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No explanation is needed for this month's editorial illustration, and I'm sure we've all had to deal with bad attitudes before. The question I'd like to pose to the forum is; what have you done (or would do) to deal with this type of firefighter? Because if left unchecked, they will literally swallow-up the morale and spirit of the firehouse.

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I think every department has the "Know-it-all, chain of command jumping" rookies. We are in such a touchy-feely society now that the officer's hands are tied when it comes to "chewing" the bad attitude of a lot of the newbies and God forbid if he or she has to write them up. So, the frustrated officer adopts a bad attitude. So, it goes round and round. Back when I was hired, over 16 years ago, for the first year or two you lived by the three golden rules to getting along in any profession.....Be where you are supposed to be, be there on time and do what you are told to do. If there was a problem with someone in the station you "took a walk" behind the station with them and did not involve the station officer...it was all peer pressure. Those days are gone. How do we get everyone in the department to be happy and whistle a happy tune? Not sure but especially in this economy we should be grateful to have a great profession, and job we love going to every shift . I think I will remind my crew tomorrow morning of these things at my morning shift meeting. Gotta' take that first step in improving and maintaining morale. So, I guess what I am trying to say is it starts with me.
I believe in every word you said, I too have 29 y/o between volunteer and career. The going out back of the fire station is long gone. The three golden rules are gone too. So, you are right it has to start with me going in 10 days a month and try to portray a healthy environment. We just had in the past five years we have had at 8-10 officers retiring cause the work ethnic of others is long gone and they didn't want to be fired, demoted, or have written reprimand end their careers.
I think this is a great cartoon that stresses a pressing issue, especially in my department. It is true that once the head of the department turns and just handles BS with more BS it starts a dangerous attitude shift. I cut this out of fire engineering mag and posted it on the station whiteboard with the message is this you? it only laste 3 1/2 hours before someone threw it out.
Ah, now I know it was a good illustration - someone threw it in the trash. Strange way to feel gratitude, but for an editorial illustrator, it's music to my ears. The point of my work is not necessarily to preach to the choir, but to hit the ones that need a "punch in the gut". Kudos, Wally, for taking the initiative to make a difference in your FD! And thanks for sharing the compliment:)
Paul


Shawn "Wally" Weilamann said:
I think this is a great cartoon that stresses a pressing issue, especially in my department. It is true that once the head of the department turns and just handles BS with more BS it starts a dangerous attitude shift. I cut this out of fire engineering mag and posted it on the station whiteboard with the message is this you? it only laste 3 1/2 hours before someone threw it out.
Paul,

Let me give you a huge compliment! When I showed a rookie riding my engine, he gave me a seven letter two word response to your toon. We stood eye to eye for a minute or so, then he added,"captain...... sir"
I told him if he can get as much attitude with fire as he just displayed to me, he might go somewhere on this job.

So even though he was not able to throw it away, a think your editorial illustrator ego was still stroked.

Marty
Thanks for sharing, Captain. It's all about making a difference!


Marty Mayes said:
Paul,

Let me give you a huge compliment! When I showed a rookie riding my engine, he gave me a seven letter two word response to your toon. We stood eye to eye for a minute or so, then he added,"captain...... sir"
I told him if he can get as much attitude with fire as he just displayed to me, he might go somewhere on this job.

So even though he was not able to throw it away, a think your editorial illustrator ego was still stroked.

Marty
Hmmmmm.....I think your story about your rookie proves what I had to say. Sadly.

I'm starting with the man in the mirror and i'm asking him to change his ways,
For no message could have been any clearer,
If you wanna' make the world a better place,
take a look at yourself and make the change.

Marty Mayes said:
Paul,

Let me give you a huge compliment! When I showed a rookie riding my engine, he gave me a seven letter two word response to your toon. We stood eye to eye for a minute or so, then he added,"captain...... sir"
I told him if he can get as much attitude with fire as he just displayed to me, he might go somewhere on this job.

So even though he was not able to throw it away, a think your editorial illustrator ego was still stroked.

Marty
Ok Patti, You have me thinking but I'm not sure what your poem means at the end of my day. I feel there is always room for me to improve my style of management. It is interesting that when I showed this particular rookie the pic,I was merely handing the issue of FE over for his reading pleasure.He asked what I had just smiled at.So I handed the issue to him. He took it to mean I was calling him the snake in the grass.So you are right in your first post, he was touchy-feely about it. So I guess I don't see myself as "the frustrated officer, with a bad attitude." I like the metaphors of looking in the mirror and so on but I will admit, I'm an old captain, who still thinks the job is filled with truly inspired people. Inspired people tend to be passionate, therefore vocal by default. I like that in my guys at the end of the day. So when I compliment Paul's toon for the reaction given by my rookie, I see passion and inspiration. Some people see bad attitude, I see a rookie who truly cares what I think of him, or he would not care enough to react so strongly. It's my chance to fine tune his attitude and show where and when to use it. I.E., my comment for him to use the attitude on the fire ground.

So thanks for your passion and inspiration,Patti. Proof positive of what kind of people are in the fire service.

Marty

Patti Valero said:
Hmmmmm.....I think your story about your rookie proves what I had to say. Sadly.

I'm starting with the man in the mirror and i'm asking him to change his ways,
For no message could have been any clearer,
If you wanna' make the world a better place,
take a look at yourself and make the change.

Marty Mayes said:
Paul,

Let me give you a huge compliment! When I showed a rookie riding my engine, he gave me a seven letter two word response to your toon. We stood eye to eye for a minute or so, then he added,"captain...... sir"
I told him if he can get as much attitude with fire as he just displayed to me, he might go somewhere on this job.

So even though he was not able to throw it away, a think your editorial illustrator ego was still stroked.

Marty
Paul, every illustration that you do have GREAT MEANING to them. With that being said you don't have to read into your illustrations. They are want we are in the fire service. We see it in career and volunteer departments around the United States everyday. Keep up the great work, some of us are getting your message everyday and trying to spread the word. JKJ

Paul Combs said:
Ah, now I know it was a good illustration - someone threw it in the trash. Strange way to feel gratitude, but for an editorial illustrator, it's music to my ears. The point of my work is not necessarily to preach to the choir, but to hit the ones that need a "punch in the gut". Kudos, Wally, for taking the initiative to make a difference in your FD! And thanks for sharing the compliment:)
Paul


Shawn "Wally" Weilamann said:
I think this is a great cartoon that stresses a pressing issue, especially in my department. It is true that once the head of the department turns and just handles BS with more BS it starts a dangerous attitude shift. I cut this out of fire engineering mag and posted it on the station whiteboard with the message is this you? it only laste 3 1/2 hours before someone threw it out.
Thanks, John!



John K. Johnson said:
Paul, every illustration that you do have GREAT MEANING to them. With that being said you don't have to read into your illustrations. They are want we are in the fire service. We see it in career and volunteer departments around the United States everyday. Keep up the great work, some of us are getting your message everyday and trying to spread the word. JKJ

Paul Combs said:
Ah, now I know it was a good illustration - someone threw it in the trash. Strange way to feel gratitude, but for an editorial illustrator, it's music to my ears. The point of my work is not necessarily to preach to the choir, but to hit the ones that need a "punch in the gut". Kudos, Wally, for taking the initiative to make a difference in your FD! And thanks for sharing the compliment:)
Paul


Shawn "Wally" Weilamann said:
I think this is a great cartoon that stresses a pressing issue, especially in my department. It is true that once the head of the department turns and just handles BS with more BS it starts a dangerous attitude shift. I cut this out of fire engineering mag and posted it on the station whiteboard with the message is this you? it only laste 3 1/2 hours before someone threw it out.
Oh dear....My intention was not to insult or question your devotion to the Fire Service but only to serve as an example of being a good leader of people and keeping our attitudes in check. It was not directed at you.
If I created confusion please accept my apology.

Marty Mayes said:
Ok Patti, You have me thinking but I'm not sure what your poem means at the end of my day. I feel there is always room for me to improve my style of management. It is interesting that when I showed this particular rookie the pic,I was merely handing the issue of FE over for his reading pleasure.He asked what I had just smiled at.So I handed the issue to him. He took it to mean I was calling him the snake in the grass.So you are right in your first post, he was touchy-feely about it. So I guess I don't see myself as "the frustrated officer, with a bad attitude." I like the metaphors of looking in the mirror and so on but I will admit, I'm an old captain, who still thinks the job is filled with truly inspired people. Inspired people tend to be passionate, therefore vocal by default. I like that in my guys at the end of the day. So when I compliment Paul's toon for the reaction given by my rookie, I see passion and inspiration. Some people see bad attitude, I see a rookie who truly cares what I think of him, or he would not care enough to react so strongly. It's my chance to fine tune his attitude and show where and when to use it. I.E., my comment for him to use the attitude on the fire ground.

So thanks for your passion and inspiration,Patti. Proof positive of what kind of people are in the fire service.

Marty

Patti Valero said:
Hmmmmm.....I think your story about your rookie proves what I had to say. Sadly.

I'm starting with the man in the mirror and i'm asking him to change his ways,
For no message could have been any clearer,
If you wanna' make the world a better place,
take a look at yourself and make the change.

Marty Mayes said:
Paul,

Let me give you a huge compliment! When I showed a rookie riding my engine, he gave me a seven letter two word response to your toon. We stood eye to eye for a minute or so, then he added,"captain...... sir"
I told him if he can get as much attitude with fire as he just displayed to me, he might go somewhere on this job.

So even though he was not able to throw it away, a think your editorial illustrator ego was still stroked.

Marty
Patti, no offense taken. Now I'm sorry you mis-took what I said as being offended. It is the one problem I have with post, you simply cannot hear voice inflection or read body language, which serves as much better forms of communication. I truly enjoyed what you had to say. Please accept my reply with it's true intention of open and honest fire service communication.

Thanks,Marty

Patti Valero said:
Oh dear....My intention was not to insult or question your devotion to the Fire Service but only to serve as an example of being a good leader of people and keeping our attitudes in check. It was not directed at you.
If I created confusion please accept my apology.

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