Monday, June 23, 2008

What happens when you get hit by a truck?

August 30, 2007. Crossing the street with the light I was struck by a red pickup truck.

10 months later I'm not yet back to 100%. It wasn't planned. I wasn't in control. It's affected my stamina, my attitude, my stress level and now has cut into my sales results.

I didn't do anything wrong and it's not fair.

Who cares?

Business is about results. Performance is about results. Period.

One's ability to compartmentalize is one's key to persevering here. When at work think only of work. Leave the insurance forms, the pain, the frustrations at home. At work try as much as possible to think only of the task at hand. Make a list of the top ten things you need to do that day and then concentrate on getting those done.

Pysical injuries that impair travel or your ability to work from home need to be fully explained and managed with your employer. In my case immediately after the accident I took a week's holiday's to rest, recover and hope for the best. Once I knew how bad the damage, two blood clots in my left leg; I negotiated the ability to work from home until such a time I could physically come back to the office.

Pain medication is a beautiful thing however it can affect memory. If working from home make copious homes and adhere to a strict system of followup. Prolonged leg pain can make a sound sleep next to impossible. After awhile systemic sleep loss does affect your performance. Sticking to a system can keep you in the game and prevent you from inadvertantly alienating some of your best customers.

Even when you get back to the office, realize your limitations. You won't be able to work the hours you did prior to the accident. You have to gradually build your strength back up. Progress is never linear. There will be several weeks where pain and mobility don't seem to be improving. Patience and persistance are important here. Set goals for numbers of calls, emails etc per day and stick to it as best you can. Cut out unnecessary tasks like blogs until you have the time to give it the attention it deserves. Make extra allowances for new demands on your time. Physio, doctor's apointments, insurance forms, legal conversations can take tons of time. Schedule these types of interruptions for off hours as much as possible.

Keep your chin up. Others may offer their help but don't count on it. Experiences like this allow you a real opportunity of finding out who your friends really are.

Remember that Nietzsche once said whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

James Gingerich