First Day Back at the MMSC

The first day back at work after a vacation usually is a wash. Unopened mail. Phone calls and emails to return, lengthy “to do” lists, a sense of of bewilderment as to where to start. Yet your biological clocks are still ticking at their own pace: the sleep in, sip coffee by the fire, I’ll do it later, take a nap mode. It’s not unlike jet lag, but it doesn’t last as long. Generally I  can snap back into work warp speed within a day.

Not this time. The MMSC was even more awash than I was. Yes, the polar vortex came to Kentucky and froze many pipes in the Bluegrass including, one we didn’t even realize existed, in the ceiling above my office at the Center. When the temperature rose from negative to positive numbers after three utterly gelid, totally inhumane days, the clandestine pipe broke precipitating a Niagara Falls cascade in the ceiling  By the time we arrived in the morning, the waters had spread from my office to the main part of the MMSC as well as to the kitchen, bathroom and foyer and was advancing steadily into the library and conference room. HAPPY NEW YEAR!

So what do you do?  You put on your Wellies, roll up your sleeves, get out the mops, and dispense of the waters either out the door or into a host of buckets. You get on the phone and call your insurance agent as well as any kind of professional clean up crews who are armed with hearty employees toting massive suck-it-up-dry-it-out machines. You make a list of forlorn and sodden looking objects, you take pictures. And, most important, you laugh.

Smiling allegedly uses fewer muscles than frowning or at the very least, takes less effort—and you are going to need all your muscle power for mopping and cleaning up, so it makes sense to conserve energy, no? Then there’s that endorphin release thing. Far less caloric than downing chocolates. Moreover, I read last week in a health and wellness journal that one hour of laughter uses as many calories as one hour in the gym—about 120 to be precise. Nor can we overlook the team building morale lesson. Which means yes, you do catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar and/or A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down. Bring out the comedy and you will have happier help for a longer time.  And last but not least, in the scheme of eternity, it’s ridiculously inconsequential.

 Not Waterloo.

Just waters surrounding the loo. 

Catastrophes come and go, and our memories are short. Can anybody name the place and dates of the hurricanes of 2013?  The floods? Th fires? Tornadoes?  How about martial conflicts or random shootings?

I had a New Year’s Eve party this year and as a game I decided it would be fun to see how well current events stuck in the our information age bombarded brains. Guests pulled questions out of a basket asking about events in 2013 such as What film received the Best Picture Award? Who won the Super Bowl? The World Series?  When was the government shutdown and how long did it last?  Name two world leaders who died this year? People were generally clueless. Now, I assure you, my friends are not dolts. (Nor were they inebriated. We started at 6:30 and I dropped my personal ball at 9:30 figuring it was midnight somewhere, pushing them  out the door shortly thereafter.) Nor are they egg heads with their noses buried in Shakespeare, Sanskrit, or quantum physics, which might explain their modern day oversights.  No, my guests were charming,  smart, in-the -know-productive-citizen sorts. I figured answers would fly across the room  like buckshot. But no. Even the question Who won the Kentucky Derby in 2013 drew blank stares. And we all live in Kentucky! COM’ON MAN!!!

So you see, fretting over snafus such as a flooded office is a waste of time:  Worse really.  It can give you the wrong kind of wrinkles (frowning).  Make you fat( drowning your woes with chocolate), chase away your

friends and  help (company hates misery), and really is a waste of your precious time. Think of it in the scheme of eternity: Does any one think about Pompeii these days?   My advice is just get on with it. Clean up the mess. Laugh as you can. And focus on what is important: How are you going to prevent the scenario from happening again?  End of story.  

No, not really. The real story here is the clandestine pipe in the ceiling above my office.  Now that’s a tale!  It involves People Time and Horse Time, blind eyes, deaf ears, Value, and yes, the price of horses. How so?  You’ll see in the next blog post.

Cheery bye,