Saturday, February 12, 2011

Adapting to Environment and Limitations

I work for a seasonal distribution company. The building is in an industrial complex off a major highway. The space is divided between offices, a showroom and a warehouse. My office is in the back of the room (no window) and I cannot see the door from my desk. The building is alarmed and a low chime rings when a door, window or dock entrance is opened. The complex is busy with regular traffic (trucking companies, salespeople, package delivery services and the USPS).

Unexpectedly on Monday, I was alone in 25,000 sq ft of space. My co-workers were sick or away at trade shows. To make matters worse, I could not hear well. My left ear is driving me crazy and is completely blocked. All I hear is constant ringing. I went to the doctor and he prescribed ear drops. I have a follow up appointment next week. I could not hear the door chime.

There was at least one salesman who dropped by on a cold call. A customer picked up a large order of baskets, a lost truck driver came in for directions and a person stopped by to see if we were hiring. The UPS man made his scheduled delivery and pickup.

What did I do differently on this particular Monday?

I moved out of my office and sat in a seasonal employee desk which was facing the entrance. The desk was in an open space next to a window. I made sure the warehouse dock doors were secure and the only open entrance was the front door. When visitors came, I did not mention I was in the building alone. There is a company truck parked out front so it appears like there are several people in the building. I kept my cell phone and car keys in my pocket.

I made minor adjustments to my work day that only took a few seconds.

This post has been sitting in my draft folder for a few days. I read the post this morning and I wondered how this post would be perceived. Do the minor adjustments make me seem fearful? Paranoid? Prepared? Aware? My answer: Aware. On that day, I had a limitation...hearing. I was aware of the limitation and adjusted accordingly.

Thank you and welcome to the new readers and followers of this blog! I appreciate your comments and thank you for reading.

On a side note: I am still struggling with my ear. On Thursday, it opened for a few hours and it was wonderful! I never had a blocked ear before and did not realize how sick it makes you feel. There are a lot of Internet suggestions on how to unblock an ear including ear candling. In this 15-45 minute procedure, a hollow candle is burned in your ear to create negative pressure. Uh...no thanks!

4 comments:

Journeyman said...

Too often we hear or read about someone who has been the victim of crime. Imagine reading about a woman (or man) that was assaulted in a building such as yours.

Someone would be quoted as saying it was potentially preventable. They'd say "She/he couldn't see the door, was having problems hearing, there were no cars in the driveway, the assailant entered from an unlocked or open rear door, couldn't get away, didn't have car keys or cell phone nearby..."

A few simple adjustments on your part greatly reduced your chances of all those things. You can be aware but not paranoid. It's the oblivious that I worry about. If I was teaching a self defense/awareness seminar, these are exactly the types of things I'd cover. I truly believe that awareness is the best defense of all.

As for your ears, I'm sorry you're suffering. Ear candling is painless and often very relaxing, most done in a spa type setting, laying comfortably with relaxing music. Another option is to put a drop or two of oil in your ear at night and put a cotton swab it. Mineral oil, even olive oil is ok and safe. If it's wax related, it'll come out within a couple of days. If it's an infection, best to go with the doc.

Good luck.

John W. Zimmer said...

Hi Michelle,

You have good sense. Common sense is regrettably lacking with a lot of people today. Women alone should take extra precautions because some men might take advantage of a situation.

For instance when I walk some neighborhood I take some gold rings off of my fingers.

I also don't drive late at night in bad areas of town.

Someone once asked my why I was careful when arguably at the time I could have taken most groups of bad guys without weapons.

I told him I did not have a crystal ball and as the outcome was unknown - I was not taking unneeded risk.

You are a wise woman Michelle!

Rick said...

A major component in effective self defense is simply not being stupid.

Michele said...

Thank you for your comments.

Journeyman: My ear is open! I had a follow-up appointment with the doctor today. The eardrops must have worked.

John: Nice to hear from you! Thank you for the comments. :)

Rick: I agree.