Handling Illness: A Project Manager's Way

PMI West Bengal Chapter

Debasis has over 29 years of experience, mostly in construction of infrastructure projects in India, the Middle East & Africa. He is also a faculty of Supply Chain Management in a B-School, and a consultant faculty in an eLearning Organization.

It was the last week of May. The temperature was in the 40s under a scorching African sun. I had just settled down, had my black coffee, looked at my laptop for any urgent mails and then put my status as “away” in the company chat window. It was time for my first walk around site. The day had started as usual.

I moved from the 220 kV areas to the transformer area and then toward the 400 kV areas, making a mental note of the progress, having brief chats with the foremen and the workers. Then I started walking toward the control room area. At that precise moment, my legs went wobbly. Suddenly I felt dizzy, weak and unable to proceed further.

Perplexed that I was, I still had enough common sense not to show any machismo. I stood still for a while, then turned around and slowly started walking back to my office. Sweating and uncomfortable, I pondered if I should call one of the workers to accompany me during my walk back and then quickly decided against it. My assessment was I could make it back, and I didn’t want a bunch of worried workers. We had a few deadlines ahead.

I closed the door and the window, and put the chiller at maximum. I remembered a friend’s advice: “All your nerves go through the back of your neck. Cool it and you can fool your brain into thinking everything is hunky dory.” I put water on some tissue papers and placed …

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"The golden rule is that there are no golden rules."

- George Bernard Shaw