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When we’re at work, we shouldn’t be scared, it’s not a healthy way to earn a living. However yesterday, for twenty minutes, my pounding heart was racing away. I was fearful of what was happening.

It goes back to my first ever, key programming job, fourteen years ago. I had only just recieved the shiney computer, cutting edge technology that was going to take my business forward. I had staked my whole new career on this hand held programmer but at first try, I’d had a problem.

The van I plugged into, on that fateful day in 2005, was doomed before I even plugged into it. I didn’t know that as it ran perfectly, being just six years old. It had a cutting edge fly-by-wire technology fitted, that Ford had tried out a few years earlier. Well ahead of its time, it has a serious bug which caused a problem when anyone programmed a new key. Even the Ford dealers had problems  programming them.

Once I’d attempted to programme that van, all those years ago, it was dead, on the customers drive. My heart was pounding as the customer watched me struggle.  It must have been obvious I didn’t have a clue what was going on. Technical help drove 100 miles immediately to help me, but it was all for nothing, the van was dead.

Two weeks, much stress, and £800 later, the van ran again, but I was never the same. For many years, I would sweat about programming keys, not the start you want in a new career.

So yesterday I took a trip back to the bad old days as I programmed a new vehicle, with new cutting edge software (that cost us £2500). The money isn’t important, it’s part of what we do. However, the only way to programme the van is to put into a disabled state, change some settings and then reload its operating system. The whole van is fly-by-wire now, so for twenty minutes, with my pounding heart and my customer nearby, I watched the progress bar move along, bit by bit. All I could think about was that Ford Transit, all those years ago.

It was fine, it worked perfectly and we added a new vehicle to the long list that we can programme. Now relieved and elated, because the unprogrammable van, that we kept turning down, is now one we can say yes to (even if it is with some trepidation).

I’m hoping my pounding heart will slow down abit next time. Business is full of firsts, the first time you pick up the phone, gain a special new customer, come across a new problem and deal with that business crisis. As long as we plan for them, expect them and accept we can’t change them, they help us grow. In fact if were not feeling this sometimes, we’re not growing at all.

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