Just when I think the world is becoming a little better I hear or read a story that blows my mind. Recently in the news was the story of a boy drifting at sea waiting to be rescued with his friends for days on end. Unfortunately the friends of this boy passed away waiting to be rescued but the story in the paper tells of a cruise liner passing by and people watching the boys in peril floating at sea. The passengers said they informed the crew of the sighting but nothing happened. The cruise liner kept its course and went by leaving the boys at sea. Now the reports say the Captain did not receive the communications about the boat in distress and others say he chose to stay his course. How that debate works out is yet to be seen. The reason I bring this up is that many people working for companies have specific policies in place about stopping or going off course, etc to help someone. As a professional truck driver in my career I have helped many people at the side of the road. A company I worked for gave me an award for helping an elderly couple stuck at the side of the road with a flat tire. That same company after a corporate merger years later put a policy in place against stopping to help people at the side of the road. So even if you want to help maybe you can’t. This topic has even prompted the television show, “What Would You Do?” showing how people react in certain situations.
You probably think I am going to tell you what you should do in these situations, but not only can I not tell you, but I don’t want to. This article is to get you to think about the person you are or the person you would like to become. I can’t even ask that question of myself, every situation is different so I really don’t know what I would do until an incident actually happens. I want you to put yourself in the shoes of the ship Captain.
If you were at the helm of the ship and assume that you did receive the message from your crew that a boat was in distress, but you have a strict policy not to change course. Would you have changed course anyway and rescued that boys in the boat or would stay the course and go on by? I believe even if you were to stay the course there are things you could have done to help, whether it be making a call, sending out a life raft, etc. I myself think I would have taken a chance to save a life, but then again that’s me.I ask you however, what would you do?
About the Author
Bruce Outridge is a business and leadership consultant. More information can be found on his website at www.outridge.ca