How does a blind person do what they do?
It is crazy. I get this question all of the time. I’m independent and stubborn. And because I insist on being independent I get asked this question, a lot.
To some people, they don’t understand how I can clip my finger nails without seeing them, or cutting my fingers to shreds. Or cook, especially stuff in the oven or boiling water. Or hear noises that most people don’t. Or get around without a permanent guide next to me.
After 12 years of this it’s all 2nd nature. Let me answer these questions in security professional speak;
• Clip my finger nails without cutting my fingers to shreds
I do this the same way you have to conduct a security risk assessment or threat assessment. You have to take your time and ensure that everything is in the proper place and you account for everything that may cause trouble, no matter how remote. If you make a mistake, hopefully, you stop before the blood starts and you try again. It’s not easy but it can be done.
• Cook, especially stuff in the oven or boiling something
Just like a risk assessment you have to take your time. With cooking food that is really hot or scalding, use the pot holders and ensure it’s not too heavy for you to move. This goes along with the operations of your department. You have to be aware of the limitations of your officers and lift them carefully so that everything comes out okay. By lifting, I mean coaching and mentoring as well as training them over and above what’s required.
Sometimes you have to handle certain officers with pot holders. In other words they need to be ‘coddled’ and empathized with for a few minutes. But if it gets too much you gotta put it (them) down (terminate).
• Hear noises that most people don’t
Some say I’m psychotic because I hear things, I’m not. And no, my hearing hasn’t gotten better because I’m blind. But being in the security field as long as I have, you have to pay attention. Especially to detail. Which means sounds as well.
When you’re alone in a dark warehouse at 0300 on a Sunday morning your hearing has to be alert and aware. Rats or other animals can make the same noises as someone trying to break in or get away.
The lesson here? Pay attention to what’s going on around you. Train your ears and nose to recognize what’ should be there or not. Chemical smells, gasoline, propane, scrapping and dragging. All things that can indicate innumerable things, especially someone trying to injure your company/client.
• Get around without a permanent guide next to me.
Do you need a permanent guide to get around a new town? How about your security officers after a bit of On the job training, can they get around a new post or assignment? Of course they can! So why would I be any different?
I study where I’m going and get detailed instructions in how to get where I’m going. From there I use my senses, ears & nose, and find my way. Do I make it all the time alone? No. Just as you and your officers might, I get lost and have to double back or make a different turn.
And if I’m going somewhere I’ve never been before I do need a sighted guide at times. But that is rare and far in between. And to answer your curiosity yes I’ve bumped into walls more than once, but they’re okay, just minor dents.
Do your officers, whether they be contracted or not, sometimes need a map of the facility for the first few times around? If they are on a vehicle patrol, do they not need a map of their patrol station? And do they not get turned around and lost from time to time? We all do, whether it is at work or out and about.
Being blind is only limiting because you can’t use your eyes in a world that is visually oriented. But as I go along in this life I discover that being a good Missoura Mule, stubborn, obstinate, & independent, is helpful. I keep moving forward until I get it right and that’s the lesson for security professionals – keep moving forward until you solve your issue.
“Nothing is impossible. The only one holding you back is yourself”
Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on workplace violence prevention and other security issues. With numerous interviews, blogs, articles, and 2 books he has proven himself in the security arena for more than 31 years, and 23 studying workplace violence issues.
His latest book ‘one is too Many: Recognizing & Preventing Workplace violence is available for numerous e-book formats. It helps all organizations to reduce their risk and limit their liability of an incident. And it does this by breaking the rules in several ways, as well as following conventional wisdom in others.
He utilizes his years of field knowledge to give real life examples of incidents pulled from both his own experiences and the news headlines. Contact him at 480-251-5197 or Visit his Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/oneistoomany, Here you will see and read about other items related to WPV/SV as well as incidents you may not have heard or thought about.