Thursday, July 08, 2010

360 cups and more

360 Cups

My new year's resolution for 2009 had been to brew and bring my own coffee on the train every morning...instead of buying from the bagel guy and using a styrofoam cup. Well a year and a half later...give or take some vacation days...I figure I've not used 360 cups so far...and that's just for commuting. Of course, on the weekends we also brew our own and use mugs or glasses...depending on hot or iced coffee preference. Occasionally we find ourselves at Dunkin Donuts or the bagel store but for now I'm happy knowing that I've cut my landfill contribution by at least 360 cups and counting. Bottoms up!

The Job

My job is generally not very glamorous. I sit, mostly, behind a computer and manage the business lives of my bosses...herding cats might sometimes be easier...but this is the path I chose and I've been with my company almost 14 years...which counts for something these days, right? Well, occasionally people don't understand the "extra efforts" I put forward...and sometimes I'm married to that "people" who, despite my comments of "overtime pay", can't fathom what I'm about to tell you.

One of my bosses, a Partner at our firm, has been in South Africa for the World Cup (*jealous much?*). Well, we started working on this trip back in October of last year - and everything was easy peasy lemon squeezy. Until a few months ago when there was trouble with his ticket. Then his return plans changed. Then I got a headache (ha ha). Then he flew to Cape Town. Then he had tons of fun. Then he attempted to start home...yesterday. Well the Cape Town to LHR flight was significantly delayed...which meant he would miss his connection to ORD...which meant that I had to scramble BIG time to make executive decisions about spending money vs time vs losing my brain (and, remember, I'm still jacked up on drugs from being ill - SO much fun!). Well, I stayed late yesterday, continued to monitor his flights on the train ride home, and into the evening hours. If he followed my "new" plan, it would all be ok. Problem is, in our business we get inundated with emails at ALL hours of the day. How would I insure that he saw the emails he needed to once he landed in London? I turned to my very understanding husband (*cough*snicker*) and said "I think I may need to call B at 2:30am". The eyebrows crinkled, the mouth moved and said "what?". He followed with "don't you have 'people' for that?" Um, people? Yes, I have people...their names are Me and Me. So at 2:30am I woke in a blur and stumbled downstairs to quietly call my boss. Voicemail. Doh. Try again. A couple of "foreign" rings...and voicemail again. Ugh. Mind now racing. What to do? He is a grown man and can certainly take care of himself...but I needed to know he was headed in the right direction. I stood, bleary, in the kitchen for a few more moments. A new email came through (thank goodness for advanced technology!). He *just* landed...was reading my emails...was still going to try and make his original connection...what about his bag...he would call me from Chicago. But what about my decisions? Were they the right ones? Self doubt kicked in. I started back up to bed...deflated. I replied "Apologies for inconvenience, I made the best decisions I could based on the information we had". Back under the on vibrate in case he called...brain still racing. A few minutes go by...the phone is ringing. Yes, he's trying to get on original flight but line is long. Doesn't have his bag...will have to track it down. I think I said "good luck". By now I've been "awake" for 20 minutes or so...just past the point of falling back to sleep easily. You know that point...where your body is in shock, kind of shaking like it's high on caffeine, and your stomach starts talking to you saying "hey, is it time for breakfast already?". Yeah, that was me. Another few minutes go by and I get another email. Considering the fact that this boss rarely personally acknowledges my hard work, I thought it worth including his actual words...for posterity:

"You ended up making the right call. The UA flight was not held and I missed it. The AA flight is better in terms of getting me in earlier. UA is trying to transfer my bag. Thanks for all your help. I know it was a difficult situation and you made good decisions and went the extra mile - including getting up in the middle of the night to check on me."


There were more emails with more updates - but this is an email for the record books. At the end of it all I barely slept more than 4 hrs last night and woke up late...can't imagine why. I completely forgot to pick up my knitting bag when I was walking out the door, and I think I might have spied some quizzical looks from train regulars when "The Girl Who Always Knits" was not, in fact, knitting. This thought made me smile.

Well, I'm off more more concentrated doses of coffee and to continue tracking down a boss and his belongings.

Not so glamorous...but definitely story-worthy none the less.

Have a great day!


Anonymous said...

That's awesome! Amazing how a simple thing like that can add up, eh? I'm sure it's especially hard when you don't have time to brew in the morning, but you've got a major coffee pang. Speaking of which, I've got one of those right now...


Laura said...

I'm glad he recognize the fact that you went above and beyond! It's great to be recognize like that.

As for coffee stuff ... I just discovered the new Dunkin down the road from my place and had iced coffee twice this week. Eep!

Susan C. said...

Isn't it amazing how much a simple "Great Job!" can mean? Having done the simplest of travel plans for a former boss, and how complicated just that was, I can't imagine how much work and stress this must have been. Go, you!

Jeannine said...

Wow, what a story! Hey I am still following you! You and I both chose the new "green" templates. Great minds think alike. I also almost chose the same header :) Glad you are making lots of favorite. :)