Speaking of other idiots…
A super smart Seminole County, Florida commissioner named Brenda Carey is up in arms about firefighters getting some groceries while on duty.
Let me make one more attempt to explain this: Emergency service providers AND THEIR EQUIPMENT stay together AT ALL TIMES so they can respond immediately to a call for service without stopping anywhere such as the station to pick up other crew members or equipment.
So, in other words, Ms. Carey, thank you for your useless opinion.
***Update #1: No disciplinary action considered.
***Update #2: Commissioner Carey is going the typical chickenshit politician “la la la la la la I can’t hear you” route.
Partner: How are the continuing education talks that [insert provider] puts on?
Me: They’re OK if you need hours. Definitely not earth-shattering. Haven’t seen many interesting topics. It’s at a restaurant, and the food’s not that good.
Partner: What about the networking? Do a lot of people from different agencies show up? I want to get my face out there.
Me: [Snort] Umm… I don’t go to these things to talk to people…
It’s dinner time. We’re at an Asian restaurant, your typical ethnic neighborhood Asian restaurant.
“Actually, can we just get something to go, please?”
“Sure. But you want to eat here? More comfortable?”
“Well, we may have to go on calls.”
“I wrap it up for you if you go, OK? You sit down. More comfortable that way.”
“Um… OK, thanks.”
What a great idea. An uninterrupted dinner. It was comfortable indeed. Much more comfortable than eating in the rig.
I’m sitting next to an overweight man on an aircraft. He scarfs down a giant, greasy slice of pizza. I think nothing of it – just another staple of the typical American diet.
A half hour into the flight, he gets the attention of a flight attendant.
“My TV has no sound.”
“I’m sorry, sir, we don’t have any way of fixing it now. Can I bring you a free drink or something?”
“No, I’m on dialysis. I can’t drink.”
I look his giant, empty pizza box and go back to my book.
We frequently try to get food while hoping for just a few minutes without calls. Most agencies that I’m aware of have no system in place that guarantees crews the ability to get some food truly undisturbed, which is understandable, given the nature of our work, nominally described as “emergencies.” But, really, we should be using a completely different word. I don’t know about you, but when I was learning English decades ago as a baby, about the same time I was learning how to walk, the word “emergency” meant something else, or at least that’s what I was told. Apparently, either I was mistaken back then or these days it means something entirely different, because now it appears to cover a huge variety of situations that I would not call “emergencies.” Put another way, most of our work involves “emergencies” that should not interrupt anyone’s meals, but no one cares, and that’s an entirely different post in itself. (Man, this paragraph grew from only 2 sentences to its present length in the space of 2 minutes. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe.)
Anyway, I digress, more often than not, when we’re trying to get food, that’s precisely when the calls come in. This is but one of the many manifestations of Murphy’s Law in emergency services.
On a more positive note (it happens occasionally at this blog), however, over the years, I’ve found that most food places are very accommodating. I’ve left these places many a time after paying but before the food was ready. Sometimes if it was early enough, they just refund us right away. Most of them held on to the food until we returned later, sometimes hours later. Some of them put the order on hold until we went back, and they prepared the order fresh. One time, this place, one of my favorites, actually threw my food out, and when I went back like an entire meal period later – I ordered and was interrupted at breakfast but only managed to return after lunch – they insisted on making another order and refused my offer to pay again. Of course, I don’t mind eating cold food; I’m more afraid of having to leave again while waiting for them to cook the order again!
We’re at the residence of a man with severe low back pain with extensive back history.
His 11-year-old son is about to leave for school when someone says to him, “Don’t forget your strips (for the glucometer)! And don’t forget to pick up some lunch and dinner at Jack-in-the-Box!”