03/21/13 221 W - + 3 - 2 Morning Reading, Morning Pondering


FireCritic Rhett Fleitz this week offered a candid perspective on his blog titled: Shocker... Firefighter Screws It Up for the Rest of Us. This Time It Cost Me. He recounts the free memberships offered to firefighters at a local gym (he's in Roanoke, VA). Things worked well for several years, until someone recently screwed it up. Quoth the Fire Critic "apparently a firefighter took advantage of the free membership." This tale isn't a new one. Everyone has a story of someone ruining a good thing.

The corollary is the ability of firefighters to break anything. What's the adage? Give them a hammer and a bowling ball and put them in a locked room. When you return, the bowling ball will be broken and the hammer will be lost.) On this blog, Rhett invites readers to share experiences of withdrawn incentives. (And which has morphed, a little, into a general discussion of the propriety of discounts and freebies. This Statter911 posting from a time ago also covered that ground.)

My question is a higher-level one, also added as comment on Rhett's blog: "I've long pondered why firefighters 'take things too far.'" Is it in the very wiring? The same circuits that compel limit-pushing where lives and property must be saved?" Your thoughts...





I think part of it might be that a sense of entitlement develops and the courtesy gets taken for granted. But, I guess a gesture like a discount or free gym membership, etc. will just attract the freeloaders. It’s a question of “when” will a good thing get screwed up, not “if.” I typically get a discounted price on a cup of joe on the way to the firehouse since I’m in uniform. I don’t always get it, it depends on who’s working the counter. No biggie. I’ve been charged the discounted price out of uniform when the workers recognize me. I asked them to charge me full price in those circumstances, and I thank them for the courtesy when I am in uniform. I’ve also been told that some consider it rude to decline the courtesy they want to extend in appreciation for the risks we take. There are just lots of selfish people out there….
Bob - 03/21/13 - 21:32



  
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