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If I tell someone, I won’t look tough. Wrong.

By: Dylan Matthew

Being a twenty-year-old young worker, I think I’m invincible.

I have the classic guy-mentality that if I get a cut or scrape at work, rub some dirt on it. I don’t want to be the guy crying or filing a claim with WCB because people will think I’m a wimp. Well, that’s not really a good way of looking at it. Who’s going to judge me if I do? No one. If you’re hurt at work don’t be afraid to let someone know.

croc

It may not seem like a big deal if you get a paper cut, but when you’re working with a knife bigger than Crocodile Dundee’s, it’s going to be a big deal. If you’ve never seen a Crocodile Dundee movie, that’s a little sad, but don’t fret; they can be rented.

My experience with this matter was one evening when I was working alone in the back of a grocery store. I feel dumb that I didn’t tell anyone because it could have had more serious repercussions.

When food is delivered to the store it comes on large (and heavy) wooden pallets. When the employees have emptied the food off the pallets, we stack the pallets up and put them back in the trailer the food was delivered in. Well, one evening most of the order had been worked, so the stacks of pallets had already been loaded into the trailer. I was taking the food off one last pallet; glad it was going to be done. When I finished, I lifted the pallet up on its side, and slid it into the trailer. Not an unusual situation.

When I got to the back of the trailer, I saw that the stack of pallets wasn’t very high, so I figured I could lift it up. I was thinking this while turned, looking at the stack. Just as I was turning back to the pallet, it lost balance on its side and fell. Luckily for the bottom of the trailer, I cushioned its fall with my big toe.

pallet

50 pounds on my big toe. Fun.

I’m not going to lie, it hurt like a word I’m not going to use. My toe was black for months after that, and possibly even cracked. But, I was a tough guy, so I didn’t tell anyone. I was lucky. My injury could have been a lot more serious. I should’ve asked for help, and I feel that as a young worker, I don’t do that enough. I hope my story has inspired you to be more careful at work, and to ask for help when you need it.

Also, another thing that young workers need to know is that if your employer wants you to do something that you’re not comfortable with, like climb a giant ladder (which wasn’t in your job description and looks menacing) just say you need help. There’s no shame in that. I bruise like a peach. I have no problem saying that because, who am I kidding…there’s a reason I’m writing this blog and not working in construction.

Work Safe. Work Smart. You’ll be glad you did.

3 Responses to “If I tell someone, I won’t look tough. Wrong.”

  1. Latter, or ladder? (last paragraph)

    If it’s anything… girls attempt to roll with the ‘tough-girl’ mentality, too. I trained and worked as a vet tech for a few years and being a tough-rural/farm-girl, I lifted things thinking I was also invincible.

    80 lb dog? … Don’t mind if I do!

    However! Now in my 30’s, I’m pretty sure this is how I wound up with chronic lower back pain. 😦

    I was bitten by cats a few times that resulted in weeks of not being able to use a particular hand; never went to the doctor. Looking back now, I don’t know what my problem was. No one was going to judge me for getting antibiotics for a raging cat bite infection! *sigh*

  2. If it’s anything… girls attempt to roll with the ‘tough-girl’ mentality, too. I trained and worked as a vet tech for a few years and being a tough-rural/farm-girl, I lifted things thinking I was also invincible.

    80 lb dog? … Don’t mind if I do!

    However! Now in my 30′s, I’m pretty sure this is how I wound up with chronic lower back pain.

    I was bitten by cats a few times that resulted in weeks of not being able to use a particular hand; never went to the doctor. Looking back now, I don’t know what my problem was. No one was going to judge me for getting antibiotics for a raging cat bite infection! *sigh*


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