Visiting the Marietta office was the perfect opportunity for us to learn more about continuous improvement first hand. The trip was also personally rewarding as I got to reconnect with family in Atlanta. An all-round successful work trip you may be thinking.

However, things took a turn for the worse when our flight home was cancelled. Eager to get back, my colleague and I spent almost half a day reorganising our trip until finally we found alternative flights, although they were at different times. Luckily a few of my other colleagues (including my boss) were on my flight, so I could travel to the airport with them in their car.

This meant my colleague could use our rental car to get to the airport to catch his slightly later flight. I said goodbye, jumped in the back of my boss’s car, and 45 minutes went by before my phone rang. It was my colleague back at the office. “Hey do you know where the hire car key is?” My heart began to pound as I searched frantically for the key… it was still in my pocket!

We were both panicking as his passport and luggage were also locked in the car, so he really was stuck. I felt incredibly bad for leaving him in this position, but he understood it was an honest mistake. I sent the key back in an Uber and, I was the last one boarding my flight home as I constantly checked if the key really arrived. Thankfully, it reached him just in time.

It’s an amusing story now but in the moment, it was not funny at all. Fortunately, I felt supported by everyone around me, and I was never made to feel guilty. Looking back, I learnt two things – firstly, I was never truly alone; and secondly, always check your pockets!

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