Safe water or save money?

You most likely saw a photo or video of the millions of black plastic balls covering the Los Angeles Reservoir. They protect the region’s drinking water, but now they’re being replaced.

Source: L.A. Says Goodbye to ‘Shade Balls’

It turns out that the balls will be at only one location, but at other locations they will cover the water instead for more complete coverage.

It was amazing how the photo was so popular when it happened. I think it’s because it was something reminiscent of our childhood. The rubber ducky or ball in the bathtub and now in a lake for real reasons. Many times ideas seems recycled and I think this was just another example of a recycled idea.

Yes the old saying “There are no new ideas” is interesting to apply here. In some ways that is true. In other ways it is not. One of the troupes of culture is the idea that we have the answer to everything, we just need to apply it. This is clearly not the case. We don’t have the answer to the human need to control, or to make decisions that are contrary to the well-being of ourselves and others. We still tend to make choices that we know aren’t good for us.

What is concerning in reading this article is the discussion about bromide. It makes it seem that due to the composition of the water, that cancer and disease is likely. I wonder why they don’t take stronger steps to prevent this. If it costs $250 million dollars to prevent cancer, that is preferable isn’t it? With decisions like this, we are basically saying that lives are less important than saving money, and that can’t be right. Or is this rather an example of someone making a decision that they believe is in the public best interest, instead of just asking the public? I bet if you put it to a vote to increase the cost of water if it could be made safer, everyone would vote for that.

When to call a snow day

I have worked with many companies that aren’t really sure when to close the office due to a snow day. Forecasts are imperfect for sure, but here are some following experiences where they might wanted to have investigated further. All of these happened when there was a winter advisory and usually when the state declared a state of emergency.

  • Came in to work because there was no notification of a snow day. I was the only one there. In the next hour only 3 other people showed up. An hour later, the office was closed. The HR person apologized and “didn’t believe it was going to be this bad.” One of my coworkers at the time explained how her car slide and did a 360 in the parking lot.
  • Driving to work the weather was just terrible. Lots of snow on the ground and when I switched lanes, the work vehicle I was given slid into the side of the road and almost went off into the median. I called my boss and said I’m taking a vacation day and went back home. Less than an hour later the office was closed and I still had a vacation day charged to me.
  • A hurricane was forecast to come in the same day the board was meeting. Rather than change the board meeting, they had it during the day a hurricane was happening. Almost everyone was remote that day but some people who lived close, and it was crazy they were traveling as well. I was put up at a hotel across the street to support this. So in gusting winds that were knocking things over, I had to walk to work from my rented hotel room.
  • The weather was bad and it was -20. I was at work and my boss told me to finish something and then go home. When I finished I was the only car in the parking lot and buried under a ton of snow. Fortunately I was able to drive out but it was just crazy that I was told to finish something before I could leave. If there is an issue of safety, things can wait.

I am not complaining about these experiences, but rather sharing them to show that erring on the side of caution is better than trying to get the last bit of work out of someone.