Friday, December 13, 2013

Today's Hero

I don't know his name.  But he is Pure Grit.

Pure Grit had a few errands this morning.  He needed to go to the bank and get some cash before hitting the grocery store.   I happened to run into him by chance slightly after this sequence of events.  I asked if I could blog about it.  He agreed, even though he thought the event was personally embarrassing.

The view from my 'regular ride'(treadmill at Healthworks) M-50 and M-99 are co-joined as they pass through town.  Posted speed limit is 35.  Traffic is steady.
 Pure Grit lives west of the bank and grocery store and had to cross M-50/99.

Pure Grit's original plan was to cross the highway and then use the sidewalk.  But the sidewalk had filled in with snow.

So Pure Grit changed his plan.  He planned to cut across the parking lot between an insurance company and a dentist.

Pure Grit ran into trouble when he hit the uncleared snow.  He was wheel chairing up-grade.  He started having "yaw issues".  He would edge forward and one wheel would slip...pointing him in a direction he did not want to go.  Bulling the chair forward was a non-starter because both wheels would slip.

Turning back was not a possibility.  It is debatable whether he could have kept himself from sliding out into the road if he started back down because the grade is uninterrupted.

He ended up crabbing sideways while clawing his way up, inch-by-inch.  Finally, the grade  flatten enough and he was able to resume normal travel.  It took him two or three minutes to work his way through the dicey part.  It probably seemed longer to him.

Names of the insurance company and dentist are withheld.  It is likely a landlord issue or the person who is supposed to plow the parking lot and sidewalks had an equipment issue.  It would be appropriate for both tenants to light up their landlord for failure to clear the sidewalks and parking lot.

I think this is a good illustration of Heinrich's Law.  It was one of those instances where many of the normal conditions that protect us from hazard (and make the hazard invisible) had been peeled away, thus exposing the hazard and the potential for harm.

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