Hazardous Conditions

I’m back!  I really never left.  I have post-its and scribbled lessons all over the place, waiting for the time to write them up.  Lots of lessons to share and I hope it’s soon!

But for now this lesson is so big that I need to put it in writing in real time:  When the road conditions are frightful, STAY HOME!

A few years ago I tried to make a Personal Policy of following the National Weather Service, as a nice objective guideline.  “Winter Storm Warning” or “Winter Weather Advisory” means don’t drive, unless it’s an emergency.  And my job is never an emergency.

But I am deeply committed to my role the Institutional Review Board, and I did not want to miss a meeting.  So I ignored my own guideline and hit the road (after my sweet husband got up in the dark to dig out my car), thinking that Boston is only going to see rain today.and I only need to get on the bus to leave the driving to others.

What a mistake! The drive to the bus station was terrible!  Although it is not pelleting ice as it was last night, the road surface is an icy mess.  My anti-lock brake lights told me, continuously, that I was not actually in control of the car, even if I thought I was.

The surface lesson is simple: Stay home when roads are bad, and there are objective ways to determine “bad.”  Use them!

I am sure there are deeper lessons here.  Things about why I think my meetings are worth this risk (something about other people making it in…) but this is not my time to figure those out.  I have learned to take the life-saving lessons first (Stay home!) and figure out the other stuff later . Or not.  But I’m hoping that this lesson will save me and maybe others from a big mistake another time.



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