I have to admit, I feel like the Jefferson’s “mov’n on up to the East side” as we move back into our office after two grueling months of waiting and re-construction. As most of you know, one March day, I walked off the elevator (well actually the stairs…I try not to take the elevator) and stepped into about an inch and half of water in our office building. The water was pouring out of our office suite door because of a broken water pipe in the office above us that ran overnight. After waiting for cleanup, insurance approval, re-construction, and painting, we just received approval to move back into our office. Yay! The amazing thing is that we stayed strong during the last two months of having to use the kitchen area and small closets in our building.
Yes, we did lose a couple of clients as we juggled our way around, but for the most part we were resilient and kept pushing forward to meet all of our clients and to provide them with the best service possible. I have amazing staff and therapists. Not sure how many people would weather a flood and the need to share office space; not knowing where you would be meeting your client the next hour. Would it be the kitchen, the big closet, the unfinished part of the basement, or outside?
Top 5 Things we Learned from the Flood
#1 Make sure to have Renter’s Insurance. Yeah, I know. Dumb mistake. We were very lucky that our very expensive QEEG machine wasn’t damaged. It’s very surprising that when equipment gets damaged because of a broken water pipe that all of a sudden “no one is at fault”. Well, maybe it’s not THAT surprising. Lesson learned, get insurance.
#2 When the team works together, anything is possible. The morning of the flood, I first called my wife…sobbing. The second call was to our Office Manager, Michelle….crying. The third call was to our Neurofeedback Technician, Kaitlan….still crying. All three people made it to the office within 30 minutes of the call, helping me inventory all of the damaged equipment and furniture. My team was my rock that day, my emotional support. They continued to be my rock during the last two months as waited for the word that we can move back in. I would have crumbled without my team. The experience has brought us together as we have had to think creatively of ways to provide services for our clients.
#3 Persistence brings results. Did I mention that the day after the flood, we met with half of our scheduled clients? Three days after, we were meeting with ALL of our clients. Way to go team! All because our creative thinking, tenacity, and persistence. We were determined to stay in business. We used all available space that we could think of to provide comfortable and safe space for our clients. I do have to admit that one of our “not so bright” decisions was to use a 2 ft by 4 ft closet as a Neurofeedback station. Desperate times meant desperate measures, but I don’t think there were very many clients that enjoyed being in the closet doing Neurofeedback training.
#4 Communication is valuable when things are crazy. We spent two months communicating together as a team almost hourly, problem solving “who is going where?”. We developed a map of the unused space in our building and labeled the areas “Kitchen 1, Kitchen 2, and Counseling Closet”. We put a ping pong table standing up in the kitchen to separate our two neurofeedback stations, to ensure more privacy of course. When we didn’t communicate and carelessly used an area, it created a lot of confusion and it resulted in a therapist not knowing where to meet with a client. When we communicated and planned, the days were pretty smooth.
#5 Patience and Positivity pay off. Waiting for two months for office space is difficult, but now we have a clean, nice looking office again. Our staff are happy with new furniture and decor. We really strived to be positive in the office (aka kitchen and counseling closet…lol). Our positivity rubbed off on our clients and we made huge treatment successes with those clients who were willing to be patient with us. We are counting on the rest of 2018 to be all roses and sunshine. I mean, it can’t get any worse, right?