Last Monday, for the very first time, I was completely unable to do my job. I was at work and needed to get one of my team members on the road. I have processed travel orders thousands of times over the last 15 years. I have become fairly good at manipulating our computer system that stores accounting data, travel reservations, and time computations. But Monday, I completely lost the ability to get accounting data from the computer, to complete a travel request. At first I thought I knew what I was doing. I looked in books, logs, even old files. But try as I might, I could not even figure out what I was looking for. For two hours I looked frantically, not even knowing what I was looking for! Then, the team mate who needed the accounting data to complete his urgent travel request came into my office and asked, "Boss, do you have those numbers yet?" That frustrated me all the more. And I went into the common area to look at some more books as I replied, "It's not as easy as you think!" Now, the others knew I was having a problem. Why, because I have produced that information in 2 minutes many times before. Then, my best friend and truly the brains of my operation, quietly told me, "Its in the computer program." Then, and only then, did I remember where the info was and how to start to find it. Two hours of lost time, frustration, and despair.
Now, I have told you before that I have gotten lost driving, briefly lost the ability to read a few times, and have had other brief moments of confusion. And yes, I loose the ability to speak coherently when I am tired. But this was in the middle of the morning and after a good nights sleep. I was scared and embarrassed. Yes, with my friends coaching, it passed, But I know it will return more often for longer and longer times. But the most difficult thing is this time, for the first time, it negatively impacted my ability to do my job. I have a lot to think and reflect on.