Diary of a Workshop Leader - The Importance of Making Lists
I returned on Wednesday from giving a Reflexology Seminar in London on a summer day in 1988. Jetlag had settled in by Friday, the day we were to leave for another Seminar in Las Vegas. Knowing I would probably feel this way, Muff had packed our equipment into the station wagon and was ready to go.
We left around 5 a.m. on Friday and arrived in Las Vegas before noon. After checking in with the Sales staff, we went to unpack the car. As I was taking boxes out of the side, and Muff was unpacking from the back of the station wagon, I hear a muffled “Oops”.
“Oops what?” I questioned.
“I forgot to pack the slide projector and the slides.”
Oh noooo. That is our entire program! I screamed to myself.
Have you ever had that feeling that the ground just fell out from under your feet and your stomach gets all sick inside? Standing next to the car in 103-degree heat, jet-lagged, I was stunned. My heart started to pound and I answered. “Ok, ok, not to worry. This is what we will do. Call Chuck and tell him we’re going to fly him and the carrying case with the projector in it over to Las Vegas for a little vacation.” (Not thinking too clearly, jet-lagged remember.)
“What if he doesn’t want to come? He’s really busy right now.” Muff said. “I have an idea. I’ll fly back to San Diego, Chuck will meet me with the case, I’ll get back on the plane and come back.”
Right….As if the plane is our own private jet! “Sounds good”. I agreed.
We called Chuck and told him what had happened and what our options were and there was a silence at the other end of the phone. “Why don’t I just put the case on the plane?” Ahhhh, the voice of reason. So that is what he did.
He called us back, gave us the flight number and said it was coming in around 10:30 that night. He, however, didn’t mention one little fact. We arrived at the McClellan airport shortly before the flight came in and because the parking lot was packed, we had to park on top of the parking structure. We proceeded to that flight’s baggage area and watched as the passengers picked up their luggage from the carousel as it went round and round — but… no case!
Eventually, around 11:30 pm pretty much everyone was gone. The lights on the carousel had been turned off. Still NO CASE….. we went to the counter and inquired about it and were told that you can’t send anything through baggage unless there was a body on the plane that goes with it. Our case would have to come by Air Freight. The little fact Chuck forgot to mention.
“So where is Air Freight?” I asked.
“Across the parking lot, but it will be closing in about 5 minutes.”
“NOOOOO, please, call him, we will be right there!” We ran all the way back to our car, jumped in and sped off. The tires squealed as we tore down the circular ramp.
The Air Freight building was dark when we pulled up and jumped out. Running up to the door, we jumped up and down and pounded our fists on the glass yelling, “We’re here, we’re here!! A door opened in the back and we saw the silhouette of a man in the doorway holding up our case and pointing to it. “Yes, yes, that’s ours!”
He opened up the door and, chuckling, said, “Jack said there were 2 crazy ladies on their way over here. I assume this is what you came for?”
Having never been to that part of Las Vegas before we got lost trying to get back to our hotel, Palace Station, which is on the other side of the freeway from the airport. By the time we found our way back it was after midnight. Sleep was long in coming since the adrenaline was till pumping. We got about 2 hours of sleep, but we were smiling and ready for those first students to arrive at 7:30 the next morning.
To avoid similar OOPS situations……….
Make lists of all your equipment needs and keep them on your computer or in a file folder. Several days before your planned event, take the lists out, READ them and check off the items as you pack.
KEY: Do not wait until the last minute……….
That way if you are missing bulbs, cords, batteries or anything on the list you have plenty of time to get them.