1. #1
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    Default Supervisors: How would you....

    ... tell a probationary firefighter he is "trying too hard to please?"

    We all remember how we were so excited when we got hired and anxious to please our co-workers and supervisors. But I've got a kid who is a little over the top. I admire his enthusiasm and attitude, in most respects. But in his zeal, I can see how some of the firefighters are overwhelmed by it. Calling it a precursor to all out a** kissing wouldn't be fair, but I can understand how some might see it that way.

    I want to advise to back off just a bit without hurting his feelings. Any suggestions? (I hope no one misunderstands where I'm coming from on this.)

    Thanks.

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    I'm not seeing the desire to stop the activities. Just what is he doing that is so bad?
    Picking up donuts in the morning, ice cream, paying for lunch?
    Or is it around the station. Is he always on the floor and never in the recliner? Does he continually ask someone to show him something? Is he cleaning the station and rig without being asked?
    Is he showing up for work early and leaving late?
    Give us some idea of what the problem is.
    He might be grateful that he has a job in the fireservice, it could be as simple as that. I've known a few guys over the years that NEVER took a seat in the day room. 30 year guys who at night and on weekends NEVER stoped working. They would be polishing axes, replacing light bulbs, cleaning rigs anything related to helping the department. We should have more guys like that.
    If your guy is not being constructive you could try directing his energy into activities that make the department better.
    If what he is doing is helping the department (cleaning tools, training, fixing stuff around the house, etc.) then encourage him and give him a "Good Job" in front of the other members of the engine. It may just become infectious.
    I wouldn't try to stop him unless he is hurting something or himself.

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    I'm sorry, I thought I gave an idea of the problem. His "over the top activities" have nothing to do with work tasks, generally speaking. It's the "Picking up donuts in the morning, ice cream, paying for lunch." The things I called possible "a precursor to all out a** kissing." Working hard is not a** kissing.
    Yes, he may be "hurting himslef." I'm speaking of his relationships with people he works with. I want (and will encourage) him to be hinself, to relax. But most people in my metropolitan department don't want someone acting like a mom or girlfriend by baking them treats twice a shift.
    But he may also be "hurting himself" in how he does his job. Since I posted the question I have noticed that he tends to get a little too amped at a call, even for a rookie. He tendancy to be a little over the top at the station may also be reflected on scene. I hadn't noticed this when I first posted. At that time I thought it was just around the station. I'm now more certain (and more comfortable) in advising him to dial it back a couple notches.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LtTony
    I'm sorry, I thought I gave an idea of the problem. His "over the top activities" have nothing to do with work tasks, generally speaking. It's the "Picking up donuts in the morning, ice cream, paying for lunch." The things I called possible "a precursor to all out a** kissing." Working hard is not a** kissing.
    Yes, he may be "hurting himslef." I'm speaking of his relationships with people he works with. I want (and will encourage) him to be hinself, to relax. But most people in my metropolitan department don't want someone acting like a mom or girlfriend by baking them treats twice a shift.
    But he may also be "hurting himself" in how he does his job. Since I posted the question I have noticed that he tends to get a little too amped at a call, even for a rookie. He tendancy to be a little over the top at the station may also be reflected on scene. I hadn't noticed this when I first posted. At that time I thought it was just around the station. I'm now more certain (and more comfortable) in advising him to dial it back a couple notches.
    Personally, I wouldn't be too worried about the stuff he is doing around the station unless the other guys are looking down on him for doing it. In that case, a friendly chat with him may be the ticket...He may be insecure about being the FNG and is trying to compensate for it be trying to be liked by everyone. He may just be going about it in the wrong way and need some redirection of his efforts to more beneficial ways of earning the respect of the Brothers.

    So far as his actions on scene are concerned, that's a different story entirely. If he is freelancing, or going beyond his assigned duties without direction and authorization, he may end up getting himself or someone else hurt.
    Enthusiasm and zeal for the job are great, and should not be thwarted, but if he is doing things he shouldn't on scene, that needs to be addressed right away.




    Kevin
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    IAFF Local 2339
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    "Fir na tine"

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    I thought I mentioned that "he may be 'hurting himslef.' I'm speaking of his relationships with people he works with...most people in my metropolitan department don't want someone acting like a mom or girlfriend by baking them treats twice a shift."
    Yes, I agree. I think he's trying to compensate, to overcompensate.

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    Wink Advice from the other side

    Maybe you could have a "word" with one of the senior "Indians" that you trust-explain the situation more fully, after all the guys in the back of the truck are part of the problem too.After all, who is scoffing the treats?

    He may respond better to someone he see's as an equal rather than you, the "Bloke with the most feathers".

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    2andfrom: Not a bad idea. Thanks.

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