Wednesday, May 1, 2019

It's Always Something

This might be an exaggeration.

As a project manager, life is all about milestones and deadlines. If you build a little sway in your scope, everything tends to go off without a hitch. There’s always something, but for the most part, schedules, reminders, and consistent updates mitigate the risk.

That’s what my world is all about.

Enter my oldest son.

Normally, this kid is an angel. Sometimes, he’s an annoying pre-teen. Once in a while, he’s a complete disaster.

We were on-time-toward-running-late yesterday, when suddenly . . .

“Dad?” he called from upstairs.

I could hear the concern in his voice and the project manager inside me cringed. Mental calculations told me that we had a window of about five minutes for any delays.

“Ok,” he said, “I was flushing some toilet paper and—”

“And it overflowed,” I finished for him. “Ok, no problem. Thank you for telling me.”

I ran to my bathroom to retrieve the plunger (forgetting that we had one in the upstairs bathroom too) and that’s when I heard it.  The sound of my carefully laid plan breaking to the tune of a veritable waterfall flowing from my bathroom ceiling from the lake that had been the floor above me.

“How many times did you try to flush the toilet?” I asked him as I ran up the stairs, plunger in hand.

“Five or six.”

Did you cringe?  I cringed.  It wasn’t as bad as you might think, but it was still bad. The toilet was still overflowing, water running down the sides with every step I took. Like a video game ninja throwing shuriken, I tossed down every towel within reach, pushed the plunger into the toilet, and got to work. Three seconds later, the toilet drained and then it was just a matter of cleaning up not just one, but two bathroom floors.

Here’s hoping my space heater isn’t fried!

So yeah, it’s always something.

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