Push me. Motivate me. Make my brain work. Quit bitching. No more whining. SHUT UP!
I read a LOT of fire service related articles. I try to put myself in front of at least of one form of media that will make me learn a fire service trick, skill, or snippet of knowledge every single day. I love the science behind “truck & engine company operation” articles and how they keep the fire lit in my heart.
When I see articles about somebody’s opinion on uniforms, or an article trying to arm-chair quarterback an incident they had nothing to with, I get sucked in. I read it. I feel the low morale, distaste, and bad attitudes that evolve around those type of guys. As I snap out of that and escape that bitch-fest, I wonder what it’s like to work with that person.
A few years back, I was that guy.
I went to work in a terrible mood. I did the bare minimum shift-in and shift-out and bitched and moaned the whole time about things I couldn’t change. People hated to be around me, things were always against me and I hated work. I’ll spare you the story of when I pulled my head out of my ass and realized how much of a jerk I was being. But I will tell you that change had happened, and since then, I have had the best years of my career.
If you have nothing else to talk about besides your opinion on departments that wear shorts or t-shirts, or you choose to pick apart an incident that you have only seen on Facebook, then I bet you’re the guy that nit-picks everything at your firehouse. Nothing is ever good enough for you, and you try to bring everyone down to your level, sometimes successfully I’m sure.
“How do we change that guy?”
Well, I don’t know honestly. I’m a big advocate of training and learning. Once I set goals in that I was going to get my mind right, and be the best I could be, I started paying a lot more attention to training. A good friend of mine says almost daily, “leave the fire service better than you found it.” That’s legit. That’s the “it” that we all need to keep “Debbie Downer” from ruining the morale of that shift.
So go train. Get your hands dirty. Make your brain stronger. Read something PRODUCTIVE and not belittling or demeaning to the business. We have plenty of those who are commonly referred to as “Debbie Downers.” It’s time we take back our fire service and make it something to be proud of. Instead of bitching about some fire departments uniform policy, maybe you should be training on your own department policy.