Thursday, 30 December 2010

Dear Deer

Today, I encountered a couple of cars blocking traffic. I got out to see if I could help. This wasn't entirely altruistic, I simply wanted to get home in finite time. It turned out that one cars had hit a roe deer making a complete shambles of the bonnet. The second had been the following car which had subsequently turned around and plonked itself on the opposite side of the road. The deer was still in the road and one of the passengers from the impact vehicle was directing traffic around it. The police had been informed and were en route, but it had been considered important to leave the poor dead deer in the middle of the road in case it had to be 'inspected'.

After quick analysis, it was clear that the impact driver was in shock, the following driver was acting on what seemed sensible, even though it wasn't and the person directing traffic was making the best of a bad situation. I quickly took charge, explained that the deer's position was not important, the traffic needed to flow and that it was best that the following car return to their original carriageway and double the flow of traffic. I picked up the deer and threw it onto the verge which elicited an "oh" response and people got on with the business of moving cars. I went on my way.

The 10-80-10 Rule is one which applies to disaster situations and describes the immediate response of those affected.10% of people become leaders, formulate a plan and help others. 80% of people engage in what is basically shock (acute stress reaction) and results in abject inaction or a daze. This state can last from as little as a couple of minutes, up to, in some cases, two or three days. The final 10% act inappropriately and can cause more problems than those doing nothing. In extreme cases, these people can be violent, so watch out for that.

I'll leave you to decide which of the people, including all those in the traffic, had been affected and where each fit into the rule. All in all, it was a small scale matter and my only regret is that I couldn't quickly think of a good way for the deer to now be hanging in my shed waiting to become next Sunday's roast.

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