I’m on the 40 minute flight from Phoenix to Vegas for two back-to-back conferences any reader of this blog better already know about. As usual, the drama is already starting with rumors, innuendo, on-stage battles between presentations, the ever-elusive hunt for the next *-gate, and the always popular feats of strength.

But I’m not going to talk about that.

Drama is one of those nebulous concepts slightly more elusive than porn; sure, you know it when you see it, but unlike porn you have a hard time noticing when you’re in it. Let’s be honest, we’ve all been in the middle of more than a little drama in our lives.

The problem with drama is that it doesn’t benefit anyone except the press, and maybe some sadistic bystanders. It certainly doesn’t benefit those involved. Drama raises emotions, lowers reason, and devastates credibility. It’s hard to take someone seriously when they get all “woe is me” on you.

I remember one of the more dramatic incidents I responded to in an ambulance. A woman ran over a child outside of a school. She more just bumped the kid with a couple ton car than any actual running-over, and while serious, it was clear the kid was going to be okay. The woman? A friggin’ mess. Hysterical screaming, ranting, and full-body-rending spasms that completely distracted everyone from the kid on the ground who needed medical attention. That drama reduced the care the kid received, at least until we showed up, ended up requiring a second ambulance for the woman (not the cheapest mode of transport in the world), and did nothing but make a serious incident even worse.

Another rescue drama was one of the more heart-wrenching calls I ever responded to, with a far worse outcome. I was responding on a mountain rescue call for someone lost in an avalanche. His hiking partner was a total freak-job, evading the truth (out of guilt) and recruiting his college friends to engage in their own private search (big no no). At one point I remember flying up a snow-covered trail, closed due to avalanche danger, in a Jeep driven by a park ranger with an even less-developed sense of self preservation than I have to help the Sheriff’s Officers remove the individual.

In the end, the victim wasn’t in the avalanche and probably died of exposure a mile or so away before the first rescuer showed up. The drama of the survivor and his changing stories did nothing more than pull valuable resources from where they needed to be, and destroyed his credibility. To this day I’m convinced his ego killed his partner.

Sure, these are extreme examples, but in each case those involved lost credibility and respect while distracting both bystanders and those there to fix the problems from the real issues.

In a less-extreme example I’m still embarrassed for some of my own attempts for an Academy Award for Best Victim in a Drama for a couple of bad breakups in college. I let the drama take over, and to this day my friends still occasionally remind me of those antics when I need to be put in my place.

Leave the drama for entertainment. When another industry engages in it, all it does is hurt the credibility of those directly involved, and anyone associated with them. It’s hard, but we need to sometimes divest ourselves of emotions and let the facts and events play themselves out.