Vigilance Pays Off

Vigilance Pays Off – Safety in the workplace


You’ve all heard the phrase, “See Something, Say Something” right? Well, it works!

Close-up shot of elevator buttons

I had a student tell me a story and I was so proud of her, I asked if I could share it.  Because it is SO worth sharing.

She and her sister work in the same building on different floors in a high rise building in Dallas, Texas. The elevator is one that requires an access card to go higher than level 2.

A man got on the elevator with the ladies wearing a long jacket and he was looking around with shifty eyes as if he were nervous. He made no effort to reach for an access card, nor did he press a floor.

The ladies immediately felt that uncomfortable “gut feeling”, (something I preach about all the time) and decided they would exit the elevator together rather than split up leaving one lady on the elevator with the man. They quickly discussed what they would do and went straight to the security desk to report the odd behavior and give a description of the man.

Later that day, as the two women were leaving work, they saw several police cars in the parking lot. It turned out; the man they came face to face with was there to commit a theft of property.

The newsletter put out by their company stated, “Security approached the individual, finding out that he was an intruder with intent to commit petty theft.” It goes on to say, “This awareness by [the women, names redacted], must be acknowledged and celebrated for the simple fact that, though it was a person looking to steal personal property, it could have easily been an intruder that had the intent to commit more damage to property and personal safety. This intruder was able to access the Irving facility, not just by walking in, but by tailgating another employee.”

The term tailgating refers to someone who walks in or drives into a secured area immediately behind someone who has the authorization to be there and access the door or gate.

Think back on any story of a mass shooting or workplace violence incident and you can see how it is this kind of vigilance really pays off and keeps people safe.

I love to hear stories like this one. If you have a great story of safety or vigilance, I would love to hear from you.