Sunday, June 13, 2010

Living life as full as we can...and I hate my job...

Today has been a mixed bag. Brent worked day shift, I'm on nights, and tomorrow he works day shift again. It's 2 a.m. and we're in between calls and I should really be sleeping, but I'm wanting to post first, quickly, then try and get an hour or so of sleep (I hope!) before our next call. We are down 4 cars tonight, so it's run-your-asses-off time!
So I slept an extra hour today--the boys turned on the t.v. and ate some cookies for breakfast, and I didn't wake up until 8:30 when Riley crawled in my bed smelling like death warmed over and soaked in poo. Not wanting to halt all things fun and livable just because I was working tonight, we packed up the van and took off for White Rock beach. Parking was horrific. I think everyone and their dog (literally, except ours, who was home in his crate) saw the sunshine and was like, "I need to go to WHITE ROCK!!" Jeepers! We found a spot, though, and hunted down some fish and chips, which is a White Rock beach tradition. Then we went down to the beach and the kids had a blast in the tide pools. Matthew is hysterical. He baisically screams the whole time in excitement, until his voice goes hoarse. He captured a bunch of crabs and got totally soaked. Ayden is pretty fascinated by all the creatures in the tide pools, and he's fabulous with his brothers. I can actually sit on a towel and just watch, and they are great. Ayden solves most problems and is a very good negotiator and SO patient. Incredibly so. Riley is also hysterical, because he's afraid of everything but UBER curious. So he walks around with his fingers splayed and his toes curled, screeching because he's getting left behind or because there's sand on his leg or sand moving in the tide pool and he thinks it's a bug or salt water got in his mouth or the sea grass moved too close to him...I got the most incredible pictures today. I'm so glad we went. Sometimes the effort and distance involved in White Rock make it less than enjoyable for me, but today was absolutely worth it. Although Ayden was mad at me on the way back for some reason...what was it??? Oh, I made him walk in water deeper than he was comfortable with on the walk back to the car, so he was kind of mad.

Oh, and Ayden lost his first tooth!!! I know, he's old! His teeth were late in coming, so I guess they're late to leave, too. I was at work, and he was so proud he called me to let me know it fell out, but I was busy so he left me a message. It was, "Hey mommy! I have a loose tooth! My tooth is loothes! [Brent's voice in the background incoherent] Actually no! My tooth fell out! I'm holding it in my hand and the tooth fairy might come! Bye, mommy!"

So cute.

So after a really great afternoon on the beach, we hiked back to the car, drove home, I threw on my uniform and tossed clothes in suitcases for the boys, and took them to my in-law's place where Brent's sister was so kind as to take them for the hour and a half overlap between the beginning of my shfit and the end of Brent's shift (and again in the morning for the hour between when Brent left for his shift and I came home from my shift). I ran so fast and drove so fast, and JUST made it to work on time!
And my job sucks. Literal quote from my partner at 3:00 a.m. last night:
"Wow, I can really tell you don't have much experience based on the way you did that call."

Seven years. I've been doing this for seven YEARS. I stood up for myself, and called him on it:
"Why would you say something like that? Are you trying to make me feel like crap? Are you trying to put me down? I don't appreciate you saying that at ALL, that was totally rude."
And he was all,
"Well, I've been a preceptor (instructor) for years, and I've seen tons of students come through here and lack of confidence is a big indicator of inexperience, and you didn't decide who was going to take him to the hospital until the very end of the call and you wanted to bandage his wound inside the ambulance when it would be impossible and he needed it bandaged as soon as possible, and I didn't want this to blow up all in my face, but I thought you should know, etc, etc, etc."
And I was all,
"I have my own style of doing calls, and it doesn't make any sense to say it's impossible to bandage that wound inside the ambulance where the light was better, you just didn't want to get blood on the inside of the car, and I looked at that wound very closely before you even came around the edge of the ambulance, I don't appreciate being accused of inexperience, why would you assume that? Why would you think I'd like to hear a thing like that? I was perfectly comfortable postponing deciding who transported to hospital because dressing the wound was more important at that point in time, because what's the rush? We'll decide eventually, and I was the one who said, 'This guy definitely needs to go to the hospital and get stitched up, do you want to ride in the back with us, or follow us in your police cruiser?' What part of that is indecisive to you?"

And then another guy I work with tore a strip off me for 'driving too fast,' when I was going the BC Ambulance Service policy 25 km above the speed limit on the freeway, is it my fault there are bloody bumps in the road? Is it my fault I didn't slow down for them IN THE DARK? Code 3 driving at 110 on the freeway is ridiculous: people pass you. With the lights and sirens flashing. "This guy's not so bad you need to risk MY life by driving too fucking fast!"
I think I've discovered the answer to my should-I-work-full-time-at-this-gig dilemma. No fucking way. The ambulance service is full of these assholes, they're crawling all over the place like cannibalistic cockroaches, nice to patients' faces and total fucking cannibals to each other behind closed doors or when patients are flat out unconscious.
It's not worth the money. I hate that platoon and I've vowed never to work it again. Hate. Hate. Hate.

Seethe. Seethe. Seethe.

In a job so mentally taxing why should I have to wear emotional armor to protect myself from my coworkers? Isn't it bad enough I have seen dead babies and dismembered people and burns over 90% of the body and eviscerated bowels (self afflicted)?? Why the cannibalism on top of everything else? And it's not just this platoon. It's rampant. RAMPANT. Every station, every city, every platoon, every division, every single one.
I like the job. The JOB. Hate the social environment. HATE.


Tonya said...

Oh, Mel. I'm so sorry you had such a crappy time at work after such a great day at the beach with the kids! That sounded like SUCH fun!!!!! Post pictures!!

Tonya said...

OH! And I meant to tell you that my Dad started the tradition of getting ice cream for kids when their teeth fall out. SO much fun to do that! AND, must be a Vose thing to have teeth come in late and fall out late. Mine and many of my kids do the same thing. Liza is 21 months and has 6 teeth. Seth is 6-1/2 and hasn't lost any yet.

Rachel Clear said...

Aaaaaaack! Awful, Mel, just awful.

That guy sounds like a real royal ass. Maybe HE has some inexperience for coping with the stress of the job and takes it out on others? :(

Now on to read the other post.

tamie said...

YAY for your amazing time at the beech with your kids who sound gorgeous and hilarious and amazing. (And, from my few days with them, are exactly that!) And a HUGE BOO for your evil coworkers. But a HUGE YAY for you for calling that one guy on his bullshit right in the moment. I think it's hard (for many of us) to do that--call people on stuff in the moment--but you did it. So yay for you. You rock. And he is a total fucking jerk. It sounds like you've made up your mind about the job. It's just totally crazy to me that the paramedic culture is that way although, maybe it also totally makes sense, given what you guys have to go through, both in terms of the kinds of things you witness and also in terms of the low pay. All with very little debriefing, and pretty much no spiritual mentorship or guidance. Maybe people's asshole-ness makes a lot of sense. Yet another system in gigantic need of reform.