I was chatting with a friend in the BVI last week who had seen an interview with someone — I don’t recall who, unfortunately — who made the point that there are two kinds of drama to be dealt with in life: Avoidable Drama and Unavoidable Drama. Hurricanes, and interacting with your family, are examples of Unavoidable Drama. There is nothing you can do to mitigate or prevent it, you just have to deal with it as best you can.
Avoidable Drama, on the other hand, can and should be avoided, unless you are a Dramatic Person and thrive on that sort of thing. (Probably worth mentioning that most Dramatic People don’t realize they are inducing Avoidable Drama, rather they believe they are victims of Unavoidable Drama. But that is another blog post.)
Anyway — Avoidable Drama was in full force during our return to The Moorings dock A on Friday afternoon. Total disorganization on the dock was made worse by a few as yet un-dealt-with shipwrecks in the harbor (Unavoidable Drama). This was further aggravated by a whole bunch of catamaran crews with no idea what they were doing (Unavoidable Drama). The combination turned what should have been a straightforward procedure into a stressful interaction with lots of yelling back and forth between us and The Moorings boat handlers that left a bad taste in everyone’s mouth at the end of a really nice trip.
Why was this avoidable, when there are so many unavoidable elements present? Well, all that had to be done to remove the drama and lower everyone’s temperature would have been to tell all the boats coming in to hold in Road Harbor (where there is plenty of sea room) until cleared to enter the marina. This would only have required a single organized person with a radio, a pencil, and a pad of paper. Instead, the standard procedure was to tell every boat that radioed for permission to enter to come to the end of dock A and wait for further instructions. Unfortunately, because of the above-mentioned Unavoidable Drama (shipwrecks), there is only really room for one boat at the end of dock A. Try to put us and 8 clueless catamaran captains there at the same time, and hilarity ensues.
(What did we do when faced with this situation? The only safe thing to do: We entered a random open slip and tied up the boat. We were lambasted by the dock maser for this, but the alternative was crashing into something and endangering people and property, so…)
If there is a moral to this story, it is that the way to avoid Avoidable Drama is by putting a bit of process in place. Of course, if you put too much process, then you create more Drama than you avoid. So be careful…