You know that my job situation has been shaky lately, so recently I was just looking around at other careers. I looked up how to become a firefighter.
I'm not making fun of firefighters and I would gladly work in a fire fighting position over any job I have ever had but several things about that webpage struck me as odd or amusing.
For example, these "Frequently Asked Questions" in regard to completing the application process:
51. What do I wear to the polygraph?
53. What do I do next after failing the polygraph test?
54. Are polygraph tests lying to us? (Of course YOU would think so, you just failed.)
It can be a daunting road to become a firefighter. Common qualifications of 2 years of fire school, tough physical tests and becoming a paramedic (easy, right?) and volunteer work at your local station are all recommended. To receive an official badge, it is likely you will need to begin your career in a place you do not wish to live.
How does the author describe being a rookie firefighter? You know, after you just spent years of your life plowing through school, taxing your body and volunteering to get there:
He describes going over drills all througout the day, but mostly he describes doing housekeeping for the senior firemen. Making coffee, doing dishes, getting the newspaper and laying it out, cleaning up their messes.
"...I always make it a point to be the first one in the bathrooms with my scrubber/bleach-water mix/comet etc. TIP: WHEN CLEANING THE TOILETS INSTEAD OF FLUSHING THE SOAPY WATER DOWN THE TOILET ONCE THEY’RE CLEAN, LEAVE THE SOAPY WATER IN THE BOWL, IT WILL SHOW THE MEMBERS OF YOUR CREW THAT YOU DID THE TOILETS...
...12:00 p.m. lunch time, I am always the last to gather my plate unless ordered otherwise and I usually take the smallest portion. Even though I’m the last to sit down and eat, I’m always the 1st to get up and get in the suds. Do I eat so fast that I don’t even taste the food most of the time, answer is probably. I do dishes till the cook for the day calls for a “game for dishes” which entails some card or dice game where I will intentionally lose because at the end of the game do you think its good to see the rookie at the table while his captains are in the suds…HELL NO...
My typical day as a rookie starts off at 4:30 am... 1:30 a.m. I finally go to sleep when the last member of my crew has gone to sleep.
Oh yeah in addition (you need to expect) the “GAMES” that the senior firefighters like to play with the rookie at whatever time of the day/night they please."
If I, personally, worked that hard to become a firefighter, I would have a difficult time letting myself be treated like some fraternity pledge. Maybe I am not a good sport but is there any profession that does not rob you of your dignity before rewarding you? Is it just human nature that established members ABSOLUTELY MUST demean the new? I've never been frat-boy material.
Here are some excerpts regarding firefighter pay:
The average firefighter salary range is $50,000-$65,000. The work schedule of a firefighter consists of two 24-hour days per week, for an average of 8 days per month. Because of the many days firefighters normally have off during a month, many firefighters maintain a second job to supplement their income. These second careers consist of salesmen, ambulance drivers, accountants, landscapers, contractors, attorneys... (basically anything).
I don't know if that sounds good or not. I hope you learned something about firefighters.