I hate it when people ask me what I do for a job. I just hate it. I tell them I’m a firefighter and the words I most often here are “You don’t look like a fireman.” You’re right. I don’t.
Firstly, I’m not a man. Nope.
I do not have any fire tattoos. Na uh. There is nothing wrong with them, they just aren’t for me.
My biceps are not bigger than my calves and I cannot tell you how much I lifted last time at the gym. I can tell you my half marathon PR and I can tell you that an adrenalin is powerful. And yes, I can pick you up. No, I’m no going to do it now.
I do not drive a big truck. I drive a Subaru (insert jokes here – I’ve heard them all before). Sometimes I cannot find it in the parking lot at work and then I realize I am parked between two big trucks (i.e. lifted one ton diesel with a topper). I told one guy my new fuel cost saving plan was for him to pull up in front of my house and I could pull my car into his truck and he could drive me to work. He laughed. I was serious.
I do not own or wear any fire department shirts, jackets, or sweatshirts when I’m not at work. I take that back. I have an FDNY baseball cap I wear about once a year.
I do not spend my time yakking about saving this person or that one or that one at a fire I was at ages ago. In my experience, more yakking equals less doing.
If we can get past this part of the conversation the following questions are:
Have you been to a fire?
When was the last one?
Have you ever saved anyone?
Has anyone ever died?
Do you ever drive the back of the truck?
Is it scary?
I answer these questions like a true fireman: Yes, less than a month ago, yes, yes, yes, and sometimes.