Saturday 18 May 2013

Keeping Up Appearances

"48 year old female, (ironic) chip on her shoulder"

Q. What do cars need to run on?

A. Fuel & Water. Right?! Run out of fuel and they stop. Run out of water and they overheat and eventually stop.

Q. What do humans need to run on?

A. Fuel & Water. Right? Run out of fuel and they stop. Run out of water and they overheat and eventually stop?

Q. What do you do if the petrol light appears on your dash board?

A. Refuel right?

Q. What do you do if you're hungry?

A. Refuel right?

OK, science lesson over kids! Our petrol light was on. We didn't have enough fuel in the tank to safely do another job so were shown 'unavailable' to go an refuel. It was 5:30pm. I'd been at work since 6:30am. I had not had a break. I had not had a hot meal for almost 24 hours. The venting machine at the local hospital was out of order. Petrol stations sell sandwiches. I needed a sandwich. My headache also told me I probably needed something to drink too! As gin is frowned upon whilst on duty some Ribena would have to do! As luck would have it, in the petrol station they do a meal deal where I can get a sandwich, crisps and a drink and save 19p off the total price! Win! 

I parked up on the forecourt and stuck £101.01 in the tank. Wow, we were low! I headed into the shop, grabbed my BLT, a pack of steak McCoy's and my Ribena light (yes, I'm watching my weight and 'light' makes all the difference). I joined the queue. Eventually I got to the front and first of all paid for the fuel with my fuel card. I then started to pay for my lunch / dinner combo when I was interrupted by a woman behind me.

She was late 40s early 50s, wearing some kind of ill fitting business suit and blouse. It looked like she'd had a team of 10 people shoe horn her into it. One of her chins hung well below the neck line of the blouse and she was wearing a grotesque broach. Her hair was a big curly think, clearly dyed and badly. There was a tell tell stain across her hair line. She also looked and spoke like she was sucking a lemon.

"Ha, so this is where the tax payers money is going then?!" she said with an arrogant smirk.

"I'm paying for this myself, is that OK with you?"

"I'm not talking about WHAT you are buying, it's the fact there are people out there waiting for an ambulance and you're in here only concerned with feeding yourself."

"I beg your pardon?!" I said in utter disbelief.

"See, that's the best you can say while you think of a way to justify yourself."

"The ambulance needs petrol and we are entitled to eat you know!"

"Don't waste your breathe, I know your type, carry on, stomachs to feed."

Was this really happening?! Is this what people think?! Was getting a sandwich really that unreasonable?!
"Do you not eat whilst you're at work?"

"Of course I do, but I don't risk lives in the process, I don't know how your lot sleep at night. No wonder the NHS is in crisis. To think my tax is being wasted on you."

"I also pay tax."

"Hurry up, you're boring me now, run along with your lunch."



  1. The cheek of the woman. I think I would have put her in her place in front of everyone and embarrass her as she did you..

    But you did well to hold your tongue!!

  2. Ella. The most articulate and persuasive individual would fail to change the mind of someone so clearly centred in their own bigoted and badly judged views. This is one of those situations where what we'd like to do is neither legal or suitable professional conduct.....but I bet you thought about it?

  3. My blood was boiling just reading that. I would have been just as gobsmacked if someone had said that to me while I was picking up. I probably wouldn't have held my tongue. Some members of the beloved general public do treat us like dirt in there shoe. Disgusted

    Manchester tech

  4. You can't argue with some people, because you can't fix stupid.

  5. You should look at this -

  6. Pointless arguing with her - she believes the Daily Hate Mail to be an absolute truth so it really woldn't matter what you said you will always be wrong to a person like that.

  7. What a horrible attitude! I've heard people whine about this alot especially where the police are concerned, Emergency service personnel are humans and need to eat end of, i'm not a member of the emergency services but I always say I would rather see them out and about getting their food in public rather than being hidden away in a station somewhere. Like you say these people have a chip on their shoulder, I bet they wouldn't go without their lunch!

  8. Oh my goddddddd, PEOPLE LIKE THISSS!! Does she not realise that by carrying on dehydrated and hungry you'd be putting people in danger? People forget that , as a doctor/nurse/paramedic/ambulance driver/dentist/ANYONE responsible for someone's health and welfare, you have a duty to look after yourself in order to avoid harm to those you are treating! What an ignorant woman. I don't know how you kept your cool!

  9. I imagine that she would head straight to a lawyer and/or newspapers if it was discovered that you that had not been eating or drinking adequately during your shift and that this could have contributed to a wrong treatment decision.

    Who cares for the carers?

  10. I think I'd have had to walk away quickly.
    My reply would have been along the lines of "I've been at work and job to job without a break for 11hours. The ambulance was out of fuel, as am I. I'm not going to get a break now and will probably eat as much of this as I can manage in the next five minutes on the way to my next job.... Would you do that day in day out? Nights? Bank holidays? Xmas? No? Well wind your neck in." And then I'd slap her with a convenient wet fish.
    Walking away would be so much better for my registration. There are idiots everywhere. Ignore them.

  11. How you didn't need an ambulance to attend an assault at a local petrol station minutes later is an absolute mystery to me. You don't deserve to take that sort of shit from anyone and I'm just hopeful it's not representative of the people you meet on the job.

  12. How you didn't need an ambulance to attend an assault at a local petrol station minutes later is an absolute mystery to me. You don't deserve to take that sort of shit from anyone and I'm just hopeful it's not representative of the people you meet on the job.

  13. Clearly a rude women, however not sure why how she looks gas anything to do with it. Do not believe your judgements on how she looked were relevant or any better than the comments she made. Would you have been so negative about someone's look if you femmes them well presented?

    1. Describe how she looked is no different to describing what the weather was like. I write to describe what I am seeing. Surely it is important what part of the demographic of the population she is in? Writing without description would be very dull indeed.

    2. Hear hear! Anonymous, your remarks are facile and disingenuous! The description of this woman was vital to the plot (see what I did there! Ella, you truly ARE a writer): the grotesque representation of the "I pay your wages" , sense of entitlement/look down our noses at you brigade, demographic is what speaks volumes here; just as previous "descriptions" of ungrateful, drunks spitting on Ambulance crews does in the relevant blog.

  14. Artrrrrghhhhgg noooo way..arrrrghhhh!!!! (I guess slapping her would have been wrong?)

  15. I've been reading your blog for, like, ever :-) and you always make me smile....I decided to comment today as I just wanted to say your blog is feckin fantastic...also as I was unfortunate to require the ambulance services on Thursday night, I felt it was only fitting to leave comment, I also pointed the paramedics in the direction of your blog, as I felt that as many people as possible should get the pleasure of reading it :D

  16. and calm, well done for not launching into her, £101 equals a v busy shift. I'm not sure I could have walked away that far into a shift without some form of sustinence. Everyone's entitled to their opinion some people are intent on forming uneducated ones. It's up to use to try to educate but you can't educate pork

  17. Probably a Daily Mail reporter.

  18. Good God... She actually sounds like a character from a sitcom. You know the type; the character that's put there just to give the viewer someone to hate.

    Humans need to eat, otherwise they can't work. I can't pretend that I was much good at any of the sciences, but I'm pretty sure that I managed to commit that particular fact to memory in primary school. Frankly, I would be more fearful for my life if I knew that paramedics never stopped to eat.

    Ridiculous woman.

  19. Ha, was waiting for your anonymous 'description critic' and there it is! Twat!

  20. Could that be classed as verbal assault, dignity issues here. People have no perception what we do and how its done and believe too much of the lies perpetuated by condem politicians. This reminds of when I was driving through a village (known for having big houses and loadsamoney people living in them) on the way to a cardiac arrest, blues n twos blasting. This middle aged fat bloke comes running out of his drive waving his arms frsntically, flagging us down . I thought we'd been given the wrong address or something else had happened and this gentleman wanted help. I stopped ( I had to, otherwise I'd have run him over), wound the window down and was about to offer assistance when he started to rant at us "why do you have to make such a (swear word starting in f, ending in 'ing') racket with your bloody siren....". I was at a loss for words and just said sorry mate, someones dying just down the road and we need to be there'and drove off hoping i'd squashed his foot. It really didn't put us in the right mindset to deal with the cardiac arrest and I wished I could have been quick enough to give the replies and putdowns I have since thought of. There are some odd and arrogant people out there who think they have the right to be gobby little so and so's, you expect it from drunks but get taken abback when its in a 'normal' situation.
    Brilliant blog keep it up.

  21. My guess her mouth was as big as her arse - and they both contain merde!

    If ever I need help I will choose you every time.



  22. That's the great thing about the Great British Public, the vast majority are thick as mince and rude with it.

    I'd have mada a point of paying very, very slowly - assholes are always in a hurry!


  23. Oh my GOD! What a total wanker excuse of a human being. Bet you'd like to fart in her general direction... after a feast of pickled onions and gone off egg sarnies!

  24. What a caaaahhhhhnt. Hope she choked on whatever she was buying. I bet she's just a peach to everyone she meets. Twatwaffle.

  25. I love you Ella! Every post bring me a smile, a giggle, some tears or the like. This post makes me want to strangle ignorant members of the public ;) xx

  26. I know what i would have done in your situation Ella. I would have been tempted to remove her from the gene pool, but I know that is frowned upon. I would have liked to have floored her with a well thought out eloquent argument describing my entire day, what I had eaten so far, how I was feeling and whether she would like to be treated by a paramedic who gives you the wrong drug because they're having a hypo. In reality I probably would have gone red and kept my mouth shut, because not having a complaint, no matter how ill founded, is more important to us than ' individual public education'.

    Could have been worse though, she could have called you an ambulance driver too...


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