Eight months in to my new job and I am still adjusting to working from home. One of the things that I struggle with are when my day doesn’t go according to plan. For example, this winter was rather hard on us. We had more snow than usual on the roof, and not a lot of melting days to help. As a result ice dams were formed which resulted in water coming into the house. Believe me, the last thing you want to hear as you are trying to work is “the roof is leaking”.

I recall writing about such things in DBA Survivor and found the section on ‘Incidents’:

Incidents and issues will happen; there is no way to avoid them. All you can really do is make certain you are as prepared as possible to deal with them when they happen. You can best achieve this by approaching each issue in the same exact way, much as a forensics detective would. In addition to having your own set of tools at your disposal, another good skill to acquire is the ability to remain unemotional.

If you allow emotions to be a factor in your work then you will likely have clouded judgment. You need to focus on the facts at hand. Allowing your emotions to come into play can cause you to overlook facts or clues that are right in front of you. This can lead you to make a poor recommendation on a course of action.

When an incident arises you need to get involved and gather all the facts you can and then analyze those facts. Chances are you will feel pressure to solve the issue; do not let that pressure dictate your actions. And, always check your work. If you think you know the answer after only a few minutes of investigation then go back and check again to see if there is anything you may have missed.

Only after you have gathered your facts will you be ready to start asking some pertinent questions.

In my case, with the incident being “leaky roof”, I found myself on a ladder, hammer in hand, breaking off large pieces of ice in order to let water flow down and not into my house, getting bloody knuckles in the process, and cursing the entire time. I did not remain unemotional, and the disappointment I felt in myself was evident in my demeanor for the rest of the day.

Next time you are presented with an incident, do yourself a favor and keep your emotions in check.

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