For want of a receptionist…

You’ve heard the proverb, for want of a nail the battle was lost. Basically it’s saying the most trivial of things can lead to the gravest of consequences.

I’m sitting in the shop contemplating that tonight. It’s no secret that I’m getting by on the smallest of margins. I don’t say everything has to go my way, but a lot has to. What I can’t afford really is anything much going against me. As it stands, potentially inconsequential actions – or the absence of action – has unexpectedly serious ramifications.

For the last 2 days I’ve been in the city attending a course at Swinburne. Though I have a wealth of practical experience I’ve decided to get a formal qualification in project management. J, who would normally be sitting in the reception of the shop, was off doing a project of her own. Given we were both absent J had found and trained a replacement to fill in for her today, and as required.

Unfortunately when I turned on my phone during a break I found a bunch of alarmed messages: the receptionist had not turned up, therapists were locked out and frustrated, and customers were being turned away. Ultimately it meant we couldn’t open until either J or I got to the shop this evening – I got here at 6pm. Naturally that means we made no money, and when I arrived I had only one therapist to work with as the other had gone home in a huff earlier.

Losing a day of takings is just about enough to finish things off for me. And just because some girl slept in, or couldn’t be bothered going to work. Someone sleeps in = I lose my shop and God knows how many thousands of dollars. Yes, infuriating.

Fortunately it may not be as grim as that. As it happens I’ve turned up tonight and it’s been busy given the limitations – i.e. no more than one customer at a time. They’ve come one after the other, meaning I have something to show for it, without the expense of paying a receptionist.

I’m thankful, but there is a tinge of mixed feeling. I’ve already had to turn away one customer. And it’s reasonable to think given the events of tonight that it would have been busy today also. I’ve saved something from the day, but potentially have missed out on another $300-$400 from being shut.

No point worrying about that. I should be relieved, and if I’m not that at least some of my anxiety has eased. Still, I could do without crap like this.

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