An example of it all going badly wrong – and the banquet of consequences

Tuesday 19th September

21:00 – arrives home and prints boarding pass for flight to Belfast the next morning – flight time 08:40

21:05 – books taxi to Terminal 1 at 06:15 the next morning

21:06 – books fast track security clearance to beat the queue

21:10 – late supper and chats with Annie and Ellie

22:00 – off to bed

Wednesday 20th September

05:00 – alarm call

05:25 – in The Bunker to check overnight emails, update social media, write blog

05:45 – checks to see return flight from Belfast this afternoon – cannot find return boarding pass

05:47 – email to Phillippa – “where is the return flight?”

05:50 – staring at this morning’s boarding pass – suddenly realise that the date shown is Wednesday 27th September – one week from now – and the destination airport is Belfast International, not City

05:51 – scrolls through emails to discover Flybe return flight to Belfast City today – flight time 07:00 – gate closes 06:30

05:52 – 4 pints of blood descend into each leg – stares at screen in disbelief

05:53 – prints this morning’s Flybe boarding pass

05:54 – call cab company and explain that I have screwed up – ask if 06:15 can can be brought forward – man at the other end says “put your coat on and stand at the front door – I will get someone there ASAP”

05:58 – arrive at front door to see headlights coming down the street

05:59 – explain to cabbie that I need to get to T3 in less than 10 minutes (not the usual 15) – cabbie says “strap in and settle back”, throws car into first gear and hurtles down the road

05:59 – 06:10 – dash through darkened lanes via the “back roads” to Terminal 3

06:10 – tip cabbie £10 with a huge “thank you” and sprint into T3

06:11 – realise that fast track security voucher is for T1 – decide to blag my way through – brisk walk and not stopped – result

06:12 – through check in and security

06:25 – arrive at gate

06:30 – on the flight when the gate closes – heave huge sigh of relief and fall soundly asleep in-flight

Moral(s) of the story:

  • you are working too hard CB and need to slow it down a bit
  • attention to detail – the problem was last night when you didn’t read what you printed
  • Robert Louis Stephenson – “sooner or later, everyone sits down to a banquet of consequences”
  • heroic recovery – I’m really good under pressure – stay calm, consider, decide, act
  • my cab company are fantastic (thank you PCG)
  • to quote Paddi Lund – “blame a system, not a person” – take steps to reduce the number of times something like that can happen
  • have a sense of humour – my cabbies in Belfast today both laughed their socks off when I told them, my clients were sympathetic and hugely supportive (including excellent coffee)
  • everything is a blog post
  • count your blessings – you don’t live in the Caribbean or Syria – if I had missed the flight, it wouldn’t have been the end of the world

Published by

Chris Barrow

Chris Barrow has been active as a consultant, trainer and coach to the UK dental profession for over 20 years. As a writer, his blog enjoys a strong following and he is a regular contributor to the dental press. Naturally direct, assertive and determined, he has the ability to reach conclusions quickly, as well as the sharp reflexes and lightness of touch to innovate, change tack and push boundaries. In 2014 he appeared as a “castaway” in the first season of the popular reality TV show “The Island with Bear Grylls”. His main professional focus is as Coach Barrow, providing coaching and mentorship to independent dentistry.