The effect of poor planning

I’ve always considered myself to be rather athletic, although I must have been on break when they handed out the coordination genes.  Perhaps that is why I tended towards individual efforts like running.

As it was, I was fairly good at ice skating as long as I was moving forward, the straighter the better.  Turning and stopping required an abundance of room, and an absence of other skaters.

Whoever came up with the notion that if you can ice skate you can roller skate was either lying through his teeth, or I became skating’s anti-matter.  At the time of my first attempt at roller skating I was unaware that ice and roller skating skills weren’t transferable.  Have I mentioned I like having an audience?  I decided to audition my roller skating skills at a public skating rink while on a first date.

The night was proceeding swimmingly.  I learned quickly that if I stayed to the edge and leaned towards the center of the rink, centrifugal force would keep me from falling.  My confidence in my abilities began to build.  Music boomed from the overhead speakers.  Several couples held hands, the more skilled ones crossed their arms in front of them and held hands.  I locked on to my date’s wrists and eased us into the first turn.  The song switched to Barry Manilow’s “I write the songs.”  To my misfortune–an the misfortune of everyone else, I knew the words, and began to serenade my date.  When an alpha-male sings Barry Manilow in front of anyone but his own shadow, only two things can happen and they’re both bad.

We hit the second turn and I began to accelerate.  We sped past a number of couples.  I sang louder, concentrating more on the words than on the task of keeping us both upright.

For those unfamiliar with the design of roller skates I should explain what I perceive to be a fatal design flaw—one which you will note has been eliminated in roller blades.  The flaw?  On the front of each roller skate about an inch from the bottom is a round rubber device that resembles a stunted hockey puck.  It serves no known purpose other than to sucker punch novice skaters.  If you mistakenly try to build speed by pushing off with the toe of your roller skate—as you do in ice skating—you are actually hitting the emergency brake.  And because the brake is at the front of the skate, the physics is such that once your feet stop, the only direction the rest of your body can go is head over heels.

I pushed off with the front of my foot; big mistake.

I looked like I had purposefully launched us over a pommel horse.  During the first few seconds of my flight I was reluctant to let go of my date’s hands.  I thought that if we fell together that there was some small chance that I could shift the blame for the crash to her.  We separated at speed and created sort of a demolition derby for those around us; bodies piling up like logs awaiting entrance to a saw mill.  For the rest of the evening it felt like people were pointing at me as if to say, “Steer clear of him, he’s the one who took us all out.”

My one mistake caused a chain reaction of bad events and a severely hematomaed ego.  Bad things rarely happen in a vacuum.  There’s cause and effect, and the effect can be disastrous.  For those of you whose EHR program is underway who may have scrimped on the planning process—you know who you are—you may as well be the captain of the Titanic throwing refrigerant in the water.  There is no recovery from bad planning.

No matter what the shape of your EHR implementation, if you find yourself humming a few bars of “I write the songs”, only two things can happen and they’re both bad.

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