One too many

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Do you know that feeling, where you had one beer too much, one more pancake than you could handle, or made love one time too many that night? I'm not sure the latter exists, but the rest you probably are familiar with. Well, yesterday at work was my one too many shift. It had been rather busy in the afternoon and the second operator was not really up to speed, which means most of the tasks were handled by me. Nothing special, but maybe a sort of warning of things to come.

I knew there would be a drill and I was prepared, and as far as I know, things went smoothly. However, as these drills put extra pressure and tasks on our already overloaded plate, things got hectic and didn't cool down. While I was organizing tasks and people to get everything done, setting priorities, coordinating things and at the same time still writing a report about the drill that had ended less than an hour ago, the emergency phone line rang.

I dropped everything, picked it up, and wrote down all the details I was given. I started the emergency procedures required for this type of situation and while doing so my judgement was off and I made a mistake. All things considered, my mistake wasn't dangerous or critical, but there is no need to shoot a canon when hunting for mice. However due to that bad judgement call, I was flooded with calls, requests for information and I had a very hard time getting a grip on the situation.

When I finally completed my report on the drill and emergency situation - including the mistake I made - and I was about to send it out to some people, I kind of cracked and realized that sending out the report as such wouldn't be a good idea. I picked up the phone and called the assistant site supervisor to consult him, even though he was not on call or standby. After explaining the situation to him, we decided that I'd send my report to him, and he'd take a look at it before sending it to the customer. Not because what I wrote was incorrect, but maybe not as politely or professional as it could/should have been.

That's what happens when pushing people to and over the edge. If you want a professional team that can deal with everything thrown at them, no matter the situation or the time, you can't keep on cutting back on people and tools, while the demands rise week after week. Is that due to the policy of our customer, or due to the policy of my employer? My idea is that it is both.

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This page contains a single entry by ServMe published on February 23, 2006 4:54 PM.

Keeping busy was the previous entry in this blog.

Excellent movie evening is the next entry in this blog.

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