The Downward Spiral
What Are Risk Scenarios?
Each Risk Scenario consists of two parts — The Scenario and The Analysis.
Part 1: The Scenario (15 minutes) Read The Scenario and answer integrated poll questions that solicit your approach or feedback to the situation. The Scenario is based on hypothetical situations that showcase emerging risks.
Part 2: The Analysis Review key themes in the Summary, access relevant articles and resources, learn about existing products and discuss the scenario with other participants.
Disclaimer: The events depicted in this scenario are fictitious. Any similarity to any corporation or person, living or dead, is merely coincidental.
Molly Granger took a deep breath as flurries fluttered through the cold November Minnesota morning air. Just four more steps and she’d be at the front door of the warehouse distribution center that had provided her with a badly needed second income for her family for the past six years.
Married with three children, Molly had just dropped her youngest, Melissa, off at daycare for the first time. Molly was large-framed and had always struggled with her weight. Now she was going back to work with 20 extra pounds that she had put on during the pregnancy.
She tried not to feel self-conscious as she approached the front door of the 600,000 square-foot warehouse that held products for one of the largest online retailers in the U.S. Punching in, Molly smiled. One of her female co-workers had left her a note with a bag of red licorice next to it in her mail inbox.
“Welcome back. We missed you!” the note said.
Molly knew in an instant that she had missed this place too. She liked work and the order it gave her life – and God knows she needed the money.
Molly’s dad, the Duluth Metals Corp. mine foreman, had instilled in her a good work ethic. Molly was easy to get along with, didn’t complain much and knew enough to ask for help when she didn’t understand something.
But as soon as she saw the bustling warehouse floor, Molly took another deep breath and felt icy waves of nervousness in her belly. She just happened to come back to work on Cyber Monday, the busiest day in the online retail industry work calendar.
Molly checked in with her supervisor Max who greeted her warmly and gave her the day’s marching orders. Molly waited until she was out of Max’s sight though before putting on her right wrist the brace she used while doing chores around the house.
Even with being at home for the past four months, the pain in her wrist and forearm that she had struggled with for more than a year hadn’t gone away. She didn’t want Max to know about it though, fearing he would cut down on her hours.
It was 11:20 a.m. when bad luck caught up with Molly Granger. She was rounding one of the shelving aisles carrying a 25-pound box in her left hand when the iPhone attached to her hip buzzed. It was the day care center.
She picked up her phone with her free hand, puzzlement mixed with worry.
“Is something wrong with Melissa?” she wondered.
Just then Billy Hixton, the rough-around the edges company forklift driver, came around the corner, driving too fast, as usual, his ear buds deafening him with the music of the nu-metal band Trivium, as usual, despite how many times he’d been warned not to engage in either at work.
Distracted as she was by her call, Molly’s reaction time was compromised. She jumped back to avoid Billy and the forklift. But as she did so she backed into the unforgiving end of a boxed shelving unit that protruded from the shelves.
Molly fell to the mercilessly hard warehouse floor with a sharp cry, her iPhone skittering away from her, still buzzing with the call from the daycare center that went unanswered. She landed hard on her left shoulder when she fell.
Billy jumped off of the forklift and helped Molly to a sitting position. Pushing aside his anger at Billy and his observation that Molly was wearing a wrist brace, Max radioed the on-site nurse.
Molly told the nurse she had pain in her middle back and her shoulder from the fall. The nurse made a note of Molly’s comments and recommended that Molly see a doctor that afternoon.
(The Scenario continues on page 2)