Great Things

Let's do great things.”

-Warren Ellis

He's right.

For some time I think I've been coasting on this blog, much as I've been coasting in my life. The blog has degenerated into 'watch me have a nervous breakdown' while I write about the same old things. Likewise, while I have started hating my job and while feeling generally burnt out I've been doing very little to change this.

The credit crunch is a good excuse not to look for work, as is the lethargy brought on by working rotating shifts. Writing about the same old thing has worked out fine for me so far so why should I change it?

Before the Christmas break I applied for a different post within the LAS, that of 'Web communication officer', a role that I consider myself uniquely qualified for. Unfortunately I wasn't successful in getting it. I am not going to speculate on the reasons why I didn't get the post, but in any case 'on paper' I shouldn't have even been given the interview that I was granted.

As part of the preparation for trying for an internal promotion I've been keeping my blogging 'safe'. I've not been writing about the plummeting staff morale and some of the reasons behind it, about how our adherence to government targets has had a negative impact on patient care or how some of our ambulances have been dangerous to use.

Keeping these things quiet has been causing me no end of internal turmoil. When writing this blog I've always tried to be as honest and open as possible, yet I found myself sitting on stories that really should be made public. For the sake of my career I've been toeing the company line. It's been costing me sleep at night as the things that I should be writing about rattle through my head.

Well, no more.

Realising that I'm going to be stuck at my current level for as long as I work for the ambulance service has freed me to become honest again. While I will still write about the jobs that I go to and congratulate the ambulance service for the things that we do well, I will now also be writing about the things that we do poorly.

But it's not enough for me to just write about the things that directly impact me, I'm going to start digging for information. Using information gathered under the Freedom of Information act as well as talking to other people within the service I hope to bring the truth, warts and all, to this blog.

I'm going to try thinking like a journalist.

There will be some longer pieces by myself that will be properly researched and actually drafted and edited (unlike how I normally write which is 'first draft goes up after I run it through a spellchecker'). I will also be working on preparing a 'safety net' to enable me to keep paying my rent should I be disciplined by LAS management.

My goal? To have questions asked in the house of parliament, to try and change things for the better for as many people as possible and to change my own life for the better.

The other thing that I've been guilty of is that of letting things happen to me – Most of the good, interesting and fun things that I've done related to blogging have not been initiated by me, instead someone or some group has approached me with a request. What I need to do is be more proactive in seeking out opportunities and maybe creating some good things for myself and other people. To do this I'm planning some new projects and will be looking for collaborators to help me out with some of these.

As always the only resource that I have to spend will be my time and energy – something that I have in short supply. I plan to get around this by reorganising the way I run my life, streamlining things like the amount of RSS feeds I read and cutting down on playing World of Warcraft*.

So – I'm returning to this blog with new direction and hopefully some more vigour, reworking some projects that I've left fallow and hopefully joining up with some people to create new and interesting 'stuff'.

Let's see if I can do 'Great Things'.

*I've only managed to increase the level of my Warcraft character by four in the last two months which shows my flagging level of commitment to it…

42 thoughts on “Great Things”

  1. Ah. This sounds a lot like “I'm disenchanted with this job. I didn't get the promotion I wanted. So I'm going to stay on and be as big a nuisance as I can manage to be!”. Might make you feel better for a bit I suppose.Putting you in charge of web-based PR would have been a rather unlikely poacher-turned-gamekeeper situation anway, wouldn't it? πŸ™‚

  2. Tom, sorry you didn't get the job, but it might be that it is not the right time rather than the wrong job. Your plans sound exciting and I hope that it goes well. Will be keeping an eye out for you and how you are doing?ps. ever thought of advising on medical programmes such as casualty etc?

  3. It was more that while I'm desperate to get off the road, keeping things to myself when I have a perfect opportunity to publicise them was making me deeply unhappy.Now I can just get back to being *me* rather than a potential communications officer.

    I like my independence.

  4. I look forward to the “Great Things” – sounds like you've got an interesting concept going and I think a lot of people will agree that *something* needs doing about the whole state of the health service. I'm sure you'll be able to dig up a lot of interesting things that really should be brought into public awareness.As for WoW – levelling isn't everything – even scientists are interested in it as a model for the spread of disease. Perhaps you could do some research into the correlation between the ease of healing oneself in an online world and how many times those that play such games end up as “time wasters” calling the ambulance for a minor injury!

  5. Good to have you back, Tomand

    good luck with your revelations!

    There's far too much damning by mnaagement about bringing services i to disrepute yet i feel that they do a pretty good job of doing that themselves.

    All the best for the new year :0)

  6. Hello. Long time follower (mainly via RSS feed).This the first thing I've read all day that's made me smile, thanks.

    Good luck, maybe you should get a TV show to follow you round. Like Jamie's school dinners πŸ™‚

  7. I'm going to be selfish (but honest) and say that I always hoped you'd take up the challenge of telling things as they are, poking your nose in, and getting questions asked in parliament – if bloody Lily Allen can do it, why not you?!Sometimes it pays to keep a low profile – but sometimes it costs too much for our consciences and wellbeing to stay quiet.

    Good luck, and keep us all posted on how we can help – letters, support, all that kind of thing.

    Not for the first time, I'm thinking you're awesome.

  8. “ever thought of advising on medical programmes such as casualty etc?”I shouldn't if I were you! Not unless you've got a lot of good antihypertensives handy.

    I once read an article in Radio Times with one of these “advisers”. The reporter, who clearly had doubts, asked him if the producers and writers really followed his advice on matters of fact and procedure? Oh yes, he said, Well, erm. They take my advice right up to the point where it conflicts with what they want to do. Then they do what they want and say the plot demands it.

    That must explain some of the CPRtechniques I've seen.

  9. Hello Tom,I've been reading for a few years now, and know you from another setting- we used to play silly games together on the Isle of Wight, but I reckon you're more likely to remember my other half than me.

    I just wanted to say good luck with the 'great things' and that I hope it all works better for you than the last 12 months seems to have. I look forward to watching you make a difference!

  10. welcome back! i have just started reading, & am very pleased to read that you're continuing. i am looking forward to reading more about your special projects! much luck to reaching for your 'great things'!

  11. I wish you all the luck with the new direction. I was a bit worried that you would pack the blog in with whatever you decided to do am glad and relieved, like many others are to see that it will continue.

  12. Hi Tom, yet another long time lurker here.I'm sure the right job will come along at the right time, I can't help but feel that if you had got the Comms job you would of been in even more turmoil.As for your Wow addiction, come and play Eve online instead although be warned you will end up with less free time, so it wouldn't really work.

  13. My initial reaction to reading that was just w00t. Sorry, but that's really how I think, I'm a nerd.Excellent news, I wish you all the best with the new (old) direction, I look forward to reading it.

  14. I'm hoping you become a terrific nuisance to the system without losing your job or getting disciplined too often.I enjoy your work, I enjoy your passion. I enjoy that you tell things that need to be told. So let's hear the good, the bad, the ugly.

  15. OK, firstly, I try to live to my own code, one part is be true to yourself.This isn't an easy way but its an honest way and you get to sleep at night.Tom, you have to do what you think is right, never bottle stuff up, its bad for you as you've found. Even if you don't want to write it in here, write it somewhere it'll make you feel better.From my POV I like to read this blog for an honest account of the state of our ambulance service. Being an ex nurse, I feel blogs like this are important for people to see the truth, not just the massaged figures.Hope it goes well for you, and if u get flak from LAS, give us an address to write to, we'll support the 'London one' πŸ™‚

  16. matey: be true unto thy self:You can never please most people, only a few, ” as birds of a feather do get together”, world survives because of the differences ” vive la difference ” Only hind sight will be your testimony to your choice of being right. We all play a roll but we seek verification as what it should be [ and most times you will never be verified by thy acquaintances], and usually you will never know, its in genes .From an old man in his dotage, I never could have guested that I would be here now , having failed the elementary test of school, or going up so many blind alleys, having left school at 13 to sail the seven seas only to be put in an institution of learning , then jumping in and out of fox holes sleeping in trees then sleeping and eating gourmet in the Ritz's of the world, life is always full of “surprizes' , just enjoy them or Carpe that Bard on Avon did say all the world is a stage and we be players thereupon, slurping all the way to sans eyes, sans teeth and sans every thing.”Do your thing” you have helped many people and you will succeed.Let it all hang out, as long you do not hurt the of luck [whatever that is] this moment of clapping thine eyes here, be the start .

  17. Welcome back! It's about time questions were asked. Thinking about it, it's about time things changed. I look forward to great things from you, and no matter what, I'm sure all your readers will support you 100%.”Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

  18. Congratulations on coming to such a decision. I look forward to future posts. I feel sure you will be greatly respected for what you say by the people who matter, and who knows where it will lead.

  19. Hi another quote for you Tom”Nobody Made A Greater Mistake Than He Who Did Nothing Because He Could Only Do a Little. -Edmund Burke””

  20. Do it. πŸ™‚ That's all there is to it! And while you're at it you will most likely find that you like the freedom and your renewed voice!-Hru

  21. That blog post deserves it's own sound track.I wish you strength and merriment in your new quest. Surely these real battles are better than your witchy-thingamygig?

  22. >>*I've only managed to increase the level of my Warcraft character by four in the last two months which shows my flagging level of commitment to it… <

  23. Good. I've been getting worried about you. Sorry you didn't get the job, too. But you have the best chance around for getting some change going.I've always thought it funny, in the UK you can be charged for “wasting police time”, but not for wasting medical staff time. Forward in all directions.

  24. Hi Tom, glad to see you back. If you want to stir things up and get some questions asked in that den of waffle opposite tommies push the '8 minute response time' fiasco. Thru my union and our management I have yet to hear of one body willing to challenge the Whitehall mandarin who dreamt this number up.Best Regards,BB

  25. I just signed up to blogware just so I could comment, then realised I didn't really know what I wanted to say…I'm sorry you didn't get the job, but being selfish I'm quite pleased as it looks like I'm going to get a more interesting blog to read!

    I wish you the very best of luck, I'm excited to see what you come up with and, yeah, happy new year!

  26. I got Blood Sweat and Tea for christmas and whilst reading a blog from 2005 entitled 'Sorry' i couldn't help but agree with you. Its all true, relatives wanting us to keep their loved ones alive for that little bit longer, only for us to prolong their death in sometimes the most undignified way. Not being left at home confortable surroundings, but resuscitated in resus in all manner of indignifactions. Thank you for posting this.

  27. I'm sorry you didn't get the job, that can't have helped the miseries much.Good for you for turning it around. I would suggest that you need to find ways to support yourself as you continue in your present role. You have sounded really low and occasionally heartbroken in recent times. Find something silly to do, with fluffy people once a week, if your shift patterns allow.

    Many virtual hugs to you and best of luck.

  28. And like an utter idiot I went and attached this to the wrong thread! I think I'd better go for a lie down!Here I was feeling grumpy and fed up at the state of the world, but this post has really bucked me up! I wish you all the luck in the world, and as another poster has said, if they dare to discipline you for telling the truth, give us an address and I for one will certainly let them have it.

    If you can do it, so can I – my usual new year's resolutions have all gone in the bin and been replaced by “be like Tom and do great things”. As someone once said “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing”, so let's go.

    I'm going to stop now before it all goes to my head and I start manning barricades or something : )

    Looking forward to reading what's to come, and a very happy new year to everyone.

  29. Tom, good post, not necessarily the content but your “style” and use of words is back. That is what makes your posts entertaining to me.You have been stuck in a rut lately writitng like, “picked old lady up and took her to hospital.”. Not quite so entertaining. In this post your flair is back.

    Try to stay positive and don't slip back down that slope. Good luck for 2009.

  30. This is sthe first ime I've posted but i've been reading for years…I'm so pleased! I would've been very sad to lose the Tom Reynolds I look forward to reading.

    There must be something in the air, i've just turned a corner of disillusionment to be faced with a new enthusiasm for my work too πŸ™‚

    (also public sector, much time spent banging my head against a brick wall trying to affect change)

  31. so glad to see you back and having really given things a lot of thought. I'm sure the indepth coverage will be more than welcome and will be more satisfying to you as well.

  32. Weyhey Welcome Back TomMay I join the army of supporters, you've started something here, it's called *hope*.

    I hoped you woould be back, and you are.

    And, more importantly you have you inner self back.

    While we still have some freedom of speech, I beg you to use it.

    We will support you.

    Love, respect and a Happy New Year Tom.


  33. Hi Tom,new to this and it's my first comment. Just started training in the service and found your book very good. I'm glad you're going to carry this blog on and the true honesty you're going to write with. Best of luck.

  34. good on you – without people willing to stick their head above the parapet nothing changes.oh and my other half has discovered world of warcraft – rather than saying it is educational (the reasoning behind historical strategy games) he says it is good for his social skills…

  35. Hoorah! Quite agree with you. And if there is an answer to the maternataxi, and I can help in any way, just give me a shout (I'm the one 'telling it like it is' at work too- my managers like me because I get things done and am efficient which ameliorates the effect of what a pain in the arse I am)

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