Rules or Reason

July 26, 2013

In the news is the story of a daycare worker who was fired after extinguishing a fire in the building and getting the children out of the building to safety.

It boggles the mind how some people are so bound up in rules that they fail to use their common sense.

A daycare worker smelled smoke so she rushed out of the room to investigate it, leaving the napping children in the classroom. She found the fire was in the oven so she put it out and then rushed back to her classroom where the children were still sleeping.

She woke the children up and led them outside to safety. The fire trucks arrived after the fire was put out but the daycare worker said that it would have spread if she had not put it out before the firemen arrived.

When the owner of the daycare center arrived later that day, she immediately fired the woman for leaving her room. She is quoted as saying, “I fired her only because she left her room. It’s not acceptable, and if anybody else does the same thing, I will fire again. I will fire them. No question.”

In defense of her actions, the daycare worker said, “I didn’t start the fire. I put it out.”

When a daycare worker is hired, there is no way you can look at her résumé and know, with absolute certainty, that this is someone who can think quickly and act decisively in emergencies. Clearly, the employee who put out the fire and marched the children out of the building to safety, is such a woman.

And, just as clearly, the owner of the facility is not someone who can think quickly and act quickly in a responsible way. Had the daycare worker remained in her room and not rushed out to investigate the smoke and put out the fire, that fire could have
spread and endangered the lives of her and all the children in that room.

There are many times when following a rule doesn’t make sense. This was one of those times. The owner, by her actions, has shown that she lacks critical thinking skills and good judgment and that she cares more about people obeying her rules than she does about the safety of the children entrusted to her care.

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