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Thread: Gossip

  1. #1
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    Default Gossip

    I guess "general" is the best place for this topic. I'm having trouble with a fellow firefighter in my department. We went through the academy together, and we've been on the trucks for two years now. We're on the same shift, but we're at very different stations. He's at a big popular station, and I'm at a smaller outlier station.
    He's a very popular type of guy. A real "good old boy" if you know what I mean. I have a different personality, so I tend to be the easy target. No big deal, I don't mind. It's all in good fun, mostly.
    We're a slower department, about 2K calls per year split up between 4 stations. So there's a lot of time for the guys to talk and not a lot of action for them to talk about. Here's my problem:
    This guy is a real brown noser, and I don't mean the obvious type. He's very successful at it. He knows how to make himself look good. And he also knows how to make others look bad. He's the kind of guy that will say "Oh yeah so-and-so, he's a great guy but..." and then will say all kinds of damaging things about them.
    It's to the point where it's keeping me up at night. I know he's damaging my reputation. I know that I won't get chosen for the big stations and, as a result, I won't get to learn about the industrial areas that are so important to our area. I didn't come here so I could rot in an outlying station and never learn the details about our industrial response areas. And hey, I don't really like being disrespected either.
    I'm as good at my job as anyone, but with such a low call volume, it's hard to show it without being a self-praising loudmouth.
    So what do I do???

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    Volunteer for any details, projects, etc, hook up with a higher rank person and learn the next level.

    I am not saying brown nose just learn more about your job

    I would not worry about the guy, your only two years in

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    You're in a tough spot, for sure. I can't say that I have any Dr. Phil good words for you, but my suspicion is that, in time, this tool will be discovered for what he is and will lose his credibility.
    I am more than just a serious basketball fan. I am a life-long addict. I was addicted from birth, in fact, because I was born in Kentucky.
    ― Hunter S. Thompson

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    Like Fire49 says - get involved. Show 'em what you're made of. They'll figure out what he's made of soon enough.

    People like that resort to putting everyone else down in order to increase their own "stock." Many times, the problem (for them) is that they do so without making an effort to improve themselves.

    Work and learn quietly, and reliably. Learn to be an asset that can be counted on. If Mr Blowhard remains true to form, he'll still be putting everyone else down as a line firefighter when you're putting on collar brass.

    Above all else, don't let him bother you. He's not worth it.
    Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

    Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.

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    EastKy nailed it. Good reputations are made by what you DO. Not so good reputations are made by what you SAY. Just keep doing what you're doing and the right people will notice. With two years under your belt, you guys are just beginning to make your bones. It is a good time to start being a little more assertive (without blowing your own horn too much). It's OK to let people know how hard you're trying and how much you want to succeed.

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    Jeez, this stuff happens in a career house too?
    I had a similar situation in which I became the target for no other reason than I liked to train and go on fires. The more hours I got the worse it got. I was classified as the brown noser by some. I stood up for myself saying " listen you sonsabithches, I'm gonna make you look like your standing still if you don't get with the program and get off my back." I shouldn't have said it but enough is enough. Pretty soon the membership began to see how dedicated I was and the BS stopped. Good luck.
    The fire service is about service to our fellow man.
    There is a trust that must not be broken and we are the keepers of that trust.
    Captain Dave LeBlanc

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    Thanks for the replies. It seems like patience is the key here, which can be rough when you're watching this kind of thing go on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by conrad427 View Post
    Jeez, this stuff happens in a career house too?
    I had a similar situation in which I became the target for no other reason than I liked to train and go on fires. The more hours I got the worse it got. I was classified as the brown noser by some. I stood up for myself saying " listen you sonsabithches, I'm gonna make you look like your standing still if you don't get with the program and get off my back." I shouldn't have said it but enough is enough. Pretty soon the membership began to see how dedicated I was and the BS stopped. Good luck.
    Gee, I thought you Montanans were so good-natured.
    I am more than just a serious basketball fan. I am a life-long addict. I was addicted from birth, in fact, because I was born in Kentucky.
    ― Hunter S. Thompson

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    Quote Originally Posted by EastKyFF View Post
    Gee, I thought you Montanans were so good-natured.
    I think there is a reason they call is southern hospitality not northern hospitality!

    I went to Louisville once and people were so nice it made me uncomfortable!
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    The fire service is about service to our fellow man.
    There is a trust that must not be broken and we are the keepers of that trust.
    Captain Dave LeBlanc

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    Those brag the most and toot their own horn are usually very insecure... they also tend to do least.
    Remember... deeds, not words...
    If this "brother" is spouting crap about you he is also spouting crap about everyone else.

    Guys like that manage to **** off everybody and end up with their retirement party held in a Smart car.
    Last edited by DeputyChiefGonzo; 09-22-2013 at 03:26 PM.
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    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

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    Quote Originally Posted by EastKyFF View Post
    Gee, I thought you Montanans were so good-natured.
    Well for the most part Fried we are, but you got to understand Conrad is from what we call the Highline. The wind up there is ferocious, children have to be tied down to something wherever they go until they are about 12 usually, and that howl always drives them nuts by about the same time. Then there is the cold, it is so cold there that politicians keep their hands in their own pockets sometimes. Also to answer the next question you'll have. Yep, there are times that little Jimmy is tied down to the tractor and becomes a Jimmisickle. If you make past twelve they put you on a tractor and teach you to FARM, which essentially is driving around in circles on said tractor for the rest of your life. Remember about them going nuts at twelve right? Now they are training to be true phycho's, going around and around and around and around and around and killkillkillkillkillkillkillkillkillkillkill around and around and around. You get it.
    If you ever want to come up here K-Fried Why don't you come to our station? We'll treat sorta OK and I can assure you no one will try and make you into a casserole or anything like that Bro.
    Last edited by Miller337; 09-21-2013 at 09:29 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by fusion505 View Post
    So what do I do???
    As others have pretty much stated, worry about what you can control and not so much about what you can't. It may take some time, but eventually the other guys will figure out if he's a tool. Heck, some may even know it already. In the mean time, do what you can to "take away his ammunition". The more rock solid you make yourself in how you train, respond, etc., the harder it will be for him to convince others of what he says about you.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miller337 View Post
    Well for the most part Fried we are, but you got to understand Conrad is from what we call the Highline. The wind up there is ferocious, children have to be tied down to something wherever they go until they are about 12 usually, and that howl always drives them nuts by about the same time. Then there is the cold, it is so cold there that politicians keep their hands in their own pockets sometimes. Also to answer the next question you'll have. Yep, there are times that little Jimmy is tied down to the tractor and becomes a Jimmisickle. If you make past twelve they put you on a tractor and teach you to FARM, which essentially is driving around in circles on said tractor for the rest of your life. Remember about them going nuts at twelve right? Now they are training to be true phycho's, going around and around and around and around and around and killkillkillkillkillkillkillkillkillkillkill around and around and around. You get it.
    If you ever want to come up here K-Fried Why don't you come to our station? We'll treat sorta OK and I can assure you no one will try and make you into a casserole or anything like that Bro.
    Well, I know that teaching myself to play accordion by listening to Nirvana will pay off someday, and no one has ever explained to my satisfaction why collecting empty commemorative Jim Beam decanters is not a good retirement plan.
    The fire service is about service to our fellow man.
    There is a trust that must not be broken and we are the keepers of that trust.
    Captain Dave LeBlanc

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    Feel your pain man. From experience there are a few things I can suggest.

    I know it's hard but try to remain optimistic, someday the truth will come out.

    Take the high road, don't stoop to his level. If you can find someone that you trust and CAN trust speak with them about it. Feel people out, more than likely he's not doing this just to you.

    Integrity can win out. When you question the validity of the information (Who did you hear that from?) it may be possible to track it back to the source. It helps even more if you can provide information that proves the information given was false.

    Documentation, documentation, documentation. It's a PITA but it can save your ***. Even when it seems like little things, jot it down to include date, time, what happened and who witnessed it. I've been known to send e-mails to myself for this purpose. Otherwise it's simply your word against his and then statements are easier to explain away.

    Take care of yourself. Do the regular stuff like eat a proper diet, exercise, get 8 hours of sleep every night but also don't forget to just do fun things. It might not be normal "fun" but do something you enjoy. Build something, golf, do manual labor, volunteer somewhere, get away or whatever works for you.

    What you are experiencing probably started out real small but over time increased and became more targeted. It can wear you down. Your statement about it keep you up at night indicates significant stress. Strongly consider speaking to clergy, a therapist or somebody. More than likely your employer has an employee assistance program, check it out.

    If you want shoot me a PM.

    Keep your head up, eventually this will pan out but it can seem to take forever.

    Hope this helps,
    Walt.
    Last edited by FFWALT; 09-26-2013 at 12:47 AM.
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    The three best advancements in communications in the last 100 years:

    1. Telegraph
    2. Telephone
    3. Tell a fireman
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    Management is making sure things are done right. Leadership is doing the right thing. The fire service needs alot more leaders and a lot less managers.

    "Everyone goes home" is the mantra for the pussification of the modern, American fire service.


    Comments made are my own. They do not represent the official position or opinion of the Fire Department or the City for which I am employed. In fact, they are normally exactly the opposite.

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    Quote Originally Posted by conrad427 View Post
    Well, I know that teaching myself to play accordion by listening to Nirvana will pay off someday, and no one has ever explained to my satisfaction why collecting empty commemorative Jim Beam decanters is not a good retirement plan.
    Ya know, I think it all depends on how closely related the accordian playing and the preparation of the empty decaters might be...
    conrad427 likes this.
    Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

    Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.

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    Typically, when someone else is willing to damage your reputation, just to make themselves look better, there's some sort of insecurity there that they have to deal with. As far as you go, the best you can do is work as hard as you can, train as much as possible, and rise to the occasion on any call you go on regardless of the situation. Don't get sucked into bad mouthing another person, just do your job, other people will notice.

    There's always going to be people that like your or don't like you. Regardless, your reputation should be earned based off of work ethic rather than hearsay.

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    the best you can do is work as hard as you can, train as much as possible, and rise to the occasion on any call you go on regardless of the situation. Don't get sucked into bad mouthing another person, just do your job, other people will notice.
    Good advice. Forget about the other dude; the others will figure him out soon enough and react so that you don't need to.
    IACOJ
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    I am willing to learn.

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    As others have alluded, fire ground conduct tends to separate contenders and pretenders. Be the Brother that others are glad to have on scene and I cant help but think things will sort themselves out in due time.

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