An Insight a Day

You Could've Damaged the Equipment

Today, I saw someone riding a bicycle and going rather wobbly while carrying a huge sack. It was on a small road in the countryside, and being in a car, we had to cut to the other lane to overtake him.

I didn't think much of it, but a while later, it reminded me of something I deeply regretted many years ago. For context, I was an employee, while the other guy was a contractor.

The guy was riding his bicycle, carrying a piece of heavy-looking equipment, a rather expensive tool. He stopped in front of me, and as he was stopping, he almost fell.

"Hey, be careful!" I said.

He managed to recover safely and didn't fall while holding tightly on the equipment. Looking relieved, he smiled and said it was okay.

I, on the other hand, followed up with the worst possible response: "You could've damaged the equipment."

The moment those words left my mouth, I regretted them instantly. Here was a guy who could've gotten hurt, and yet, I was more worried about the equipment than his well-being?

From his perspective, it reinforces the idea that he's expendable and that the staff at the company (i.e., me) care more about their money and material assets than the people they hire to do the work.

How horrible is that? Even I was shocked by what I've said! And before I could say anything, he already left.

So, I guess this will haunt me for the rest of my life, and I'll be reminded of this anytime I see someone carrying something big or heavy on their bicycle.

An amateurish illustration of someone riding a bicycle while carrying a huge sack.