Forget Me Not (Issue 778)

In which we are reminded to “follow the check list” as we’re closing sales or finishing projects.

Feeling a sharp stab of nausea and the gentle cooling of instant sweat, I pulled my back-up phone from my briefcase.

“Hi, this is Nick Miller.  I  just got out of one of your cars at the airport and I left my phone on the back seat of the car…. Yeah, about 20 minutes ago……..He dropped me off at Terminal 5….. No, I don’t remember the address from which he picked me up….. Can’t you see what cars picked up clients at 3:00 pm?…….Because it’s on my phone!!!!….  No, I can’t come to your office tomorrow to pick it up……NO, PLEASE DON’T HANG UP!!!!….   Wait a second, let me see if he wrote it on the receipt….. [Where’s the receipt? Where’s the receipt? Where’s the receipt?] …. OK, I’ve got it.  He picked me up at 2424 McMopsie Boulevard…..Sure, I’ll hold on……”  Black Car iStock_000067901613_Medium

I  know what happened. I was polishing off emails on my phone in the back of the black car until we reached the terminal. Eager to get out of the car, I put the black phone down on the  black seat, paid the fare, stepped out, took my bags from the driver, and hurried into the terminal to check in for my flight.

“How long will that take?……OK, good, that’ll work….Yes, I understand, he’s giving up a fare to come back here….. Yes, I’ll pay him…. YES, I will take care of that. I will pay him…..yes…. thank you for your help….. yes…. Good bye.”

My ‘standard carry’ is the left front pocket of my pants.  Sometimes in the chest pocket of a fleece (left hand side).  Only in those two places.  And, I have a routine check list before I leave my office, my house, a hotel room, a client meeting.  Pat the pocket; feel the phone.

Only this time… feeling pressed for time against a deadline, feeling excited about the flight and next leg of my trip, and feeling energized by the morning’s meeting….. I didn’t.  Cost me an extra $50 and the loss of an hour’s peace and productivity.

Same deal with proposals, final reports, quotes, and other deliverables. Feeling the press, we  forget steps,  we cut corners.  If the consequences aren’t high, who cares?  However, when the pressure is on…. pat the pocket, feel the phone, follow procedure.

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