Yesterday, after slaving over a hot application form for weeks and passing an assessment despite not knowing the callsign of the CCV at Waterloo (neither did any one else, including several senior managers), I had an interview for an Allocator position, something I have been after for a long, long time. It’s basically what I am doing now, but with more responsibility (and more money!) It’s still in the thick of the action but higher up the career ladder.

It all went reasonably well except for one question. Imagine the easiest, most basic question you could be asked. Something you probably learned on the first day in training school. I will not print this question as management probably do not want their interview questions published, so let’s pretend for the sake of this entry that it was “What noise does an ambulance siren make?”

“Naw Nee” I said.

“Are you sure?” said Mr Important Boss.

“Absolutely certain,” I said. “Naw Nee”.

“Are you sure? Do you want to that a think about that?” he urged.

Aha, I thought, they are trying to catch me out here, they are testing my confidence in my answer. Well, I will not be fooled. It’s NAW NEE.

Of course once they said “No, it’s not, it’s Nee Naw,” I realised what I’d said and that of course it wasn’t Naw Nee and that I’d even answered the very same question correctly in the assessment. I went back to the control room kicking myself and telling everyone who’d listen what a total moron I was.

This afternoon, one of the managers came to the control room and summoned us out one by one like the grim reaper. Some hopeful faces returned crestfallen. Then it was my turn. I was taken to the major incident room and sat down. I grimaced and prepared myself for the bad news.

“Well done, Mark. You have been successful!” he said.

My jaw actually dropped. My face went like Alexandra Burke’s when she won the X Factor.

“Are you sure?” I said.

I cannot remember what happened next so I hope it was not important. The next thing I knew I was back in the control room, sitting at my desk, trying not to jump up and down with excitement, and suddenly there was a call to a person under a train. Oh my god, I thought, I can’t handle this right now. And then. of course, I did. Because I am an allocator now!

At risk of making this sound like an Oscar speech, I would just like to thank everyone on my sector for their support over the last few weeks, their patience in listening to me recite the Visions and Values of the LAS and for not getting me sectioned when I was running around shouting “I’m an idiot” yesterday.

There is EVEN MORE good news to follow, but I will leave that for my next entry as I do not wish to overload you with good news. Let’s just say something very big has happened with this blog, and you’re all about to find out who I really am!

Published Jan 29, 2009 - 31 Comments and counting

31 Comments on “Are you sure?”
  1. mc1rvariant Says:

    Everyone knows it’s nee NAR. There was even an ambulance technician called Neenar on Casualty a few years ago.

    Seriously, congrats to you.

  2. Hazel Says:

    Guess you really do control the Naw Nee’s now ;) Well done!

  3. Boy on a bike Says:

    Well done. I suggest you continue to climb the slippery pole into the realms of management – they need people up there with a bit of common sense of front line experience.

  4. kgl Says:

    Big congratulations to you and good luck in the future!

  5. Happy Medic Says:

    Congrats Allocator Nee Naw from your friends at Happy Medic! We need street savvy supervisors now more than ever.

  6. Christopher Says:


    I know how bad you feel after doing that in an interview, glat it turned out well for you!

    Best of luck in your new job!

  7. Charles Says:

    You’re not The Stig, are you? ;-)

    Well done on your promotion.

  8. Mary Says:

    Fantastic! Congratulations – on the job and on the genuine laugh-out-loud blogpost :)

  9. Nia Says:

    :) this post made me laugh
    and well done! I’m very excited for your true identity to be revealed…

  10. Richard Says:

    Congratulations! And many thanks for the by turns interesting, harrowing, thought-provoking and uplifting blog (and of course for the job you do).

  11. Nickopotamus Says:

    It’s wooooooOOOOOOOOOoooooow isn’t it? Congratulations Mark! :)

  12. Paul Says:

    Congratulations! Its good to see people who have common sense get up the ladder!

    Good luck with the new position!

  13. Steve Says:

    Conratulations Mark (or whoever you are).

    Let me guess what the other good news is, you’ve turned the blog into a book and it’s been accepted by a publisher.

  14. Coyote Says:

    Congratulations Mark!

  15. quixote Says:

    Congratulations! Except now I’m not sure I’ll be able to sleep because of curiousity about your next post :-D

  16. Chapati Says:


  17. oliviascotland Says:

    Many congratulations!

  18. Seb Says:

    Long time reader, first time poster.

    Well done! Congratulations

    Love the blog :)

  19. Jo Says:

    Congratulations! That is fantastic news! :-)

  20. ellie Says:

    Hello!! YAY congratulations! i have been reading you since just before the London bombs so it does really feel like a family member has got a promotion well done!!

  21. Dave Says:

    I enjoy your blog, I have been lurking for months.


  22. Lumo Says:

    Hey well done :) I am intrigued as to why your identity may be revealed… I hope ‘Steve’ is right about you publishing a book, I think your writing is superb.

  23. Vic Says:

    Like the cat who ate the cheese and sat by the mousehole, we shall await with baited breath.

  24. Tom Reynolds Says:

    Excellent news! I shall look forward to abusing you on the radio should you ever allocate for EC…

  25. Tom Says:

    Congratulations Mark. It’s always great hearing good news from someone who clearly deserves it.

  26. Seaneen- Secret Life of a Manic Depressive Says:

    Woo! Well done!

  27. Sandra May Says:

    Congrats Mark!


  28. Viking 83 Says:

    Well Done!!

  29. Mark Myers Says:

    Tom: I was actually allocating on EC yesterday!

  30. Dullahan_999 Says:

    Congo rats Mark!

    It will be interesting to see how the blog alters with the new duties and responsabilities. Not in the quality, but in the perspective and the anecdotes.

    look forward to it.

  31. Jen Says:

    Well done!

    I work at a lovely firm of Liverpool Solicitors!

    Nee Naw
    Nee Naw was a blog about life in the London Ambulance Service control room. It was written by Suzi Brent from 2005 to 2010. The blog is no longer being updated, but the archives will remain here.
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