Oz's Business Continuity Blog 

A spectacular disaster

I wasn’t planning to write about Barney (our spaniel puppy) in this blog, but his antics last week sort of made it inevitable.

Barney’s rapidly approaching doggie adolescence and, as one of the books on puppy training that I read recently warned me would happen, he’s reached the stage where he’s either forgotten or chooses to ignore everything he’s learned so far (not unlike my teenage sons, as it happens).

We were doing so well too. Sitting, lying down, staying, coming back when called, not biting us (at least not hard enough to draw blood) and whistle training were all going surprisingly well, particularly given the enforced break of our little canine crisis a few weeks ago. But in the past week or so it all seems to have gone up a certain proverbial creek.

Anyway, to cap it all, last Saturday he ate my glasses. When I say “ate”, he didn’t actually swallow them (it seems that was his intention but I managed to wrestle them off him before he could complete his mission).

But the end result, from the point of view of them being a viable pair of spec’s any more, was pretty much the same. Mangled would be a good description (and slightly more delicate than another that springs to mind).  They were, to paraphrase a famous Monty Python sketch, an ex pair of spectacles.

“Oh well” I thought (or words to that effect), “I’ll make an insurance claim and everything will be ok”. I had, of course, overlooked the fact that on Monday morning I had an early start and a long drive to a client’s site, an outing for which it would be quite handy to be able to see. So I thought I’d just wear my old spec’s, which I always keep as a contingency when I get a new pair, just in case.

But could I find them? No. I looked in all the obvious places – several times (because that’s what you do when you reach your late forties), but they were nowhere to be found. So I was somewhat scuppered. Plan B was well and truly out of the window.

But there was always Plan C. My contact lenses. I only wear them occasionally, and for fairly short periods, for reasons that I won’t bore you with, but here was my answer. I popped them in on Monday morning and drove for almost three hours  to my client’s site, sat in a meeting for a couple of hours, then drove for almost three hours home. By which time my eyes were screaming at me. But I made it. Although one minor point I hadn’t considered was the fact that I couldn’t actually read anything with my lenses in – including the notes that I took during the meeting!

And it made me think, as these things do…

1) Insurance is a very important weapon in our business continuity armoury, but it has its limitations. For one thing, it takes a while to sort out (and, often, even longer to pay out) and, in the meantime, the chances are that it won’t do much to address the short-term issues of actually being able to carry on your business. So a contingency plan isn’t such a bad idea;

2) It’s all very well having a contingency plan, but if you can’t find it when you need it, it’s about as much use as a chocolate teapot. So if you do go to the trouble of developing a contingency plan, at least think about how you’ll ensure it’s available when you need it.

It took about a week to sort out a new pair of spec’s. In the meantime, I managed to get to and from, and through, my various client meetings and other appointments without any major problems (just a few strange looks at the scary, starey bloke with the red eyes, writing his notes at arm’s length). However, if I hadn’t had a Plan C (or should that be plan see? – groan!) I’d have been well and truly up that proverbial creek.


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