What’s with the Seat Belt?

Normally, at the stroke of midnight, we wish each other Happy New Year with no particular attention paid to the year we just finished up. It’s simply a happy time to start another year.

Not so much this time. 2020 was as much fun as being stuck on the scariest rollercoaster ride controlled by an owner who has no idea how to operate it. We would go up and down, around and around at a speed 10 times faster than it was designed for. We screamed and told him to stop the ride but he kept telling us it’ll be ok. Not to worry, everything is under control.

We asked him repeatedly to stop the ride throughout the year, but he insisted the ride must continue and when people started flying out of their seats because of faulty equipment, he would stand on the ground with a bullhorn barking up to us that the ride is perfectly safe. All he seemed to care about was that it was the biggest roller coaster in the country and it was his to run.

Word got out that he was putting all these people in danger and soon a representative from OSHA paid him a visit. The rep had videos of people being catapulted from their seats, but the owner told him that’s not his roller coaster even though it was clear that it was. They went into the owner’s office for a while and when they came out they shook hands and the OSHA rep told him to keep up the good work. Your roller coaster is awesome! Over the next few months more OSHA reps would pay him a visit. They would make the same complaints, go into his office, come out, shake hands and compliment him on his roller coaster.

Engineers got involved and advised him that there is a severe flaw in the seat belt design and that he must stop the ride and address the design issue immediately before more people take an involuntary leap off his ride. As expected, he would take these engineers into his office and when they came out everything was peachy.

Not long after the engineers, he would ask to meet with his insurance company to make sure he didn’t have to pay anything towards the families of those that perished on his ride. They would tell him that his policy primarily covers the cost of the equipment and his liability coverage is limited, but it would be wise to speak to an attorney.

He would then talk to his lawyer and ask, “How do I get out of this without having to pay anyone anything?” The lawyer tells him he’s basically screwed and could be liable for millions in damages so he fires this lawyer and gets another that is spineless enough to tell him what he wants to hear. The case is simple. The people that go on the ride are responsible for securing the seat belts. There is nothing wrong with the seat belts, the people aren’t using them properly. That’s your case.  

The controversy continues, week after week, month after month, as people are flying to the ground as the owner watched without a care in the world. He needed to keep the ride going. And the more the people complained, the faster he ran the roller coaster.

Eventually, the OSHA reps made their case stick with the cooperation of the engineers, the insurance company refused to provide coverage due to extreme negligence and the lawyers had their repeated cases dismissed. The owner of the roller coaster wound up being sued by everyone and disappeared into oblivion…

So that’s how I see 2020 and my advice would be to stay clear of anything that even remotely resembles a roller coaster.  

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