The Few

"Thousands of people will apply for your job when you go, get over it."

How many times have you heard that one? Too many is my guess. The City of Providence is losing some great people at the end of the fiscal year, June 30th. People with decades of experience; people who came to work, and "applied" themselves, every day. It's a little different "applying" for a job and actually doing the job you "applied" for.

I've had a lot of jobs, and worked with all kinds of different people. A prevalent comment when the job at hand was difficult, or hazardous, or plain old nasty is,  "they don't pay me enough to do that," and the job simply would not get done. And the guys that didn't get paid enough to do that job would quit, or get fired and "apply" for another job that they would work at, and do their time, and punch out at the end of the day never having applied themselves.

There really isn't anything wrong with that. Some people are simply not that complicated, and find contentment by just getting by, watching others do the hard work, collecting their pay, and complaining about everything while they relax. These are the people that apply for the jobs of firefighter and police officer, and never finish the application process.

We seldom hear about the thousands that forget to show up for the entrance exam, fail the background check, fail the physical agility test or simple do not finish high enough on the list to get hired. A lot of people are willing to "take" our jobs, not many could "do" our job. I'll be saying goodbye to too many good people this week that did the job, and did it well. And thousands will apply to take their place.

Only a few of those who apply will be capable, and willing to stand in front of a fully involved triple decker, turn in their pack, mask up, force the door, find the fire and put it out. Or pull the bloody, barely breathing victim from the rubble, and wash off the blood later, or approach the car full of people at two in the morning, and walk up to the tinted windows looking for the suspects from the shooting ten minutes ago.

The few don't say, "they don't pay me enough." The few go in, and get dirty, and get the job done. The few will eventually fill the shoes of the ones who came before them, and follow their footsteps into places the rest would never go.

Here's to "The Few," coming, and especially going. Godspeed, people, it has been a pleasure.


  • Mike B says:

    Gonna Miss You To Mike…It Has Been a Pleasure to Be a Member of This Dept for 20 yrs. Not like it used to be….makes me sad….Tradition gets lost in red tape and budgets…mismanagement…we lose out….Time moves on and we fade away….Gonna be a weird road from here on in for me…Hope you have a Plan my friend….Good Luck Mikey..

  • Michael Morse says:

    My plans never seem to work out! Good luck, Mike, I’ll be seeing you somewhere, I’m sure.

  • Ranger Rick says:

    So well said Mike.  The face and names will change and I even fear the ability of the new to APPLY themselves when truly needed.  The video, and computer gaming generation has about as much drive and desire as broken down, back firing Dairy truck.
    I think I might rather have the Dairy truck.  Good luck all.  Godspead as well, and happy healthy and extended retirements to ALL.

  • John says:

    Ranger Rick,
    If that Ranger in your name means Army Ranger, you should know better than to speak badly of our 20-something generation. The Marines I served with in Iraq were every bit as dedicated and  brave as any generation in history.  
    I would suggest you get out of the classroom and learn something about hands on leadership. These kids can run circles around the old breed when led and motivated by people who can motivate them and lead by example. On the other hand, if you work someplace that attracts only slugs, I suggest you look into why your organization settles for them.

  • Al says:

    John if you don't know the Ranger, then you have no ideas how off base you are.
    He is a big(sorry) part of the backbone of this department, and when he finally decides to move on we will have a huge( sorry again) hole to fill.
    He is one of the few who has the abiltiy and desire left to try and teach what they don't want to learn. Rick has served his time in the streets of Providence and has probably postively affected the lives of thousand's of patients and students alike, he has done that and been there in a different uniform then you, and he has earned the right to be brutally honest when he feels like it, even if you don't like the message directed towards you.
    As to your comments about the 20-something generation, the marines must have gotten all the good ones, because we didn't get alot of them, he is dead on again.

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