I have two points to make this month. One is that we all have lives outside the printing industry that can be just as trying or rewarding as our work lives. The other is that Warren Zevon was right: You gotta roll with the punches.
I was in our basement office swamped with magazine deadlines and Graph Expo Show Daily preparations when all hell broke loose upstairs. At first I thought a tree might have fallen on the house, but when I got upstairs I saw that it was a far different sort of calamity. Libby, our husky mix, was cowering in the hallway. Zeke, our terrier, was nowhere to be seen and I could hear a constant grinding noise and the sound of falling debris.
As I rounded the corner from the kitchen to the dining room I was greeted with the sight of our garage freezer lying on top of our dining room table—along with a collection of drywall shards, insulation, and broken two-by-fours. Poking through the wall between the garage and the dining room was the rear end of maroon Scion. It was still running.
Despite lacking its door, the garage freezer also was still running. Frozen food was mixed haphazardly with the other various types of debris. I opened the door from the kitchen to the garage and saw Karen hanging on to Zeke for dear life. He was looking at the open garage door and obviously wanted to head for the hills until things died down. I tapped on the window and told our friend driving the Scion to please turn off the car. He did so.
Our friend had been staying with us for a few days after a stint in the hospital and was parking in our garage because it was difficult for him to navigate the steep stairs that led from the street. He had been backing in when his foot slipped off the brake and hit the accelerator. The car then accelerated, hit the freezer, and pushed it through the wall into our dining room—pretty straightforward.
There are several ways to react to a situation like this. You can freak out and flap about. You can stand in stunned silence. You can throw a hissy fit. Or you can handle it. We chose the latter.
An hour and a half later, the car and fractured freezer were back in the garage, the debris and frozen food had been picked up and discarded, the breaker to the damaged wiring had been turned off, and our dining room wall resembled a blue tarp—mostly because it was a blue tarp. Oh, and insurance companies had been contacted. We’re still waiting on the contractors to show up.
The moral? In life, just as in business, anybody can handle a crisis. It’s the day-to-day stuff that gets you down.