Backup Plans Should Have Backup Plans


For some time now, I have come to believe that tomorrow is an illusion. I need no book to convince me of this. Yesterday, Today or Tomorrow, are all continuous strands of time; different parts though they may seem to be. The division, in truth, only exists in our heads. Especially if you regularly work late into the night, you will agree that the difference between 11:59pm and 12:00am is only as recorded by your calendar, timepiece or the wall clock. Other than those, time is a singular entity.

Speaking of working late into the night, I did exactly that on the night preceding my resumption at the eloPhotos Academy. I needed to finish up several personal tasks, so as to have fewer carry-overs into my work-week, so I had to work into the next day.

Before going to bed, I reminded myself of the eloPhotos Intern’s Duties, especially highlighting to my mind the 7:30a.m. resumption time and the attendant consequence of breaking that rule. My plan went something like:

1. Wake up early enough to be at the bus stop by 6:00a.m.

2. Have a 40 – 50 minutes ride to work (by my calculation) – which should leave me with about 30minutes of luxury time.

So, you can imagine my surprise when I woke up and my eyes darted in the direction of the wall-clock.

6:00a.m.!

Momentarily, I was confused. Am I already at the bus stop or am I still in bed? (Of course, anyone could tell the difference by the level of comfort enjoyed in both spaces. Lol.) I rushed off the bed, had a traditional "indomie dress-up”, and stumbled my way towards the bus stop, eventually getting there at 6:30a.m. Well, going by my calculation, I was still in time for resumption.

Then the unthinkable happened! For the next 15minutes at the bus stop, not one bus stopped! (That’s quite a paradox, isn’t it?) As I pondered on what could be responsible for this odd occurrence, what seemed to be my "salvation boat" appeared; the first bus to stop in fifteen whole minutes. Not without its own conditions, the bus fare would gulp everything I had on me. I certainly didn’t see this while mapping out plans for my first day at work. On a normal day, the amount of money I had in my wallet should be enough to get me to my destination – and even leave me an extra N50 to return home with. How could I have forgotten that Monday is never a normal day in Lagos? Didn’t I once witness a traffic hold-up at 5:00am on a Monday, here in Lagos?

Over the next 5 minutes, my confusion grew in geometric dimensions. All other transportation options at this hour had the same price-tag. I even got begging one of the bus conductors and his reaction was more apt for someone who had offended him in his former life. I was left with two options: I either wait there until I get a bus with a fare fitting to my pocket or get into one of the buses immediately and figure out the next move while on the bus. As I quickly figured out, the first option wasn’t really an option after all – such a bus won’t come within the hour and then, I’ll be extremely late. So I hopped onto the next available bus.

As the bus zoomed out of the bus stop, I resolved to treasure-hunt through my pockets when I get off the bus, peradventure I would stumble on some miracle-money in there. And if this strategy does not turn up anything, I will do some miracle-jogging. Lol. The drive presented its own challenges and I spent far more time than I had anticipated on the bus. So, when I got down, and had no miracle-money to employ, I quickly proceeded on a 25-minute strolling exercise to work. Close to the office door, I quickly freshened up as if I had just gotten down from an SUV, then entered and joined the Monday Meeting.

Then, a few minutes into the meeting, my new boss (and Principal of the Academy) uttered what I considered the most interesting news for the day: "Official attendance-taking starts tomorrow." What a relief! Though I was late on that day, it would not go down in the records.

I don’t need to tell you what time I got to work the next day! Every day is not Christmas! But I learnt an important lesson through this experience: I had no excuse. If I conjured one up, I will only be explaining away my failure. I’ve got to learn to meet up with targets. To do this effectively, I need to make room for contingencies!

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