Before I really get swinging with this new post today I have a sort of public service announcement. Nothing major, but I’ve opened up a new Twitter account. Some of you have asked if I have one, and I’ve been procrastinating. I’m not sure why. My WWBC friend’s recognized this and kicked my butt a little bit on Saturday to get me moving. It would mean a lot to me if you would check it out and follow me. Besides, you’ll get instant notifications of new blogs, zany factoids about me that you otherwise would never know, and even my early morning jogging schedule in case you are a stalker.
How convenient is that?
Follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/aarondgraham
I now return you to your regularly scheduled program. Thank you:
I love the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. The opening scene in the book is brilliant. Arthur Dent lays down in front of a bulldozer in order to prevent his house from being knocked down. The city wants to build a bypass and Mr. Dent’s house in the way. This is scene is contrasted perfectly as Arthur’s friend, Ford Prefect (an alien from somewhere in the vicinity of Betelgeuse) tells him that he shouldn’t worry about that because the entire planet is scheduled to be destroyed to make room for a intergalactic bypass.
About 10 minutes later, Earth is demolished in a brilliant explosion.
Of course, the Vogons inform the terrified Earthlings prior to the demolition that there is no point in acting all surprised. The planning charts and demolition orders have been on public display in the local planning department on Alpha Centauri Prime for the last fifty Earth years, so we’ve had plenty of time to lodge any formal complaint.
Small clerical errors in bureaucracy can really put a damper on an otherwise good day.
Now, when I make a small error at work, 6 billion people are not annihilated. I suppose there are very few jobs with that kind of stress. The President of the United States would be one. God would be another. Justin Bieber has recently become one. (There are approximately 1 billion girls between the ages on 9-19 on this planet who would just ‘die’ if anything happened to him, which would seriously limit our reproductive ability in the very near future, leading to a global decline in population and our eventual extinction as a race of human beings)
When I screw up at work the worse that happens is that Mr. Adam Swishnierwinkle’s name is misspelled on his photo ID card. I suppose I could create some scenario where this became a case of mistaken identity and Mr. Swishnierwinkle was put on a “No-Fly List” by TSA Officials and wisked away into a back room, questioned for three hours, incarcerated in Gitmo where he eventually took over the control of a South American drug cartel and Al-Qaeda from prison that he merged into a single unit. Now, as the leader of a new global terrorist group, (which he gave the codename “Cobra”) he broke out of prison, took over Cuba, discovered a cache of Nuclear weapons Castro left over from the Cuban Missile Crisis. He then launches an attack against New York City, starting WW III and the destruction of all life as we know it all because I misspelled his name on a picture ID…Wow…I better get Mr. Swishnierwinkle’s name right!
Mistakes are bound to happen in life. The best we can hope for is that there are enough intelligent people around us to make up for the occasional goofs when we make them, so that these kind of “worse case scenarios” never play out. But then again, trusting in the overall intelligence of the human race is a scary gamble.
For instance, take Mr. Andre Hall of Pittsburgh. Who is he? Well, our efficient government bureaucracy had a typo on a work order which led to the demolition of his house.
Imagine waking up one morning and you sit down to eat a bowl of Wheaties, like you do every morning. You brush your teeth, get dressed and drive to work, dutifully checking in at 8:02 A.M. You leave just a little after 5:00 P.M. Traffic is heavy so you don’t turn into your street until a 5:52 P.M. when you notice a pile of debris at the end of the block. As you get closer, you think, “Wow, that is close to my house.”
As you pull up to your curb you curse, “****, that WAS my house!”
All that is left of your furniture, clothes and even that Tuna Fish Sandwich on Rye your grandma made for you is a pile of busted up concrete, splintered wood and broken glass as an overweight construction worker is eating a Twinkie while on a break inside his bulldozer.
It seems that the house next door to Mr. Hall’s was scheduled to be demolished and through a clerical error, Mr. Hall’s estate just kinda went along with it. And he wasn’t even there to lay in front of the bulldozer.
This is our tax dollars hard at work. (And last year we decided to trust this bureaucracy with our National Health? But I digress…)
What kind of mistakes do you make at work? What are the consequences of those mistakes?