Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Kudos to the Americans

I recently took a trip to the States for work (for those of you that don’t know, I live in Toronto, Canada).  So when I told people where I was going, I got the typical reaction (mine was the same initially actually… But now, I have a total different outlook).  Ok, so where did I go?  New Jousyey.  For those of you that don’t speak the way I try to write, that actually said New Jersey.. with a Jersey accent.
So what’s your first thought?  Snookie or Jersey Shore?  Mine was Jersey Shore… then Snook’s.  But after that, the thoughts that went through my head were of everything that people told me of Americans that weren’t from the South.  Basically, that American’s are rude.  Ok, no big deal.  I can deal with rude.  I deal with rude every day in Canada (cashier’s ringing you through without saying a single word, such as “Hi”, or “Your total is…”, or how about when people go through a door and don’t look over their shoulder to hold it in case someone might be behind them, or how about when you let follow driver in front of you and they fail to give the courtesy wave?  I could go on and on…) But I digress, American’s are rude.  Right.  Got it.

So cue to the part where we’re driving through NJ in a 16-foot truck when we see a Burger King which has never looked as good as it did in that moment.  The girl I’m travelling with is driving the truck and I guess in her rush to eat some delicious awful Burger King, she jumps out of the truck and locks the keys inside.  With the engine running.  Oh boy.. What to do?  Ask someone around to help? No way.  Cause they’re rude, right?  That’s when we see that a cop has thankfully pulled someone over to the side of the road, so I run over to him and let him know the situation.  He tells us that it’s no problem at all, and he’ll send the fire crew right over.  What?!  Amazing!  I LOVE firefighters.  So hot. So cue the lovely NJ firefighters that are there to save foreign damsels in distress.  Kudos to you firemen.

Let’s fast forward about 5 hours.  We’re at our venue, have unloaded our truck, and are setting up for our event.  Then we get the call that we’ve picked up the wrong setup.  Great.  So we pack everything back up, load the truck and wait for the guy who has our set to come and drop it off.  He shows up… with a 24foot “transport” truck.  Fact.  See below:

Once we get over the sheer enormity of this new truck we have to drive (fully equipped with the “pull-down” cord for the horn and steering wheel that is designed for a school bus mind you), we start to set up the “new” set.
It’s now 1:30am and we’ve been travelling, working, loading/unloading trucks since 6am.  We could not be happier to get in this monstrosity, drive to the hotel, and get a couple hours of sleep before launching the next morning.  BUT as our luck would have it, the truck won’t start.  What?! How is the battery dead?  WHERE is the battery?!  So as my co-worker and I are staring at this truck in complete bewilderment, a guy that works there comes out to get in his car and drive home after a long day.  “You guys all finished for today” he yells from across the parking lot.  “Well, ya, but our truck won’t start.  You wouldn’t happen to know the number to a heavy tow in NJ would you?” we say back.  At this, the wonderful fellow who I only know as Abraham, comes running over, opens the hood, fiddles around, tries starting it again, but with no luck. (Now, our hopes are crushed.  Because up until this point it really looked like he knew what he was doing).  But he redeems himself instantly by calling his dad (who he said drove trucks all his life), and gets some pointers.  Amazing!   Long story short, he got the truck running!  AND, he even drove in front of us all the way to our hotel to make sure that it didn’t stall while we were idling. 
Let me just say, that this is beyond all hopes I would ever have of a person going completely out of their way at 1:30am.  By the time we’re back at our hotel it’s almost 3am.  Unreal.  Kudos to you Abraham.

Let’s fast forward again a couple days.  The event is over, and we’ve got a full day of travel ahead of us.  We leave our hotel with lots of time to hit the mall on the way to the airport to take full advantage of the American dollar and the stores we don’t have in Canada.  But the truck won’t start.  Again.  After a call to the rental agency, we got the truck up and running an hour and half later.  Which really puts us behind on the whole shopping trip plan.  THEN, we get a call from one of the guys that worked the event.  He tells us not to worry, he’ll come pick us up from the rental agency once we drop everything off, and take us to the mall, then to the airport.  Seriously?!  But the airport is not exactly close.. and the mall may be out of the way, and we may not even have time.  “Not to worry” he said.  “You guys were great this week; let me be your chauffer – you run into the mall, get what you have to get, and I’ll wait right out here.  And forget about a $70 taxi from the airport.  Last time I checked, we were in a recession, right?”  I was able to grab a stellar LBD, and we made it to the airport with 20 minutes to spare before boarding.  Kudos to you Erin. 

In conclusion, I feel like I need to state that New Jersey is NOT all about Jersey Shore and Snooki (and by the way, I was told multiple times that the only people that are actually from Jersey is J-Wow and Ronnie), but there are some VERY nice people there.  Very nice Americans.