Your Survival Plan Sucks
Most of the people that read this site know that I can be pretty harsh on the preppers that showcase their lives on Doomsday Preppers. I watch for mistakes, and believe me there are PLENTY, and then I call them out on those mistakes on Twitter and in my reviews of the episodes. Some of the people on the show see this and get angry, others take it for what it is and move on with their lives. I certainly love the ones that scream that the show is for entertainment and then boast that they achieved a high score thus making them a “real prepper”.
Well, in the real world I try not to be as caustic. I attempt to be politically correct and easy to get along with, especially when talking to preppers or consulting with people about their planning and prepping. Obviously being nice helps me to keep my clients, but its also just the right thing to do. Isn’t it?
Online it is very easy for me to read an article or watch a television segment and determine from what is shown that the survival plan of the person involved sucks. Since I am online it is also pretty easy to say, “Hey, this bozo is gonna die” without really having to follow that up with anything constructive. I can write a whole review bringing up all of the mistakes I saw in the segment and tearing holes through each and every part of the person’s plan because I don’t have any stake in the situation. Heck, a lot of my followers actually enjoy watching me tear someone down in Tuesday night live tweets of Doomsday Preppers.
It’s a different world when I am standing there staring the person in the eye. I find ways to skirt the “Man, this is crap” comments by saying things like “I see some areas where we can improve” or “There are some different approaches I think we should look at for this” all in an effort to “be nice”. This is all well and good most of the time and I can usually steer the person in the right direction before too long but sometimes, well, sometimes they just don’t seem to get it.
I have pretty much decided that from now on I will provide all potential clients with a disclaimer. In that disclaimer I will let them know that I will be BRUTALLY honest in their assessment because dammit this is their LIFE we’re talking about here. I have realized that the cute and fuzzy words that keep people happy also tend to desensitize them to the extraordinary importance of the things they are planning when it comes to emergency and disaster preparedness. Maybe the importance of what I am saying to them will get through quicker and stick longer if they are a little shocked or angry!
I’m reminded of a lesson I learned in the Army when a young recruit still in Basic Training made an error following directions. The error was trivial and there were no real world implications that I could see, but the Drill Sgt just would not let it go. He hammered this kid all day, dropped him for pushups, flutter kicks and t-bones all day long. I thought it was a bit excessive myself, but I was also a recruit and didn’t dare speak up. That evening I was on as CQ runner (Charge of Quarters) while the rest of my unit slept. That same Drill Sgt was on CQ and at about 0200 he woke up and came in to talk to me and my partner.
We talked for about an hour before he made it clear that it was okay for us to ease up and ask questions about the Army and our training. Turns out the guy was really cool. I finally worked up the nerve and asked him why he had smoked the recruit that day that made the careless mistake. He laughed and then pointed out that the recruit hadn’t “made a mistake” at all. He wasn’t listening and therefore had no understanding of what was going on around him. I asked why that was such a bad thing that it deserved such a painful lesson. The Drill Sgt said to me, “Because next week we are going downrange to throw live grenades. Do you want him to learn the lesson then, or now?” Point taken, Drill Sgt.
So from now on when you see me riding someone about their planning and prepping, or you read one of my reviews that seems a bit harsh at the time, think of this story and understand that I have decided to be up front with my assessments instead of candy coating them for the people that aren’t going to listen when people tell them things they don’t want to hear.