Plan B isn’t All Bad

Plan B carries a connotation that it is second best and, therefore, less desirable than Plan A. I guess it is, by definition, but that’s a bad rap as sometimes Plan B turns out just fine. Sometimes, it’s probably better. A few weeks ago while in a somewhat unfamiliar small town for a trial, Melissa and I tried to go to dinner at a highly regarded restaurant we’d read about on Yelp. Fate intervened and it was not to be so we regrouped and found another option. Wow, was it great! The Plan B location was not on our radar – we had not read about it, but we had seen the sign when driving by the restaurant a few times. We gave it a shot. The people were super friendly, the food, which I ordered take out to go back to the hotel, was wonderful, and there was lagniappe. We opened the bag to find they threw in a dessert so sinfully decadent that we’d have never ordered it ourselves. Yummy! In other posts I’ve written about contingency planning or “Plan B” as it relates to travel. Maybe it is a flight delay or cancellation, a flat tire, a tripod gets knocked over and a video camera gets broken. For all of these things, a Plan B should be considered when Plan A is implemented. The point of this post, though, is that sometimes Plan B works out just fine and perhaps, something new is learned; a new restaurant, a new route, or a new way of doing things is discovered in the process.

I have a luggage tag that says, “I live my life according to Plan B.” I have found that life isn’t always as neat and tidy as I would prefer. Because of the nature of my job and its ever changing priorities due to fluctuating trial dates of multiple attorneys, I have learned to go with the flow. In fact, going with the flow is something I had to learn in order to survive in the fast paced environment in which I live and work. I am a planner, an organizer, and someone who takes a proactive approach toward everything I can control. But, I have no control whatsoever over court dates, attorneys’ schedule changes, and many other things in my life. Instead of worrying about this inevitable part of my existence, I develop contingency plans, including Plan A, Plan B, Plan C, and sometimes more. A recent situation will serve as an example. For many months, I have been retained by a client for a jury selection in a city in Southwest Florida located near my hometown, Fort Myers. The client repeatedly assured me that his trial was on a “date certain,” meaning it was going to begin on a specific date (as opposed to sometime during a docket lasting several weeks). Not only did my staff reserve a hotel for me near the courthouse, not only did I speak with the attorney several times to review our strategies for jury selection, while at the same time confirming and re-confirming the date, I informed a group of childhood friends that I could be in Fort Myers on the day before I needed to be in the city where the jury selection was taking place. These friends were planning a get together and, to ensure my attendance, they asked me to select the date. I contacted another Fort Myers friend from first grade to see if we could get together and he promptly invited David and me to spend the night of my get together with him and his wife. What a perfect plan! You can guess what happened. As soon as all my plans were in place, my client called to tell me the trial was delayed due to circumstances beyond his control. In this instance, Plan B will work out well. I still get to see Roger and Janine; I still get to attend the get together with Linda and several other childhood friends; and I still get to spend time in my hometown. David is right: Plan B is not always second best!

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