I am sure many of you have watched portions of the various “reality” programs that are so pervasive these days. The scenes are very well staged with close up video that is oh so perfect. On rare occasion I have been filmed in interviews and am well aware of the multiple retakes, over the shoulder sequences and of course teleprompter scripting that has the subjects repeating just the right words with just the perfect inflections. You might guess that I have some amount of cynicism during these so-called reality programs. I am generally asked to shut up or leave the room when reality is portrayed as anything but reality.
And this brings to mind more sage words from my papa when we talked over some long ago reality that was personally bothering me. Of course the personal reality moments do not have retakes, scripts, or teleprompter assistance. If you mess it up in the moment it stays that way forever. Like many of us in this world there have been reality times I just wanted to escape from, and couldn’t. After one of these painful episodes my papa and I sat down at my favorite university pizza parlor restaurant while I poured out my frustration. The moment was perfect for another of my papa’s advice statements; “Son, reality is the anchovy on the pizza of life.” My return comment went something like “Huh?”
It turns out we all get to face issues that we wish weren’t there. You in the safety profession get to meet with your unwanted anchovies fairly frequently, and you can’t wish them away. You have to deal with the problems as they present themselves to you. It turns out that my papa and I both were fond of anchovies, though our other family members made sure none of our anchovies made it to their side of the pizza. In life and in our profession we don’t get to be that selective. There are no programmed scripts or retakes when it comes to our safety anchovy realities. In the moment is the time to address the reality difficulties that face us. Reel that anchovy in and get it behind you!