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Wooden Spoon and Wooden Helicopter

Recently, I got some hate mail

Basically, the unhappy person doesn’t like that

I prefer flying over my ground medic past, and…

that I don’t give away even more free information (ironically) about how to become a flight medic.

And I should take things more seriously in my emails or… or… she’ll unsubscribe from my free email newsletter.


Whatever shall I do???

I tell ya, I get such a kick out of complaints like that.


Because they’re toothless.

I simply don’t grant people the kind of power over me where I need them to read my newsletter, nor care if they go, stay, lay or pray. It simply doesn’t matter to me one way or the other.

Hit Me With A Spoon!

It’s like when my mom whacked me with a wooden spoon as a child.

I don’t remember what I did, exactly.

But, whatever it was, my mom decided to discipline T-roy by

spanking me on the ass with a giant wooden spoon.

Whack! Whack! Whack!

Over and over and over, until…

The wooden spoon broke on my husky-size, jeans-covered bubble butt!

And, I started laughing.

Which, no doubt, irritated my mom even more.

EMS Flying

So what does that have to do with flying medical helicopters?

A lot, actually.

When I first started flying EMS, I was very self-conscious

about doing everything everyone wanted. I ran around like a

chicken with its head cut off… trying to keep the nurses

happy, trying to keep the aviation manager happy, trying to

keep the program manager happy, and on and on.

What I learned was most of the time the folks I was trying to please, weren’t even paying attention to me. Not because they didn’t care, but because they had their own stuff to worry about. And second, trying to please everyone, about everything, is a waste of time.

And so it is with the newsletter subscribers complaining about free information who “threaten” to unsubscribe.

I laugh at their punishment as cheerfully as I laughed off

the wooden spoon breaking over my butt.

And The Lesson Is…

Anyway, there’s a lesson here.

And, that is:

Don’t give anyone power over you.

Not co-workers.

Not helicopter companies.

Not health systems.

And, definitely not people you try to help for free.

Have a crappy call or flight?

Re-live the three good ones you had before it.

A co-worker bringing you down?

Go take a “safety” nap, somewhere she is not.

Someone threaten to unfriend you on facebook?

Do it for them.

Scroll down and click that unfriend link for ’em.

The Big Takeaway

Listen up, listen good, and never forget this:

If you are good at what you do… if you provide exceptional

patient care… if you excel at helping others.

Whatever it is you teach/do/produce…there is far less supply of “you” than

there are people who need what you offer.

In other words…

You’re the prize.

You’re the one who can pick and choose.

And, yes, you’re the one in control.

By the way, this is the essence of my “INSIDER

training program methodology, too.

And you know what?

It leads to happier free email subscribers.

Happier paying coaching students.

And, yes, a happier You.


Have you ever wasted effort trying to please everyone? Did you learn something from it? Share your experience in the comment section or just let us know how we’re doing. We may not pander and pine to you, but we definitely appreciate what you do.

Troy Shaffer
Troy Shaffer

About the Author: Troy is an Air Medical Career Expert passionate about a team approach to improving air medical safety from the ground up. Troy is a former Army medic, Army pilot, Coast Guard pilot and EMS pilot. Troy has taught hundreds of wannabe flight medics, flight nurses and EMS pilots the exact steps needed to launch air medical careers.

    3 replies to "How a Wooden Spoon Made Me a Better EMS Pilot"

    • Donald Prettiman

      I wish my spoon was wooden ha ha i got the metal one, but I learned

      • Troy Shaffer


        Thanks for commenting.

        Clear Skies & Tailwinds

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