Good Friday has always had special significance, ever since the epiphany I experienced on this Christian religious holiday in 1980. (I’ve told the story enough times that it is starting to get boring or even irritating to hear it recounted again and again.)
It is supposed to be a public holiday from work, but I’m surprised about the number of emails arriving from contractors and employees taking care of current business. Our company policy has always been that no one is expected to work or even communicate about work in off hours except in extreme emergencies, but we aren’t going to micro-manage scheduling, allowing employees to take off time during the week and sometimes make it up “after hours”.
This was a week of shocks, disappointments, surprises and changes. We had a real scare when our Internet Service Provider put a block on sending out the weekly eletters, suggesting a spammer/abuser may have gotten ahold of our account. While I was able to get systems restored, I wasn’t comfortable that we had done everything possible to secure our email quality, and so we lost some revenue until the problem could be totally corrected. It has, now, with the help of a $30 offshore contractor, who in fact suggested some additional improvements to make our deliverability even better.
On the same day, we received word that a very long-standing client will probably end a contract that dates back to the earliest stages of this business. In a practical sense, i can’t argue with the change — new technologies and personnel mean the “same old, same old” doesn’t make much sense. The same day there was an association ethics complaint against me (yes, I indeed did something wrong, ouch) and we received a customer complaint indicating we hadn’t delivered the expected services (and in fact we had failed to do what we should have done.)
It got worse the next day when a key contractor said he would be resigning and I received advice from a good friend that would, if implemented as he suggested, create a truly stressful day for the business. (I haven’t decided yet how to handle his advice.)
I spent much of Wednesday and Thursday addressing the problems and seeking out solutions. And this is where the difficult turns into good. The value/service issue I was able to resolve with some writing, the association accepted my apology and closed the ethics complaint, and the key contractor who is leaving has set up a meeting with me to discuss the transition and the right-way forward (which I will correlate with the advice from my friend and my own thinking to come up with a sustainable solution.)
This is the way it is — and has been for most of my life, ultimately from were I set the course on that incredible Good Friday 1980, when in the middle of Africa, I appreciated the human condition and the relationships between luck, environment, faith and personal responsibility.
Most of the time, things go pretty well but there also can be rocky, frustrating and downright scary moments. The key is to pull through, work on the problems, solve the issues, and focus on positive, responsible initiatives to make things better.
And that outlook and experience makes this Good Friday a really great day.