Sunday, November 30, 2003

No 42.

When you're one of the few to land on your feet
What do you do to make ends meet?

Song: One of the Few
Album: The Final Cut

When I first thought about using this lyric I was reminded of the first two lines from Rudyard Kipling's poem, If:

"If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,"

I've got a bit of a reputation at work for being coldly analytical, largely because I don't panic when there's a crisis. Instead I calmly think through the problem until I know what went wrong and what can be done to fix it. I don't mind the reputation too much; if you flip it over it implies that I'm reliable under pressure and that's no bad thing.

Even when, on Christmas Eve last year, there was panic among some of the managers that some of the reports that had to be sent to headquarters in the States were incorrect, I kept cool. This was noticed at 11.30, I didn't get hold of it until gone noon and the office was due to close at 1.00. While one of the directors raged I got to work. I found the root of the problem, fixed it and reproduced the reports by about 2.15. Two hours of work that would normally have taken most of a day. It's wonderful how a lot of pressure can focus you to produce good work, isn't it?

It's not just at work that I'm like that, either. I'm almost always calm and rational. I'm told it can be one of my more infuriating qualities. :-)

I don't know why I'm like this. As a kid I was much more emotional and didn't react very well to pressure at all. It was my brother that was always reckoned to be the laid back, unflappable one. Maybe it's a by-product of the bullying I went through and the way I learnt to deal with it, maybe it was always going to develop as I got older anyway. I don't know. What I do know is that it is one of my more useful traits.

How do you react when the pressure's on?

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