Last month, I started telling a story about traveling through rural Ohio on a sales call. The rest of the story follows:
Earlier in the day, NEMT President Linda Allard and I had a successful client visit and we were now driving about three hours for another meeting the next morning. During the daylight of our travel we witnessed the hardworking beauty of Ohio’s farmland.
We had just filled up the car with gas and made a right turn. It was dark now so the taillights of a vehicle showed ahead. Our car quickly caught up with the vehicle and a single red lamp illuminated what turned out to be a horse and buggy occupied by a young couple. We now, very slowly, matched their speed, following behind and listening to the cadence of the clicking horse’s shoes on the pavement in front of us.
Now in the outskirts of the little downtown, the speed limit sign read 50 miles per hour. Neither of us were familiar with the rules of the road that pertain to equestrian traffic. Do you pass a a horse and buggy? Neither of us was sure. Hmmm … we’re traveling at 10 miles an hour and there’s no telling how long before the black buggy or we would turn off. Do you pass a horse and buggy?
The answer presented itself within the second mile when the headlights of a full-sized pickup truck quickly filled our rearview mirror. He made an assertive lane change and blew by us at warp speed.
Our passing of the peaceful-looking couple in the horse and buggy was far less dramatic.
We were merrily on our way again, but the lack of consistent cell coverage eventually lead our phones to announce that they were “Searching.” Thirty minutes from our destination, our confidence in our direction was backed by the voice of our onboard GPS. We were almost there.
Have you ever noticed that in most scary movies, everything is going along fine and then the music changes? The “Closed Bridge” sign changed the tune for us.
It was now pitch black, we were about 5 miles from our hotel and in the heart of very rural Ohio. Cell phone coverage was now completely nonexistent, the bridge was closed and our GPS was unable to reroute us.
After a few miles of wondering what to expect next, by chance we came upon a small trucking terminal with a night dispatcher on duty. A couple lefts and a right were his instructions, but even he stumbled through a couple possible routes.
Not until the dimly lit hotel sign appeared did the music return to the peaceful sounds of a country inn that marked the end of an eventful day.
Our visit the next day to our client afforded us the opportunity to present a solution that provided significant cost savings and dramatic service improvements.
Well worth the adventure.
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