It’s Easy

I read a post earlier today about this skilled paramedic who was so proud that he made a newbie feel bad.

I have been in the EMS field about a day and a half and I know less than nothing, but this really doesn’t have anything to do with being an EMT or paramedic or sniper or anything else.

It is easy to point out someone’s weakness, their inadequacies. It doesn’t take a special talent to make a snide comment about how much someone sucks or how “broken” they are. Sure it appears to be clever and brilliant, but really it’s just cheap and easy.

It takes much more of an effort and far more intelligence to be an example, to bite your tongue, to contribute positively to their life, to try. Some people will not get it. Some people are lazy and will make excuses and continue to make excuses for not achieving , but as a leader their behavior should have no bearing on yours. That’s kind of the definition of character.

As my husband(a leader of Marines) says, if you are in charge of others, if you happen to know more or by the grace of god are blessed with more talents and you feel a need to point that out, that doesn’t make you in better, it makes you an ass.

To behave in a manner that encourages change. That fosters growth. That makes others want to be better…that’s a leader.

Everything else is just an excuse to justify meanness. It’s not funny or clever or smart. It’s cowardice and it’s bullshit.

There are a million people who know more than me and I am eager to learn from them. Luckily, I am learning from the best. I happen to be a person who doesn’t much care if you’re an ass, you won’t stop me, but how very, very sad for the ones it will stop.

How very, very sad.

21 thoughts on “It’s Easy

  1. Such a shame that you had this experience, don’t let it deter you. Been in EMS 35 years now, and in a new job, (thanks to Osamacare), I still have to experience that kind of treatment and behavior from co-workers. Stay the course and you’ll be fine, not all of us are jerks.

    • Thanks Bob. This person was not talking to me or about me just relaying their experience of how he was proud to have made some student feel bad. I read it and thought not cool.

      I know you are not all jerks. Thanks so much!!!!

  2. There are jerks in every field. Those who don’t use every spare moment to educate guide and encourage others, are simple consumed with their own inadequacies. The way I taught nursing was to tell myself that every one of those people could be taking care of me or my family in the future. This humbled me enough to make sure I did the best job I knew how to do. Best wishes to you !

    • You are right. I guess i used his post as an over all example of what not to do if you find yourself in a position of power. it’s like people do not realize that being nice and encouraging carries the same amount of weight as being a jerk. Of course, not being a jerk has the potential to also influence positive change.

  3. Folks who make others feel “less than” are just plain [insert every explatiive you know, and then add some that I might know ] pathetic. Yep, how’s that for a word to deflate someone who’s so full of their own hot air they feel they must use it to put others down?

    Bullying comes in many forms. Teaching also comes in many forms. The difference is this: by bullying someone, you are making them feel “less than” you. You, the bullyer (not you, AGirl, never you!) choose to show off your prowess in a manner made to make you, the bully, feel good about yourself and get some props from the fools who stand beside you.

    But you, the teacher, you may be more skilled or smarter or just plain MORE. However, as the teacher, you know that people only learn shame from being bullied. They don’t learn how to intubate someone because they are afraid of screwing up. The teacher shows them, again and again, patiently and with humility, how to do it until they get it right. The teacher encourages, the bully discourages.

    So, to all those maroons out there who love to make people feel “less than”…your day is coming. One day, you’ll need the help of one you considered “less than”…and at that moment, you’ll realize there is no “less than”. There are only bullies and good people, and you better hope you didn’t teach bullying better than anything else.

  4. Heh. I work for a boss just like that. Most of my education in the IT field comes from Google. The rest from screwing things up on my own over the years, and figuring out how to recover from that.

    An E-6 I once worked with in the Navy made a comment about another E-6 who was constantly ragging on everyone: he said that folks usually belittle others over things that they themselves feel inadequate about. In other words, if he was nagging someone about not grasping a concept or being slow to learn something, its because he felt that he himself was not the swiftest learner in the world. Etc etc. That comment sorta stuck with me…and from what I’ve observed over the years since then, the vast majority of the time, he was right. Which makes me stop and take a closer look whenever I feel like making a cutting remark about someone (trading good-natured jabs is the exception, of course, that’s all in good fun). Kinda humbling, and if one is open to such things, it reveals a lot about oneself and places that could stand some improvement. Now….if I could only figger out how to improve….

    • Great advice.

      I find it to be true in my own tendencies. It is one reason I try to be very understanding of others…I have my own flaws that I work on and am in need of a bit of grace from time to time too, but meanness I have very little tolerance for(and is not a flaw of mine:).

  5. Hey Girl, I used to work with an E.M.T. who had no use for Paramedics…Until he became one. Anyone can knock someone else down, it takes a special person to raise someone up. Good luck and stay safe. Joe

  6. I use to help instruct a martial arts class. As a brown belt being groomed for black I got the new students and was responsible for teaching them their basics and first forms.

    One time I had a group of white to green belts and we were working on round kicks. One of the white belts lost his balance and fell over, no big deal really, happens all the time. Except this time one of my green belts decided to make a snide comment and laugh at my students misfortune.

    I was stunned to say the least, I really didn’t expect this kind of attitude from any f my students, and to direct it towards someone who had been there less than a month – well, lets just say it pissed me off. So I decided to address it head on.

    “I remember when you could do this kick either.”

    “Uh, I didn’t mean anything by it.” said my green belt

    “Then why did you say it? Everyone starts somewhere, to be mean because a person wants to learn is being a bully. I don’t teach bullies. Go sit until your parents get here and think about what kind of person you want to be. If you want to be a bully, you need to find anther school.”

    Thankfully, I knew my sensei would back me on it because we had that talk a number of times before about what to do with a student who is a bully.

    He came back, and changed his attitude too. We had others though who didn’t and went elsewhere. Can’t win them all.

  7. Stupid, just plain stupid, but EMS DOES seem to have a fair percentage of those types… My daughter had an instructor just flat out tell her he was going to run her out of the program… And one of her proctors for her practical was the same way; he used a lot of ‘hidden’ clues that even the other instructors missed. But it was the ‘student’s’ fault for missing them. Just keep digging and ignore the asshole (they hate not being able to get a rise out of you).

  8. People who bully, or have an attitude of being holier than thou, or act like they know it all are actually hiding thier insecurities or lack of knowledge in their field. Same with those jackasses who browbeat thier spouses. If you notice, they also do not have many friends.

  9. Being in charge is not necessarily being a leader. That’s just a tiny piece of it.

  10. Your husband is a wise man indeed. His words show that, and his experience with the Corps bears it out.
    My own experience with people has led me to a few semi-universal truths.
    One – if you really ARE graced by God with special skills, talents and abilities, then you will also have the obligation to develop the corresponding proportion of humility. No one has ever been greater than Christ and no one was more humble, so unless we think we are greater than Him, we need to imitate that humility.
    Two – if you are good / talented / skilled AND humble, then you will want to lift people UP, and never, ever put them down, humiliate or shame them. You will find something, no matter how small, to applaud in their efforts and you will do this over and over and over without complaint, until they get it right. Whether they are kids learning to walk, or learning to play an instrument, or adults learning a new skill or a new language, or elderly people trying to walk again after a stroke or whatever – you lift them UP. Always.
    And three- if you must correct someone, you ALWAYS do it privately, and humbly, and with kindness, and you never mention it to anyone. No one ever ever knows except you and the other person. THAT is what makes a great leader, not chest thumping or a sneering attitude.

    I have had many people for whom I have been responsible over my lifetime, and almost any one of them would have done anything in the world for me, not because they were afraid of me or my position, but because they knew that I respected them, genuinely cared for them ( even the ‘screwups’ ) and would have their back, come hell or high water. If there was praise given out by higher-ups for a job well done, I credited all of that praise to them. If there was blame for something not well done, I claimed the blame for it. They never saw me as a pushover, or tried to take advantage but because of our relationships, they gave 100 per cent every time, and I gave it back. I still do.
    You already know all these things and that is why your fellow EMTs and others will respect you and listen to you. If the smartass guy ever wants that kind of respect and loyalty himself, he better get his sorry ass in gear and start learning, or he will end up a bitter, despised old fart some day. Sorry to have rambled, but like everyone else here has said – you DO have the right stuff, and you’re going to do great at anything you attempt.
    PS – And a screaming red Semper Fi to your husband.

Comments are closed.