For approximately thirty five years I have been working in facilities management in the healthcare field. In those years it was our responsibility to provide a safe and functioning environment for those we serve. This meant preparing for anything that may happen internally to the facility or externally around it. To assure this planning included double redundancy for every key system and a policy or procedure for everything we could be called on to do.
I stumbled into this story which reminds me of the mind set with which we have to operate. Let me share this story by Reed H. Bradford.
“I Can Sleep When the Wind Blows”
Some years ago Pres. J. Reuben Clark told the following story: It was at the annual county fair, and farmers from far and near had come to exhibit their harvest and to engage hired hands for the next year. One prosperous farmer came across a husky lad and asked: “What can you do?” The answer: “I can sleep when the wind blows.”
With such an answer the farmer turned and started to walk away, perturbed at the impudence of the man. But he turned again and asked: What did you say?” “I can sleep when the wind blows.”
“Well,” said the farmer, “I don’t know what that means, but I’m going to hire you anyway.”
Winter came, followed by the usual spring, and the new hired hand didn’t show any particular signs of extra work, but filled the duties of his calling as most others would have done.
And then one night in early summer the farmer noticed a strong wind rising. He dashed to the hired hand’s quarters to arouse him to see that all the stock was properly cared for. There he found the hired hand asleep. He was about to awaken him, when he remembered the boy’s strange statement.
He went to his barns and there found all his animals in their places, and the doors and windows securely locked. He found the haystack had been crisscrossed with heavy wires, anticipating such a night, and that it would weather the storm.
Then the farmer knew what his hired man meant when he gave as his only qualification, “I can sleep when the wind blows.”
Adapted from Albert L. Zobell, Jr. Story Teller’s Scrapbook; Bookcraft, SLC, Utah 1948: pages 111, 112.
Those of us who take our profession seriously will always have some weak chink in the armor of our facility, or our abilities. These may keep us up some nights but let’s work toward being able to “sleep when the wind blows”.