Agree ro Disagree: It's time for Pay before you pump.

You may have heard of the tragic story this week involving Maryam Rashidi. She was a gas station attendant who was killed by a stolen truck she attempted to stop. You can read the story here. From time to time, I get requests to do an Agree or Disagree. It's somewhat serendipitous that this happened today as I planned to do one anyway.

However, I'm going to post her perspective. She is an ESL teacher and she is concerned about the cuts to LINC Programs.

This might be controversial, however, I think it needs to be said. Immediately, people were calling for federal laws to be changed to prevent gas & dash. However, NO ONE mentioned the concern that came to my mind first. When are new staff trained in emergency prevention and response procedures? This started with a stupid crime, but ended up being worse than it needed to be. This woman should not have died. 

My question is: did she get the proper training from her employer? Did she get an orientation & employee SOP manual before or on her first shift to read, review, and ask questions? In this industry, along with other convenience story cashiers, etc, shouldn't this kind of training be mandatory first?!!!! Especially for new immigrants who may not be familiar with our culture or customs. 

The gas station where the attendant died, is close to my house. The attendant, a new immigrant, could have been one of my students, or one of my colleagues' or friends' students. 

I had not seen this perspective or questioning from news reporters yet, except just now, from CBC TV, but it only quotes the Centex president citing "policy", not what is actually done. 

Many times, I have had students tell me that they don't get very much in the way of proper training, especially for low-level, minimum wage jobs. Employers just assume that they already know; or will learn in on the job, over time. This is unacceptable!!!  Especially when the Centex president says that gas theft occurs every day = then new (gas station) employees MUST be properly trained BEFORE starting their first shift! 

They could have given her an SOP manual to read, and reviewed it with her on her first shift. I would like to know if this was done???!!!! Will the owners and managers of that Centex gas station be held liable for negligence, for not training their employee? What, exactly do Alberta Employment and Labour laws say about this?. . . . Could or should Mr. Rashidi sue Centex? 

Perhaps if Maryam Rashidi would have gotten a proper employee orientation that included Emergency Response Training, a new employee handbook and SOP, etc, then hopefully she would still be alive, because she would have understood the danger in the choice of trying to stand in front of a big truck, trying to stop 2 idiots in the process of stealing less than what? $100.00 worth of gas? 

ALso, I'm asking, encouraging, pleading, and urging anyone that teaches English as an additional Language, to talk about this with their students, to help teach critical thinking & problem solving skills to new immigrants, so even if they do not receive the proper training in their entry level (& for many, their first job in Canada!!!), they will be able to make safer choices when faced with danger. 

Kevin Olenick, you have a great social media forum. Could you please discuss this? 

Yes, this crime should not have happened. Those boys did not think, and behaved horribly selfishly. 

However, this is NOT ONLY about instituting a gas & dash law. People with criminal intent, will always find a way to circumvent obstacles in committing their crime, no matter what technology is put in place to prevent that crime. 

***NOT preparing your employees properly for this kind of emergency situation, should also be considered criminally negligent!! ****

How are new immigrant employees supposed to respond well in this situation? We cannot assume that they have the same "common sense" skills that we grew up with in our society. Different cultural customs, education, traditions, etc all affect "common sense" or critical thinking/ problem solving skills. If I were suddenly plucked from Calgary and dropped into a refugee camp not far from a war zone in the Middle East, I probably wouldn't do very well either!!!! 

And yet, our government still strips away the resources (Like slashing funding to the LINC program and other immigrant-serving programs) to help new immigrants acclimate to our culture, and is satisfied with lower level language proficiency requirements for citizenship, because they want a cheaper labour force who is willing to do all the crappy, low-paying jobs that natural-born Canadians turn their noses up at. 

Obviously I'm upset!!! I don't want to see this happen to any of my students. This should never have happened. It could have been prevented. And that makes me very, very sad.

Do you Agree or Disagree that's it time to pay before you pump? Or, is there a need to improve emergency training?

Or do we need to do both?