The Daily EO: June 17th, 2013

I cried at my desk today.

I had a very important all day customer visit and audit happening that we had been prepping for months for.  So much so, that I was sick of talking about it.  Sick of the action items, just sick of it.  But finally, the day had arrived.

My grandfather was the former Superintendent of the City of Burnaby Waterworks.  He started his career working for the city and retired from the city 49 1/2 years later.  I’m so proud of the man he was and what he did.  I am proud of the man he is.   You don’t spend your career in sewers and waste management without becoming an expert.  So, when we had our little flood over the weekend, I told him about it because I knew it was something he could relate to.   I can’t claim the same expertise with plumbing and sewers, so I could only tell him what was happening – not the cause or resolution.

When Grandpa went to bed Sunday night, he didn’t know why the water problem was a problem, or what we were doing about it.  As I spend my entire day touring and meeting, and quickly checking emails in between meetings, my grandfather pondered the situation at my work.  Was it a break on the city side?  Did we share the building with someone else?  Was there a blockage?  Is a pipe broken?  Has the issue been resolved?

So, he began calling me.

I will tell you this.  When either my grandpa or grandma calls, I answer it no matter how tired I am, or what I am doing.  I answer that call.  But today I could not.

And so, because I wasn’t answering the phone, grandpa started to get a little agitated.  Wanted to know the situation.  What he could do.  Did we find the entrance to the tank?  Could we get the right wrench to get the bolt off?  Were the sump pumps running?

But I wasn’t there to answer the calls.

I don’t find it funny or cute that my grandpa was so intent in getting the information that he wanted.  I saw the man he was – the capable and strong one that could have helped his granddaughter’s company deal with something that is his expertise.   But instead he couldn’t help, he couldn’t get in his car and drive over like he would have years before.  He just wanted me to answer the calls and tell him exactly what was happening.

And so, when I finally had a chance to check my phone and see all the calls and messages, the tears came.  Stress of the audit, not enough sleep, too much work, worry?

I think it is because I didn’t answer the call.

June 17th, 2013 Extra-Ordinary:  Answer the call.

The Daily EO: February 10th, 2013

We were invited to dinner at very old friend’s tonight.  I’ll admit, I was a bit nervous – not that it was a stressful thing, but I have some hang-ups, and dinner parties are one of them.  I planned 2 days in advance what to wear, racked my brains for tidbits of information about their lives and children, and generally spent more time thinking about it than a normal person would.

That’s okay – I have hang ups, and I have learned to deal with them.  But when I am asked what type of wines I prefer so the courses can be properly matched to spirits, I start to worry that my mother’s etiquette training didn’t stick.

Dinner was lovely (I used the correct forks)- and when I say old friends, I mean old.  Because one of them used to babysit me, and I attended their wedding – 30 years ago when I was 9.  So, it’s weird and it must be to strange for them to me all grown up – close enough in age now that we could be friends.

The conversation ran from wine, Aspberger’s syndrome, cabinet making, veganism, weddings, dentistry, lay-outs of emergency rooms, travel, law and many other things.   And driving home I found myself realizing that I could hold intelligent conversations – with personal experiences – on a host of topics.

The food was great, the wines matches perfectly and dessert was a cheese tray.

February 10th, 2013 Extra-Ordinary:  20 years ago there were no fine lines around my eyes, but perhaps there is something to this “age and wisdom” thing.