Screw Warnings. Find It and Fix It

By Phil La Duke

Too often we are content to slap a sign or label or sticker on a known hazard and call it good. It isn’t. The day is coming when knowing a hazard exists but doing nothing more than putting up “death awaits” sign will be seen as criminally negligent.

I am loathed to compare workers to children, and my intent is not to infantilize adults, but “well gee, I warned him” is not an excuse; it’s an admission of one’s own stupidity.

I don’t know when it’s coming but it’s not soon enough. What prompted this particular rant is something I witnessed in the Miami airport. I saw no fewer than six maintenance employees feverishly dry mopping a floor. There was a “wet floor” sign but nonetheless, they worked and in minutes the floor was dry. They removed the sign and left.

Our default response has got to stop being, “hey buddy watch out for that trip hazard” and start fixing things.

If you insist on having “behavioral observations” then the observers should be fired if the person observed ever gets hurt. Implement this policy and you will have less “be careful and more fixing the issue”.

Years ago I went to an incompetent doctor after my regular doctor sold the practice. The boob who bought the practice looked like a Dr. Seuss character and had the brains of a yam. Each time I visited he would begin by asking me “do you smoke”. I have never smoked a complete cigarette in my life. “No” I would impatiently answer. One day enough was enough. When he asked I said “actually doc that’s why I am here. I want to start smoking.” He warned me of the dangers of smoking. I acknowledged his warning but pointed out that at my age the probability of getting those horrible conditions was remote. He stood dumbfounded “I want to start with two packs a day”. He finally found his words “I would never endorse such an irresponsible act”. To which I responded “I’m not going to start smoking you (expletive) idiot. You ask me that every (expletive) time I come in here. WRITE THIS SHIT DOWN!!

On my next visit, he greeted me and said: “do you…(glancing up nervously from my chart)…still not smoke?” He retired about a month later.

The point is what do we hope to accomplish raising awareness of the already aware. As one reader once said in response to my anti awareness rants said: “I was aware of breast cancer and got it anyway”. Awareness without useful countermeasures is basically just fear mongering.

So if we know there’s a problem fix it. Don’t just tell me to watch out for it and be careful

Did you like this post? If so you will probably like my book which can be ordered here I Know My Shoes Are Untied. Mind Your Own Business or on Barnes & Nobel.com. Did you hate this post? Did it offend you deeply? Maybe you should organize a book burning (minimum of 150 books) but be sure you are only burning my book, I don’t want you to go to a used book store and buy a bunch of cheap books and stack mine on top.

The book is a compilation of blog posts, guest blogs, magazine article (from around the world) and new material. Much of it is hard to find unless you know where to look. A second and third book has already been green-lighted by the publisher (expect fewer reprints and more new material).

Remember the holidays are coming up and this book makes the perfect gift for the person for which you feel obligate to get something for but don’t really like.

In all seriousness, I have been blogging for free for over 11 years and I think I have earned a bit of revenue so buy the damned book.

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