Again, its been a while and again, I apologise. I guess I can’t be inspired to write things all the time. I really don’t know how columnists do it!
And its not as if there’s nothing to write about either. Every day brings something different in this job. We still hold a belief that a good 80% of calls don’t need an ambulance and some would argue that this figure is being conservative. However, every call brings something different and a chance to have a brief look into someone else’s life. Therefore, there will always be a plethora of things to write about.
Its just sometimes I can’t find the ‘oomph’ to get it down. And then there’s my thoughts of what direction I want this blog to be going . . . do I want to keep it as light hearted anecdotes? Or more a chronological collection of events? Do I get deep and meaningful? Or do I just down right take the piss all the time.
I’ve always felt uneasy about being deep and meaningful and am possibly the last to sit and feed on sympathy over sad events. In fact, I’d probably be the first to burst out laughing at a funeral. I remember years back, when my father had just died I showed some colleagues a copy of his death certificate . . . it wasn’t the real one mind, it was a fake one my dad had made up years before – on it, it said his chief profession was a pornographic editor and toilet cleaner, his body was found in the public loos of our home town and he had therefore died ‘on the job’. Cause of death was ‘sexual frustration’ and the coroner was Dr Kildare. I, of course, thought this was hilarious but my friends thought I might be a little unhinged. However, I still hold that showing deep set emotion should be reserved for an appropriate time and place. Don’t get me wrong, that can be anytime for any person – I guess my point is, I hate it when people abuse their emotional experiences and boast of the sad events that befall them – all in the vein of bleeding sympathy from those around them.
I read articles in newspapers and feel physically sick the moment the writer starts to pull the emotional strings, making out that what they are doing or what they are seeing is just too much for human words . . . yet at the very same time, away from the written article, this very same person is happy to rake in the cash earned from their article, forget about it in an instant and end up sleeping happily that night.
Talk to most folk who work in the emergency services (or the forces too I imagine) and you’ll get a laughing barrage of humorous sarcasm as a response to any probing emotional questions. I reckon this is not because these people are anything special, or being callous or uncaring – its because we don’t need to be faced with the memory of a bad job gone bad every minute of the day. Its true enough that in these jobs there are instances that you would rather have never witnessed or ever been part of. I’m sure that most of people, if they had to be honest, could recall at least one moment that will sit on their conscience for ever. But the truth be known, we just don’t dwell on it. And I don’t believe anyone would. You just get on with things and hope the next time something ‘bad’ happens you are able to make the outcome a little better than it was before.
I do speak broadly though. I have sat and listened to some paramedics talking about incidents they have attended and you sit there welling up with tears, completely shocked and unbelieving that something so cruel or sickening could ever happen in our city, let alone in this world. And then I marvel how the same person then puts what they’ve just told you to one side, ready to deal with the next ridiculous case of belly ache – showing nothing but pure caring and sympathy for those in front of them.
So, where do I want this blog to go? I’m not sure. Most of the time I put down what tickles me the most. Even in death I like to find some laughter. I mean no ill by it and never wish to offend anyone. I think I will continue the way it is going thus far – just random pickings of silly events arbitrarily mixed with the occasional case study of something that was particularly bad. But please remember, if I’m explaining the death of someone and I seem to be heartlessly joking about it – I’m not. Like most others, I’m just trying to claw something back in way of making that event a little easier on the soul.
I’ll stop ranting now and concentrate on the events of the job. Thanks
I have had a few friends and acquaintances over time who have been in jobs where sadness, tragedy and suffering are almost commonplace, and all of them deal with their working life in a similar way. You use your sense of humour as a self preservation tactic. If you let your emotions get to you every time something unhappy happens in a job like yours you would soon become so emotionally overloaded you wouldn’t last long.
I for one thoroughly enjoy reading your blog, not only does it give me a small incite into the life of a ‘menace’ but also it usually gives me a bit of a giggle at your outrageous sense of humour.
So I’ll be happy for you to carry on as you have started out (I just pray I’ll never have an accident if I’m ever down your way :-))