This one caught my attention. I have been lucky with regard to
accidents, especially because the tools and equipment I have worked
with all my life are even more dangerous than a buffing machine. I
still have all my eyes ands fingers. But I've had a few wake-up
calls along the way.
Sure, we know when we're being lazy or careless, like letting the
chain dangle while polishing as in Karen Goeller's post, and we know
when we're tired at the end of a long day - so we feel especially
stupid if and when we ignore those explicit cues and go right on
until something or someone gets hurt.
But even without being able to pick out concrete or identifiable
pre-conditions such as these, I have had another sort of experience
which I have no name for. I feel almost superstitiously creepy
writing about it, but I am also very curious if anyone else has had
this experience. Sometimes I have the feeling that an accident is
about to happen. I can't see why, but I have the feeling. So far I
have dealt with this feeling by simply stopping what I am doing and
maybe even stopping work for the day. The trick is to just get away
from the situation. That may be difficult if you are working for
someone else, but it's all I know how to do. Sometimes I feel
foolish about this. After all, if I stop work then, obviously, no
accident will happen. It's like trying to prove a negative to claim
I've prevented an accident by responding to this intuitive feeling.
Anyway, like I said, I'm really curious about this. Have any of you
known in advance when you were about to have an accident? Or another
form of the question - when an accident happens is one of your first
reactions to feel as though it was an expected event?
I feel like my strategy is a good one - I respond to that ineffable
sense of expectation before it is proven true by clearing out of the
situation. I want to learn how to make that feeling even more
noticeable, more identifiable. Because I'm half convinced that the
danger clues are not always outside of ourselves in faulty equipment
or bad practice. Those are the easy clues to spot. I think there is
also some kind of self-damaging trickster inside us that has to be
respected and sometimes deferred to. He/she/it has its reasons.
Maybe the best we can do is to just notice when he is up and about
in our souls. Pay attention.
Marty Hykin knocking on wood in Victoria