Running a small business can be difficult enough without world events interceding. Between dealing with payroll, employee issues, slow payers… then adding on weather issues such as we’ve been experiencing this winter, who needs another problem?
So it happens that my primary software consultant - that is, the person most knowledgeable about the software that runs a good portion of my business - decided to take a bicycle journey with his son through the middle east for the past month. They arrived in Cyprus at the end of December and wound their way through Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, and Egypt, by bicycle and occasionally by train or bus.
As the days and weeks passed, there was some email contact with him to answer some basic questions, but the heavy lifting would have to wait until his return. And so as we neared the end of January, I anxiously awaited his return when he would be able to assist us with issues that had popped up during his absence. On January 25, two days before he was due to return, I read his online journal in which he reported that he was taking an overnight train to Cairo, arriving the next morning... the morning, as it turned out, that protestors took to the streets. As the news of the events in Cairo grew from an isolated protest into the full-scale revolution it now seems to be, I looked for new journal postings about their situation. But by then, Mubarak, their leader, had pulled the plug on the Internet and cell phones countrywide.
Three days passed with no new journal entries, but yesterday he posted photos of what they'd seen (see upper right),and reported that they were on their way home. My human side was relieved and happy to hear they were out of harm's way, but I can't deny that I was also glad that my consultant would be available soon. Hey, I've got a business to run. My business had been on hold long enough.