Tuesday Thought: SNAFU or Professionalism

I don’t know about you, but to me, Professionalism isn’t about shaking your fist at the Gods, stomping your feet, yelling or whining about how unfair life is. Professionalism isn’t tested when you are surrounded by rainbows and unicorns. Today’s Tuesday Thought is considering whether the focus should be on SNAFU or Professionalism.

SNAFU or Professionalism
I took this photo on May 15th, heading into Anchorage. The cabin is sunken and frozen in the River.

“Things are never so bad they can’t be made worse.”  ~From the movie The African Queen

But, what happens when life becomes, in a blink of an eye, a SNAFU? Yes, Situation Normal All F**ked Up. SNAFU. It happens to all of us at some point. It happens to the best of us. It happens when all those pretty unicorns become creatures directly from Hell and the rainbows suddenly become ugly twisters heading right towards you. It happens no matter what you do to make sure it never happens.

SNAFU or Professionalism

You call yourself a Professional. You plan, adjust, prepare and execute. Get all those little duckies in nice neat lines and groups, and deal with the inevitable last minute adjustments and changes.

“Sometimes in tragedy we find our life’s purpose – the eye sheds a tear to find its focus.”  ~Robert Brault

So! I shared with you our news of being selected to take part in a new television series in Monday Motivation: The Comfort Zone. Trepidations, worries and the excitement of what it all could mean to each of us as well as the entire Pioneer Outfitters Team and Crew.

“A problem is a chance for you to do your best.”  ~Duke Ellington

We had made all the arrangements, beat the closing-in Alaska weather, and were ready to face this new challenge with open minds and excitement. Then the call came. The filming had been postponed. No idea when the definite date to begin filming would be announced.

SNAFU or Professionalism

Now, in my own experiences (and I am sure in many of your own), this had become, in the span of one phone call a complete and total SNAFU. Even as I was listening to the Production Manager explaining and apologizing on the phone, these thoughts were running through my mind. Listening to the voice on the line, listening to the tone and repetition consisting of more apologies, reassurances and what I interpreted as pleading for the same (reassurances), a thought struck me.

Situation Normal All F**ked Up. SNAFU.

Shit happens, gang. It’s done. Now, what do we do next?” Basically, that is all you can do. Fix it? Sure, if it is possible, that would be the next step. A scheduling problem? Well, that may put a hitch in your stride, but really? Reschedule. Shit happens. We had given our word to be part of this project. We weren’t going to allow the first bump in the road to throw the proverbial monkey-wrench in the works.

“I had a lover’s quarrel with the world.”  ~Robert Frost, The Lesson for Today, 1942

After understanding all of this in the moments I spent listening on the phone, I realized that there was another issue that I was dealing with. A Professional that was not accustomed to dealing with Professionals.

SNAFU or Professionalism

What we have here is an opportunity to communicate. We had a choice. We could, as it seemed to be expected, throw a hissy-fit, cuss and make accusations of who’s fault this or that was, rant about the effort and time we had already invested, away from our own priorities and finally, go back on our word, as things got a little loose and squirrelly and quit.

“When life gives you lemons, please, just don’t squirt them in other people’s eyes.” ~J. Andrew Helt

Or, we could Walk our Talk. Be prepared. Be more. Be human. Be Professional. As a Leader to the Alaska Guide Trainees that are part of our lives, this situation presented a perfect opportunity to lead by example. Be Professional. Be a Leader.

SNAFU or Professionalism

When things go terribly wrong in your own personal world or circle, do you check yourself and the situation, to ponder if there could be any positive side to the SNAFU? Do you loose your “cool” or explode like an over inflated balloon, scattering pieces everywhere and leaving ragged slices in what remains? How long does it take for you to gather yourself back together? How long does it take to repair the damage that comes from not only the SNAFU, but your reaction to it? Do you consider the impressions left by the reactions that are simply a frustrated indulgence?

“I know God will not give me anything I can’t handle.  I just wish that He didn’t trust me so much.”  ~Mother Teresa

As time passes and I find myself growing in ways that I had never considered, I often think first, about what others feel and see in me and my own actions. How people, everywhere, tend to follow when they do not consciously set out to Lead. Who would I want to follow? Who do you want to follow?

Something to ponder, for us all.

Yes, I missed Monday Motivation! LOL, So today’s post became Tuesday’s Thought. I hope you enjoyed it… or at least that it gave you something to think about. If you would like to see what Monday Motivation is all about, please feel free to check it out! And hey! Don’t be shy, let’s chat. You are safe with us. We are Professionals! LOL :) Have a WONDERFUL day.

“You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.”  ~Walt Disney

Monday Motivation


Monday Motivation!







Related posts:

When Reality Comes to Guide Training
Alaska Chick, Life Rule #6, Half Done is Half-Assed.
Suddenly Sunday: Alaskan Leadership

9 Responses to Tuesday Thought: SNAFU or Professionalism

  1. In these moments, I think we see our true character. I have been dealing with a snafu. I would like to blame, but I also have to take responsibility for my part in the situation. I know what I can do, but I don’t know if it is already too late. But, I am going to listen to my heart and do all that I can to fix things.

    • Hi Susan!
      I will send positive thoughts your way! (Not sure it will help, but can’t hurt!) When it hits the fan and we have a true SNAFU to contend with, all we can do is all we can. Try to foresee what else the SNAFU ripples can touch and re-route. Done is done. Next! There is no sense in crying over spilled milk and all that, but I believe if I try hard enough to fix and shore-up the damage done, do my future checks and balances and never forget the lesson learned from that particular (’cause I never seem to run out of new ones to deal with) catastrophe… then I have done all I can.
      Don’t let it get you down, Susan. Heart and knowledge will see you through, I am sure of it.
      You take care. I’m thinking of you too.
      ~ Amber-Lee

        • Susan,
          Anything, anytime… but I can only say I am trying. I receive so much from YOU. I have learned so much and I know that so many changes that have come about in my own life and the lives of the people around me, have come from your own gentle guidance. You aren’t alone, Susan.
          ~ Amber-Lee

  2. I love that explanation of SNAFU! Lordy, I know I seem to find enough of them or they find me.lately on a daly basis it seems…LOL..Attitude and do what you can with what’s there..do all you can..so true! Somewhere in the future it might be a great chuckle.

    As Always ~*~

  3. I dreamt of driving down a rad that was falling apart and finally reached a dead end of broken pavement. I had to drive in reverse, back to safety! But I wasn’t bothered. Sometimes you just have to drive down the only road there is and accept that that’s the way it is. Orrrrr….get out and walk in another direction.LOL!
    I always appreciate being on the reciving end of patience when I’m in charge and things are falling apart. Love ove love being around positive people. Makes life worth living!

    • I love that, Betsy!!
      “Sometimes you just have to drive down the only road there is and accept that that’s the way it is. Orrrrr….get out and walk in another direction.”
      And that sums it up perfectly.
      You do the same for me, girl-friend. Without fail.
      ~ Amber-Lee

  4. Great post Amber! Many times I have faced the typical SNAFU’s tha come with trying work in a job that in truth is at all times at the mercy of Mother Nature. I think I have become an expert at “back up and punt” as we say around here. My plans get taken off at the kneecaps thanks to Mpther Nature? Well, I just have to readjust and deal with what is currently getting thrown in my lap. Really enjoyed this post and will be sharing :)

    • Gretchen!
      I like that, “Back up and punt” LOL!
      Yes, indeed. I am glad it clicked with you- I think it would anyone who understands that this is (SNAFU) just part of life….. and certainly a piece of Mother Nature’s personality!
      Yep. It can suck. Growl, readjust and move forward (or sideways) again. We can always make it out the other side if we just keep our heads in the game, so to speak.
      I am glad you stopped by!
      ~ Amber-Lee

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