Saturday, 10 September 2016

Learning from a knotted stomach

Hi everyone,

It’s been a funny old day.  Ending well though.

You remember yesterday that I’d been out to a road accident just before I wrote that post?  When I woke up this morning I was a bit surprised to find that that job was still ‘with’ me.  That is, I felt tense and edgy, and I noticed odd things weren’t agreeing with me – sharp loud noises, and the sound of bickering were especially disagreeable.

I was surprised because last night’s job wasn’t in any sense a ‘bad’ one, or even especially memorable.  Nobody died or was catastrophically injured.  The driver had a smashed up car and would be sore as Hell today, but that was all.  There were one or two things in our response we’d ideally have done differently, but nothing that caused an adverse outcome.  Anyway, I thought over what they teach us in the Peers’ course and decided that it didn’t matter why this job was niggling at me.  For whatever reason (as we tell people after a job) I was having a normal reaction to an abnormal stimulus, which should fade with time.  With that in mind, it became interesting to take a step back and note what was happening to me.   I noticed that my stomach clenched up like a fist.  I couldn’t focus as well as I wanted.  And even when people were talking to or near me, I wasn’t really listening: I was just sitting there with a suitable expression plastered on my face.  I can’t really tell you where my mind was, but it wasn’t there in the room.

By about 1600 I was fed up with feeling off my game.  I decided that some fresh air and new blood in my brain was what I needed, so I set out for a run.  I cranked up the iPod and had a smooth 11-and-a-bit kilometres in the cool air.  It must have been what I needed, because I felt much more like myself when I got back, and a good night’s sleep tonight should be all I need to put a capping stone on the event.

I think I can take three learnings from this –
  1. Reactions to a ‘job’ aren’t fun when they occur.
  2. The advice that as Peers we give to crews genuinely works if it’s followed.
  3. (This is the really interesting one) You can find yourself bent out of shape from a job that, at first glance, should be utterly innocuous.  So, perhaps we should be a little more careful to make sure all crewmembers are doing OK after any job, and not just after ‘bad’ ones.
So there you have it.  It’s been a funny sort of day as I said, but definitely one to learn from.

No comments:

Post a Comment