Sometimes, we just need a helping hand.
I had two situations recently where it became clear I was going to be late for a pickup, due to unexpected traffic from construction, an accident, etc. Each time, I contacted my passengers ahead of time to alert them to the situation. Every time, they were glad to hear from me and thanked me for reaching out and warning them.
Early Morning Rescue
It was 4:00am in early March of this year. I was about to leave my apartment in Union for my 5:30am Paramus to EWR ride when my phone rang. It was the morning dispatcher: “Stovall, I need you to forget about your Paramus trip and head south to New Milford to pick up six passengers,” he said. “One of our drivers hit a deer and his vehicle is disabled!”
Switching gears, I first reviewed my updated pickup in Milford and noticed there was a delay in Stewartsville, NJ, which would set us back about a half hour. I called my passenger to tell her I was on my way, explaining that I would be there by 5:00am. She was concerned she would miss her flight, so I tried to reassure her I would do everything possible to get her and her family to the airport on time.
I told her the Stewartsville pickup was causing the delay. She told me she asked them to drive to New Milford to save time.
“That’s great teamwork!” I thought to myself.
I got them to the airport at 6:00am for a 7:50am departure to an exotic land far, far away. I asked the woman to please text me to tell me that she and her family made the flight. She did make the flight, with seconds to spare!
A couple of weeks later, the woman texted me, asking if I had Venmo. I told her I did, and she then sent me $75. In the memo line she wrote, “Thank you for saving our vacation.”
No Way In, No Way Out
In early April of this year, I was going to pick up a man and his wife in a town on Route 10 West in Morris County, NJ. I had been listening to the traffic reports on the radio, as I usually do, and heard about an “accident investigation” (translation: fatal crash) that stopped traffic in both directions on Route 10 in Morris County. The traffic report said there was a total traffic stoppage, nothing was moving.
I contacted my passenger and explained the situation. I happened to have a trainee riding with me, and together we tried reaching the passengers from the east and west, but there was no way in and no way out to get to our client, due to the crash.
After wracking our brains, the client said, “I have an idea. I’ll ask one of the police officers at the accident scene to let me get out of my driveway. I’ll drive my car to the Marriott parking lot down the street where I’ll give you my bags to put in your SUV. I’ll leave my car there and my son will get it after this mess is cleared up.”
I thought to myself, “That’s great teamwork!”
We made it to the airport, this time with minutes to spare. The passenger was happy and I was relieved.
The moral of this Street Story is, NEVER give up hope! The word TEAM stands for Together Everyone Achieves More. When people work together, they can achieve truly great things!