I'm watching the TV and a politician has just referred to people who 'binge drink' as 'people who drink to get drunk', a phrase I first used on this blog a year ago. Maybe someone in government is reading this site?
I've written before about how I am a different person when I'm wearing a uniform, how I am more confident, more proactive and sometimes a bit more 'shouty'. The reverse is also true and I think that this is, in some way, due to the way that people treat me when I'm wearing the uniform.
People see me in uniform and permit me to direct them, advise them and do things physically to them. Without the uniform I can't do this.
It all became obvious on the way home from the centre of London one night. I was using the tube and, on coming up an escalator while changing between lines, came across a man who had collapsed.
There were two members of the public with him, a station officer and a station cleaner. As I approached I saw that he was pale and sweaty, he triggered that bit of my brain that says 'this person is properly ill'.
I tried to walk past, I really did. I think I got two steps beyond him before turning around and returning.
“Hi there, I work for London Ambulance, can I help?”
He'd apparently became dizzy and then had collapsed, a little chat with him revealed a significant history of internal bleeding in the past. Feeling for his pulse I couldn't find a pulse in his wrist, this meant that he had a very low blood pressure, this would explain his paleness and sweatiness.
I asked the Station officer if he'd called an ambulance, and he mumbled something in the affirmative. I tried to take control of the situation, but it all came out a bit vague and quiet. I put the cleaning bucket under his feet to try and raise his blood pressure a little and awaited the ambulance.
All the time this was going on I was feeling rather vulnerable, unlike when I am 'on the job', I could also tell that the people I was with weren't taking me as seriously as I would had I been wearing a uniform.
The ambulance crew arrived and I handed the patient over to them. They didn't seem impressed, again probably because I wasn't wearing my uniform.
As I walked away I felt rather bad, If I had turned up in a FRU car, then the job would have felt very different, but without my uniform I wasn't as confident.
It's funny what a green shirt can do for your confidence.