Brian, I just retired from 21+ years with a mid-west fire dept., The first 5 years were the best!! but slowly the job, especially the Paramedic end of it passed me by, and I felt like I was just faking it and feared that I would be caught some day. To add to that stress our dept. was run by a bunch of bullies and since the actual fire load (actual fires) was light, we (the Dept.) spent a lot of time fighting each other so any perceived weakness was pounced on. My best advice is make a list of things that you feel are a challenge at work and start knocking them off. I was accused of not knowing my streets, I was not from the town I served so I bought a memory course and started memorizing the street names, then actually walked the streets, or by Bike, and when the opportunity came I worked part time with the census bureau, and got paid to walk the streets. You can’t keep them from talking about you, but you can keep it from being true. I was 15 years into my career when I was diagnosed with ADHD and if felt is was a secret I had to keep to myself, I’m not married “surprise” so I had no real support at home. Meds helped a little but I got through it and got out with my pension. Whew! One of the big killers for me was having to rush out unprepared. So I always kept a bag with me with extra pens, a dictionary, electronic dictionary, snacks, Chapstick, chemical hand warmers, gatoraid. I always got to work early to check out my rig so I would not get caught with my pants down if we got a early call. And I lobbied my cause that I did care about my job, and was doing all I could to stay current and informed, though I often fell short. I always said that “the only thing worse than riding the ambulance with someone who is unsure of himself, is being that person.” I found it helpful to let someone I could trust know I had areas I was uncomfortable in, ask for their experience and allow them to have the final say in that area if the need arose. But don’t ever let them think you don’t care, that its not your job, or that you don’t have to know your job. They will crucify you, and have fun doing it.
Hope this is of some help, All the best, Say Huh?REPORT ABUSE