A quick sideways smile appeared as I read what an actual person in 2023 wrote in a professional (somewhat) forum.
With a teaspoon of amusement, a dash of dismay, and a gallon of continued frustration, I watched the comment appear, and develop a large audience around the words in true social media fashion.
Before diving into my visions of Bugsy Siegel, Al Capone, and Tony Soprano, allow me to fill you in on the context.
This is about yet another online post about Asbestos Testing, the laws and the standards surrounding the requirements.
What many do not know (because I find no reason to announce it) is I made a PROMISE to do my part to help educate an entire industry.
Being a hard-headed, ADHD, sometimes hectic industry about this important misunderstood law is affecting too many unknowing and helpless workers.
But enough about that, I have written scores of articles, blogs, and podcasts on that topic.
I was equally amused and irritated when I witnessed the same excuses and rhetoric that so many construction and emergency services contractors say about testing for asbestos.
A professional contractor was involved in responding to a flood or water damage.
As per the standard, they proceeded to set up stabilization mode and proceed with environmental testing.
To their surprise, when contacting the owner with the POSITIVE results, they learned that the owner had been convinced (I say coerced) by the carrier's reps to allow another company to come in and start the demolition of affected areas.
So on arrival, they found the work in progress or even complete. Needless to say (although too late), the cleanup was …well there was almost no cleanup.
Professional #1 (and only one) had dehumidifiers and HEPA Air Scrubbers in place, still running.
These are now fully affected by what was identified as Asbestos Containing Material Debris.
The question in the post was sincere:
They were told by the adjuster (who has zero authority or competent training) to remove their equipment. By this time, the homeowner felt trapped and at the mercy of all these egos.
In this post, a particular member put out a lengthy response that started with the title phrase: “Snitches get Stitches”.
Talk about instantly feeling like we are in Brooklyn or Hell’s Kitchen in 1958.
Many responses in the post were to report the incident to OSHA and other local environmental authorities.
What is your stance?
As certified and assumed professionals are we not expected to police our industry and hold others accountable?
Is our silence helping the action be remedied?
Is this an education incident? Or is it intentional ignorance?
Where does one get stitches and who will perform assault and deliver said beating?
I understand fully that “Snitches get Stitches” is a phrase, a term that this person (from NJ/NY) likely grew up saying.
But it does speak to a much bigger issue that exists not only in this tiny universe of our industry but society in general.
Silence about deplorable actions seems to be the default (unless it is a politically driven anthem that told someone to repeat from CNN last night).
As a professional, is it not a duty to uphold the integrity and standards of your profession?
Can we truly and pompously pretend we have these massive core values, principles, and standards if we turn our eyes?
In the 2020s, storytelling in marketing has become the thing to do. It is effective. I coach people to be storytellers. If it is not matched with both presumed authentic intent and verified action, the effect is reversed.
In our signature course: 60 Days to Build a Strong Restoration Business, we had a full segment on Professional Responsibility. We titled one lesson "Laws", and it ties into this blog well. We've made Day 8 of 60 available to you. Just drop your name and email here, and you'll get a email with the link to watch the lesson!
There is a professional way to ask a colleague or a competitor to spare 10 minutes while you provide solid and legitimate evidence that their belief or understanding of something is wrong. But with new information, we can raise the bar and all begin to be uniform in our efforts and quality.
I will leave that deep internal self-reflective pondering to you.
For me, I think the ladies love scars from stitches, so I am likely to continue to do what I know is right and educate.
If my attempts to educate are dismissed, I move to enforcement.
I will protect the public because I am a human that will not sit by idly and perpetuate the “not my problem” mentality.
So Snitches get Stitches and end up in ditches.
Fhageddad About It….
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