Friday, 15 August 2008

IN FLAMES


Nobody ever knows how they will cope in a stressful situation; will they go to pieces or will they find themselves in the middle of an unwanted learning curve coming out stronger at the other end? Well today my resource levels were put to the test when I was awoken by the phone ringing at 6.30am with an urgent request to contact the police as a result of a large blaze at the hotel adjoining our office which, so the helpful police officer informed me, was still burning out of control. Half asleep and with the vague notion that my means of earning a living was going up in smoke, I grasped for my copy of the firm’s Disaster Recovery Plan and so began a morning of telephone calls. At least having a set of written instructions went some way to helping me cope; that and the limitless support of staff. It was 2pm before I was allowed inside to inspect the premises in the presence of a fireman. Amazingly and despite the heat and flames which had caused the local brigade to bring in reinforcements, there appears to have been no damage and once the street is allowed to re-open (hopefully over the weekend) it will be business as normal.
What did I learn?
1 Stay calm
2 Don’t get cross about all the people who want to gawp or gossip
3 Ask for help where it’s needed
4 Have a strategy and work to it
5 Don’t be afraid to ask questions and insist on talking to the people who really know what is happening

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