Being a young pup myself I felt that my recent new learning adventure is worth sharing. I will start with the moral of the story. Sometimes asking an officer a question is not the best, ask other's why.

In my department if you cannot use your vacation for a date you need off you can use exchange of time (XOT). Now this can be accomplished two ways; work shift-for-shift with the person you are exchanging with or pay them the "going rate" to work the shift for you. Well I have always done shift for shift and not paid anyone yet, but this time I decided to offer either at the choice of the person helping me out by working my shift. So I asked an officer one day what the going rate was, he informed me of $150. so in my email to the last few recruit classes I quoted I would pay 150. I was bombarded with emails saying they would work for $200 as that was the going rate. I do not have a problem with this price but I could have saved a lot of headache and embarrassment if I would have asked a firefighter first not the officer, as firefighters use XOT more often and KNOW the going rate. So now I had to send another email trying to save face and hope I did not recieve a "deadbeat" perception from some coworkers.

So sometimes you should just ask the firefighter and not the officer. Oh well, Live and learn.