What you see as normal, the rest of the world thinks is NUTS!Posted: November 28, 2008
I read an interesting article about a zip line that employees of Google has strung between the Google campuses. There is a new building on the other side of a ditch from the main campus and a long drive around. The main campus is where all of the employee benefits are like “lobsters for lunch.”
The zip line from the photographs appears to be about 10′ above the ditch and guessing less than 20′ wide. The ditch is too wide to jump and obviously who wants to drive to lunch.
However the city took the zip line down. Probably and this is purely a guess for liability reasons. The liability of falling 5′ into dirty water is pretty big……
We have to realize that what we do in our sport, what we take for granted scares the heck out of most other people. What looks like fun and an easy way to get to lunch to a 20 year old looks dangerous and scary to a 50 year bureaucrat. We work on the river, in the cave or above ground on a zip line or challenge course every day. We are used to what we are doing. It is our backyard, our office. We go to work by putting on a harness or a life jacket and think life is wonderful.
You have to remember that everything we take for granted and do every day is a new experience for our customers. You can tell when you hand them a harness or PFD and they just stare at it. We approach the first rapid and they get buzzed or nervous. We climb the tower, sometimes forgetting to clip in and they check their harness and tie in half dozen times before putting a step on the first ladder.
You have to remember this way before and way after any incident. You need to tell potential customers exactly what they are facing, from their point of view. Walking a balance beam on the ground is easy. Walking a balance beam 4′ in the air at the Olympics is terrifying. If it were not so, no one would care or watch.
You also must realize this after someone is hurt. Family members are not going to understand why you put their loved one at risk. They can’t fathom any recreation or vacation as anything other than Disneyland.® Why would anyone go to be hurt doing something.
You also need to remember that what we see as dangerous the cartoons in our life may see as normal.