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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Got To Be One Of Murphy's Laws

This is Steven Petrick posting.

Last night, before he left, SVC told me that he and Leanna might not be in today.

Being aware of that, I did not, as I normally do when I get to the office before SVC and Leanna, clean out Leanna's E-Mail (deleting spam, downloading orders). I had decided that, since Leanna was not going to be in, I would clean up her E-Mail as the last thing I did before leaving for the day, so even if Leanna got to the office before me on the following day, there would not be quite as much accumulated E-mail.

Mike Sparks got to the office before me this morning.

No one had mentioned to Mike that SVC and Leanna might not be in today (Mike left the office before I did the previous night). And as SVC had only said that he and Leanna "might" not be in, I saw no reason to mention that to Mike, after all, SVC and Leanna might come in, perhaps just a little later than normal.

Mike received a phone call before I arrived in which the caller said that SVC had an appointment.

Mike sent an E-Mail to SVC and Leanna about the appointment. Since he expected SVC and Leanna to be in the office well before the appointment, he did not include me in the E-mail, nor mention the phone call to me. He saw no reason to do so since he expected SVC and Leanna to arrive shortly after I did and the phone call was a personal one for SVC, not me.

SVC arrived in the office more than hour later than he normally would.

Mike was in the back of the building packing products (Squadron boxes in fact), and back there you cannot hear the door chime when someone enters the building. Mike was not concerned about that since I was in the front of the building and would handle any arrivals. So Mike was unaware that SVC had arrived.

And I was still unaware that SVC had an appointment.

I asked SVC if Leanna would be coming to the office today as well, and he indicated that she would. We exchanged a few other pleasantries, and SVC went into his office and sat down to begin cleaning up the monstrous number of Spams he had received overnight (his E-mail is clogged with hundreds of spams every morning despite his filters).

As Leanna was due into the office now, I decided to go clean out her E-mail before she arrived.

Leanna does not get near the amount of Spam SVC gets, so I got through her E-mail pretty quickly.

Near the end was an E-mail from Mike, titled "Phone Call This Morning." It was not to me, and I had not been included in the list of addressees (why would I be, it was not really any of my business). However, the fact that Mike had sent the E-mail meant it might be important, so I opened it.

I then looked at the time.

I then moved with alacrity to SVC's office to advise him that he had an appointment, and would be late in three minutes.

If SVC had not told me that he and Leanna might not be in, I would have read Mike's message much earlier, and would have called SVC to tell him of the appointment when it got near a half hour of its time.

If someone had mentioned to Mike that SVC and Leanna might not be in, Mike would have informed me of the appointment, and I would have called SVC and Leanna to remind them of it.

The disaster (such as it was) all came down to a casual mention by SVC that he and Leanna might not be in today.

As it was, SVC was late for the appointment, but not catastrophically so, and fortunately neither the fate of the company, nor anyone's lives depended on his being there on time.

I am sure there is a "Murphy's Law" that covers the above, but it is one I have long since forgotten.