The concept of multi-tasking…. Read & laugh (or learn?)!


The past few weeks have been quite hectic, as most of my current work had some kind of important activity this week. Tuesday came with a high-north competence seminar for youth politicians, the Expert Committee meeting of the Heyerdahl Environmental Award was scheduled for Thursday (today), and finally – a fundraising event with WISTA & YoungShip to celebrate the International Women´s Day this Saturday….

I´ll come back to those in separate blog posts, but as you can imagine, parallel work mode and mom mode combined with a tad of sleep deprivation doesn´t exactly make miracles when it comes to chaos rate. Probably, this is something others can relate to as well, but in any case it creates some embarrassing and funny situations. My Bridget Jones incidents….

As when I park my car heading for a meeting, only to return 1,5 hours later and discover that I can´t find the key (which is left in the ignition…!). Or when I join a lunch meeting with industry peers in the Nor-Shipping Advisory Board, return home quite happy after having promoted some views I´m really engaged about – then take a look in the hallway mirror and spot unmistakeable stripes of porridge & snot remains covering the chest area of my black silk blouse.. (can´t believe no-one said anything!)

Those small blunders are great for sharing – after all, people deserve a good laugh.. But sometimes I get more than just a little embarrassed on my own behalf, once again surprised of my own ability for creating my own chaos. Like yesterday;

Last night around 8pm I had changed in to sweatpants and bare feet, hands full (literally – of baby dipers…), when the phone rang. After a period of marathon work including evening & night work after putting Knut to bed, I had a really relaxing afternoon after picking him up from the baby sitter. We even enjoyed a quick bite of Indian food and joined a friend for her dog walk before returning home. Cuddling and having quite a bit of fun before bedtime, my only plan after putting Knut to bed was to curl up in the sofa with some good old trash tv. A very good way of recharging the batteries before a full-day meeting at the Norwegian Shipowners´ Association, to evaluate and discuss the short-list and winner of this year´s Thor Heyerdahl International Environmental Award (which will be presented by the King of Norway 31 March…!). Important to be bright and focused, and it´s very wise to relax in between. Or so I thought, untill I picked up the phone….

Me: -“Hi, Birgit speaking?”

Woman: -“Hi, do you have problems finding us? Are you here soon?”. My first instant reaction was that someone had dialled the wrong number, and I stuttered a confused “what?”. Until suddently I realised.. Something was wrong.. I had made the epic blunder of updating my calendar just a little bit too quickly, without double checking the date again later(!). The thing is, I had organised for my little sister to babysit the following night, in order for me to join the expert committee dinner at the new fabulous restaurant “The Fortress”. The only problem was this; the dinner wasn´t scheduled for Thursday night – it was scheduled for Wednesday night…! Quite logical, as the meeting would start at 9am, requiring the participants traveling into Oslo from other sites to arrive the night before…

-“Uuuhh, oohhhh!!” I stuttered. – “I thought the dinner was tomorrow (anxiety flash!)”. -“Is it now – at 8?”

-“No! It started at 7:30, we´re waiting for you. Will you be joining?”

Oh, holy crap! How embarrassing!! Inside my head, the following dialogue/monologue stirred; “How is it possible, you stupid cow! Here you are, the youngest and less senior of the committee, who really has to prove a good example of how important and beneficial it is to include young people in the more senior industry initiatives. And you can´t event get the date right?! Not even checking the appointment some days in advance to be sure all is correct?! Stupid! Think think – how can I solve this?! Can´t bring Knut, won´t get a baby sitter now. What the f*** do I do?! Have to fix this!”

So…. I promised I´d do anything I could to join, provided I´d find someone to babysit (quite unlikely on such short notice..). Called Espen, who was just finding his seat at the cinema (bummer!). Desperately called my baby sister Randi. No reply. Called again (and again!), and probably stressed her completely out. But – miracle and luck exist – she picked up. And by some fantastic coincidence she was at home working late, with no plans made.. And luckily, my sister is really kind, and with the help of some bribes (paying for cab both ways, Ben & Jerry´s in the freezer, a guarantee that Knut would sleep well so she´d be able to work from here) she actually stepped in, and 5 min later was on her way from Torshov…(!) Can´t believe its possible to be so lucky!!

The following 15 minutes I jumped out of my sweatpants, washed the baby poo remains of my hands, threw a dress from the closet, tied my hair in a pony tail and was ready as she arrived. Stepped a bit too hard on the gas pedal on my way in to town, only to arrive not 15 minutes but an hour and 15 minutes too late(!), as the others were in the middle of their main course. Not exactly fresh from the shower, and without any trace of make-up or illusion of bing groomed. And quite short of breath, after running the few hundred meters from the parking lot. It´s more than a little bit embarrassing to be so extremely late, as foreign participants and senior executives who are super busy actually manage to be on time.

Home office, or just a plain mess?

To make my point; I have now learned that the calendar is to be double checked extremely carefully every week from now. Unfortunately, I know myself well enough to know that this is definitely not my last Bridget Jones incident.. Your treat!

PS; The jury meeting today was really exciting with superb discussions! It was so difficult to award one winner, facing so many great candidates and a very broad span of activities. Now I´ll keep my mouth shut until the 31 March, and I can´t wait for joining the Annual conference of the Norwegian Shipowners Association where the award ceremony will take place..!

PS2; The white fish and chocolate dessert at the Festningen (Fortress) restaurant is highly recommendable – both courses completely melted on my tongue.. 🙂

Good night!!

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