Jun 8, 2013

Looking back...

I'm on my last shift tonight.

I've been in this job for nearly eight and a half years.

I'd like to say I'm bittersweet about leaving, but the truth is - I'm not. I'm ready to go. It's time.

I've made a few changes that the next generations will hopefully enjoy, and I've made a small difference in a few lives along the way.

I expect I'll be touching a lot more lives over the coming years, as I change to another environment with similar work.

I've heard the good, the bad, and the ugly. I've picked up my share of demons along the way - I'm sure that MattG, LawDog, AD, and all the rest of the emergency services pros can identify. I've had a few calls I'll never forget - good and bad. Including this gem:

It was a major holiday. Which one doesn't matter; suffice to say it was a family-type holiday. I was working the evening shift, which tends to be calm until dinner is over, the two-buck-chuck has kicked in, and everyone starts dealing with (A) five-hour chest pain, (B) that time my cousin stole my phone, and (C) forgetting to turn off the stove.

It was still early in the shift, so we were kicking back, comparing notes on the dinners we'd all had with our respective families, watching TV, and so forth... until the phone rang.

"911, do you need police, fire, or ambulance?"


"What's the emergency?"

"Well, I guess I need the police."

(About this time, the address and name of the caller popped up on my screen. It was ... familiar.)
"OK, Jane Doe, what's going on tonight?"

"Well, you need to come over and tell her to stop!"

"Tell who to stop, and stop what?"

"The little colored girl who's stealing my bras!"

(Migraine salute begins.)
"I ... see. And where is she now?"

"Right there in the corner of the living room."

"Uh-huh. And can you ask her why she's stealing your bras?"


"Why not, Jane?"

"Well, she doesn't have a head, so she can't hear me."

(Enhanced migraine salute.)
"Right. (Pause.) Well, actually, Jane, we already talked to her."

"You did?"

"Yep, earlier today. She promised she wasn't going to steal your bras because it's a holiday."

"She promised?"

"Yep, she sure did!"

"Oh... well, okay then."

(Further migraine salute, and laughter.)

Was it proper call-handling? Eh. Debatable. I was quite familiar with the caller - Jane is a very sweet lady who occasionally forgets a dose of meds, and sees things. She's never been a danger to anyone (including herself), and her husband generally gets her back on a dosage schedule pretty quick.

If she'd called again, she'd have gotten a welfare check from a badge - but I was comfortable with how it went, and I'd probably do it again.

Little chuckles like that make up for an awful lot of acute tachylawdias, SOCMOBs, and all the other nasty shit I listen to.

1 comment:

Brigid said...

I know the new job will have it's challenges as well.

One thing I've always wondered, working over the years for varied somewhat stealthy type jobs. Why is it that Joe Public, who might have a need to make a call, or a family member that lost your office phone and is trying to find you, can NOT for the LIFE of themselves, find the number in a phone book, but every conspirary chem trail, "there's a Bumble in my backyard raiding my ice cooler" can find the number.

Travel safe as you make the trek to the new adventure.