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THE DANGERS OF WORK COMMUTE

Terry is a very hard working lady. She is about 71 years old; never married; and works two jobs to get through the recent hard economy.  She will make it.

One of her jobs was as a real estate broker.  Paid purely on commission she would have to develop leads, show houses, conduct open houses and close deals in order to make a living.  She was good at it because her clients saw her for what she is: honest, hardworking, blue collar, just like they are!

So none of her clients would be surprised that Terry was early for her weekly meeting and that she was bringing a little food for the session.  She parked her car where she usually did; then took one of the four ways into the office she took over the past five years.  But this time, her path was just so that it brought the front of her foot into contact with a 1/2" remnant of a rebar left in the asphalt. 

See, years before the property manager contracted to move the concrete parking barriers back from the building in order to give pedestrians more room to walk.  For the contractor it was a simple contract: the old in and out type of job; done in a couple hours worked in during the busy days of the past economy.

Job was simple: jack up the old concrete barriers; removed the rebar anchors; install new concrete parking barriers; install the rebar anchors.  Job done. Send the invoice. Get paid. Go to the next job.

But someone got careless. Someone was not paying enough attention to his job. Workmanship got sloppy. One rebar was too tough to remove.  Instead of removing it, they just cut it off with bolt cutters.  The problem was they did not cut it flush with the asphalt. So there it was: a little 1/2" tripping hazard waiting patiently for its victim.  With a infinite number of paths people would take across the pedestrian path it was only a matter of time before it would reach out and stop someone's toe sending headlong into a fall!

Terry was that person.  As a result of her headlong fall, she suffered a double fracture of her left (non-dominant, thank God!) wrist; and a dislocation of the bones. Surgery was needed to fix the bones.  A plate and eight screws were implanted during surgery.

But what Terry could not do was take a lot of time off work because she was like her clients: she lived pay check to pay check.  Whether it was her real estate job or her second job, commissions were the source of her income.  No sales, no income.

So Terry went back to work.  She continued to show houses around her therapy schedule. She continued to survive.

Terry is like the millions of us who go to work to support ourselves, our families, our loved ones.  We are not asking for handouts. We will support ourselves.

What we are asking is that others do their jobs professionally so as not to harm us or anyone else.  Every time somebody cuts a corner on their job, safety gets compromised.  When safety gets compromised, a danger is created. This danger will wait patiently for as long as it takes to harm someone--even if it is a good person like Terry.

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