Sometimes the News is Too Close to Home

This morning, I saw a news clip out of Seattle about a helicopter that crashed into a building downtown with at least two killed. Immediately, I contacted my friend of over 40 years to ensure she and her family were safe. They are, but here is what she wrote today, with permission to put it on my blog if I were so inspired. I am so inspired.


I live in Seattle. I listen to KOMO news daily. The helicopter traffic guys keep us moving every day. Their copter crashed this morning. 2 dead. More injured. And as I watch the news on KOMO TV…the news employees are reporting on the event with their emotions tucked back as deep as possible to do their jobs. This was their company, their co-workers, they saw the crash out their window. My heart goes out to them. And I am again humbled by the topic of my book about people in their companies having big emotions, disasters, and hoping they have a plan in place. Wishing I could run down there to help. Hoping they have a protocol in place for the immediate situation, knowing counselors will be volunteering, HR and EAP providers will be called in, and the day will progress to the next news story. The staff will be expected to just move forward. The costs will be numerated into small boxes in accounting books. There will be funerals. There will be memorials. I wonder if the person driving the car to work who was missed by the ball of flame by only a few feet will have a good day at work or go home and get drunk. I wonder. I care. Emotional preparations for unexpected incidents cannot be ignored. I am weary of trying to “sell a damn book” in order to get people to consider the long term ramifications of emotional impact on companies. But I know the costs, because I have done the math and provided companies the format to do so. I know the costs and emotionally charged long term influence of the IMPACT of this helicopter next to the Seattle Space needle will involve KOMO employees, locals, tourists who can’t go on the monorail today, first responders, and much more.

With planes disappearing, nations unhinged, and helicopters falling out of the sky, I admit I wish this morning that I didn’t know that each event was not only an emotional strain, but a fiscal devastation to all parties. Once again, I encourage you and your company to plan for the expected and the unexpected. Sigh.

Vali Hawkins Mitchell
“The Cost of Emotions in the Workplace”

Vali Hawkins Mitchell, PhD, LMHC, REAT
ImproVizion Consulting
Seattle, Washington

Some folks just get lucky. Real survivors make plans and act on them. I intend to continue to be a survivor. How about you?

About Sharon

Like anyone who lives long enough, I have experienced great loss and survived. I am convinced that my survival depends on my own participation in creating the reality I am living in, and I am determined to be a thoughtful and active participant/creator. These writings are my way of documenting that creation. As the song goes, "I will survive!" I chose the title Staying Vertical because I find that surviving isn't just staying on my feet physically. Keeping my thoughts and emotions on the vertical plane keeps me alive and moving forward. Thanks for joining me!
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