Friday, April 11, 2014

When the CEO fails...

If I think of our family in terms of a business enterprise, I see myself as the CEO. My husband of course would be on the board of directors making all the most important decisions and providing the financial backing for the whole operation. His is a vital role of which I fully support.  Mine however is different although also equally important. As CEO, I'm in charge of the day-to-day operations. I set the schedule, choose the curriculum, oversee the menus (or lack there of), purchase necessities, organize vacations, manage the home's cleanliness, etc.  The list goes on and on (for both us actually). 

So this week as CEO, it was my job to register the kids for their yearly standardize test and then get them to said test - preferably a little early, but at least on time.  I set the alarm, made breakfast, shouted the appropriate commands, made empty threats, and then ushered them all into the van being just a wee bit behind schedule.

Traffic wasn't too bad as we zoomed along the highway traveling a touch (ok a lot) over the speed limit.  [Side note:  I think getting kids to particular locations at particular times has to be one of the CEO's least favorite and most challenging things done on a daily basis. It's stressful to say the least, and dangerous at it's worst.]  Anyway... I monitored the clocking continually knowing that we would definitely not be there 15 minutes early as recommended  Upon taking the appropriate highway Exit, it was quickly apparent that the road we needed to take was closed. Uggh!  The detour wasn't too bad; however, and we were quickly back on track. But then there was a red light - and another - and another. Time ticked on as my stomach continued to knot up. Finally we pulled into the parking lot with literally no more than one minute to spare. I jumped out of the car and hurried across the parking lot because to me, I get graded on these things. No one fills out an official report card, but I know if I pass or fail.  It's partially a peer review (think of moms staring at you as you are the last one rushing in) and partially a self-evaluation as you consider how you could have left 10 minutes earlier to avoid the whole issue. 

Strangely enough, no one was there to offer disapproving looks. As a matter of fact, no one was there AT ALL.  Now I really started to panic. I had no extra time to figure out where to go.  I had been there the previous year so I had not even considered that it might be held in a different area of the church.  I found a security guard who knew nothing of the test that was supposed to be going on. I pulled out my paper and read the information: Calvery Baptist Church, Whickham Rd, Melbourne.  "This is Calvery Chapel," he informed me. At the precise same moment I saw the street address and knew instantly that we were not on "Whickham Rd", and just for extra effect, my phone starting ringing.  "Hello, is this Mrs. LeRoy?  Are your children coming to testing today?"  Eeeek!!  Major CEO fail!  

The mistake was quickly sorted out and thankfully the correct church was not too terribly far away. The kids missed the first section of testing but were allowed to jump in at break time and make up the rest as they went on.  The test proctor showed me a huge helping of grace which made the whole experience a little less painful.  Even still, it's a horrible feeling knowing that you were in charge and you blew it.  It's more than just that... it's knowing that it was not only a hassle for you personally, but your mistake affected your kids, inconvenienced three classes, three proctors, and countless people on the road driving too slowly. It's not the end of the world, but I'd rather not be the cause of other people's stress.   I would say that my job as CEO was in jeopardy that day, but thankfully I know someone on the board of directors who's quite unlikely to fire me. :)

Post Script:  The rest of the afternoon I spent at home waiting for my new washing machine to arrive. (Mind you we have several days worth of dirty clothes as our machine broke a week ago.) Around 5:00pm, I called Lowes and asked if it was still coming.  "Ahhh... Mrs. LeRoy," a women said on the other end, "There's been a mistake.  We thought it was supposed to be delivered next Thursday. Our employee accidentally entered the wrong date."   Grace flows both ways I thoughtDeep breath.  "That's okay," I said, "Just deliver it tomorrow."