My Wife Tried To Murder Me… With MURDER Scrub!

My Wife Tried To Murder Me… With MURDER Scrub!

Coconut oil scrub to be exact, but first things first…

I’m a magnet for strange. Anyone who’s read many of my stories or my book knows that. In particular, I find that more strange things happen to me in public bathrooms than most. Take that as you will.

As proof, I could offer up THIS STORY about that one time I had to break into my house from a bathroom window. Or THIS ONE about a time when I saved a bee’s life in the most unexpected of ways.

I could even tell you about a time very recently when I visited a restroom and was interrupted by the patron in the stall next to me. Ordinarily I can get in “the zone” when I have business to attend to, but this interruption was legendary. Few sounds are as alarming to hear in a throne room than those of deep, guttural… snoring.

As you can see, I speak from a high level of authority when it comes to weird stuff (and bathrooms). Even if those stories don’t make my case, I’ve got more.

Let’s dig into my wife’s nefarious plot to bring about my demise

Let me start by saying, I love my wife. She is spectacular.

BUT…

If I end up dead/murdered (even though it would be the direct result of my antics) no one should ever consider it a mystery. I preemptively confess that my relentless pursuit (see what I did there?) of bigger, better, and funnier drove an otherwise rational and kind woman to rid the world of my idiocy.

And it’s not like she hasn’t come close before.

I swear it wasn’t me!

As it happens, she’s almost succeeded… accidentally. God help me if she ever tries.

At one point before the spawns were born (see HERE or HERE for more info) she was quite the crafter.

At that point in our marriage I had no reason to suspect any ill intent. We were still newly-wed-enough to believe married people like each other. Anyhoo…, when she proclaimed one day that she was going to start making sugar scrubs I told her she had my full support. They sounded delicious (I was wrong about that…). But they smelled nice and really do help with exfoliation.

Then I took a shower!

There was no Norman Bates in this story. The plot was much more simple. As it turns out, sugar scrub is MOSTLY made of coconut oil, not sugar!

Following her first foray into this new project, my wife had indulged in the exfoliating and moisturizing experience that is F@#$%&! sugar scrub for an undetermined amount of time. Once fully moistfoliated, she exited the shower and let me know it was my turn.

I don’t remember much after that except that I learned three things that day:

  1. Coconut oil is slippery as fuck!
  2. I can perform the splits.
  3. My wife is going to live much longer than me.

She totally wasn’t trying to kill me though. I think

Here’s where it gets… uh… slippery

If I replaced a few elements from that story with a few from your work environment, would your judgement of the circumstances change as well?

Let’s try:

  • My wife = trades-person (employee)
  • Sugar scrub in the shower = unapproved process (violation)
  • Me = “Safety Guy”

Now the story reads: “An employee was observed violating plant safety policy 2097.00987879.00887790880.xxv2 when she used an unapproved chemical to clean equipment. This resulted in a very serious near miss when the Safety Guy slipped in residual chemical. Disciplinary action is recommended.”

Maybe that’s a little far fetched… Maybe not.

What do you think?

If you’re new to this blog, let me introduce myself. My name is Jason. I’m a safety professional, podcast host, author, and world-renowned origami artist (that’s a lie). If you’re NOT new to this blog, go buy my book… it’s like this but multiplied by the power of unicorn tears. In any case, I hope you enjoy the content here. Please like, share, and join in the discussion as we all pursue Relentless Safety.

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PROBES AND VIOLATIONS: A COMPARISON

Ok. I’m not going where you think I’m going with this. But nor am I above shameless click-bait. So, let’s talk about probes!

Of course, I’m talking about Ph probes used for recording scientific data. Are there even any other kinds of probes?

To be clear, we’re discussing one of the probes pictured on the right. Get your mind out of the gutter.

Now that we’ve cleared that up, let’s set the stage. You work at a manufacturing facility. For years, technicians have been using probes to test Ph. Recently there was a change to the process. A simple change, mind you, but one with big implications.

Since Monday (hypothetically speaking of course), technicians have been required to attach the Ph probes and their leads to a probe stand like the one in the picture above. The change is being made to prevent contamination and/or potential breakage of the probe. In the past, the probes were not captive and had frequently broken. In support of this initiative, each sample station is being given a sanitary container in which the buffer liquid cup can be stored without spilling.

Today, you have the task of auditing this new practice for compliance. You go to the first station and it’s perfect. Second, perfect. Then you come upon the third station. The technician there is hurriedly scurrying about and doesn’t have time for your intrusion. You start to walk by and then notice that his probe is not attached to the stand. In fact, he has reverted to the old practice of placing the buffer cup and probe in the permanent holder at the top of the station. You cite the violation, inform him, and leave.

I’m well aware that nothing like that ever occurs in a work environment but just go with me on this journey for a moment. If something like that had occurred at your facility, wouldn’t you want to know why? Many of you reading this “get it” on a fundamental level so I won’t insult you. But if even one person out there is content to just cite without understanding, then this needs to be said. 

I mentioned the technician being in a hurry for a reason. If this example were real (totally fabricated, trust me), one might have noticed that he had placed the cup and probe in the old location because his new holder was gone. An inquisitive observer might then have asked him why he wasn’t using the new stand. Although that is an inherently dumb question (yes, they exist), it would prompt the technician to explain that he didn’t want the buffer cup to spill and the stand would not reach to the old holder. He would also explain that his new holder had been taken before his shift. Easy.

So now let’s draw that comparison. If all of this had been some sort of safety issue, how many Safety “Professionals” would have probed (see what I did there…) deeper and figured out why the violation had occurred? What if the buffer was a highly volatile acid that had a flash-point of -2 and could melt through your hand while at the same time spontaneously combusting it? Would the conversation have been civil, or emotion-driven due to the extreme risk that technician had placed everyone in? 

Here’s a simple truth: People are task-based. We’re driven to complete tasks, not assess the risks associated with them. I would even argue that we don’t consciously assess risks as we encounter them. We either plan for them up front (build risk mitigation into the task) or react to them as they happen. 

When the operator “violated” the new policy, he did it in the interest of completing the task. To some degree, he even did it to mitigate risk (the buffer cup spilling). In his case, however, the system failed him and he was faced with a choice: a) do it “correctly” and risk spilling his cup or b) do it the old way and finish the task. 

How much better could we be at accounting for error and avoiding problems if we looked at the world through the lens of the worker rather than trying to spot what they are doing wrong? If you don’t practice this already, give it a shot. It may surprise you. In the meantime, if you haven’t already, check out SAFETY IS TIRED, LET’S MAKE IT RELENTLESS.

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