How do You Deal With the Unexpected?
Our Guest Author today is Ashvini Kumar! You’ve seen him here at LFI commenting under the profile name “Blogaks”.
I did my engineering degree at a beautiful university, known as Banaras Hindu University , situated at the heart of city of Varanasi, India. Varanasi is a city that is as old as any civilization.
I love doing things that involve a little bit of management and I was able to secure permission from my department head, to set up a fete (fete is a French word meaning festival, celebration or party). The main purpose of fete was to showcase the achievements of my department and also for us students, to have a little fun setting it up.
In a college fete, students usually put up stalls for selling market goods or serving food. It provides good experience and improves interaction among students.
My friend and I start collecting money from college students who were willing to put money into setting up these stalls. We worked day and night. We contacted suppliers to set up stalls, print promotional material, tickets, and arrange transportation to the venue.
Then tragedy struck. On the eve of fete, two students drowned while taking a swim in the river nearby.
As a result we had to cancel the fete even though everything was ready for the next day. We were in trouble. We had already paid the suppliers and they had started setting up the venue. We had to pay money to the supplier as agreed and at the same time return the money to the students who had purchased stall space.
However, we decided not to panic and to address the issues one at a time. My friend negotiated with suppliers to charge us less than full price. Fortunately they agreed. But we had used up a big part of money we collected from students, as payments to suppliers and this money needed to be returned to the students.
We needed to think fast. We talked to the students and explained the situation to them. We then secured a promise from the organizer of an upcoming fete (who was also a friend) that he would reserve a few places if we paid him in advance. He also agreed that he would not charge more money than what we were left with. Thus we were able to negotiate with all sides and solve the crisis in a short time.
It was a nightmare situation but we did not panic. Instead we solved problems as and when they occurred. Failure happens but it is how we react to it that makes us a winner.
Have you ever been in such a situation which at first seemed overwhelming? What happened? How did you handle it?
photo credit: Millicent Bystander