Top 10 types of work colleague.

I’ve written this about working on an emergency ambulance where two people are in close proximity, sometimes in high pressure situations, for the length of the shift.  These are not in any particular order, just the order I think of them.  I call some of them Mr…, to avoid literary clumsiness please assume this could equally be Mrs… or Ms… – No sexism on this site.  Any of my mates who think they recognize themselves here, that’s purely intentional!  I love you all.


  1. The regular mate. Someone you work with most of the time and possibly have for a long time.  Familiar and safe, you probably spend more time with this person than your spouse.
  2. Mr Well-Connected. This mate spends a large part of the shift telling you about meetings and conferences he goes to and drops the name of the chief executive, Head of service and various other high-up people in the service he’s been chatting with.  Be nice to this one! He’ll probably be the boss soon.
  3. Mr ‘I-did-this-job-once’. Starts most conversations with the phrase ‘I did this job once.. .’   Good for practicing the art of not listening while appearing interested – a vital skill for anyone in a long term relationship.  To achieve mastery of this skill you still have to be able to make relevant comments or answer questions at any point even though not listening.
  4. Mr Transferred-from-another-area. Starts most conversations with the phrase ‘In *________* we did it like this…’  Normally implies that we are a backward service who gets most things wrong.  Often wonder why this mate transferred here.
  5. Mr Feeder. A mate who has a large bag of sweets and is happy to share them.  One of my favourites.  Only occasionally though, I have to think of my waistline and blood sugar levels at my age.
  6. Mr Sleepy. I can identify with this mate.  Lots of coffee required to get through the shift.
  7. Mr Newly-qualified. Still coming to terms with a head full of theoretical knowledge and applying it in practice.  Even with the clinical placements that student paramedics have during their education finally being accountable and responsible in the real world is daunting.
  8. Mr Smoke-and-a-brew-after-every-job. Just to clarify by brew I mean tea/coffee and not beer!  Although a non-smoker I do sympathise with the nicotine craving, and I do enjoy a leisurely approach to life, I think it is vital for your stress levels.  These days though all our times, including the time we take to clear after each job is carefully monitored and presented to us at regular intervals.  This mate can make my times take a dip.
  9. Mr Lacking-confidence-after-something-has gone-wrong. When my regular mate is off I am sometimes given a mate who is returning from a low place.  I seem to be able to help restore confidence.  I think this is because I was not a confident young man.  I remember well my struggles when I first started.  I had got to the stage of wondering why the hell I had come into this job and was seriously considering leaving.  I was rota’d on for a shift with a trainer I’d never worked with before.  I can still remember that shift even 20 years later and the help and advice he gave me.  That one shift turned things round for me.  Now I try and help staff as much as I was helped and pass on the advice I was given.
  10. Mr Social Media. The annoying mate who spends all shift posting and chatting on various social media sites.  Probably annoying because they are so much more popular than me!!

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