Quick fix or fatal mistake - advice for new small business startups
WARNING – THIS BLOG CONTAINS SOME SWEARING AND POOR GRAMMAR
Last time I had a bit of a rant about the trials and tribulations of trying to get a website for a new small business up and running (well plodding like a penguin in porridge!). Trying to navigate the murky waters of the fast flowing river of sewerage that was once called the superhighway and just to try to get ‘seen’ by the Goliath that is Google, is on a par with popping into the local supermarket to get one item – yeah, you know what I mean – it’s feckin’ impossible, I get suckered in by the special offers, BOGOFs and of course I’m always hungry so I buy a pie or cake, then feel guilty, so get one for ‘him indoors’, oh, and a treat for Charlie; then I feel annoyed that I’ve been tricked again by the marketing demons, WHERE’s THE GIN!!
Well, call me David, here with my little sling – but it isn’t rocks I am aiming at that giant and his merry team of ferocious fisherman, dangling their bloody dangerous bait-camouflaged hooks – this time I’m throwing great big stinky turds at them!
So after my initial blog – what happened? Oh I got lots of people visit my site virgin website (thank you fellow artists and crafters) but the rest of you can fuck right off. No I don’t want you to ‘show’ me how to get my pins on Pinterest looking good, you can stick them right up your arse! No, I don’t want you to give me free a appraisal/audit/speed test – nothing is FREE. AND No, I don’t want to learn about the top ten marketing tips (I know them, I’ve just been fucking trapped in the supermarket for three hours, trying to escape via the 10 items or less checkout (and for the grammar police out there, I know it should be 10 items or fewer, don’t even go there, I know – I’m just saying what is on their signs - That’s a rant for another time!).
So the purpose of this blog is…quick fixes. Yes, I get to the point of hysteria, I’m exhausted, I’m almost cross-eyed with reading all the endless promises of the unseen ‘masterminds’ offering their ‘masterclasses’ and all I want to do is tell them to go ‘masturbate’! I want to switch off, get my Gin and calm down.
Finally, when I am at breaking point (and they know I am there, teetering on the edge of no return - my head spinning, left, right, left - not unlike John Bercow in the House, looking like Chuckie on speed), I give in to that last little hook, the one that will get me out of the crap infested lagoon – the one that is ‘ready to go’, ‘terrific value’, ‘no long-term commitment’ so I take it, the quick fix – jeeze, I have to do something before I freak out completely.
For me the problem with quick fixes is that it is too easy to forget it was just a QUICK FIX; it did the job at the time, when I was desperate for a result and too weak to thoroughly research and investigate the ins-and-outs (aka Terms and Conditions don’t you know!) and what happens, I’m caught by the short and curlies and the only way to extract myself is to spend another lifetime reading the small print to find out how much it is going to cost me to be free of the vice-like grip (i.e. the contract that didn’t sound like a contract but of course it’s a bloody contract – just with flowers on it so it doesn’t look like one!). Eventually I am free! the short and curlies are now a sleek Brazilian, and it was feckin PAINFUL.
Now, I’m not saying that there isn’t a place for quick fixes because clearly they can be the saviour for many losers like me; it is also part of my 'Beryl Jones philosophy of the ‘Go for it’ school of thought' (see my previous blog if you missed that one). What I am saying is that I need to remember that it was only meant to be a short-term thing and I must get to the root of what is really needed in order to solve the problem in the long term. So, the moral of the story is ..
An instant solution may reduce your stress
But more thought is needed for long-term success
If you have got this far with my diatribe then you are either procrastinating (rather than working on your business plan or whatever you should be doing) OR you are demotivated to the extent that you’d rather read my shit than do something meaningful.
So if you want to waste another 5 minutes of your life then read on for a real life example of how I made a HUGE cockup with a quick fix, (names have been changed to protect the innocent – no humans were injured as a result of my actions in this story – I can’t say the same for the little beastie though - that’s no invitation for animal/insect rights people to have a go at me – you’ve got nothing on the marketing gurus so don’t waste your breath!)
Many years ago, I used to be a nurse and for some of that time I worked in the operating theatre.
One of the routine morning tasks was to ‘damp dust’ all the surfaces and equipment (these were only switched on when the theatre was in use) and to get everything prepared before the first patient arrived. It was a fairly mundane job, usually undertaken by two staff. On this particular morning, myself and a health care assistant called Annie, were tasked with the damp dusting.
Annie was extremely pretty with the biggest blue eyes you’ve ever seen, but she was extremely overweight. She beat me hands down on the thunder thighs league and had problems getting theatre scrubs that were big enough for her squeeze her voluptuous curves into.
We were half-way through the damp-dusting when we saw a fly had somehow got into the theatre and was buzzing around the operating table. This was BAD NEWS! A fly in an operating theatre! A dirty, pesky fly that had probably been landing on goodness knows what when out in the open (dog shit comes to mind) and was now buzzing around in our ‘sterile’ theatre.
We knew we had to ‘contain’ it before it started landing on any equipment. Annie started swatting at it frantically with her cloth. Of course, the fly was faster than she was and Annie (with surprising agility) was bounding around the theatre with her flailing cloth trying her best to swat the fleeing fly. She looked a bit like a sumo wrestler trying to do one of those gymnastic ‘ribbon’ floor routines! Her mammoth attempt only served to irritate the fly into a frenzy as it darted around trying to avoid being squished.
‘STOP’ I yelled at her, “you won’t catch it like that”. She stopped her Olympic performance; by now out of breath, red in the face and sweating profusely. As she calmed down, so did the fly; it landed on the underside of the overhead light (you know the kind,.. one of the big round things that’s over the operating table). Anyway, the fly had landed and was obviously taking a bit of a breather after the exertion of avoiding Annie.
I had an idea “Quick, get me the plastic skin” I said to Annie. Plastic skin is used to spray onto a patient’s skin and forms a sterile/waterproof protective layer. It comes in an aerosol canister and is a bit like an adhesive spray that sets quickly into a transparent dressing.
Annie rushed to get the spray and handed it to me. The fly was still resting on the light; I approached slowly, as stealth-like as possible so as not to scare it off again. As soon as I was close enough, I aimed the canister and gave it a mighty squirt, and several more for good measure! SUCCESS! The fly was well and truly stuck to the light; the adhesive spray had cocooned it in place.
I said it would be best for us to leave it for a few minutes to make sure it was ‘set’, I didn’t want to take the risk of picking it off in case it was still alive under the plastic skin as it may fly away again.
Just then, the senior nurse popped her head around the door to tell us the first patient would be arriving shortly and, that I would have to be the scrub nurse as we were short staffed. We quickly finished our chores and got everything ready for the first operation of the day. Annie went into the prep room to get some sterile trays ready. We were already running a bit late after the fly escapade and as she hurried in, she knocked into a small trolley which went crashing into the wall, shedding its load onto the floor! I just stood there thinking “for fuck sake! can things get any worse today!”.
Well, let me tell you, they certainly did. Annie started to pick all the stuff up off the floor and I went into the wash area to scrub up. The surgeon came in to scrub up too; oh yeah, things got worse. It was my least favourite surgeon; he always yelled at the staff and was just downright arrogance personified (if you happen to be a theatre nurse or work on a surgical unit, you will probably have met a surgeon like him, they all seem the think they are superior beings!). He told me to hurry up and get all the instruments ready. Suddenly there was a loud crash – Annie had dropped one of the trays…AGAIN!! Mr Superior Surgeon turned around to find out what the commotion was just in time to see Annie bending over to pick up the tray when… OMG, the straining material of her scrubs gave way! It tore right down the middle seam revealing her bum cheeks and knickers!
“Get that idiot out of my theatre” screamed the surgeon. Annie was bright red with embarrassment and sidled up to the wall (hiding her bare bottom as best she could) and was trying to exit the theatre by moving around the edge towards the door – for some reason I could hear the theme tune to ‘mission impossible’ in my head. Poor Annie, her dignity was in as many shreds as her trousers;off she went in search of a new pair..
Well, after that, we managed to get through the rest of the morning without any further calamity. The last patient of the list was on the operating table and all was going well. The surgeon was almost ready to start to close the wound when suddenly, there was an unusual ‘movement’. “What the hell was that?!” said the surgeon, looking deep into the gaping wound.
The theatre was silent as he and his assistant looked closer. With delicate precision, the surgeon used his forceps to extract the offending ‘object’ that had dropped into the wound. He held it up to examine it and said, “it looks like a fly!”. It was only then that both Annie and I remembered!! I looked at Annie from above my face mask and she stared back at me with huge horror-filled eyes, that now seemed to be popping out on stalks and were as big as saucers; her mouth was formed into a big ‘O’.
Simultaneously, we moved our gaze up to the light, which was positioned directly over the operating table – sure enough we had forgotten to remove the plastic skin-wrapped fly. As the light had become hot during the course of the morning’s operations, the adhesive had dried to the point of crispiness which made it give up its sticky hold, allowing the cocooned fly to drop right into the wound!
“It is! it’s a bloody fly” boomed the surgeon. “What’s a bloody fly doing in my theatre and what the hell is it covered in? it looks like Clingfilm” he said in astonishment.
Annie was wringing her hands in despair and I could see she was tormented with guilt. But when she started to say “it’s...” I shot her a ‘don’t you dare say anything’ look that shut her up just in time. “It must have come in through a vent” I suggested, crossing my latex gloved fingers behind my back.
So the quick fix of the plastic skin did work - it did what i wanted it to do, but I didn't' follow through and complete the task - my fault; but I think we get bogged down with so much stuff that we either forget, or decide to leave the quick fix in place until it needs replacing with a long term fix. Do so at your peril!
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