I know the blog has been a bit quiet recently, but there’s an excuse to be made for it. Had a hard week last week. Not in a ‘hard week’ like I tried to overcome some great life challenge. In fact, some of you will probably laugh at me to call my week ‘hard’ to begin with.
Heck, all I really had to do was get over the common cold.
But it was a summer cold. Summer colds suck!
I should know, I am a bit of a summer cold expert. I get summer colds nearly every year — ironically right around the end of Drum Corps season, as if a call back to those days when I left months on the road in the hot sun to finally get some down time and get walloped by civilian life. In a year when I swear everyone I knew took some time off for one cold or another since the start of the year, I made it pretty clean right up until last week. Then got beat around good.
It wasn’t an easy week of work either. I’m not shy about my high count of supplier audit’s I’ve performed this year. In my 13th as an auditor – I am on pace to break my old record for audits in a calendar year. My record (which I achieved twice) is 45, and by the end of July (only 7 months in) I will have performed 41 audits. Last week was an extra double doozy. Five audits performed last week.
That includes two … count them … two trips to San Jose; hours of driving around LA; all these audits in cleanroom gowns that are incredibly uncomfortable when you are sweating out diseases; and I can even claim last week includes the first time I called in sick to work since the early 2010s. It was going to be a brutally busy week anyway; and the cold just compounded it.
What gets interesting to me is a skill set that I somehow picked up to manage myself in those conditions. In a way, it feels like I compartmentalize my thinking. Most the time, I am multi tasking – allowing my thoughts to shift with the wind, and analyzing multiple things at any given time. It’s not that I am unfocused, I’m more soft focused – able to see the forest, as well as the trees that make the forest. As a cold wraps around my brain, I don’t seem to be able to do that as easily — so I lock in on one thing at a time. During my 4th audit of the week, I found myself in that condition; and standing off to the side while my colleagues were asking a series of questions on a process – I locked in on a situation. To be honest, whatever my colleagues were asking about I had to ask them to repeat later so I could catch up; but when I compartmentalized, I caught some issues that raised some flags – and will eventually lead to some strong improvements at that supplier.
Not to break my arm patting myself on the back, it’s these kinds of situations that leave me saying “when I am at my worst, I am at my best”. I started saying that back when I used to teach drum corps; and the days when I was the most effective instructor were days I was a little under the weather (read as: “hungover”).
Maybe that’s why it takes a fair bit for me to call in sick. Maybe I just have this false sense of being able to work through whatever illness I have.
Or I could be just stupid … I’m going with stupid.