Life as a traveling salesman

I live in Maine. Rarely are there any direct flights out of the Portland Westbrook Municipal Airport, but that’s a small price to pay for living in “Vacationland.” Many trips have no issues – no delays, no surprises. Sometimes there are hiccups. Here’s an example from a couple months ago:

NEMT New Business Development Director Rick Bisson

I arrived at my gate with over an hour before boarding so I sat down, opened my laptop and begin working. After about 30 minutes a strange feeling crept over me when the guy I had been sitting next to returned to his seat with a heavy exhale – and not the relaxed, “everything is good” kind. His flight to Columbus was canceled and he’d been rerouted. I was on my way to Columbus too and I was scheduled to meet NEMT President Linda Allard at the airport so we could drive about two hours to visit a potential client.

This was not good.

The gate attendant had already pre-booked me a new flight. I would arrive in Columbus at 3 p.m. but our appointment was at 1:30. The math didn’t work.

How about a different airline? Nope.

Maybe I should fly into a different airport? Dayton had some potential but I’d need to figure out how to connect with Linda who would be landing approximately two hours away.

Speaking of Linda, she was already on the first leg of her flight out of Virginia and she’d be landing at her connecting airport soon so I needed to communicate my plans to her as quickly as possible. I could rent a car and drive to pick her up in Columbus, we could both rent cars and met at the client’s facility or she could rent a car and drive to pick me up and then we would drive together.

None of these options were highly desirable.

Eventually, I opted to take the plane to Dayton. Linda, in the meantime, landed in Columbus, rented a car and drove to Dayton to pick me up.

I don’t check bags so when my plane touched down in Dayton I walked off the plane, out of the airport and climbed into the passenger’s seat of Linda’s rental. Arriving for our appointment on time was again a possibility.

The weather in Columbus was a bit ominous. As we pulled away from the airport a bolt of lightning appeared in the distance. By the time we got on the highway it was a torrent of rain. Several times we slowed to a crawl as the windshield wipers could not keep up with the flood of water falling from the sky and the increasing winds. Mostly we kept driving – you know; it’s a “shortest distance between two points is a straight line” mentality.

When we drove into the parking lot for our appointment the sun appeared and any lingering thoughts of the events leading up to that moment were behind us. We headed in and had a very successful conversation with our client.

There is more to this story including a horse and buggy, a washed out bridge, a creepy bed and breakfast and other scenes that rival a scary movie, but I’m going to save that for next month.

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One Response to Life as a traveling salesman

  1. Pingback: Adventures of a traveling salesman - Part 2 | NEMT

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