If an army marches on its stomach, many ambulances run on caffeine. I once heard someone in a coffee shop, in the queue behind me, state “if you want to know where the good coffee is, look for the Ambulance outside.”. Its the only time I got away with parking on yellow lines. Traffic wardens (or whatever their title is at the moment) used to wave at us, often from behind us in the queue!
12 hour shifts, especially night shifts, often required multiple cups of coffee to keep me going. The only problem was trying to sleep when I got home. Worryingly, I found, over time, that stopped being a problem.
A family member got involved in the coffee culture in the city they live in a long time ago. Their coffee snobbery turned me slightly snobby. I had already lost my taste for most instant coffee, then the “microground” varieties became popular. A small tin would last a week or so, but I blame that on the fact they were so small. I knew all the good places to buy coffee in my city, and the ones who made it quickly for ambulance crews. The staff in one store, part of a huge chain, even started making mine as soon as we pulled up outside, and it was ready at the end of the bar by the time I got inside, free of charge.
I knew it was bad when one of the dispatchers deliberately sent us to the areas of certain coffee shops when they put us on standby in the city. We were always happy to do them favours. One of the local petrol stations, with a good coffee shop attached, even started to offer ambulance crews free coffee through the night. The intention was obviously to get us to fill our vehicles there, but we didn’t mind because we didn’t pay for the diesel. Unfortunately that ended because some crews abused the kindness.
Probably 75% of the time we would end up drinking our coffee, whatever the origin, lukewarm or cold. Inevitably we’d get a job, or a few in succession, shortly after the kettle went on or we left the coffee shop. Friends still comment on how long I leave my coffee before drinking it, even though I’m no longer waiting for an emergency call.
Now I get to sit and enjoy my coffees more. I drink less, I think, but I’m still a bit of a coffee snob.
I don’t think it’s an addiction, more of an appreciation…