9-9-10 Thursday (The Fallen)

If you'll remember, last week I had to fire my newly hired Service Consultant. The good thing about that was that I was able to get Angela in here to take his place. I connected with Angela and felt she was going to make a great addition to my team. She had a great personality and had experience. Great combination.

On Tuesday, she started. She came in with cleaners to wipe her new desk. Staplers, highlighters, colored Sharpies, an electric stapler, various pads of paper, a tape dispenser, etc. She moved right on in.

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After only 2 hours on the job she walked through the shop, mis-stepped on some metal grates that cover the lube pit, and fell 10 feet or so into the pit. Apparently she stepped on the yellow grates which have wheels on them. They slid out from under her. I was right in front of her and turned around just in time to witness the horror. I ran down the steps to her and had her remain still as I called 911. She bumped her head pretty bad but thankfully didn't break the skin. She couldn't move her arm (we later found it broke in 2 places). Understandably, she was scared. I held her hand. She started thinking about needing surgeries. Her mind started thinking about the worst of the worst. Anxiety took over and she was sweating and given any more time, she probably would have hyper-ventilated.

Lube 2

Lube 1

In a long 10 minutes, the ambulance arrived. They strapped her to a back board. She moaned. She was in pain. In agony. The EMS workers along with our shop staff, lifted her up and out of the lube pit.

Hours later, I went to the hospital with a signed card for her. She had just been rolled out of xray as I arrived.  Her and her family awaited a doctor to "interpret" the xrays. She wasn't happy - naturally.  She apologized for the incident.  What's to apologize for?  Unfortunately, although I couldn't admit it, it's a lot of my fault.  She was following me through the shop.  I didn't warn her.  I nearly did the same thing as she on my first day.  I too slipped on the damn thing but fortunately it only moved an inch or 2.   No one had warned me either.  Unfortunately, that doesn't justify my error.  I feel terrible about it.


  1. I almost did the same thing when I worked at Valvoline. I was topside and slipped on the edge of the pit. Lucky for me there was a car there so I stayed up top. I was more embarrassed than anything. I hope she comes back after she heals.

  2. Ok, it appears to me that there is concrete on both sides. Why would you step on the metal grates? Even if you did they look like they might not be steady so I would think you would step lightly. STOP BLAMING YOURSELF! After all no one warned you. Love ya honey, See Ya Real SOON!!!

  3. That poor thing! Can I have all her cute pink desk stuff?

  4. Alix, I got dibs on the tape dispenser. It's a high heel shoe!

  5. OH NO!!!! Is she going to come back? That has to be the worst first day on record. (and agreed - no need to blame yourself!)

  6. Oh, dear. The poor thing. I would have to imagine she's not only in pain but also pretty embarassed.

    Here's an odd technique to possibly help calm someone at an accident scene... sing. Seriously.

    You can't beat yourself up. But you can be proactive and think of a way to better mark the area or create specific safety training for first day of work. Since I work for a company that's all about safety... we tend to go a bit overboard. But you have an opportunity here. You can come up with a way to make that space safer and then even roll it out to other stores. A better way to mark that it's a moving surface or a warning sign or something.

  7. thank goodness for workman's comp!!!

    I hope she's going to be OK, and it certainly wasn't your fault, but I bet you will will caution future employees!


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