A presentation, a partnership, an explosion and some future homeowners…

All of a sudden it’s Thursday and I’m driving down the quays heading to a 4pm work meeting before my groups’ 5.30pm EMBA presentation.  It’s going to be a photo finish reaching the Institute of Bankers on time. I have my earpiece in and am mid conference call with the team – Donal has made some last minute tweaks to our report that should give us that extra edge. Dermot and Simon have put the finishing touches to the presentation itself, and I’m taking the lead on its delivery tonight.  It’s our second of three essays due in this week. We knew it was going to be a tough time; burning the midnight oil and juggling work and family commitments. Work, college and study have merged into one and these last few days I’ve got about 5 hours sleep tops a night.

My work meeting finishes early, the foundation of a new partnership seems certain and it makes sense; non profits are all ultimately working towards the same goal and we shouldn’t be in competition with each other. We should try to come together as much as possible in areas where we overlap, to build capacity, reduce costs and improve impact.

Looking back on my last post and I’m delighted that Michael D made it to the Aras, I haven’t yet gotten my photo with him but we have put in a request for him to hand over the keys of two new homes to Habitat families who have been on the council waiting list for years. One of the future occupants, a family of four, has been living in a one bedroom flat in the city centre for the last 8 years. There’s black mould on the walls, it seems the boom that came and went didn’t even impact some people at all. This family will be contributing 500 hours of their time working onsite with volunteers, as well as paying off a small mortgage.  There’s a school across the road and a garden out the back. It’s exciting to think about the difference this opportunity is going to make.

Traffic goes my way and I reach my team early – 5.15pm and Dermot already has the screen ready, Simon has the printed version of our project in hand, Donal and I start anticipating questions. What a team! I know I’ll miss these guys when our groups change in the New Year.

I arrive home exhausted and put on a wash; the first normal thing I’ve done all week. 5 minutes later I come back into the kitchen, having heard a little ‘bang’ and smelt smoke. It seems the dial was on 95 degrees and the washing machine exploded…. It’s hard to know how to react when something like that happens – one’s first inclination is to look for someone to blame and then for a means to deny it actually happened. Having no capacity to think of either, I just open the window and go to bed. I’ll think about it the weekend….

– Karen Kennedy