3 weeks gone from the time I wrote this post, and I justed waited for the right time to click on the "Publish Post" button.... my own experience and incident in Nashville in second week of July when I went on business trip. Now that I am back to action at both home and work, fully recovered and normal, I thought I need to publish this post now....For all my friends and family, I am fine, and just doing great as ever!
30000 feet above sea level, up in the skies , far above the clouds, sitting in the AAflight 882, I could think of nothing more than the human touch, of the events that touched my life since I started to Nashville. The beginning was like any other business trip I made in the past few years, and usual, family were with mixed thoughts to see me leaving for a week, this time, the shortest trip. All was fine the day 1, enjoying the connecting flights over Dallas, and wishing SRG from the skies of the Texas, and above, all it was such a fine flight. To me, being a lover of traveling and visiting new places, I could imagine all good things that I planned to do and exploring the Music City… and if time permits make a visit to Mphesis, to see Graceland…
Tuesday evening, returning from work, never expected the unfolding drama… the wet floor close to the car park of the Marriott hotels, and my thoughtless step made me meet with a unexpected accident, within a minute, I just went and hit the floor straight with my face down to the ground with rock surface, and my specs flew few feet away. I remember yelling in pain. Within seconds, I saw my Nigerian Cab driver Frank running to me and lifting me with such a care and also another guest of the hotel coming to pick my things that fell to the floor, my thought was where is my laptop. I just didn’t think that I was bleeding all over my face, and within seconds I saw the hotel manager and lobby attendant running to my aide with ice cubes. I didn’t realize till then that I was hurt, and hurt badly. They just managed to slowly lift me to the hotel lobby to a much comfortable place, and within 10 minutes, I saw paramedics of 911 respond. They were so quick, that I didn’t even realize that I needed them so badly till they started working on me quickly checking my pulse and other vital signs. They moved me with such a caution to let the parts of the body be there as is, whether broken, bruised or bleeding. I was neatly strapped to the ambulance stretcher and let inside and one of the paramedics picked my stuff carefully. Hotel manager Ted was quick to extend his card to be called in an emergency. Unlike in the accident scenes I have seen in the most of my life, the witnesses waited to give all information than running away. Mine was a very minor one, but the kind of caution, care and attention they showed made me salute them with gratitude. Within 15 minutes, I remember getting rushed to the emergency department of Summit Hospital in Hermitage, where doctors immediately attended. Cleaning up the wounds, and completely confirming that I haven’t broken any of my bones, except a bunch of my bunny teethes, and with gushes of cuts in the face, and broken lips and disintegrated mouth for a minute. .doctors gave back me a much awaited smile.
I never knew being organized helps to a great deal in personal life, every year at the starting of the new diary, I dedicate a page to fill in the emergency details including my contact list, insurance details and blood group, and my fullest wish to donate my eyes and organs in case of an eventuality. As the paramedic kept asking for my name, contact and date of birth and insurance details, all I did was to pull out the dairy from my bag and showed him. He looked at me with a strong surprise. His look had a question , “was I awaiting this to happen?” , I smiled, and told him that it’s my usual practice, especially I keep things handy when I travel. This not only helps ourselves but also makes life of people around us easy. They just didn’t have to call anyone till they were done with the complete medical procedures of fixing my torn skin on the face and doing first aid to my teeth. Suddenly after 3 hours of lying down in the hospital bed and letting the doctors do their duty, I realized, my specs gave up on me, and it’s broken. I obviously cannot make it to the hotel or the pharmacy to buy my prescription alone. A little bit of fear started to creep in, and that’s when the nurse came to me saying that I can go back home the same night after an hour. I told her that I am a guest in Nashville, and don’t have a home but a hotel room awaiting me, before I finished, another nurse came in to say that the hotel security would be on the way to guide me to getting back to the hotel. After an hour, Danny, the elder security of the hotel came to me and said that we can leave. I only saw our God, Lord Sai baba in his way he approached me, took me to the pharmacy to pick my medication and then slowly hold my hands to make me get back to my room. Ted, the manager was awaiting my return. He was so tired, but was so sure, that he desperately waited my coming back. After taking couple of details from me, to file an incident report, he dispersed by getting me milk and water. That’s when I really thought, am getting back to life. Suddenly, I saw my phone red button blinking, saying that I have close to 8 messages waiting. Hoops, I was so sure, that half the calls would be from my little girl. And yes, I tried to be careful not to narrate this whole episode to her and sounded normal on the call, but the minute, Raghu came on line, I could not hold back my tears. I had to tell him not to react but listen to my outpour. He said he would fly down immediately, but I had to stop him from scaring my girl. What a beautiful family, I know nothing will happen to me with them in life and around. Couple of desperate calls from my friend vk and pg, who were trying to touch base with me… and I felt my life so abundant….Sedatives and anestisia, made me slip down into sleep soon after passing on the emotional pain to my perseverant husband.
Next morning, I pulled my energies to mail to my boss and inform my client on the happening, as I don’t want them to search for me when I am on a business trip. Had not my specs given up on me, I would have mustered courage to push me to office, but alas, same time, didn’t want to scare people around with a swollen red face filled with bandages…. Thankfully, I managed to get both the specs and dentures leveled up the next day and again, slipped off to a long and much needed sleep. After a day, I had two choices, either to fly back, or continue with my agenda. Both had its own positives, first one basically will make my man comfortable to the fact that I am back home safe, and can get the required medical attention. Second option, will make my things planned on the trip happen, and also is an opportunity to gain respect with my new project team. I didn’t want to give up on the opportunity and decided to muster courage to continue with my plan. The takeaways are the fact, that no matter what woman goes through, we are also equally professional and tolerant, and keep professional calling above personal hindrances. For lot many people around me, believe that women employees, are not fit to work on tough situations and I always took every single opportunity to prove them wrong and prove us right that we are also professionals no matter what of the gender. Neatly, to me, it is the bonding time with the new client and new team and the team responded to me so well. People came forward to help with setting up the required infrastructure and also making me comfortable all through my remaining stay in Nashville. I always write in my blog and articles that no matter what managers have to be looking beyond projects and especially People. I am always blessed to have had and still have such managers who make my professional life more meaningful. My manager and the administration, friends and colleagues not only shared their empathy but also showered a high confidence and respect and much touching care and affection, that made my commitment stronger and fruitful. I was driven to a totally emotional imbalance when my elder sister cried over phone to hear about this incident, having known her as a strong professional herself and a very strong HR manager, I just didn’t expect this from her, but I think first of all, both my sisters are my best friends and great sisters that to them, what matters most is my well being. To me challenges, are always fun. They keep coming my way every now and then. I love fighting them out. And also moving forward. With such a beautiful bonding of family ties, strong support of my colleagues and ever pouring affection of friends and innate courage and strong will, I know, nothing would deter my determination and dreams.
Few best takeaways are the Western Values that we Indians need to really learn from:
1. Response to emergencies, no matter what act fast – to save that golden hour. Thanks to 911. Promote 108 in India and support NGO’s like Alert who are working for this cause.
2. Help unconditionally, don’t run away from responsibility. Thanks to Marriott
3. No matter, what race or country, be helpful and care. Thanks to Frank. I still remember the incident where accident victims are stolen of their things and are left helpless on the roads.
4. Have proper medical insurance. Thanks to SRG who takes care of our insurance details on the day 1 of our arrival in United States, only wish atleast 90% of Indians are driven towards this objective. Statistics show that less than 21% of Indians only have medical insurance.
5. Be Organized. Especially when you travel, keep your things organized and inplace updated, this helps none other than yourself…. Thanks to Thyself!!!
6. Manage things that are manageable. Don’t make personal hindrances reason for not being committed to professional calling. Be truthful and act appropriately
7. Communicate on time. Inform all people concerned of any incidents that may affect the business plans. Communication is vital when you are not available.
8. Limca Communication - This is giving a bad news in the most softest way possible, I think I goofed up here by describing the incident to my sisters,..Hoops!