a few more thoughts from Sunday’s outreach

14 10 2008

As I mentioned in my previous post, I participated in my church’s program called “The Rock Gives Back”.  The group I was in went to the ambulance service.  I got to meet several new people, and they were very friendly and appreciative of what we were doing.

After talking to them, I was surprised at how many complaints they get compared to compliments.  Almost all calls are to complain, while very few people ever show appreciation.  These people risk their lives and put in long hours to help people in need.  I’ve heard of this tendency happening in other fields (like with pastors), where most comments are to complain.  This should not be!  I realize the people who complain have something to say (or so they think, in some cases), but we should encourage and edify those who serve us.  There’s a place for pointing out faults, but there should be more encouragement and complimenting than complaining.

Some of the complaints to the ambulance service were absurd.  For example, someone said that the siren bothered them while they were sick, so the ambulance should turn off their sirens when going past the houses of sick people.  One woman complained that the ambulance left idling was making the air toxic for her dog (across a parking lot).  One complaint was that the ambulance was being washed at 11:00pm and “what kind of person washes their vehicle at night?”  There were more examples, but you get the idea…

One thing I learned from these ambulance workers is that the safety mechanisms in modern cars are designed for seatbelt use.  So if you’re not using the seatbelt, the safety devices could actually injure you more.  For example, if you’re too close to the steering wheel upon impact, the air bag could kill you by breaking your neck.  So that’s another reason why you should always wear your seatbelt.

One more random tidbit…  I found it somewhat amusing that most people who learn of their occupation ask for advice on a medical condition they have.  I can definitely relate to that one.  Being a computer programmer for 10 years (plus 4.5 years of college), I had a lot of people ask me if I could fix their computer.  Most of the time I didn’t mind, and I never charged my friends for the work I did.  But it did start to get old eventually, especially when a friend of a friend needed help, or when the problem needed many hours of work.  Perhaps I should’ve started a side-business of computer repair, except that I didn’t want to keep doing that (nor was I trained in it)…  But I digress…

Well, I was initially going to make a point but I started rambling.  So it goes sometimes.  🙂  The point I wanted to make before I got distracted is this: don’t take people in public service for granted.  Remember that they hear lots of complaints and are rarely congratulated, so thank them for their service.  And if you are ever disturbed by the sound of sirens, consider that you wouldn’t mind if they were coming to help you or one of your loved ones.

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One response

14 10 2008
Thomas Wayne

You’re a computer programmer?!? Would you fix my computer?

Just kidding…

I remember a Dilbert comic where a co-worker asked Dilbert to fix his computer after work. Dilbert said, “Sure, and while I do that you can be at my house cleaning the grout in my shower.” The co-worker replied, “That’s crazy talk.”

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