The documents did arrive as promised, but came in three different deliveries, as the various parties involved waited until the very last minute to complete their respective responsibilities. Sure enough, there was a door tag left for one of the packages—it required a signature and no one had been home. We live right around the corner from the courier’s sorting center, and I’ve been down this road before. So after calling their national office, they transferred the call locally. But, this time they were closed. Fortunately, I reached a sympathetic person when I explained our departure was imminent, and involved multiple people. Even though the Needham facility had closed 20 minutes prior, they were willing to let me stop by. “Come around the back and bring your ID,” I was told. Following instructions, I drove over, parked in the back and entered through an open door. It took a few minutes to find someone. Without even offering a ‘good evening,’ the first person I ran into quipped: “No one is allowed in here, and we’re closed.” Suffice it to say, three different people and three different conversations later, I had my package and was back home 15 minutes later.
If I told this story to a senior executive, he/she probably would have recommended I had delegated this aspect of the trip’s planning. However, with so many moving parts, and 20+ people to be responsible for, it’s just not my style to do things in this manner. Also, while I understand the concept of delegation, I think that concept is often fraught with danger. No one seems to care about the minute details, as the project isn’t likely their ‘baby’ to begin with. Let’s assume I had enlisted an assistant to help me. Only the best-of-the-best would have likely asked to be transferred locally, when they were told the Needham facility had already been closed for 20 minutes. Late on a Friday night, many would have not bothered calling at all, leaving the task until Monday, and figuring that they still had ‘time.’ Unfortunately, life often follows one of two adages: ‘If you want something done, do it yourself’ or ‘If you want something done, give it to a busy person.’
More to come from Asia in the days that follow, now that our departure documents are in hand. By the way, you can read each update “no signature required” from your email.