Updated: Jul 8, 2021
Mediocrity is not accepted here... In a day and age where a large percentage of us are being told it is not acceptable to be excited about the job. That taking pride in having the best turnout time is nothing more than bragging. That trying new hose loads is just going to confuse the others. That stretching on or setting up the rig on an automatic fire alarm is wasteful and causes the public to panic. That liking to go to fires is terrible and we must like to see people lose their property. Have you ever been told one (or all) of these?
If you have been told these things:
Take solace in knowing that there are those among us that will never be ok with being the most ok-est. I find it appalling that in a career where status quo will get people killed, we still have those in our profession that feel it is ok to try and bring the most motivated among us down. Why? At its' most basic level, it is simply easier to bring others down to their level instead of trying to meet the enthusiasm of this perceived threat. They are afraid you will make them look bad. These “mutts” are to be ignored when they begin to bark.
Beware of the mutts and recliner snipers...
When they start with the age-old quotes of a mediocre career:
“Sit down, its Sunday”
“Don’t rush to the rig, you’ll get hurt or forget something”
“Dress down, it’s just an alarm”
“You’re working out on duty!? You won’t have the energy for that fire later”
“Why are you pulling lines again? You did that last shift”
“Why are you watching other departments' fire videos?”
Smile at them.
Ask if they want to join you.
Explain why you’re doing what you’re doing.
Take the high road.
Never stop trying to bring them up with you (maybe add a smart quip back in their direction just for fun)... but NEVER let them get to you.
Do the hard things.
You and I, we do the things that are hard to quantify in data. We make it to the call just a little bit faster. We last just a little longer on that bottle because we work on our fitness. We tune that bar to make it easier to slide around the door. We beat them in to their first due because we study streets. The list goes on and on, and sometimes, efforts go unnoticed… or so you think. The bosses know who you are. They know who to call on when they need to get a tough job done; even though they will probably never admit it.
Dare to suck at something new.
Comfort builds complacency. Dare to suck at something new. Ignore the barks from the mutts. Mutts are haters, and “haters gonna hate”. I will never stop trying. Therefore, I will never stop failing; BUT I will never stop! Be proud of who you are, and how you do it.
What are you doing today, right now, that is making the "mutts" yap in your direction? Share it in the comments.