Sunday, 11 December 2011

Bragging Rights

Sometimes, I look at the career I've chosen,

and think back to my biology teacher. And laugh.
(No more than the most basic grasp of the subject.)

Sometimes, I look at the blog I write,

and think back to my English teacher. And laugh.
(Poor writing style, no imagination, little effort.)

Sometimes, I look at the job I do,

and think back to my careers adviser. And laugh. 
(Back-office job, contact with the public ill-advised.)

I laugh at how wrong they were. 

I laugh at how I believed everything they said. 

I laugh at how, despite the fact that I believed them at the time, I proved them all wrong. 

A very good friend of mine recently told me that he used to read my blog, but stopped because it was too self-centred, sounded too much like a self-portrait of a hero in the making. Initially, I was a little troubled by his comments, well, actually, more than just a little troubled. I didn't perceive that this is what this blog is all about. However, thinking about it, I guess he was at least partially right. It is very self-centred. But that's only because I can only write what I feel. I can't express the feelings of the people I meet, although I can often have a good guess. And for anyone who's known me for any length of time knows, expressing what I feel is a very new (and exceptionally frightening) concept that I still fail at doing in a face-to-face situation. It's precisely why I took to writing. 

As for heroics? Pah. Anyone who does the same job I do is as much a hero as I am, although I am almost totally certain that none of us looks inwards and sees anything suchlike. We see a person who may have a special skill, maybe even a special connection with people we've never met before and may never meet again. We may even be opportunists who are presented with a statistically skewed number of chances to help preserve a human life. But heroes? Soldiers who save their comrades whilst under heavy fire are heroes. Random members of the public who jump into a raging sea to save a drowning child are heroes. We have a job to do, a special job maybe, but we wear uniforms, not capes. 

All of that doesn't mean that I'm not proud of who I am and what I do - alongside my colleagues. I may have recently had some second thoughts, well, more of a crisis of confidence really, but hopefully I'm back to  what passes as almost normal. I'm still pleased that I chose the path I did, even if it did take me some time to realise what that path should be. And if that comes across in this blog as being too self-centred - well, good. Because, whether my friend likes it or not (and yes, we're still friends), I've still got much to brag about. Even if it is self-centred. 


AmbulanceManDan said...

I failed biology.
My careers advisor said that being a Paramedic was a go nowhere job and to consider other options, the army perhaps...
Ok, I was always good at English...

I look at this job everyday and despite it all feel so immensely proud and lucky that not only do I do what I do, but that I achieved something I decided to do aged 14...

Jumblerant said...

Come on, the teachers were 'special' to say the least, most of them failed alcoholics.

And in all honesty, we're just happy that a nutter like you isn't chained to a desk or you'd be going postal!

And as for the person who didn't like to read the blog - you win some, you lose some. And he seems to be a 'lose'r...

Robin said...

This job requires an ego, a level of self belief.
We go into other peoples homes and take charge. We walk into an aggressive situation and tell everyone what to do.
Without this ego we would be on the receiving end of more violence and fail in the most basic aspect of our job.

I'd say you blog is more person centred than self centred. You are not writing about yourself but about the situation around you. The word 'I' is not there in a lot of your posts.

A lot of us can see ourself in some of the situations you describe.

As for the 'hero' bit. That's nothing to do with this job. I have seen heroic actions from staff, especially after 7/7 but this is nothing to do with our everyday job.
Not everyone can do this type of work but most of us look on in horror at the prospect of an office job.

minimedic said...

I'd like to echo what Robin said: your blog is more person-centered than self-centered.

Your English teacher was dead wrong, by the by...

Lynda Halliger-Otvos said...

Your blog delights me with its stories of the people you meet, work with, work for, and see on a regular basis. I seldom see you in the stories

MSgt B said...

You're my hero, tough-guy.

How was your full-moon weekend?

Andy in Germany said...

This post made me smile. I'm working to start a course as a 'Rettungsanitäter' which is the German for an EMT, and it's taken me until 34 to have the confidence because of the teachers in my (British) school, (German teacher as an example: "Not a born linguist") and also the bullies who told me I was dumb and useless, essentially because I'm an introvert.
So thanks for this: I know I'm not the only introvert who didn't do so well in science to try this sort of work...