Efficiency vs. Unexpected Inefficiency

Posting by Meghan Kramer

As a traveling auditor, time is of the essence.  I recently went on a trip to Massachusetts in which I had five audits, in five different cities, in four days.  To maximize my time and efficiency, the Firm issued me a wireless internet card.  This would allow me to submit finished audit reports in the field to our Firm’s intranet for immediate review.  On this particular Tuesday, I had a great day of work.  Since I had the wireless card, I was able to retrieve, send and receive any information I needed in real-time.  At the end of the day I was able to complete the audit and turn it in for review.  Feeling confident and pleased with myself for such a productive day’s work, I left and started on a two hour drive to my next job site for the following day.

When I arrived at the hotel, I opened up my wallet for payment and….my credit card was gone.  Panicked, I retraced my steps to think where I could have left it.  Then it hit me.  Lunch.  Back from where I just came from, two hours away.  I called the restaurant immediately and felt relieved and irritated at the same when time they told me my card was in their hands.  Thinking there was no way I could drive another two hours back to the hotel after I received my card, I cancelled my reservation and set up arrangements to stay where I had the night before.  I’ll make the drive in the morning and be at the Employer’s by 9:00am, I thought.

With my credit card now in hand, I thought my problems were over.  That was until up to seven inches of snow became inevitable in the forecast throughout the night and into the next day’s afternoon.  If I stayed here tonight and drove to my job in the morning, I would face certain danger.  There was only one thing to do.  I had to drive back to my cancelled hotel that instant, or I might never make it to the job.  So, off I went into the night for another two hour drive.  When I arrived, the snow had just begun to fall and the hotel clerk welcomed me for a second time that day.

I woke up the next morning to seven inches of snow.  It took me nearly an hour to clear off the rented Jeep Compass’ windows and hood.  As if the past twenty-four hours had not been trying enough, the Jeep did not have four-wheel drive.  It didn’t take me more than twenty seconds from the time I put the car into reverse to get stuck in the hotel parking lot, which had not yet been plowed.  Thankfully, a Good Samaritan shoveled me out, pushed me out onto the road, and off I went.  Just another day in the life of a traveling auditor.

Traveling is never anything less than an adventure; you can always expect the unexpected.  Regardless of what goes on, there is a job to do:  records to analyze, data to record, and an audit to complete.  On this day I was extremely efficient in my work but, life happens and you just have to keep moving through it because after all, tomorrow is another day.

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