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Insight, wisdom, lessons learned and everything in between to help you find the information you need for smoother transition between diplomatic assignments.

Planning for the Unexpected

Updated: May 28, 2023

Recently, we had a scheduled consumables pack out. It's a supplemental shipment, so it should only take a few hours. We were given an ETA of 1-4 PM. I decided to call around 2:00 PM to get an update, and my point of contact was a little bit surprised to hear from me but gracious nonetheless. I've done this enough times to know that if the crew isn't at your property close to the start of your ETA during peak season, there's a chance that they're not going to get to you within your original window.

Sometimes they're hung up in traffic, and sometimes they're just a little bit delayed, but it never hurts to give them a call. By making that call, I found out that the movers were not going to be able to make it within their window of arrival. In fact, the elevator in the apartment building where they were doing their first pack-out had broken. This means that my new ETA is now 6 to 7 p.m. on a Friday. Nobody wants to wait for packers at 6 PM on a Friday, am I right?

Unfortunately, this is what goes with the territory. It's busy season. It's busy season AND a pandemic has been going on. Moving companies have been decimated when it comes to staffing. Even pre-COVID, all of these things could have happened. How do you plan for these unexpected changes?

Sometimes you can't plan. Sometimes your best plan is no plan at all. Keeping your expectations fluid, enables you to be flexible in the moment. Talking with my contact we were able to come up with a plan. We realized that there was a chance the pack out couldn't happen. We paused in the moment to say what are the impacts, and what are the solutions. You cannot plan for every moment when you are PCSing. Life happens, and it isn't just your life that is happening. It's the lives of everyone that touches your PCS.

I was very grateful for the open and honest communication from my POC at the moving company that day. I also appreciated that she wanted to find a solution that worked for both of us. We were able to pay it forward for that crew to finish their HHE pack-out without the stress of getting to the next job. May your days stay the same and you have the flexibility to adjust your sails if they do.

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