December 2014 #2: Another Round of Virtual Kudos (Seriously)
1. Welcome to the latest Summary of Mishaps. This week, instead of picking out a few poor chumps and casting aspersions on their risk-management skills, we want to chat with everyone who didn’t make it into the message. In other words, the half-million Sailors and Marines who did things right.
It wasn’t a matter of luck. Here at the Friday Funnies News Desk, we are strong believers in statistical probability, but we aren’t too big on rabbit’s feet, amulets and charms. No, avoiding the oops, ouch, first-aid kit, sirens and sutures is a matter of what you know and how you act. Most of the folks who dodged our dubious spotlight did one or more of the following things.
A. Took the time to get the right tool. They were in a hurry, and it was inconvenient, but they knew that a screwdriver wasn’t a chisel, or that a swivel chair wasn’t a ladder.
B. Wore PPE, even when it was uncomfortable and hadn’t graphically proven its effectiveness in a while. They knew that just because a shipmate hadn’t dropped a spanner on their very own head lately didn’t mean that cranials and hard hats were superfluous.
C. Checked the instructions or followed the checklist, even though they were sure they knew the guidance by heart.
D. Taught someone the right way to do something, instead of some half-baked bad habit that they had somehow gotten away with and that the trainee wouldn’t have thought of in the first place.
E. Spoke up when they saw a Sailor or Marine about to do something dumb or wrong. The other person doesn’t always listen, but when they do, it is all worthwhile. If you don’t speak up, they might think what they’re doing is ok (until the bleeding starts).
F. Made a reasonable plan and followed it, fighting impulsive decisions, hail-Mary passes, and just-this-once inspirations.
G. Recognized when they were getting distracted, complacent or sleepy, and did something about it.
H. If you did any of these things, please award yourself a virtual kudo (don’t worry, it will go on your virtual permanent record). We doubt you were recognized for anything at the time, and we know you didn’t do it just because your boss was lurking nearby. You did it because you’re smart, or you know better, or you’re a professional instead of an amateur. Maybe you had learned the hard way (this isn’t the best way, but at least you learned). Keep up the good work. You are the reason why things get better.
2. That’s all for this time, team. See you next week.
If you miissed last week ("You Call that Being a 'Master'?"), here it is. Got a Funnies-worthy yarn or need to get something off your chest? We welcome your feedback: email@example.com. Read the author's blog, "Beyond the Friday Funnies." If you have a question about some of our odd terminology, become an insider by studying up on our Glossary. And if you have even more time to kill, here's the exhibit list from the Summary of Mishaps Museum.