Mar 18, 201309:54 AMThe Gray Area
with Donna Gray
Murphy’s Law and other wisdom
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Last month I had an encounter with Murphy. He snuck right up when I wasn’t looking and gave my computer a hard shove. While he was at it, he made sure that I had to quit working, go to the computer hospital, and then end up buying a new computer. That Murphy! He’s famous for letting us mere humans know that “if anything can go wrong, it will!”
Was I ready for this insult? Absolutely not, but oh well … lesson learned, and being the kind of person he is, Murphy also took time to remind me that everything takes longer than you think it will!
When a crisis occurs, it’s good to know that somehow we have what’s needed to get through it, including a good attitude for dealing with the challenge. Since my crisis happened, I’ve been hearing about lots of others who have been through similar or worse situations. I did a little research and found out that crises and conflicts seem to occur most frequently when one is up to one’s ears in work and deadlines, and Murphy can have a good laugh at one’s frustrations.
Murphy says, “Left to themselves, things tend to go from bad to worse.” Well, my mother used to say, “There’s more than one way to skin a cat!” (Don’t get on my case, cat lovers. I’m a cat lover too. Our Sassy runs our home and lets us live here.) My mother was saying we always have to be prepared to take a detour when a roadblock appears.
We can’t let Murphy get into our companies. He’s not a good employee. The fact is that not everything goes according to plan. Sometimes the most unexpected challenge works its way into a project. We should have a crisis prevention plan in place so that when Murphy pays a visit, we’re prepared.
When our crisis occurred, I knew I had to do something quickly … something that would help me keep going. Our company and I have 36-plus years of experience behind us, and we weren’t going to let a little thing like a visit from Murphy get in our way, although I did a lot of moaning and groaning through the process of getting used to a new computer.
A visit from Murphy proves that every company needs to have a disaster or contingency plan that includes the following:
- Identifying the company’s most vulnerable areas. Make sure there are “sand bags” handy in case of “flooding.”
- Identifying what is most likely to go wrong.
- Identifying people who can help out in case of a real crisis or a real bind.
- Drafting a written contingency plan for “just in case.”
Murphy’s Law gives a different mindset about how to deal with crises. A positive, can-do attitude is a must. The fact that crises happen when there is too much to do and not enough time to do it can send one into overdrive for a time, but if there’s a plan, one can see the light at the end of the tunnel.