy. It seems that those who come in with little time and experience above your job title leave much to be desired. Different world than what it was when you first started on the force I would assume. Hang in there! Out of my own selfishness, I’m glad. This will be a new beginning for your ongoing career and so looking forward to your output of work. Stay strong in these crazy times and I truly wish you and your family the best.

  36. Dude that’s a tough and very cold hearted way to be treated and is not cool…

    However, you are a wonderful writer and you communicate your ideas beautifully. I absolutely love your work. I’m sorry that you won’t be in the police anymore – it’s a vocation for most coppers; my two uncles and their sons were in the police and they loved it…

    … But, it’s their loss and our gain (and yours). You’re a writer man.

    Now that is cool

  37. Rich, unfortunately this seems all to familiar. I served for 16 years and left because our management closed a whole unit without any process or adequate reasoning. And promptly cost the tax payer £1000’s doing it!!
    However I will say be proud that you held the line and made a difference. Even if you are the only one who remembers, you still did it.
    And just think of that special mention you can put on the end credits of your first Hollywood block buster

  38. Well..hmm..I was trying to find when the next book was landing as I was getting impatient, but, now you’ve shut me up. How rude of HR (although they’ve never been known for their tact) to just blow you off after 2 decades! Bit shit init…their loss is own gain though, so fuck em. Personally I wouldn’t want to be an officer in these times and good luck to those who do..with the way the worlds going with all this PC/Pandemic/every minority rioting ect.. But I can see the allure of helping do the right thing for the right reason, an I’m one usually on wrong side of the law. Don’t hate, appreciate, yeah? Its clear your meant to send that message through media instead of the streets, where you get beat down with the small guy too (can we say guy? maybe persons ha) I’m sure your ex-collegues would say similar. Go get extracted filmed, and write me another book to read! No seriously, its clear you were dedicated and that’s a bum leaving party, but you have another calling
    P.S enjoyed the Humber books, mad twists! Ruthless..love all your writings, read em all

  39. When the Undead Series becomes a big hollywood blockbuster I am sure Hampshire Constabulary will be in touch .
    When that happens (and it will ) putting them in their place seems like the natural thing to do ,but hopefully you wont let the system spoil the fact you achieved and experienced so much and try to be above those feelings .Maybe invite some Hampshire Bobby”s to your opening premier knight of your first movie ,now that would make you feel better I”m sure .

  40. Ah man that is terrible. My best friend and I are both serving officers for different forces and guessed that you were job given how you write and the humour.

    It sickens me that you were treated like that and just cast aside.

    Keep the chin up and I’m glad you’ve given up the day job so we get more books!!!

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