5 Things Ripping My Pants Taught Me about Crisis Management
August 27, 2015
August 27, 2015
Sometimes, life just drops crises right into your lap. Big or small, we all experience times of intense difficulty or trouble throughout our lives. Recently, I experienced a conundrum.
I ripped my pants at work.
I was sitting quietly at my desk, plugging away on a project, when I looked down and noticed I had a Grand Canyon-sized tear in my pants. It was my second week as an intern, and my wardrobe had malfunctioned. I panicked; it was a full-blown crisis.
I tried to figure out how disaster had struck. My pants weren’t ripped when I put them on, and I didn’t at any point hear or feel them tear. This crisis had crept up on me so stealthily that I discovered it by chance.
Then I tried to develop a way to handle the issue on my own. Like many organizations and individuals, my first thought was to pretend it hadn’t happened. O.K., no problem, I just won’t get out of my chair for the rest of the day and no one will notice. (Panicked thoughts are rarely brilliant.)
Hiding the crisis wasn’t working. Neither was pretending it wasn’t happening. I realized that I needed help. Eventually I summed up the courage to confide in my colleagues. They burst into laughter.
“How did you even do that?” I had no answer. After some good-natured teasing, a coworker said, “Just go buy a new pair of pants.”
Duh. I hustled off to the nearest Gap and bought myself a pair of off-white khakis. With the crisis over, I sauntered back into the office before the end of my lunch break and calmly finished the day.
My sartorial mishap was a rather trivial crisis. But, this episode did teach me a few simple lessons about crises and how to deal with them: