I want some input from some other people, not just officers. I myself is not an officer by no means at my department. But on to the issue: We have a few employees that work with us that complain about everything. We as a department have new new rigs, new fire gear, and other new things, the department has come a long way in the last few years. We don't make lots of money but most of us really enjoy our job, we have done many things to turn up the moral, and are in the process for the postive out come, but at the same time this has mad some people alittle angry at the chief's and other staff such as the Shift BC'S and so fore. The last shift we had a small fire and this person wanted to belittle every process we done and even the crew's, so after arriving back to the station, the person was complaining about washing fire hose and doing busy work for the shift, clean trucks, inside and outside, wash parking lot down and other small things to keep the staion looking nice. I got tired of the complaining and told him if he didn't like it her to find some-where else to work. That shut him up for a while but it started up all over again. And he just can't stand to be proved wrong about anything, he has some big top notch degree and swears he knows more than anyone. He never wants to learn anything new about his job, go to any classes, nothing comes in and complains about everyting.


Question? Does other departments have these kind of people in the stations? And if so how you as co-workers deal with them. What would you do to handle it?

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Yup. I told one of mine one day;

The old saying the squeaky wheel gets the grease, may be true up to a point. However, there comes a time when I tire of greasing that wheel, and it gets replaced. At least he quit whining when I was in earshot.
Im a Heavy Equipment Operator (big title for driver). We have just over a thousand people on my dept. and I cant begin to tell you how many complainers, whiners and so forth we have here. Every little thing is a chore to these people. some actually complain about having to go on a call. isnt that our job???? I dont know about you people, but I get paid good money for doing what I do. To tell the truth, I enjoyed doing the same things when I was a Volly making $2 an hour when on a call.

With that said...

The only thing you can do is try to stay positive yourself. YOU ARE NEVER GOING TO BE ABLE TO CHANGE THIER VIEWS. Its just a fact. I have been trying to do that here for 10 years. Now I have learned to surround my self with those that love the job as much as I do. I try my best to tolerate the complainers, and every now and then I wind up snapping on the grumpy ones. But I think they have learned that I love my job and thats all there is to it. And like with you, they shut up for a while. and they start again a few shifts down the road.

Just keep up your love for the job. Do everything you can to show the newer members how much you like the job, and I can guarantee, it will rub off on them.

But thats just my take on it.
Document everything and give it to the Bat Chiefs if that doesn't work take it up the chain.
Just remember this, if your going to be the person to document, document, document then write up people all the time... people are going to document everything on you and your actions all the time.

I believe that writing people up is a last resort. the constant paperwork and documentation of people can take an angry person, and make things worse. Not to mention that you will be labeled the as the person that writes everything up.

There are vey few things that cant be handled at the company level. you can ask other officers for help. mediation can help.

something to think about.
I tell you what in the old days we would beat the hell out of people like that, they would find them self’s alone and crying up the chain of command. The best thing I can tell you is documents of turn it over the BC and let them deal with it. Hopefully you have an old school BC that does not put up with BS. Just do not violate the chain of command and make sure you have full support of the team that way you don’t look like a rat.
I don't really have any whiners at my dept. Not yet anyway. Sure we all complain to an extent but nobody complains about having to work or anything like that. It's actually kinda nice. Everyone pretty much jumps in and gets the work done so we can all go home or hang out and BS. Our only problem is that we have one senior member that doesn't seem to want to get involved with training and things like that. He's even been at the station when we've had runs and never attempted to make a truck. He could've drove and freed up another firefighter to do the job. In fact, we very rarely see him around the station. He is in charge of a crew to perform our monthly truck checks. This went into effect in October last year and his crew has done 1 check and that's because one of them cornered him and asked when they were going to do it.

Sorry I couldn't answer your question, but I definately like what Oldman said about replacing the squeaky wheel. That is one I would have to remember.

this person wanted to belittle every process

Remind this person that it is nice to be important but it's more important to be nice...

the person was complaining about...

we all have complainers, but not everyone has a job. if they are not happy, they know where the door is. just you exercising this option obviously worked.

IKE's - New generation term that does a good job describing this guy... I Know Everything... IKE...

he has some big top notch degree So do a lot of people who are working for McDonalds!

He never wants to learn anything new about his job, go to any classes Now if you really want to get rid of this individual and they are not part of the team... and you are a company officer, you have no other choice than to use what is called progressive discipline to both warn the employee and document that you progressively increased the 'penalties' for not following the department rules. I am pretty certain that if an employee is affecting company morale, not continuing their personal growth and education, create unrest or problems... then you must:

1. VERBAL WARNING: Give the employee a chance to defend themselves. Bottom line here is that you are using an informal method to impart on the employee that their behavior and actions are not acceptable and does not conform to department SOP's or SOG's.

2. WRITTEN REPRIMAND: They obviously did not get it... Now it's time to document what they did wrong and how you have tried to counsel the employee, and also confirming that you have reviewed the 'rules' with the employee. They now fully understand the weight of their actions. And for every action is a reaction, right?

3. MEET WITH THE CHIEF / DISCIPLINARY ACTIONS: So you have verbally warned them, gave them a letter documenting their actions and outlining what they should and should not do. Now they still don't get it. You have sufficient grounds for both disciplinary actions and possible termination depending upon what the employee did wrong.

Hope this helps out if you do not have this policy in place. It was invented for a reason to protect both the department and the employee who does have rights so remember to always to your homework and document, document, document...


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