By Phil La Duke
I was hammering away on my third book (working title) Blood In My Pockets is Blood On Your Hands, Unlike the first book, which was a compendium of blog posts, magazine articles, and about a third new material, or my second book which was completely new material but has not yet passed my quality control standards (I don’t worry about typos and grammatical errors in blogs because I know it pisses a lot of you off) but in a book I think it diminishes the credibility. This is not to say that my first book wasn’t rife with typos (it was) but once something has been published with typos I can’t really take them out. Anyway, Blood in My Pockets will be “a how to do it right”, as I see it. I have been, rightfully accused of finding fault, without offering alternatives (although I would argue that telling you to knock it off is an alternative.)
So anyway, after working a 10-hour day, I slogged through the third book but was troubled by the news report of a worker dying after he fell into a vat of sulfuric acid during training. It weighed heavy on my mind because it was eerily similar to the death of a friend of a good friend of mine some 30 years ago.
It was in that state that I started writing about the importance of building resilience as part of the Competency section of the new book. Rick Hanson Ph.D. writes about the importance of gratitude in resilience. Not just gratitude for what you have, but for what others have as well. It reminded of the political climate where everyone seems to be screaming “WHY SHOULD I HAVE TO PAY FOR SOMEONE ELSE’S x? (for the record most people aren’t).
So at the risk of sounding overly soft, I want to say that I am grateful for the opportunity to criticize the shortcomings in safety and (with the exception of a few assholes who have tried to block me from speaking at certain conferences, or who shoot emails to my employer, or otherwise behave in a way that is likely to end badly for them (karma, they say, is a bitch)) that I have made one or two of you think.
I really gave it some thought and I have to say that I am grateful for each one of you who subscribes to the blog, who read even when I am mopey or irascible, or just plain mean-spirited. Over the years I have had people quote me in at least three textbooks (that I know of), and have been interviewed more times than I can count, and numerous times my blog has been printed out and hung on the walls of factory floors, mining conference rooms, or Oil & Gas trailers. None of that would be possible without each and every one of you reading this right now, even if you hate me for writing it.
I’m grateful that in some small way I had the opportunity to make a difference. I was recruited to be thought leader and have been recognized as such by a lot of publications; ironically, it may cost me my job. You can’t be a thought leader without making people nervous, but irrespective of that true resilience comes from being grateful in the moment.
My publisher warned me that as my books become more popular I would run the risk of losing my acerbic voice. That as I tried to sell books I would pander to my audience. I told my publisher that she didn’t know me at all. So don’t look at this blog as a kinder, gentler, version of me, who in hopes of selling books is pandering to you, au contraire.
I read a post on LinkedIn that turned me around 180° just as I began to believe that there were fewer and fewer dumbasses in safety and reeling from the death of the man who fell into a vat of acid, I saw a post of a rack collapsing and like a classic domino effect bringing down the entire warehouse. The poster asked, “What is the cause?” to which eager readers offered their opinions (bear in mind this is a 30-second video with no sound) as to root causes. A couple trotted out that C-word. It was the culture. What evidence did they have? Evidence? Who needs evidence I know what I saw? What precisely does culture look like in a 30-second video? Others blamed the operator, it was an error because he tried to squeeze through too small a spot and tapped the rack, which then fell like a house of cards. No, genius, he did that on purpose and from what I saw it was a reasonable decision (remember in a Just Culture outcomes don’t matter.)
So on top of everything else for which I am grateful, I am grateful that the irresponsible and the water-headed are still alive, well and thriving, in safety. At least now I know I can go on grousing about things with some purpose, however misguided.
I am proud to announce that Marriah Publishing has published my second book, Lone Gunman: Rewriting the Handbook On Workplace Violence Prevention. This is all new material that cannot be found anywhere else. While homicide accounts for 10% of workplace fatalities this is a problem that can be easily prevented. Victims of domestic violence are disproportionately affected. Of women murdered in the workplace, 48% will be killed by a family member or domestic partner, while only 2% of men are killed this way. I wrote this book at the request of my publisher, as there are growing numbers of “experts” who are treating random mass shootings (where the goal is usually a high body count) the same as single shooter events in the workplace (which tend to target a specific individual.) The research I did was eye-opening for me as I expect it will be for you too. This is one of the most powerful things I have ever written so I hope you will find it useful.
It can be purchased in hardcover or paperback at Amazon (US and Canada) or Barnes & Nobel (as it stands now B&N is only listing the hardcover but I’m told the paperback will be on sale this Monday. It’s an important book on a serious topic as seen through my bleary-eyed lens.)
Of course, my first book is still for sale…
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).
In all seriousness, I have been blogging for free (without sponsors or advertising) for over 11 years and I think I have earned a bit of revenue so buy a damned book.