May 4th I went to the office with a full agenda, trying to keep all of the projects moving forward, with plans to leave on May 6th for 12 days of travel, two conferences, in two states, and a visit with family. The phone rang and it was a doctors' office, saying I really need to find the nearest emergency room and check myself in. I scrambled around and did my best to cover the projects for a few days. Based on advice from the doctor, I cancelled the trip, I have never canceled a business trip, let alone dropped out of speaking on two or was it three panels at the last minute. I had no idea how long I would be away, I have never been out sick for more then a week. Well you never know, it has been 7 weeks so far. I expect it will be at least another week. Two months away from the office.
For several years I had a consulting contract with AARP, the last supervisor on that project wanted us to work in teams of two, she called it her Mack Truck policy. If one of the two team members was run over by a Mack truck, the show would go on. The last year or so budget pressures forced her to have us work solo. I have always been a soloist. I generally work alone - independent - self starter, are phrases in past evaluations. Well working that way really caught up with me this time. It has been a major struggle to turn some projects over to others, one project was a vague concept, mostly in my mind, funded at just over $5,000 a month for four months, that no one really knew what we were going to do for the money. They trusted me to do good work, and gave us the money. Another major project, was immensely complex, a collaboration with multiple entities, and involving several people who were under-qualified for the task. I had become pretty good at working with the incompetence, it is hard to delegate that without saying that you are working with idiots. I will be more careful in the future to document the projects, you never know when you leave the office, when and if you will return, and yet the show must go on.