Plans change, often at the last minute. No one can remember everything, always. These two observations go hand in hand when I am working out of town, and planning to come home on a certain day, when, due to factors outside my control (for example, the whims of a federal judge), I am stranded far from home without clothes, without contact lens, and without anything I need in order to get ready for the big day I didn’t know was going to occur. When the unexpected happens, creative and often, last minute, adjustments must be made. For example, my suitcase had to be packed and flown to me, accompanied by my husband, when a judge called my client to trial with less than 24 hours notice and I was nowhere near home, a store to buy anything, etc. On another occasion, my contact lens were packed in a big box, so as not to get lost, and shipped on a Greyhound bus to my destination because the bus was the fastest way to ensure I could see the next day. In times like these, one cannot say “I wasn’t ready for this”; instead, one has to find a way to get ready, even at considerable expense and effort if that’s what it takes.
Creative problem solving requires focus and purpose, not panic. In the incidents Melissa described, many options were considered, quickly, before the plan was chosen. She was in Tampa conducing mock trials for a client who got the word mid-afternoon that the case on which they were doing the mock trials had been called to trial the next day. Melissa was to help him with jury selection, but was not prepared to stay in Tampa another day. Fortunately, she had some of her travel items already there, but she called with a list of what she needed (she couldn’t leave the mock trial to go shopping) but then how to get it there? Drive it 4 hours each way? Fortunately, a quick check of the flight schedules showed I could catch a Southwest Airlines flight there, drop the bag where she was working and catch the last flight home that night. Everything worked as planned, and the client won the case. The Greyhound experience was similar, and it was made possible by my knowledge of their package delivery service. So, being aware of your options in the world for getting things done is important. Even when there is no need, pre-considering how you would accomplish something logistically is important to getting the job done for the client.