Snow day! Kids slept in. In our kitchen, making waffles, my boys happily complaining that it was too bad the snow day hit on a day they had jazz band, but they’d take the snow day anyway. Wait a minute. Jazz band. Band. Instruments. “Uh, Mom, do we have rehearsal this Sunday?” “Yes. Why?” “Because our instruments are at school.”
Crud. This really hadn’t been an expected snow day, so I couldn’t legitimately yell at my boys for not planning ahead (not that doing that would help the situation anyway, even if it had been “their fault”). Think. Think. Phone call to high school office – no answer. Quick phone call to friend who teaches at the high school to see if anyone’s usually there on snow days. She said theoretically someone from the custodial staff should be there, so we should try to see if any door to the building is open and catch one of the custodians to let us into the band room, and if we couldn’t get in, she has a key to the building and could go up there with us to let us into the school to look for a custodian.
Sent my high schoolers to try to get in (the main roads had been plowed by this time). As they were trying a door, a custodian was leaving through another door and yelled to them that everything was now locked and the alarms were on so no one could get in today. My boys tried to yell back to let him know what was happening, but they must not have been loud enough (surprising for a couple kids who can be plenty loud when they are of the opinion that their parents are being unreasonable), because the custodian got into his car and left.
Crud. Called teacher friend again to tell her about the situation and to ask if there are generally people in the building on Saturdays, so that we could try again tomorrow morning. She said that the fitness center should be open, but that the athletic area was locked from the rest of the building, and the alarms would be set. She suggested emailing the principal in case he checked his email and could contact someone from the custodial staff to meet us there and help us during fitness center hours.
Zipped off an email to the principal. Hoped he would see it. Thought some more. Checked to see what was up on Facebook. Saw a post that talked about how snow days were decided. Clicked to read the full article. There was a quote from the superintendent. The superintendent……. maybe he would be in his office? Zipped him an email, and then called his office – he answered his phone! I explained our predicament. He said he’d call me back in a minute. Phone rang a minute later, and our superintendent told me that the head of the district’s custodial staff would meet us at the east doors in 15 minutes to let us in.
Disaster averted. Instruments retrieved. And in the meantime, the principal had emailed back that there would be someone in the building Saturday morning who could help, so even if we hadn’t been saved today, the situation could have been fixed tomorrow. Thank you emails were sent to everyone involved. Snow day has been enjoyed to its fullest, with a houseful of teenage boys (and one 12-year-old, but I’ll count him as an honorary teen).
So here’s where Doc Thoughts come in. It’s easy to panic, but panic doesn’t get you anywhere. When you take a deep breath, you can think of people who might be able to help you, and even if they can’t help you directly, they probably know someone who can. I had a new client this week who was referred to me by someone I had just met earlier that day, who realized that this person was in a state of crisis and could use my help.
How many steps to link any actor to Kevin Bacon? How many steps to find someone who can help you? Networking works. We all know people. A large part of what I do professionally is figuring out who to go to and where to get the right information to help people. Sometimes it takes a few steps, but I get there.
Breathe. Think. Make a couple calls. Send a few emails. Someone likely will be able to unlock the door for you.