Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Interviewing soon. This could be for you...

for what it's worth, here is my take on your upcoming interview...

The DO and CP are actually really good guys. The company is in the midst of huge turmoil right now, and the constant change has everyone trying to figure out what the heck is coming next. People are on edge - from the top to the bottom. Profits are down and heads are rolling.
All this means diddly to you - you just want to earn a paycheck.
Do your best during your interview. Study up on the CFRs. Be slow, deliberate, and humble if they give you a flight eval. Heck, do that anyway.

Do demand at least 55K to start, more for a crappy remote location. You might not get another raise for years, and you will be pissed when you discover that one of your coworkers who got hired after you is making that much, so impress them with your stuff, and hold fast to your salary demand.

If they won't pay that right now, be extremely polite and professional and let them think about it (and you) for a few days. If a week or two goes by and you are panicking, you can always call back and renegotiate starting salary. They are paying for your license, period. You invested an assload of time and money to get it, so don't give it away! This is the voice of experience speaking, I hope you are listening.

Remember that the people you are interviewing with have to pay peanuts (because thats what the owners dictate), and then they (the interviewers) have to deal with the consequences (the monkeys that work there). There is no pay scale, no union, no guarantee that your job won't change for the worse at any moment. Having said that, it is a paycheck that hasn't as-of-yet bounced. The job is mostly determined by who's/what's at your base. If you get there, you won't fly with other pilots, you will fly with nurses and medics. Don't be afraid to ask them to help you. And for God's sake don't scare them. A med crew on your side at an EMS gig makes life livable. A med crew trying to run you off usually succeed.

But I ramble....

Good luck and safe flights.

Friday, May 22, 2009

The best of Just Helicopters - THIS IS EMS

KLANK O'Matic "Don't Eat Lunch with the Med Crew"

Author: Klank repost #5/ Rothrhead173 Date: 5/22/2009 8:36:26 AM
DON’T EAT LUNCH WITH THE MED CREWSitting down for a nice lunch after our first flight of the day, the conversation turned to the morning events. “Did you get a load of the new nurse in the ER? Man, talk about green”, the medic was telling the nurse. The nurse smiled and said in a very loud voice, “I’ll get the Fully, the life saving Fully”. (I know its spelled wrong, but I’m not asking either. People been asking questions around here) I, wondering what this great miracle of modern science is, asked, “what’s a fully” as I take a big bite out of my sandwich. “It’s the tube that’s put in your dick that goes to the piss bag” the timid little medic replied eating her fries. The nurse with a mouth half full of food says, “Did you see the way she grabbed that poor guys thing, she grabbed it with a grip like my father in-law grabs the last longneck out of the cooler at one of our barbecues and shoved it in so far I thought it was going to come out his ass.” I think I’m full now.Mealtime was always a good time to sit and talk about work. It always seems to bring out all the most morbid details that one encounters in this line of work. I didn’t realize how much crap medical people have to deal with, and I’m not talking about paperwork, restocking the ship, and dealing with all the details of their job. I’m talking about real crap, somehow every one of them has a particular crap story that they have to tell.After some time in the saddle, I got my own crap story to tell one day. While waiting for the crew at the pad for an inter-facility I got a call on the radio to bring the something bag. (They name all their bags) Looking at the ship, I see enough bags to go camping for a week, I call back and ask, “What bag?” after a slight pause I hear “The blue one Klank” Ok, boy am I learning stuff now, wow, the blue bag, must get blue bag to the crew, stat. As I wander around the emergency room for a while, some kind sole takes pity on me and ask, “Are you looking for your team?” “Yes I am” I reply to this sweet little thing in her white smock with bunnies on it. “Their in the ICU”, I look at her with a glazed over look that must have been apparent, she points and says, “Just follow the signs that say ICU”. Ok, ICU, good, signs, good, follow good ICU signs, must get through with the blue bag to ICU to save the life of the patient, its all up to me.ICU, I learned is not a happy place, many sick people here, I guess that makes sense, never gave it much thought before. Walking down the hall, looking for the crew, I get this feeling of being unclean, that there are bad things in the air and its sticking to my clothes and I’m breathing it in. Must be strong, get the blue bag to the crew, code three. “Their down there honey, room seven” this rather large woman with kind eyes and a reassuring smile tells me. Rounding the corner in room seven, I see a curtain cracked open about four inches. I’ve made it; I can only pray that it’s in time.Sticking my head through the slit I saw what no person, in any profession, should ever see. Something so bad I cant, and shouldn’t even try to describe it, but let me try anyway. There was this woman, old enough to have babysat George Burns, lying on the bed, with a nurse attending to this little accident she must have had. Picture the changing of a diaper on a baby, and how you hold their legs in the air to clean a very messy number two. The nurse looks up at me and with the expression I must have had on my face, it almost made her smile. With a little smirk, she said, “Next one over” I will never be quite the same person I once was, I must regroup, and get the blue bag to the crew. This will be, after all, just like those things you see in combat, accomplish the mission and live with the pain, oh the horror. Carefully going over to the next bed, I slowly peek through the curtain, I see a flight suit, good, focus on the flight suit, and only the flight suit.“I have the bag”, I exclaim with great pride and sense of fulfillment, knowing that now I too have become a saver of lives in this noble profession. “Just put it under the gurney, we don’t need it now, but just wanted to have it, just in case” the nurse says calmly without even looking at me. “We’ll be about ten more minutes”.I feel the need to leave this place, this place of; I’m not sure how to express how this place makes me feel. I feel dirty, out of my element, and slightly dazed at the sight, sounds, and smells of this man, made, cold, sterile environment. I walk into the hall and first look right and then to the left, damn, how the hell do I get out of here? I was so intent on getting here; I didn’t pay attention to anything. Going to the desk to find my kind, caring nurse to get the directions I need, I see the nurse that I had the little encounter with in, now what is what has become, the horrors of room seven. “Could you please tell me how to get to the emergency room?” I say softly with a slight duress in my voice. She looks up, and with that same, you dumb ass, smirk of a grin, points and says, “Follow the signs that say ER”.Back outside, by my ship, in my environment, with fresh air, and no artificial lights, I clear my head, and think of what I have just undergone. First thing that comes to mind is the movie, Apocalypse Now, when the guy got away from the tiger and kept repeating, “Never get out of the boat”. I know, never go in the hospital, I hate hospitals, and I always have.That’s probably the dumbest thing I’ve said today, hell who likes hospitals? Nothing good ever happens in a hospital, it’s always bad. Some would say, babies are born at a hospital, that’s good, well that might be true, but they make you take them home after a few days, hell they could at least keep them till they had a job. Also, what’s this no nooky for six weeks crap, I make one little off the cuff comment to the doc on how sore her jaw is going to be, and I don’t remember much about the next few days.I think if the hospitals did one small thing to improve their image it would make a big difference to future generations. I think if hospitals sold beer in the waiting room it would create a whole new feeling about the place. People wouldn’t mind the long wait when things got busy, husbands would volunteer to take the day off work to accompany their wives for appointments. (That would be a beautiful thing) hell men in general, would go to the hospital more often, and not just when their bleeding real bad, and that would improve health nation wide. I mean, how many of you would go to a bar that didn’t sell booze?Got off the subject, if there is on, ok, med crew, lunch, I’ve found that a blissful ignorance on all medical subjects is preferred. Most of the time they speak in their own language, and can say some pretty gory stuff, and as long as I don’t ask them to put it in a way that I can understand, I can enjoy my lunch and the company of the crew.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

KLANK's Komedy: "Night Shift"

Someone re-posted this to JH. Thanks to whomever. This guy was hitting this job on the nail back when I started - with a sense of humor. If you are offended by scatalogical humor, go no further!

KLANK's Komedy: "Night Shift"

Author: Klank Repost # 3 / RH173 Date: 5/20/2009 7:41:00 AM
NIGHT SHIFTFirst day back after a nice seven off, time to get my head back in the work mode, night shift this week. My normal game plan to get my body switched around to nights is to stay up kind of late the night before, with a heaping helping of barley pop, eating some jalapeno poppers that I squirt with Cheese in a can. Well its three am the British sank the Bismarck again (the black and white British version) and it was time for bed.Nothing like a good ten hours of sleep, time to get my shift bags ready, I’m a geographic bachelor for my hitch and after a three hour drive to the company provided pilot quarters, I will still have time to lay down for an hour or so before I have to go in. Woooo, a little gassy this morning, that one made the cat run and the dog give me a look of “Dude, stop eating the cat food”. Oh well, just a little air biscuit, no gravy. Something to settle my stomach would be nice, looking in the fridge, I spy six hardboiled eggs, score, left over from when mama made potato salad. That should do the trick, so I ate three of them and take the rest for later.Nothing better than a big cup of coffee with the tunes cranked to just below internal bleeding, cruse control set, beautiful day drive. Humm, a little bit of rumble in my tummy, as I do the butt cheek boogie, lean over slightly and Rippppppp, bounced that one right off the leather seat, I’d say about a 8 for effect. A little odiferous though, better crack the window and let that one go. Fly, be free, and away I go to my first pit stop.I always stop at the Taco Bell just a little over half way of my quest. The coffee has worked its way through and although the volume of my little gas problem has decreased, the odor has magnified tenfold, with a little more pressure in my belly. I make a beeline for the can, as I walk in I see its all clear. I hate having to use public rest rooms especially when I know it’s going to be loud and loose. In the stall I remove my pager from my belt, (ever deep six your pager when you undo your belt to take a dump) drop my drawers and prepare for a moment of meditation. Slam, as the door bangs open and a little voice loudly states, “Daddy, I can do it myself”, Ok son, but I’ll be right outside if you need me. It wasn’t that bad before, but now, in the position of evacuation the pressure builds. La, La, La, he sings as he flushed the urinal twelve times, splash, splash in the sink, four hundred paper towels, and then sink on, sink off, sink on, sink off. I’ve had all I can stand, and I can’t stands no more. Ripppp, Splash, Foosh, with the full echo effect you get in those little boxes they call rest rooms. I hear little feet running like hell for the door, Bang, forgot to open it, Bang, he swung the door open so hard it hit the wall and bounced back and nailed him on the way out. “I can do it myself Daddy”, ya right, hope he’s scared for life. Man I hate the one ply sh#t tickets those cheap bastards put in here.Two Burrito Supremes, but no coffee, can’t believe the coffee upset my gut so, and back on the road. The food is settling my gut, will be there in about an hour, settle in, quick nap and off to work.As I pull into the base I see some activity, cool a flight right off the bat. My co part tells me that we got an inter facility and the med crew is just getting ready to go, should have a good thirty to forty minutes. As I crawl around the ship giving it the once over twice, I get a real bad cramp in my stomach, damn that coffee. With the grip my bung hole has to keep it all inside, I’m sure it could crush a walnut, as I do the funny little walk that I’m glad nobody can see. WOW, Major Bowel Letting, woooo, I got sweat dripping of my forehead, and the smell is like a rotten piece of meat in an old boot buried under an old out house that is now used as a chicken coop. Oh Great, three sheets of toilet paper left, I stretch round and peek under the sink. Empty, Damn, I bet there are fifty rolls in the nurse bathroom but do we have any, NOOOOOO. Kleenex! Half a box, boy that’s smooth, need it all though, with the force that the oozing mass of fluid mix hit the water with, it splashed all over my goat smelling ass. Feels good to get back out in the cool fresh air, med crew on the way, ship looks good, nice night for a flight. As I help the crew load this poor old soul, I can’t help but wonder about him. Ten years older than dirt, eighty pounds, and all alone, could that be me someday?When done properly, this is the most boring flying in the world, everything went great. Got some time to kill, stomach behaving but still just a little uneasy. You know a soda and another hardboiled egg or two should just do the trick, so I go to the machine and get a Mountain Dew, pull out my bag and eat, aw hell all three eggs.A lot cooler now, about 2 C, beautiful clear night, plenty of illum and stars to boot. This is why I’m here, the crew is hunkered down quiet, this was their third flight today, and I’m just glad to be here.Grrrrumble, Bubble, Bubble, Hmmm, I can’t understand what’s going on, its been hours since I drank that coffee. Caution Light in my head, pressure build up, open relief valve. Man, I can’t let one loose now, the crew would throw me out if this is half as bad as that last one. Butt cheek clinched tight now, sitting up very straight, with my toes just barely touching the pedals, with about a five minute ETE. I’m ok now, but when I start my decent and have to start getting on the pedals, I’m worried that it will be running down my leg before it’s all over. Maybe I can wiggle out just a little, you know, just enough to relieve the pressure so I can land this thing and make it back to the john. Nice and warm in here, if I open the window the crew will bitch, if I try to turn up the heat a little, this damn bleed air heater is so sensitive it will blow us out of here. I’ll just crack the window a little bit, pinch off the top, and no one will be the wiser. Window cracked, lean ever so gently to the left and ooooOOOSPLA, BRAKE OFF, Wave off, Abort, Damn that’s going to leave a mark!!!! I wonder if the med crew will, Thump, Thump, I hear the pax windows sliding open hard. Over the intercom I hear a combination of profanity, religious and medical expletives, and something about my mother. Turn up the heat!! The nurse yells, not even using the intercom. I reply with, Close the windows. That is followed by #@$%^%#$@ and *$#@!$%$#!, Damn, and you use that mouth to eat with girl.Back on the pad not much is said, a few looks as they hurry of to finish up their work so they can crash out for a while. I wait so I can do my funny little walk back to the john, pressure really high now and I am in pain. Ahhhh back on the john, and yep, it left a mark, OOOOoh, ouch, that Johnny Cash song “Burning Ring of Fire” starts running through my head. And it Burns, Burns, Burns, Oh Sh#t, I was in such a hurry I forgot to get the damn toilet paper, Damn, Damn, Damn, now what? Extreme times call for extreme measures, lets see, 1997 May issue of People magazine, I was going to read that someday, wrong kind of paper, it will just smear it all over, Ah what do we have here? Trade a Plane, texture good, lots of pages, good. As I sit there ripping pages and crumpling them up, I just can’t understand how one lousy cup of coffee could do all this.