- Holly Searle
- London, United Kingdom
- Holly Searle is a writer who was born in Westminster in the middle of London. She shares her birthday with Jarvis Cocker and David Seaman and like Jarvis Cocker she wears glasses but has nothing whatsoever in common with David Seaman. She is fascinated by words, people and their stories, and regularly spends hours fantasising about being offered a weekly column. She has a degree in Film and Television which she gained from Brunel University in 1997. She has been blessed with two quite remarkable children whom she adores. She enjoys the company of her friends and the circus that is life. Long Walk to Forever by Kurt Vonnegut is her favourite short story. She is the author of the published children's tale The Story of Balan Singh, and is currently working on her first book.
Saturday, 29 September 2012
Why Human Error Is A Bit Like A Game Of Subbuteo By Holly Searle
For imperfect cousins everywhere.
Let's face it, if Feargal Sharkey had been paying attention during his game of Subbuteo against his perfect cousin Kevin, he may well have won the game if only he'd have been aware of the fact that Kevin had "flicked the kick" without him knowing and therefore had cheated his way to victory.
Human error is a bit like that isn't it? People who aren't paying attention miss what is important and by doing so, often pave the way for an event to unfold that quite frankly could have been avoided if only they had been more on the ball (did you see what I did there).
We see it everyday without fail, but it is usually obscured by the actual event itself. When the dust settles and Columbo finally arrives late (held up no doubt due to human error) he traces the reasons for the event back to the actual root cause. Nice one. By doing so, he not only solves the case but also dispels the thoughts of those he has been investigating that he was just some fool in a dirty raincoat.
There is a great children's book by David McKee called Who Is Mrs Green? that does exactly that. A series of consequential events that are traced back to the misbehaving antics of one Mrs Green and her trip trapping high heels. Because she wakes her neighbour in the early hours, he then vents his anger and frustration on another and than that person does the same and so on and so forth throughout the course of the day that follows on from her initial thoughtless action. If you have children (or even if you don't) it is well worth tracking down a copy and having a read as it is quite thought provoking as so many of David McKee's books are.
Just like in the game of Subbuteo, in life we are governed by rules. Parameters are set out for us, that are there to ensure we don't make mistakes. But unfortunately we live in a world where these are sometimes overlooked because we are just flawed human beings or like cousin Kevin, we just choose to overlook the rules because we can't be bothered to abide by them.
And it seems to me that as a race, we either committee errors because we do not communicate properly with one another or because we are under pressure to deliver something that due to a set of circumstances is impossible to achieve or because we simply do not listen.
A friend and I had a conversation about it all recently and he retold a story to me in which two planes had crashed on the runway they were both about to take off from, due to the fact that the pilot was under pressure to return home for his anniversary party.
The circumstances in which this terrible accident took place were also blighted by bad weather conditions and miscommunication, but the root cause was human error.
My friend concluded that occurrences like this had to take place to enable the fact that they would never happen again.
It is a shame though that so many people suffer to enable these measures to be enforced so that they do not happen again in the future to another bunch of innocent souls. But maybe that is why To err is human, to forgive is divine.
But those are big things, news making incidents that we all collectively share in together. It is the small stuff you have to be aware of.
On the day to day agenda of our lives we encounter and are effected by the errors of others. Be it at work or play, we all fall victim to them. I used to get all het up about it, but now I just try and trace it back to its root cause and weigh up the stress I am prepared to endure or pass on for the benefit of my health. I sometimes feel like Columbo when I am doing this but without the dirty raincoat.
And even though I am more like Feargal than Kevin (as are my family and friends) I am well aware of those that "flicked the kick" and those that do not in this live game of Subbuteo we are all involved in to enable a more durable and productive version of the society I live in.