THINKING BUSINESS
a blog by Chris Barrow

An example of it all going badly wrong – and the banquet of consequences

Tuesday 19th September

21:00 – arrives home and prints boarding pass for flight to Belfast the next morning – flight time 08:40

21:05 – books taxi to Terminal 1 at 06:15 the next morning

21:06 – books fast track security clearance to beat the queue

21:10 – late supper and chats with Annie and Ellie

22:00 – off to bed

Wednesday 20th September

05:00 – alarm call

05:25 – in The Bunker to check overnight emails, update social media, write blog

05:45 – checks to see return flight from Belfast this afternoon – cannot find return boarding pass

05:47 – email to Phillippa – “where is the return flight?”

05:50 – staring at this morning’s boarding pass – suddenly realise that the date shown is Wednesday 27th September – one week from now – and the destination airport is Belfast International, not City

05:51 – scrolls through emails to discover Flybe return flight to Belfast City today – flight time 07:00 – gate closes 06:30

05:52 – 4 pints of blood descend into each leg – stares at screen in disbelief

05:53 – prints this morning’s Flybe boarding pass

05:54 – call cab company and explain that I have screwed up – ask if 06:15 can can be brought forward – man at the other end says “put your coat on and stand at the front door – I will get someone there ASAP”

05:58 – arrive at front door to see headlights coming down the street

05:59 – explain to cabbie that I need to get to T3 in less than 10 minutes (not the usual 15) – cabbie says “strap in and settle back”, throws car into first gear and hurtles down the road

05:59 – 06:10 – dash through darkened lanes via the “back roads” to Terminal 3

06:10 – tip cabbie £10 with a huge “thank you” and sprint into T3

06:11 – realise that fast track security voucher is for T1 – decide to blag my way through – brisk walk and not stopped – result

06:12 – through check in and security

06:25 – arrive at gate

06:30 – on the flight when the gate closes – heave huge sigh of relief and fall soundly asleep in-flight

Moral(s) of the story:

  1. you are working too hard CB and need to slow it down a bit

  2. attention to detail – the problem was last night when you didn’t read what you printed

  3. Robert Louis Stephenson – “sooner or later, everyone sits down to a banquet of consequences”

  4. heroic recovery – I’m really good under pressure – stay calm, consider, decide, act

  5. my cab company are fantastic (thank you PCG)

  6. to quote Paddi Lund – “blame a system, not a person” – take steps to reduce the number of times something like that can happen

  7. have a sense of humour – my cabbies in Belfast today both laughed their socks off when I told them, my clients were sympathetic and hugely supportive (including excellent coffee)

  8. everything is a blog post

  9. count your blessings – you don’t live in the Caribbean or Syria – if I had missed the flight, it wouldn’t have been the end of the world

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