9 ways my job isn’t like yours

Work is a dynamic place.  While the legendary three martini lunches of the past made for unproductive afternoons, workers today strive to create a new sense of the professional workplace.  Instead of drunken lunches we forage teams through corporate team building and volunteer activities.  All this is great, but my job isn’t like yours. Here’s why.

  1. I’m a firefighter and I see terrible things at work.  I realize this sounds cliche, but it is true.  When I was new firefighter someone asked me about the worst thing I had seen at work.  I didn’t know better, so I answered her. I quickly cleared the room of my entire audience. I don’t do that anymore, but if you really want examples here’s a great uncensored blog that may help you understand a bit more about my type of work http://mark-vonappen.blogspot.com/2014/01/daddys-girl.html
  2. I have to trust the people I work with with my life.  We are a team. We are not coworkers doing a presentation.  We work together to save lives.  We go wherever you call us…together. If one person doesn’t do their part there are dire consequences.
  3. I go to work for a long time.  When I go to work it’s usually for 24 hours.  It may be a 48 hour shift.  It’s like your Monday through Friday at once with no break in between.  During that time I am part of a unit and we go everywhere together. My life is mostly an open book for that time period. If someone gets 5 phone calls from home everyone knows there is a problem at home. There may be doors, but there is no privacy.
  4. When I say I get yelled at at work, I actually do. Not “I’m not happy with your performance today.” It’s more like WTF and can go downhill from there.
  5. Lots of us share a few computers.  This stinks.  Especially when you just want to get on the computer quickly to print one little thing.
  6.  I never know what’s going to happen at work.  When I think that I do, I am wrong.  When I think I will have a busy day it’s quiet.  When I think it will be quiet it’s so busy I leave work so tired that I can’t see straight.
  7. I work in different places and with different people every day and those people are my team and that team is everything (See #2).
  8. I have to stop whatever I’m doing instantly when a call comes in.  I remember learning in rookie school that station that the lights at the station only stay on 1 minute after a call comes in.  We are long gone by then.
  9. Yes, I get to take naps, but I also wake up lots at night.  Let me give this some context.  To date my record number of calls in one night was 12 and those were all after midnight.  I have had nights where I made my bed, but didn’t get to sleep in it.  Most of the time it seems that these nights happen when I have something important scheduled the next day.

It’s different and I enjoy almost every minute of it.



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