Friday, November 25, 2016

18 Donuts and Attention to Detail

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving holiday.  I'm full of turkey, done with my black Friday shopping and was ready to get back to work.  Working for a small start up that is open most days of the year, we take turns playing the 'grown up' on site during slow times like the Friday after Thanksgiving.

Since I wasn't leaving town or hosting family, and being one of the newest members of the team, I volunteered to be the adult today.  I woke up early and got an extra long walk in, getting my 10,000 steps by 6:30 am.  Got ready and hit every green light on the way in.  I was in such a good mood, I even stopped to buy donuts for the few of us that were on the black Friday shift.  As I rolled into the parking lot around 9, I noticed there were only about 6 cars in the entire lot of the multi-tenant building.  Thinking it would be a really quiet day, I pulled out my donuts, balanced my tea as I tugged on the building door.  Locked.  I went around the other side - also locked.  I went to the front entrance, and it was also locked.

I had never thought to ask if the building would be closed for the day. I don't typically work in the building after hours so building access had never been an issue.  I have access to our offices within the building and VPN access for working from home when I need to pull a late night or get an early start.  The company is limited to the number of building access cards we're allowed to have, so we're particular about who gets them.  It's one of the obvious details that often get overlooked, because it's so obvious.  We think it a given and don't pay attention.  Focusing on the big stuff, the stuff that matters - the indemnification clause, the proper reps and warranties, the timing of the patent application or the marketing material disclosures.  We assume that the little things are taken care of by the process, by the administrators, or are the natural state of things.  Until we get locked out of the building juggling our tea and 18 donuts.

Because of my commute I had an understanding with my boss upon being hired that I wouldn't be working after hours at the office. It never occurred to the office manager that I would need one to work on the unofficial 'holidays' when the building is closed but the office is open.  So this morning, I stood at the door for a few minutes laughing at myself. And then I took my donuts home to the kids - giving some away to a panhandler on the way, because no one needs 18 donuts at home.