Friday, November 2, 2012

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff…Especially if A-Hurricane is A-Coming

Last Friday morning, I was fuh-reaking out.  And it had nothing to do with the monster Sandy storm that was bearing down on the East Coast.  Actually, last Friday (Saturday, Sunday, and Monday) morning, I wasn’t giving Sandy her due respect.  Nope, I had other things on my mind. 

That morning, I found out that the technology that I chose to use for an event at work wasn’t going to work.  It was an event that I spent almost six weeks planning and organizing.  And the technology – that would’ve broadcast the event to multiple off-site locations in my agency – was crucial.  It worked on Wednesday.  It didn’t work on Friday.  When was the event?  Monday, October 29th.       
When the technicians told me it wasn’t going to work, I almost lost it.  And by “lost it,” I mean drop to my knees flailing my hands screaming, “WHY?!”  Luckily, I’m a professional; so I did what any professional does – I went to buy pies with the Refreshment Committee.  Not that I liked that too much either but an event organizer’s gotta do what an event organizer’s gotta do. 

Hurricane.  What hurricane? 
I was focused on pulling off a big event.  See, in the past year I’ve become active in trying to stage a nonviolent coup to take over the professional organization at my agency.  I’m one of the committee chairs and last month I found out that I had to organize an event based on a suggestion that I made a few months ago.  Talk about something coming back to haunt you! 

A lone committee member and I began to plan and organize in September - you know, when the weather was sunny and bright.  An Archival Rockstar – what’s it take to become an Archival Rockstar?  Ask me in 10 years.  That’s not cockiness…just confidence – was coming to engage in a discussion with our staff about the four most controversial letters in our profession.  Archivists debating and engaging in dialogue about cool archives stuff!  We developed an entire concept (trademark pending in 23 countries).  I designed a (kickass) poster.  I printed pamphlets.  The event itself was going to consist of a presentation, a panel, and pies.  And at the very end, maybe someone was gonna get up and say “Let them eat pie!”  It was gonna be epic.    
And then Friday happened.  By Friday night, I was stressed out and worried.    

Oh right, and a hurricane was coming.
On Sunday morning, I received an early morning text from one of the panelists – a colleague from New York City – her train was cancelled and she wouldn’t be able to make it.  Sigh.  I was down but not out – the show would go on.  Even with an empty chair.   

I spent Sunday tracking our guest’s flight and found out that he arrived safe and sound.  Right around the time that I found out our office would be closed the next day – Monday, October 29th – because of the hurricane.  Talk about a Sandyshitstorm. 
So, what did I learn this weekend?  

When a colossal mega-hurricane’s headed your way, don’t sweat the small stuff because you've got bigger problems to worry about. 

Oh, and have plenty of bottled water on hand.  Or have a friend who keeps extra for you.    

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