Matt Forney
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Not Accepting Blame

This is a guest post by Dr. Illusion.

For any of you who don’t know much about me: I’m an electrician and I work in an Industrial environment. I talk a lot on my blog about how people need to step up and be accountable for themselves, and to themselves. I just wanted to take some time and give examples of people doing just the opposite, and how annoying the consequences are. I’ll be using a lot of examples from my job. So, here we go.

Someone fell down from a decent height and hurt themselves. That sucks, I understand. But instead of saying, “Damn, I should have been more careful,” they sue their employer. Now, I have to wear a body harness with a lanyard if I’m four feet or more off the ground. What makes this really stupid is that the lanyard is six feet long. So, if I did fall off the four foot step ladder I would hit the ground before my lanyard stopped me. Brilliant.

Instead of accepting responsibility for a mistake, people want someone to blame so they feel better and can get some money out of it.

Someone worked a long shift and had an accident on the way home. They could have taken a nap in the parking lot. Instead, they got behind the wheel and wrecked. What to do? Sue the company. Now, I’m not allowed to work over 16 hours straight. You know what? Sometimes there’s a job that needs doing and I’m the best man for the job. It’s in my best interest to keep this place running. I don’t mind long hours. But now it’s OSHA law that I have to leave. Do I break this rule? Yes, I do. If there’s a crisis and I’m the man for the job, I will work over and add the extra hours onto other work days so no one notices the 19 hour shift on my time card.

All these lawsuits, all this “It wasn’t my fault” crap just results in more laws, more regulations, more government. These things cost more money. That’s more taxes, in the public sector. In the corporate sector, that’s higher costs being passed onto the consumer.

At a company party with an open bar, someone had too much too drink and had an accident on the way home. They blamed the company for providing free alcohol instead of taking responsibility. Guess what that means for me? Beers were four dollars apiece at the company Christmas party instead of an open bar. Screw you, drunk driver guy. You owe me 70 bucks.

I was changing a flow tube on a caustic line earlier this year. This chemical is serious. It will burn your skin and flesh off your bones. I was in a hurry and we needed this done fast. The manual valve that was supposed to keep the chemical from entering the section of line I was working on didn’t seal off completely. When I broke the bolts loose, I got sprayed in the face with this shit. It burned off my eyebrows, cooked my forehead and my nose. It took weeks to heal and it hurt like hell. I finished the job, I finished the shift. When people at work asked about the burns, I told them I got drunk and fell into a bonfire. The injury was my fault, and it was my business. Reporting this crap just results in a bad safety record for the company and also cuts into my quarterly bonuses.

This culture of “blame someone else” has to stop. From the woman suing McDonald’s for giving her hot coffee, to suing fast food restaurants for making you fat, to suing cigarette companies for getting lung cancer, to blaming the company when you get hurt. “There should have been a rule/regulation/safety in place to keep me from hurting myself.” No, dumbass, you should have been paying attention to what you were doing.

I realize it’s embarrassing to some people to say “I did something stupid.” But we’re all adults. Yes, it’s easy to point the finger. I see it all the time. “It’s not my fault I destroyed that piece of equipment with this here Bobcat I was driving. They should have built guardrails around it!” Shut up and accept the fact that you were texting while operating heavy equipment and caused thousands of dollars in damage. You’re an idiot.

Dr. Illusion blogs at Illusion of Sanity.

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