Last Wednesday we had quite a drama filled night. We had a bat in our house. It first started Wednesday morning when my daughter was getting ready for school. She walked out of the bathroom to her room and ran back to my husband in the bathroom advising there was a big bug in her room and she was scared. My husband went in her room and had the children go downstairs. My son came down stairs as I was fixing my lunch and asked me, "What was that?" My response was that I was getting milk out of the refrigerator. My husband then came downstairs and advised that they saw a bat. As I completed fixing my lunch I had to head out to work. So my husband stayed with the kids and contacted Animal Control. When Animal Control got to our house, of course the bat couldn't be found, so my husband and Animal Control figured the bat left the way the little critter came in. So we continued on with life. Later that night around 9:15 pm I was on my laptop in my bedroom and I saw this thing fly from the bathroom to my daughter's bedroom. I got up and started to walk out my bedroom and I saw it fly again. I started screaming frantically, jumping up and down. I got the kids up out of bed, nearly dragging my son mind you, and ran down the stairs like a mad woman losing one of my slippers in the process and totally forgetting how I was dressed. I ran out the door with my kids and we got in our car. I then frantically called my husband who was wrapping up work and pretty much told him that I was not going back in that house until that thing was gone. He hung up from me and called Animal Control. As he called Animal Control my son proceeded to throw up in my car because when he gets scared, his stomach gets nervous. So I had to hurry get him out of the car. Mind you none of us are appropriately dressed at this time either. I get my son under control and my husband calls me back. As we are talking Animal Control is pulling up to the house. Thank goodness it was a woman because again, I was nowhere appropriately dressed. She laughed at me and asked me, "Why are you in the car?" I proceeded to tell her that I am petrified of bats and so are my kids and I had no intention of going back in that house until that little critter was caught. She went upstairs and two minutes later she came downstairs with the bat captured. I breathed a sigh of relief as she left and my husband pulled up. Then my mind started playing tricks on me. I started thinking, "What if there are more in the house?" So the next day I called a Bat Exterminator and on Saturday he came and did a thorough examination of our house and advised we do not have a colony but there are some areas that should be sealed so they don't come back. Of course, I got right on that and hopefully we will get someone out here this weekend to seal up those entry points.
As you can see this was quite a drama filled day. I'm sure the bat didn't want to be confined to my house any more than I wanted him here but this little critter didn't know where to go as you could tell it was scared. How many of us in the business analysis world are the bat and how many of us are frantic Paula.
- The bat knew he was not in the normal environment he would like to be. How many times as business analysts do we feel we don't fit in the environment that is thrown at us? Sometimes the projects we are handed down do not put is in the most comfortable positions, especially those that are politically charged. Like the bat we want an escape and we want to move as fast as we can to get to that escape, hoping for someone to rescue us like Animal Control. Sometimes, unfortunately we don't get rescued and we need to deal with it. Then we are like the bat that can blend in so well in the environment that it makes it hard to find the little critter. Sometimes we have to blend in, without sacrificing our integrity, to get the job done opposed to resisting. Something’s you just can't change so instead of taking the approach of fighting it, find a way to get around that challenge to get the job done.
- For the BA's that are trying to get into the field you may feel as though you don't fit. You're flying around like the bat trying to find a department to land in so you can start your career but it appears that no one give you a chance because you don't have the experience. So you need someone to rescue you as well. Your rescue is the network you create for people to speak on your behalf as well as any mentors you can find to help open up opportunities for you so you can land. It's so critical to network and find individuals who can help you understand the discipline.
- How many times as BA's do we feel things are out of our control that we want to pull our hair like I did when I went on a screaming and jumping rampage? That was not the best reaction to the situation and I know I didn't help my children in staying calm at all as my son's stomach didn't hold. As BA's we have to watch our reactions to situations as our reaction will funnel down to the rest of the team. Sometimes we start fires we have no reason to start because of how we react to a challenge. Before reacting, think. Sometimes the situation is not as bad as you think.
- Relax, relate and release
Though this bat situation was dramatic and I'm still not totally comfortable until I get everything sealed up in my house it taught me a few things about myself. My reaction to the situation was not that great though it turned out fine. Be encouraged my fellow BA's because just like the bat there is someone out there to rescue you and things are not always as bad as they seem.