|Updating a PowerPoint probably isn’t top priority in this situation…|
Following the destruction of Hurricane Sandy, an interesting thing happened. All of the members of my team were asked to fly back to Boston and work onsite with the client from Wednesday (the day after the storm cleared) through Friday.
This was inconvenient for me in that I’d travel for a short week when I had no client meetings and miss Halloween with the kids, but this wasn’t a battle I needed to fight. The fact of the matter is my wife and kids still had power, so there was really no reason to push back on this request. Two of my colleagues, however, weren’t so lucky.
Coincidentally, these two colleagues of mine had a client workshop with people flying in from all over the world the Thursday following Hurricane Sandy. Both of them were severely impacted by the storm. One of them with a wife and two young kids was without power and the temperature of his home quickly dropping. The other was married with no children but in an area where the damage was so severe he had to be rescued from his home, complete with a FEMA meal. Their car was ruined (possibly floating in the Hudson) and there was so much water on their street that you could see fish swimming in front of their place. Oh, and the closest airport with outbound flights on Wednesday was roughly one hundred miles away in Philadelphia. Both of them made the drive and flew into Boston from Philly for this two day event.
Granted, we’re in the business of client service and scheduling this workshop to begin with was a complete nightmare. Who knows how long it would’ve taken to get this back on the calendar with all of these people? Even so, whether the client insisted, or if this was management decision to take this opportunity for us to show just how dedicated we are to the client’s success, was it the right best decision to make these people come in? How would YOU try to approach a situation like this?