#31- Ants Hate Me

No really… they really hate me. Or maybe they just love the way I taste. But regardless, I’ve had some bad experiences with ants. Especially in my first 6 or 7 years of firefighting when at least once a summer I’d have an episode of being bitten or stung or just attacked by big red or black ants. This week’s story is about one of those instances, what happened and how I reacted. I think you’ll laugh along with me but of course, there’s a lesson to be learned too. How do we recover from embarrassment’s at work? Do we let stupid things impact us in the long term or do we just move on. I hope you enjoy the silliness of this story and also think about how we can deal with minor set backs at work. Enjoy.

Episode 31, Ants Hate Me, BobbieOnFire.com

4 thoughts on “#31- Ants Hate Me

  1. Lol. The same thing happened to me, at night, while setting up our tender to nurse.
    I would prefer to read your stories rather than listen to them.

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    1. Thanks Kathy. I appreciate the feedback. My original plan was to write the stories then I had multiple people say they’d rather listen. Maybe I can post the transcripts of the recorded story so you can just read it. I appreciate the suggestions and input.

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  2. A friend forwarded your link to me. I have to say I love the podcasts. Ants are almost as bad as yellow jackets and wasps. Bees are jerks but yellow jackets are just assholes! Your ant story reminded me about a time when a swarm of yellow jackets had me doing the River Dance in the middle of a major thoroughfare road! We finished a prescribed burn and were in mop-up stage. I was an engine captain and assigned to mop-up “political” smokes along the road. I saw a punky log smoking so I just started to kick it around with my boot, tons of smoke billowing up from it which masked ALL the yellow jackets! First I saw one, then two, then I looked down and saw the cloud of them swarming me. Yikes!!! dropped my tool and started to run towards the truck. As I got closer to the road (I was probably 2 chains in) I started to slow down when I heard this voice yel…”Not yet!!” I look behind me and the swarm is still there. Damn it!! As I run towards the truck my mind is racing trying to figure out the best plan of action to get in without swooping the bees in with me. I decide to run around the passenger side from behind the truck and run around the front and then switch back and jump into the driver side. Good plan, right? Nope! Jumped in, line gear and all, and see that the windows are down and they are manual windows. Ugh. Get the windows up and start swatting the bees. Anyway, I threw my gear out the window along with anything else I could get off, boots included. I realized the bees were in EVERY single place they could fit so I jump back out of the truck and strip down to my sports bra and undies in the middle of the road as I was doing the River Dance stomp. I could hear the other firefighters laughing and one got on the radio and made the River Dance comment as I found the energy to flip him off as I was stripping. I was out of breath by the time I got back in the truck. Yellow jackets were crawling all over everything in the truck and I was on a killing spree. Once my crew members finally told me the coast was clear I came back out. They had gone through my pants, shirts and socks so I could get dressed. We still found the bees in my gear the next morning. Not one sting! Thank goodness for all the smoke making them so lethargic because I would have been in the hospital from that many stings. I still hear about my incident and I know it’s one of the all time favorite stories of the firefighters who witnessed it. All you can do as a leader is pull your pants back up and say, “and that’s how you properly run away from bees” and go on with mop-up. The AAR was hilarious and I had phantom creepy crawlies for the rest of the night.

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    1. Okay that one had me laughing. I could imagine the whole thing. I wasn’t sure if I should be afraid for you or laugh. Probably a bit of both. Oh my God the things that happen huh? I had a similar thing happen where a guy found something that he thought was a buried Indian pot in the ground. He started to pull out what he thought was some paper out of the pot and all of the wasps started pouring out and chasing him and us. It was like keystone cops trying to get in the truck without having them follow us. We were all jumping in and out of the cab of the truck. Oh my gosh. Crazy stuff but it makes for good storytelling. Thanks for listening and thanks for commenting. That made my day.

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