I had three days of programs to do in 3 cities so I sent all of the materials in advance via UPS. I follow the same process for out-of-state programs and have been using the same Staples/UPS drop off location for the last dozen or so shipments without incident. On this particular day, I shipped 3 boxes at the same time. I arrived on Tuesday morning of this week to the first of the three program locations and no one could locate my box. So we did a search of the office and when it didn’t turn up, I went online to see who signed for it. Two of my three boxes showed a delivery confirmation and the one I needed showed that it was never even picked up from UPS, let alone in transit. I called Staples and they said that they didn’t have the box and would put a trace on it. So essentially I was left with a room full of 27 participants and no handouts or workbooks. Panic set in.
I called the local Staples and asked if I could email the documents to them for printing and they said they could have them ready in a few hours. I punted for the first couple hours of the session with just a flipchart pad and pens and ran at the lunch break to get the materials. I was so unnerved by the whole thing that I felt I was not able to recover and that the learning really suffered. I have been doing training for 20 years and have done this exact program for 13 years so of all classes, this one was the best for it to happen to because I knew the content cold. But it still was so stressful, I couldn’t believe how it threw me off my game and rocked my typical calm self. Of course, I was so mad at myself for not tracking the boxes sooner, so I would have had some recovery time. That is what I get for shooting from the hip so much. I still cannot figure out why that box didn’t arrive when the other 2, shipped at the same time did. I think it must be a reminder that I need a major vacation if I am making little mistakes like that with such serious consequences. I get it! I couldn’t have learned the lesson some other way???? Jeez.