When the $%*# Hits the Roomba

4 Ways to Deal with a Crisis

Picture this: You’ve worked your socks off to secure a position on your company’s President’s Circle. This means you win a free vacation to a tropical destination, and you get to take someone special along to share the joy. So your wife weans the baby, and you secure care for the kiddos with the help of the grandparents and the nanny. It takes a solid year of hard work to make one of the top sales positions in the company; it takes almost as long to get everything ready for your week awayThe fact that you and your wife have not been away from your three young kids makes this an especially-big treat!

Once in the tropics, you Skype daily to make sure everything’s going great at home. Which it is. Until it isn’t. Until your dear old dog loses control of his bowel movements. In the house. During the day. Shortly before the Roomba’s scheduled cleaning time…
So when the robot turns on and vacuums the living room, it finds the fresh pile of poop. And instead of sucking up dog hair and dust, it spreads the doo-doo around. Like Nutella on hot toast, it spreads the crap to the corners of the carpets with utmost precision. It does an especially good job of getting it under your wife’s desk. As if responding to the command, “Rub it in, Roomba!”

The nanny—bless her heart—tells you this once she had cleaned up what she could. She adds that the baby woke up upstairs while she was cleaning, crying its little lungs out. But stick to the task of cleaning up the brown circles on the carpet, she did. Determined, she is. You ask her to put the sucker in a bag in the garage while singing her praises. You don’t want to lose this nanny. She’s great with the kids! And you cannot secure a great nanny in a 1-click transaction on Amazon!

Over cocktails with colleagues, you laugh about the incident, feeling relieved guilty that you weren’t at home when it all played out…

True story. I met the couple during their trip. On a tropical beach, we all laughed and cringed with the sweet couple. And we wished them the very best at the end of the trip, knowing that they’re heading home to more than a reunion with their littles. If they were dreading going home, it didn’t show.

So, how do you deal with a crisis?

Find the Good

Any Serious Player would tell you that in good times and in bad, gratitude helps you find equilibrium. While there’s nothing good about a Roomba spreading poop around the house, the blessing is in the fact that the nanny was there to save the day. That she did so with grace (though undoubtedly gagging a time or twenty.) That it was not the baby who crawled through the crap.

Call in the Troops

Serious Players know that you cannot do life alone, and neither should you! Whether you turn to a close confidant or a someone you can count on to help clean up, community is what keeps your world from falling apart, even when you-know-what hits the fan.

Face the Music

With great community to support you, you can deal with the problem. Running away from the crisis doesn’t make it go away. Neither the old dog nor the Roomba knew the crisis they had caused. But the nanny dealt with it. (Hats off to her!)

Move On

Experiencing a crisis is not unique to Serious Players. But what Serious Players have in common is being able to learn from the dilemma and moving on. It doesn’t help to sit in it. Find professional help if you’re having a hard time moving on. Write a song about it if you must. Create a meme if you can. Find the humor if you dare so at just the right time, you can tell others of the time your good ol’ dog did a dance called the Roomba!

How about you? What crisis in your life turned out to be a great story later?

2 Comments on “When the $%*# Hits the Roomba

  1. Adele,

    This was told to perfection. You have quite the ear for details, and a memory that can rival the best. Thanks for adding continual humor to a memorable story that we will tell throughout our lifetimes.

    Oh, and I was informed today that the Rumba is officially cleaned?!?! Not sure where that is going…


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