Fair Is Fair

Of my two jobs, my EMT work is my favorite. It’s made me a little cynical, and every day I do it I go on at least one call that will never have a happy ending, but I enjoy it. I’m not the kind of person who would enjoy doing whatever it took to make as much money as humanly possible; I do like making money, but I also have this unnatural need to work a job that means something more than money (besides, even though I’d fight to the death for their right to keep their money, those with lots of money and high social status always seem to lack even the most basic manners and can be outrageously inconsiderate – I don’t want to be that).

Once I make paramedic, I’ll be in a union. That union will be able to do a lot of things for me, but there’s a lot of others it won’t be able to do. Public safety jobs don’t always pay well. There is not a public sector union that can obtain the kinds of pay and benefits that the United Auto Workers’ union can – not by a longshot. UAW workers have, for a long time, enjoyed six figures a year plus amazing health care, vacation and sick time. Since Obama took office he has elevated unions to a status that Adolf Hitler did, calling them important to the function of our society – even calling upon union leaders for advice and support. Many of those union heads are well-known as thugs.

As an EMT-I, my pay tops out around $12.50 an hour. As a paramedic I’ll start somewhere around $15. I’ll have to not only do drug AND alcohol tests (which I’ve already done) to achieve that position, I’ll have to keep doing those tests to maintain my position and I’ll have to keep up with my immunizations. I face exposure to various pathogens via bodily fluids, and could end up with Hep C with the stick of a needle (which has happened to others in my profession). I have been called to domestic violence incidents, sexual assaults, gunshot wounds (with the gunman still running loose in the area), stabbings, police standoffs, you name it. I have been there to see medics inject a heroin addict with Narcan to save his life, only for that addict to get pissed that we ruined his high. I cannot ever say I’ve seen it all, because as soon as I do, that bastard Murphy will come around to kick me in the ass with some heretofore unseen calamity that will become the stuff of legend (I have three words: lost condom call).

All that considered, it pisses me off to no end that this was captured on camera outside a plant staffed by UAW workers.

I have an education. I am very good at writing reports. I have a freakishly accurate memory. I paid for my original EMT school and am working my way through my continuing education. Yet I, who have obeyed the law my whole life, make around half what UAW workers make and they have repeatedly been captured consuming alcohol and using illegal substances on the job. These guys are convicted felons and gang-loving thugs and they’re making twice what your average cop or EMT makes? And they can imbibe during their break times? How in the hell does this work?

Unions like UAW are largely responsible for the obscene amount of outsourcing that American companies do nowadays, yet you won’t hear a single damn one of these occu-pests calling them out or marching to their homes. They have played an enormous role in pricing us out of our own market. They went from fighting for the basic rights of workers to fighting for pay and benefits that most companies cannot sustain. Factories have since been moved to Mexico, with parts being made in China and the Philippines. The liberals make demands that companies can’t live up to and then they act shocked when those companies ship the jobs overseas – and THEN they claim that “the rich are getting richer while the poor are getting poorer”.

What really roasts my ass about this incident is that every single one of the deadbeats you see in the video kept their jobs. They were suspended rather than fired. If any member of my crew pissed hot for narcotics or drank booze on the job, they’d be booted out the door so fast it would be painful. There would be no negotiation with the union. They’d be prosecuted, too.

I have to wonder what is so damned stressful about their jobs that they need to drink halfway through their day. I’ve gone on calls where I’ve had to tell a parent that we’ve just pronounced their child dead in a suicide attempt – believe me, I’ve wished I could have a drink after those. If assembling body armor is a new kind of stress that requires chemical intervention, then this is something that I’ve gotta try.