I like to apply the 1 in 10 rule to everything. 1 in 10 people…
Those are the words from a man we call Fireman Dave. Fireman Dave was at work yesterday to give us two DPW required seminars, blood borne pathogens and fire safety. He is a truly entertaining man. He began his presentation with the quote above. And he did apply the 1 in 10 rule to many things.
With blood borne pathogens, he said, “1 in 10 people have something you don’t want to catch.” Sure, there is logic in that. I know I’m part of that 1 in 10. I have HPV. I know it’s contagious in a sexual setting, so it doesn’t apply. But it still makes me one of those 10’s that someone wouldn’t knowingly have sex with. No big deal; I’m married. So it doesn’t apply there either.
“1 in 10 people will catch something they don’t want because they aren’t educated about health and safety.” I’m a 10 – I had never even heard of HPV until I had it. We talked about all of the things that you can contract from contact with blood. Did you know that Hepatitis B can live in dried blood for up to 7 days? Scary.
He told us a story about a woman who called 911 because her husband had been stabbed. The police had told Fireman Dave (who is also a paramedic) that the scene was secure, so he rushed in to help the man. He was leaning over the man and checking his vitals. He hardly had time to look up in the mirror in front of him to see the woman stab him in the butt.
“1 in 10 people are truly wacky.
We all laughed. After he said it, I joked, “Yeah, that’s me!” Haha! “Nah, I’m just kidding!
He continued on with his presentation filled with humorous anecdotes. I made an off color comment about one of them. I heard a mumble in the crowd, “Oh yeah, she’s a 10.” and everyone roared. I smiled, shrugged, and said, “I told you!”
I may have seemed jovial on the outside. But the anxiety was welling up like a balloon being inflated from the churning in my stomach to get lodged in my windpipe. “Breathe, just keep breathing… keep… breathing., I repeated in my head. I was more still than a statue and closed my eyes for more than a moment. I hoped that when I opened my eyes, I would be out of the spotlight. When I opened them, the fluorescent lights seemed to be brighter and the room much quieter. Fireman Dave went on, but was the spotlight really off of me?
“Am I really a 10?”
Fireman Dave described 10’s as being Richard Baumhammers, Richard Poplawski, or George Sodini (three notorious murderers in Pittsburgh). I’ve actually read “Crazy George” Sodini’s blog before authorities shut it down. Although it was both homicidal and suicidal, it was very much like catching a mental health blogger on a bad day. Except, this was every day for a long time.
I’m not homicidal. I’ve never been homicidal once in my life. I’ve only ever wished death upon two people, and I never even considered that it could be by my hand. My moral compass has always been finely tuned upon a sturdy foundation of values. But, if George Sodini could have a blog that I could understand, could I be a George Sodini? Am I that 10?
Maybe not. But, the 1 in 10 rule is relative. It states that “1 in 10 people that you encounter…”.
Mental health and development issues are very commonplace in my life. My family has something or another, whether they want to admit it or not. So, my threshold for slapping a 10 on someone is probably way higher than a “norm’s” would be. I consider serial killers and child molesters to be 10’s. Does that mean the “norms” consider me a 10?
What do you think?