Five Years

Today this blog is five years old. It's moved beyond the terrible twos and is now happily walking around on it's own, only occasionally falling over and skinning it's knee.

This is the longest period of time I've ever stuck at doing something. I've stuck at it because for some aspects of my life this blog *is* me, what I write here is the part of my personality that I extrude onto the internet. I've stuck at it because I love blogging, I love the community and I love evangelising about blogging.

I've had great opportunities because of this blog, I've done interesting things, become an international author, and most importantly I've met some really great people.

I've had a chance to be involved in a conversation with thousands of people, some of whom have become good friends to me.

Writing this blog has enabled me to reflect on my own internal thought processes and has changed me for the better, I think so at least. When I started this blog I hated my patients, now I am practiced at viewing their situation from other angles (a process I use to try and stop repeating myself) and this has made me a better ambulanceman.

While there are tropes that I've revisited I don't think I've ever repeated myself, somethings I want to bring to the attention of everyone and this blog has let me do that. Every drunk is an individual.

I love blogging and I can't see myself ever giving it up.


I can feel my health slipping away due to shift work, and while I still enjoy the job to some extent, it's not stretching my mind at all. I get paid (before tax) £25,000 a year to wreck my body with shift-work, surround myself with the violent and the sick and then get threatened with disciplinary procedures for being ill too much. I watch how the job is changing and I hate the changes being made in order to please our government masters.

I look at all the things being done wrong and have no power to change them, nor will I ever have that power.

So, from today, I am officially looking for another job. I'll do (pretty much) any work for £25,000 or more. I'll work in an office, I'll wear a suit, I'll sit at a computer all day – I don't really mind. Obviously my ideal job would be something where I can be evangelical about something I love – journalism, podcasting, teaching people to use the internet, doing online PR, helping a company with it's social media strategy. Something like that would be perfect. I don't think that I want to stay in the NHS, not patient-side at least*.

Time to start looking forward rather than at the walls of this rut I've made.

Lets see what the next five years bring…

*However, I think I'd sign on to do bank, or 'casual' ambulance work at the weekends – I'm not sure I can get blue-light driving completely out of my veins.

43 thoughts on “Five Years”

  1. Hi tom,medical informaion for a drugs company woud see you on the right sort of money and would be 9-5 (ish) in an office.

    You'd be dealing with calls from patients and doctors after info about the sort of medicines they (or their patients) had taken or might take.

    Either that or work in pharmacovigilance – people with medical training are always useful in such an environment.

    I can put you in touch with a really good agent who has previously landed me a couple of good positions and has also got friends of mine good jobs too. You should have my contact details, so feel free to drop me an email and I'll be happy to give you more info.


  2. I know what you mean. Having been in practice at the beck and call of ungrateful and demanding clients for more years than I care to remember, being threatened with being sued/ reporting me to the RIBA/ not paying my fees, and getting paid less than an oil tanker driver; I get a bit depressed at times. Sometimes I want to give it all up, but what else can I do? I know one thing – I couldn't possibly do your job and admire you for sticking it for so long. Good luck – how about trying the architectural profession?

  3. Flippin' 'eck Tom, what a shocker!However i wish you all the very best in whatever you find yourself doing – it has been a pleasure to read of your exploits these past 5 years (and in the book – yes, I bought it!) and hope that you can find sometihing interesting enough to continue to hold us on your blog.

    Is there something in the internet water causing everyone to think of quitting?

    Waiter at has quit being a waiter

    Dr Brown at “A Fortunate Man” has intimated that he too will be leaving these shores in the near future

    And now you……..

    Good Luck mate


  4. Wow. Well that's partly surprising and partly not….you've sounded unhappy with the shift work for a while.On another sort of “WoW” – how about getting a job as a Game Master or something at Blizzard – they're hiring! 😉

    Whatever you choose, good luck with it and I hope you continue to post still as whatever you post about it's always interesting!

  5. Best of Luck Tom.I've been reading your blogs over the last three years and as a someone in training for the NHS professional team, reading your blog has shown me how to look at situations in very different ways. So thank you.

    I hope that you will be able to find something else that you can be so passionate about to write about it as you have done with your ambulance work.

    Best Wishes

  6. how about Voluntary Service Overseas for a couple of years? not paid apart from expenses, living accommodation etc but a great experience in different surroundings – doing something of value to the local community – and with the world wide web no hold on your blogging, I can well recommend itall the best anyway

  7. Congratulations on your five years. Had a thought about a job- how about an ambo person for a private company recovering people from overseas? Could that be done part-time as well as an IT type thing?I'm glad you've come to a decision, I bet you feel better already! Just as long as you keep up the blog! You may be writing about irritating people in suits instead of drunks but I'm sure it'll still be entertaining. Good luck, hope you find something very soon.

  8. Congratulations on 5 years!Your writing is well-done, I'm sure whatever “topic” you choose for the new career will be just as fascinating to read.

    Considering your ire at the state of many “care” homes – perhaps you can find something that would allow you to make positive change in that area? Inspector or licensing or somesuch?

  9. Hell's Teeth, Tom!Like all the rest, I'll wish you all the very best – but I can't help feeling we'd be losing a valuable asset (sorry if that sounds objectifying).

    What ever you do, I wouldn't want to miss your views on the World.

    (ashamed)First post, long term reader.

  10. Happy anniversary! Thank you for letting us into your life. And well done you for looking for a new job; it's a brave thing to do 🙂

  11. not like we couldn't see it coming. i don't think i'll ever understand how the “top few people” treat everyone and everthing else. the conditions you work in are shocking, not even taking into account how important the job you do is.we will be our own downfall. i'm sure you'll find something lovely. you deserve all the best.p.s. i've been reading this for five years???

  12. Hey TomI'm glad you have decided to do something, I hope it works out well for you….keep us posted obviously!

    Good luck chap 🙂

  13. Best of luck with whatever you choose to do Tom, I'm sure you will excel at anything you put yourself to.I would like to thank you.

    Reading your book after receiving it for Christmas in 2006 cemented in my mind that A&E was where I wanted to be and gave me the push to train and work hard for it.

    18 months later I'm 4 months off qualifying as a Tech and looking forward to going for Paramedic. I have no doubt this is the job I am meant to do………………. and also through your inspiration I have started my own blog, its an interesting learning curve but I find it very cathartic and rewarding to put across my impressions and feelings about the job I love.

    Wouldn't have done it without you! Cheers Tom!

  14. Good luck in the search to satisfy your senses and brain.You are the sum total of all that you have been exposed to, the mind always needs new exposure, it hates to repeat the same old continually , tis why 'umans are never satisfied with the status quo.It is a shame the NHS cannot use your wide ranging abilities [ talents] for their good and for yours too.Having done the Shakespearean bit of all the worlds a stage and successfully moved on from the puking to sans everything, I recommend to you to explore whatever turns you on, there 4 four items necessary to keep breathing and and not be daisy weed fodder.One: sufficient calories and water, Two: maintain body temperature at 98.5 d f. Three: allow the mind to find time to fix the days stresses with letting the body unwind and Fourthly share thyself with some like minded.All other endeavours be a luxury that do not usually make one satisfied. Money be a necessary tool, but do not let that enslave you, as it has done to so many , willing slaves never having real freedom to enjoy thy brain.Good Luck

  15. Congrats on the Big Five!I'm intrigued that you've waited until today – a significant blogging anniversary – to decide on the even more significant event of a potential career shift.

    Whatever you may or may not end up doing, make sure it's something you feel passionately about. We'd hate to miss out on your passionate writing.

  16. Happy Blogday Tom, and good luck finding a new job – I've a feeling you'll be headhunted pretty damn quick.

  17. I'll be sad to think that such a competent pro will be leaving the NHS, but I'm not surprised having read your posts. Best wishes for the future, I hope you land something you love and are really good at doing.

  18. Blimey. Well, good luck… I can understand how you've reached this point, although I can't really offer anything for moving forwards.Is Random Acts going to be kept up and running with the change in job?

  19. Long time lurker here, popping in to say Happy Birthday to your blog. I started reading it about four years ago before I even knew what a blog was. I love your writing and hope you can find a job that uses your talent and pays wads of cash too. Good luck!

  20. Congratulations on the blog's fifth birthday – and on looking for another job! It's been clear for a while that you're not happy with where you're at. Good luck with the job search!

  21. But then I won't be able to pay rent on my flat – otherwise I'd jump at the chance.And it's a council flat so I couldn't even let it out to someone else.

    I'd come back and be homeless, and where would I store all my sh… 'stuff'.

  22. That's one of the things I'm currently looking at – although again, I don't think it'll stretch my brain much.

  23. Absolutely!Happiness comes before wealth in any sane person's mind.

    And breathing comes before happiness.

  24. That's the plan.I chose this date to make my thoughts public as it has a sort of 'resonance', and by announcing it out loud it will spur me into doing something about it rather than just talking about it.

    And yes, I want to do something else that I'm passionate about, or can get passionate about.

  25. Oh yes – the plan is to do some 'temp' ambulance work at the weekends and I'll keep writing about that.RAOR may undergo a bit of a change, but it'll keep going about whatever I feel passionate about.

  26. Congratulations on five years of blogging. It truly is a fantastic blog.You are wanting something that will streach your mind? Why not turn your hand to professional writing? You have an amazing skill as a writer and a fantastic ability tell a story. Your clincial experience in the ambulance service and in nursing could provide some fanatstic scope for some medical fiction. Just an idea!

  27. Just make sure you challenge yourself mate. Change is all good, but don't just settle for something that's not what you did before. You end up just having to change again relly soon and that's a ball ache… Keep writing.

  28. Just make sure you challenge yourself mate. Change is all good, but don't just settle for something that's not what you did before. You end up just having to change again relly soon and that's a ball ache… Keep writing.

  29. Good for you! I would recommend becoming a Mobile Librarian and distributing 'weapons of mass instruction' for a living but you would not earn anything near 25k. Keep writing, it works for you and you are good at it. All the best mate.

  30. Vivdora, I seem to remember Tom doesn't like flying!I'm with you sewmouse, something like working for 'Help the Aged' to voice the needs of the vulnerable.

    all the best Tom, 'if you are going to sail to a foreign shore, you have to lose sight of land for a while'

  31. Congrats on those 1,827 days of the blog!Perhaps, since you seem to enjoy writing, a career in journalism would be perfect for you? Maybe specialising in something you know about or are interested in, eg. Medicine?

  32. Well, losing your blog, and your services, will be a very sad loss, but I can hardly blame you for deciding that enough is just enough. If I had required an ambulance whilst living in London, I would have felt honoured to have been treated by you. And this is coming from the daughter of a surgeon and sister of a nurse.However – I'm about your age (just turned 37), and if I were in your shoes I would leave the LAS so fast radar guns would not work (due to the copious amounts of dust, and also Doppler).

    I wish you all the very best in whatever you decide to do next. Good luck!! 🙂

  33. Well Tom,I can hardly blame you. You have done a wonderful job for a long time. I have never met you, but it is people like you that really count in this world. Thanks.

    All the best with the job hunting, you should have no problems finding something I am sure.

  34. Have you thought about applying to a different ambulance trust.It could be the change of scenery you need. There is life outside the M25.Whatever you choose, all the best.

  35. Hmmn, I go away for a few weeks, and there you are all leaving us! :o)Well not really, but still… seriously I wish you all the best and do please keep up the blogging, and thank you for all the entertainment (oh and that life-savey bit, I've never been one of your patients but I'm sure many feel that way) so far!

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