|A walking tour|
My journey to a conference began on a brisk winter morning. The conference was taking place four hours north of everywhere. It was in a town where snowmobiles, deer crossing signs and fudge, were the norm. It was not my first visit to this great northern town, but was I prepared for this experience?
In preparation for the conference, I reviewed the pre-conference brochure and made a mental note of the break-out sessions I wanted to attend. Since I was traveling alone, I packed accordingly – more than I needed to take because space was not an issue. I packed four pair of shoes – workout shoes, casual shoes for attending sessions, heels for the banquet, boots for the banquet in case the shoes didn’t look suitable and another pair of casual shoes.
It was on day two of the conference that I discovered that none of the shoes I brought would be suitable for one of my sessions – the Walkability Tour. If one (me) were to read carefully, one would notice the word “walk” surrounded by the other letters in the word “walkability.” You see, the Walkability Tour was an outside walk through snow for a mile or two, session.
I put on the warmest shoes I had, pulled tightly on the drawstrings of my hooded coat and boarded the bus with my colleagues. As we walked, talked and made observations, I walked in the tracks of those in front of me to avoid slushy puddles. At the end of the tour, I walked away more knowledgeable than when I started.
Not the proper shoes for walking through snow.
In addition to obtaining information that can be applied to my job, I learned a few lessons about being prepared.
1. Always read instructions, directions, and expectations thoroughly – know what you’re getting into ahead of time.
2. Have an alternate plan – if things don’t go as you thought they would, regroup and come up with plan B. This may require being flexible.
3. Don’t sweat the small stuff – sometimes a problem is not as big as we make it out to be. We just have to put things in perspective and start with the smaller picture. I like the saying, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.”
Overall, the Walkability Tour was a great experience. I was glad that I ventured out despite my lack of preparedness. After that experience I guess I am somewhat of a gladiator (braved the cold, slayed dragons and didn’t get frostbite in my toes). That’s my story and I’m sticking with it.
Prepared for a good meal.
Have you ever experienced a situation that you were not prepared for?