Managing A Crisis

Every year around this time, the folks at my business pack up the store and we head off to our local convention. During the convention, I do everything in my power to sell the whole store. 

I am in charge of recruiting people to pack the store stock into boxes, load the van(s), take the stuff to the convention center, unload and then running the booth. This is actually a whole lot of work involving logistics of boxes, people, vans, product, scheduling, donuts and often; cussing.

I almost always take VACATION DAYS from my paying job to go work the booth at the convention ( job for which I do not get a traditional paycheck).

Every year I learn something important about my process and how I can improve it, as well as how I can do my job better. This year, I learned that I have done SOME things so well that I don’t even need to be present for those things to go according to plan (or better).

Where’s Rocket when stuff goes wrong?

Friday morning, on my way to the convention, I was hit head on by another driver. It was their fault and I am ok (as are my passengers). I knew as soon as I saw her pull into my lane of traffic we were going to have an accident, and nothing I could have done would have prevented it. After the accident, I sat in the intersection and called the police (because there was no way I was going to do so much as pull over without them seeing what happened). My second call was not to my husband, but to my de facto “crew leader”, who was helping coordinate people at the convention center.

I gave him the briefest synopsis possible, and THEN called my husband. TheDude was putting out another fire and couldn’t come to the scene, so I had to manage things for myself. One of my crew came to the scene to give me a ride and moral support, and was super valuable due to his law enforcement experience. He gave me a lot of insightful information I would not have had if it had been any other person.

While I am dealing with the insurance company, the police and figuring out what to do with my VERY DEAD car (my 4 cylinder is now only running on 1), the people who I got to help me are unloading the store into the convention center and making my store’s booth look fantastic.

Or maybe they are fairies

I am convinced there is some magic in my lovely team. 

Because what mice do this? 

I found out a lot about how I (and my people) handle things when they go sideways. It turns out: really well. Neither boss (nor the heavy purse) were on site to manage the unpacking, sorting, arranging or other instructions, yet they happened without delay or complaining. Their work was quick, effective and was done to help my store and its community. 
That says a lot, and I’m pretty humbled. I don’t think I will plan another crisis, but it’s nice knowing that if one happens I am covered.

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