This is the season where I find myself squeezing more hand sanitizer than usual, becoming paranoid of my every sniffle and suspicious of anyone around me sucking on a lozenge. There are some big, bad monsters in the world that we can see and try to defend against. Not to minimize those (pun intended), but far scarier to me than all the werewolves, vampires, zombies, serial killers who kill in your dreams (reference Freddie Kruger) in the world are those infinitesimal, unseen by the naked eye, grotesque necessary evils called viruses and bacteria.
Oh, sure, we need those little bugs, since nature works as a finely tuned machine with parts that need each other to make the whole thing turn. Or so they tell us. But as much as they help the system as a whole, they can devastate small parts and in the large scheme of things, you and I are some of those small parts. As I write this blog post, my husband is napping…a highly unusual inactivity for him as a Southern man on college football Saturday. But a mean bug has attacked his system and he requires rest to allow all of his body’s energy to summon the resources to fight it. In addition, my Team Lead is feeling puny too, brought down by something completely different, but equally small and insidious. No we don’t see them coming and likely never see them at all. We just experience the symptoms they ravage upon us and the aftermath they leave when our bodies, damaged from the war, try to mend.
These unseen foes are so devastating in part because we cannot see them coming. Not unlike our work lives, entirely. Just this week, a well planned for event was completely derailed due to something completely out of the control of the team member who worked so hard to plan the event, and she never saw it coming. So, what did she do? Just as the body does in the event of an unseen foe, she brought in other resources. She needed some help from the team to try to get a grasp on what was happening, mitigate the negative effects, and determine a game plan moving forward. We all stepped up and did our best to help and while there was no fairytale ending, we pulled together and made it through to fight another day. Was it stressful? Yes. Did it hurt? Yes. Were there lessons learned? Of course. Though, like remembering to wash your hands frequently to avoid contagion, it sometimes takes a “bug” to remind us of those pesky details.
So, cough into your elbow, drink plenty of fluids and get some rest. If you are fighting a foe at work that was unforeseen and surprising, you can draw on Team Members too and together, you’ll get through it! Maybe not unscathed, but alive. By the way, is it just too ironic that the derailed event I mentioned was a flu shot clinic? I thought so.
Kim B. is a Talent Sherpa who thinks sleeping is an underrated activity and tops every sandwich with potato chips.