Dahling, I work for a mining companyâ€¦can you imagine some of the public meetings Iâ€™ve sat through? Iâ€™ve literally been called the Antichrist to my faceâ€¦by a guy whose wife I helped cut out of a wrecked car, and whose niece I helped find one dark late night up in the forest. Iâ€™ve been called worse names by a gal I rigged the rope-and stretcher rig for when she ran her car off a 75 ft cliff. What Iâ€™ve learned is that people have a tremendous capability for selective memory, selective hearing, and self-reinforcing delusions of moral superiority. My community almost burned in â€™97, and here a mere seven years later, with 75-80% beetle kill encroaching, theyâ€™re fighting thinning tooth and nail, and we canâ€™t fire department donations for anything. After every high-profile incident, we get signs, we get a plaque from local government, they cut our funding a little bit more, business owners decide that they shouldnâ€™t contribute to us because we handled the last one fine, right? People arenâ€™t normally the most grateful of creatures, and theyâ€™ve got short memories. If you start taking it personally, youâ€™re asking for burnout. Thatâ€™s why I try to ignore the signs, ignore the grocery-store thank-yous (after an appropriate â€˜your welcomeâ€™). Iâ€™m not in this for the dubious â€˜gloryâ€™, the cool sweatshirts, or the exercise. The fact that the gal I mentioned above was alive to swear at me is the satisfaction I want. Made it pretty easy to just smile in her face, which really made her mad. Iâ€™m pretty sure she didnâ€™t recognize meâ€¦but one â€œAre you an angel?â€ probably cancels out one â€œYou bleepity-bleeping-bleepâ€, so I figure my karmaâ€™s intact.
Nerd on the Fireline