Archive for the ‘Danger’ Category

Service of Assumptions That Get You Into Trouble

Thursday, February 28th, 2019

Photo: brickunderground.com

The old saying “to assume makes an ass of you and me” can cause far worse repercussions than a spot of embarrassment–it can be dangerous. It’s best to assume nothing.

Photo: mnn.com

Tuesday morning an elevator operator survived a four story fall down an elevator shaft in Manhattan’s SOHO neighborhood.  According to ABC 7 New York “the 49 year old man was on the third floor of the building when he stepped into the open shaft, but there was no elevator there.” He landed in the basement. Amazingly his injuries were not life-threatening. He must have assumed that as it was every other day, the elevator was in place when the doors opened that morning.

Photo: railway-technology.com

As I write this I haven’t read or heard what the motivation or thoughts of the driver of the vehicle in the horrendous accident on Tuesday might have been. He [or she] swerved past the closed railroad gate while bells announcing the oncoming eastbound train clanged at a Long Island Railroad crossing. My conjecture: the driver assumed he could make it and thought the risk was a better option than the wait. The westbound train also hit the car and the three in it died. The impact was so fierce that first responders couldn’t identify the make of the car.

New Yorkers and other city dwellers walk into elevators countless times a day. Do we pay attention before stepping in to confirm that it—and not an empty hole—is on the other side of the open doors? Do people take outrageous chances, like the driver in the terrible LI Railroad crossing accident, assuming that they are fast, clever, agile or smart enough to survive a potentially deadly choice?

Photo: mobilityelevator.com

Service of No III

Monday, April 28th, 2014

no

I’ve covered this powerful two letter word from the viewpoints of saying and hearing it. This time I’m addressing people unable to absorb the concept.

It’s a Landslide

Take the citizens of Oso, Wash. who built homes where they were told not to because the area was a potential landslide zone. Build they did, the horrific natural disaster happened and now we read headlines such as “Leveled by Landslide, Towns Mull How to Rebuild” datelined Oso. I scratch my head.

Can’t Top This

The old saw about climbing Mt. Everest because it is there has a questionable ring to it after 16 sherpas died in an avalanche. mount everestSome love taking risks. I get my thrills from juggling too much work and meeting deadlines, so I don’t relate to the need to put my life in jeopardy to feel alive. I’m glad the sherpas are on strike, closing down mountain climbing for the season, although I don’t think better benefits and pay can mitigate the potential of death for a frivolous cause.

Trying to Be Cool Can Kill

I landed on an obituary for a 37 year old Wikipedia editor who died from head injuries in a rock climbing accident in Joshua Tree National Park. Adrianne Wadewitz had only begun the sport “in the past couple of years.” What was this brilliant scholar of 18th century British literature trying to prove? According to Noam Cohen who wrote her obituary in The New York Times, she “became one of the most prolific and influential editors of the online encyclopedia.” Cohen wrote: “She described the thrill of creating ‘a new narrative’ about herself beyond that of a bookish, piano-playing Wikipedia contributor.” What a terrible loss. Maybe there were more sensible, 30-something appropriate ways of doing this.

Didn’t Like You Then, Won’t Like You Now

yelling bossRob Walker counseled Laurie in his “The Workologist” column in the New York Times Business section. She had asked for a reference from a former boss with whom she didn’t get along figuring enough water had passed under the bridge since they’d worked together. Laurie was surprised by the unenthusiastic recommendation [which she learned about when she didn’t get the job]. What happened to her “no” reflex, when going through the list of potential candidates to ask for a recommendation. Laurie claimed to have “28 years experience in [her] field and a strong track record.” Apparently common sense isn’t necessary in her line of work.

Can you share similar examples? What is it that inhibits the “no” or “not a good idea” response in some especially when there are so many other more sensible options?

bad idea

 

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