Well, let’s just say that week four of my crazy work trips turned out to be a doozy. I did go out with a bang though. Ok, it was more like a CRASH! Yeah crash as in the sound you hear when someone slams into you going 45 mph (this is a guesstimate). More on that later though.
My week started in New York Monday. I flew into JFK, landing at midnight. My first session was scheduled for 9:00am Tuesday in Danbury, Connecticut, so the driver had to pick me up from the airport and drive me 70 miles (rental car places were closed, and I had no desire to drive out of JFK anyway… have you been there?!). I was already prepared to be training and driving on Tuesday on very little sleep. I wasn’t planning on monitoring my driver the entire way to the hotel because he WAS FALLING ASLEEP! The dude’s job is to drive people around and he’s falling asleep at the wheel?! It’s a damn good thing that I’m Captain Over-prepared/Hyper-aware/Nervous Nelly. I mean yes, it was very late, but your job is to stay awake at the wheel! Instead the dude kept squinting and then closing one eye and then his blinks became WAY too long. So, I started coughing and sniffing really loudly while I watched his eyes like a hawk in the mirror. When that didn’t seem to be having much affect, I point blank asked him if he was staying awake and his response (you will not believe this) was, “I’m trying to.” You’re trying to? This is not at all the response I was hoping for.
I offered to let him pull off and get some coffee or 7 Red Bulls. He didn’t, which caused me to have to make loud noises and ask stupid questions to keep him awake until we arrived at my hotel at 1:40am. I have no idea how the guy made it back to New York City. He really needs to figure out how to stay awake though. That or get a new job. Gees!
So I survived the drive to Connecticut and had a cab take me the next morning to pick up my rental car. I ended up with a small SUV (Ford Escape), because it was all they had other than some massive Cadillac or an Explorer (way too big for driving so much). The drives on Tuesday went off without a hitch and I was totally digging the car. Who doesn’t love rocking out to the 80’s and 90’s on Sirius radio?
My luck ran out on Wednesday. I was driving from California, Maryland to Reagan National Airport to catch a flight to Mississippi for my final two training sessions. About 20 minutes from the airport, some old guy slammed into the back of me at a light. And listen, this wasn’t like a little bump. The speed limit on the road was 55, but there are stoplights every couple of miles. I had just stopped at the light behind a row of cars when I glanced in my rear view mirror and saw a car hauling ass towards me. At that point there was nothing I could do but brace myself for the hit. Thank God I was in that vehicle instead of some hatchback car. I really don’t think I would have fared so well. The car that hit me was totaled and my car basically lost the back bumper.
Of course my first thought was, shit, I’m in a rental car! I never pay for the loss/damage control, so I immediately panicked. I think I’ll be OK since it wasn’t my fault and there were several witnesses, but it’s the last thing I want to deal with. I have no idea what was going through the old guy’s mind. Clearly he had no intention of stopping. And although it’s not a funny situation at all, I almost laughed out loud when I saw the paramedics pull a fake leg from his car! The driver had two fake legs!! Not like high-tech prosthetics but old school fake legs. Seriously?
I don’t think he or his friend were seriously hurt, but both of them were put into neck braces and taken into the ambulance. I opted not to be checked out, because I felt fine. Today I’m pretty sore, but I honestly think I’m fine. And I’m home now. A huge shout out to Rob Cordova for being there and driving 6 hours to cover my stores in Mississippi so that I could go home a day early!
I made it to the end of this insane travel schedule. And other than the horrible car accident, things went really smoothly. Here are some stats to impress the shit out of all of you. That or make you cry:
- Miles flown: 14,245
- Number of planes: 15
- Miles driven: 2,751
- Hotels slept in: 11
- Number of rental cars: 4
- Number of car accidents in rental car: 1
- How long it took me to calculate all this: TOO LONG
Next up is Switzerland! Until then, I’m going to sit back, relax and do a whole lot of nothing.