Driving south from Indianapolis through a beautiful portion of Indiana, I see a Chick-Fil-A off the highway ahead. I turn off the main road and see a young employee standing in the middle of the street directing traffic (coincidentally, it was a new store opening).
When you watch someone who knows their job well or is an expert, it often looks easier than it really is. One tip-off that someone isn’t great at something is it doesn’t look easy or flow smoothly. The lack of flow was evident while watching the employee walk up to the cars ahead of me, asking if they were eating in the restaurant or going through the drive-through lane. His attention shifted from talking to some drivers and giving hand signals to others while walking back and forth in the middle of the road. Suddenly, he quickly steps out of the way as a car is headed in his direction, either not aware he was there or not wanting to hear his message.
I approach and the employee walks over to my car and asks me his set of questions. I smile and let him know he was really at risk doing this activity. He confidently tells me he knows what he is doing. I ask, “Have you been trained in traffic control?” He answers, “Please move on.” Now, I’m really concerned for his safety. What to do next?
I decided to avoid the congestion and I suspected if I talked to his supervisor I would get the same response. Instead, I pulled into a neighboring parking lot and called the local police. I informed them there was a dangerous situation and described the scene. They said they would send an officer over.
About five minutes later, a Sheriff’s car pulls in beside me in the parking lot. I went over to the officer and introduced myself and told him I was the caller. He thanked me for my concern. He also told me they were actually on private property as the “road” was part of the shopping center so he did not have jurisdiction. He did, however, say he would talk to the employee and the manager. I thanked him for his service to making the community a safer place.
I don’t know if the situation changed as I had a few more hours of driving ahead of me and had to get back on the road. I do know one thing; I will never face the regret of not saying anything and reading in the newspaper about a young man who was injured at a drive-through in Indiana.
The fourth reason I talk about in my book, “Would You Watch Out For My Safety?™” is when you watch out for the safety of others you will have no regrets. Remind your employees to ask themselves how they would feel if someone was hurt and they could have prevented the injury. No one wants the pain of knowing they chose not to save a life or prevent pain and suffering.