Repost: Toxic Partners

a post from Ambulance Driver: "Toxic Partners"

"...We can talk about what you should expect from me."

"And what is that?"

"I'm a pretty easy guy to work with," I continued. "I only have a couple of hard and fast rules, and I consider them inviolable. Rule #1 is, what happens on the truck stays on the truck."

"Good," she agreed, "I have the same rule."

"This isn't some Code of Silence I'm talking about, BP," I explained. "I'm talking about personal stuff. You're going to be spending more time with me than you do with your kids and your boyfriend. Anything going on in your personal life that I happen to overhear, I'm not going to repeat. I expect the same from you. What happens with company business and patient care is another story, which brings me to Rule #2..."

"Which is?"

"Partners back each other up. I'm not starry-eyed enough to believe that you follow every company policy to the letter. Nobody does. And I'm not going to run to the supervisor bearing tales every time you violate a company policy. I am telling you that if you do something that I think compromises patient care or our safety, or negatively reflects on me or The Borg in the public eye, you're going to hear about it. But you're going to hear about it from me first. If I have a problem with you, I'm going to take it up with you first. If you don't fix it, then I'll get other people involved. That's all I ask of you in return."

"That's fair enough," she nodded. "I feel the same way."

"It would help if you adopted the same approach with everybody," I suggested. "I fucking hate company drama and politics, and being drawn into write-up wars. If you have a problem with another crew, take it up with them first, and politely. If they don't fix it, then I'll back you to the hilt when you take it to the supervisor. Likewise, if somebody comes to me bearing tales about you, or if I catch them talking behind your back, I'm going to back you up. I'm your partner. That's what partners do."

"I feel exactly the same way,"" she assured me, "despite what you may have heard otherwise."

"I don't care what I've heard otherwise," I answered. "I'm going to judge you by your actions, not what someone else says about you."

"Fair enough."


It's rather true in EMS that breaking this pact can cause a work partner divorce faster than anything. I've seen it happen far too often.

Today I had a rather similar discussion with my new "day husband". Almost verbatim. So far it has worked. What minuscule issue we had seems to have been resolved discretely, without drama in the presence of a patient or colleagues. Feelings weren't hurt nor were body parts ripped off of either of us. I'm crossing my fingers. I have already taken heat a couple of times in passing from supervisors - clearly letting me know that I will be held accountable to keep my partner in line because of previous (alleged) frowned upon behaviors.

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