Archive for October, 2012

What Does a 74 Year Old With a Walker and a Drunken Man Laying on Train Tracks Have in Common?

October 25th, 2012 Comments off

Both men were in life threatening situations, but unfortunately for the drunken man laying on the train tracks, they had less in common than one would hope.

The drunken man was walking along a train platform and got too close to the edge and fell onto the tracks.  He was unconscious from hitting his head from the fall. There was nobody else on the train platform except one other passenger that appeared after seeing the man fall.  He looked at the man laying on the tracks and moved to the edge to take a closer look, glanced around to see if anyone else was around or if a train was coming, then jumped down onto the tracks.

The elderly man was walking along a sidewalk when there was an accident involving two vehicles on the road.  As a result, one of the drivers was left unconscious with his foot on the gas making the tires spin.  The car was pointed directly at the 74 year old and looked like it was about to break free from being tangled with the other vehicle. Three people on the same sidewalk recognized that the vehicle was pointed in the direction of the elderly man and that he was not able to move out of the way like others had already done.

Here is where both stories go completely in different directions…

The man who had jumped onto the train tracks had an incredible opportunity to be a hero.  Instead, he began to riffle through the drunken man’s pockets and stole his wallet, cell phone and ripped a gold chain from his neck and hurried away leaving the man on the tracks.  Seconds later, a train came and was not able to stop in time.  The unconscious man left for dead was run over.  He lost a foot, but incredibly survived.  The thief was found and charged – far from being a hero.

The three men jumped to the aid of the 74 year old and collectively moved him out of the way just as the car broke free towards the sidewalk crashing into a storefront. Witnesses called them heroes.

My colleague Desmond Taljaard wrote a blog, “It Takes a Village to Expose the Bully” and I couldn’t help think how it relates to these two life threatening situations.  Desmond explains “…the bully thrives on the ability to get away with their actions without interference or challenge. Standing up to the bully exposes their actions and focuses a spotlight on their behaviour forcing a change in the status-quo; which in my experience is a good thing.”  Bullies or bad people like the thief above have less opportunity to do bad when there are more eyes watching them or they are stood up to.

There can’t always be someone watching out for bad people or around to stand up to bullies, but cameras or security guards can help as a deterrent.  In fact, it was a camera that helped identify the train thief.

Outside of security cameras when it comes to a workplace environment, there are several things that can be done to increase general security and reduce the risk of bullying and workplace violence.  Security audits, training of employees, contingency plans and emergency response protocols can be instituted.

Companies have access to various tools to plan and reduce risk, so they need to be proactive and not wait until they fall on the tracks.

Your Resume is Online for Human Resources – Like it or Not

October 1st, 2012 Comments off

There have been stories in the past months about candidates going for job interviews where the managers conducting the interview have openly asked them for login information to their Facebook profile.  Yikes!  On the spot without warning or remembering what is on your profile?  Some people gave the information and some didn’t.  For those that did and commented about it afterwards, they said they had absolutely nothing to worry about.  But then there were others that felt pressured, felt like they had no choice or were just desperate for work.

I’m very selective with what I post on my personal social media pages, but the problem is, others can post photos of me.  I did a little digging before writing this blog and found a photo with me tagged in it.  The photo was taken and posted by some people my wife and I met at a rock concert.  The one guy was visiting from Chile and attended the concert with his cousin who lived in Toronto.  If someone did a little digging past all of my tame photos with family etc., they’d find a picture of me holding up a concert T-shirt making a crazy face which is a stark contrast from the person my clients see on a daily basis. The simple fact is that a picture can’t show context or explain the truth of a situation (such as the beer bottles in the background – one could assume that they were mine but in reality they belonged to the people who took the picture of me and my wife). So, the question is, should a person’s employment really be decided by a photo which cannot explain the behaviour of the people it contains or the context?

Personally, I feel that asking for someone’s Facebook credentials can be a dangerous question. The candidate can be solely judged upon them agreeing or disagreeing to give access to their account. So what is the answer?? By conducting background searches on a candidate’s work history, criminal background, resume and education claims, credit history (if it relates to the position), and in-depth references from past employers is important.

I keep a closed and very secure profile on social media, but if connections of mine don’t, it could expose aspects of my life that could easily be taken out of context.

I watched a video recently that was absolute genius in the way the message was delivered.  It shows a clairvoyant reading the minds of random people that were asked to participate for a TV show.  The gentleman was incredible with the general information he can ‘read’ from the minds of his subjects.  The truth is – he has no magic powers.  Before the people volunteered, a team of researchers behind the scenes gathered some general information about them from online social media. It’s amazing what can be found.

What was the message?  Keep your social media and online presence locked up as secure as you can.

But wait!  If you are the subject of one of AFIMAC’s investigations for benefits fraud, insurance claim fraud, workplace theft or an undercover detail…please leave your profile open.  The investigations department wouldn’t be happy with me if that resource was no longer an avenue for their due diligence.  Social media investigations are conducted frequently for clients.

Rock on!

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