Tag Archives: safe

Part 2: The Early Bird Meets the Boogeyman

darkmanIn my previous article, “The Early Bird Gets the Sale”, I mentioned that I occasionally have to leave very, very early in the morning in order to make it to my breakfast meetings.

Regardless of the time of day, I caution anyone travelling alone to always be on alert and I’m not just referring to paying attention to the road, but also to your surroundings.   I have to admit, this can be quite difficult in the middle of the night.

To all of my fellow salesmen  and women who hit the road dark and early, this story will serve as a reminder to keep your eyes and ears peeled at all times, because you just never know what sort of shady characters might be lurking in the darkness around you.

One morning I had a 7am breakfast meeting which was a 2.5h drive from home. It was 4:25am, quiet and pitch black outside.  I got into my car, and began to organize my “mobile office” for the day.  As my car was warming up, I placed my laptop on the passenger seat and booted it up.  I normally boot up my computer fully in the morning and then put it to sleep or in hibernation mode throughout the day so that I can easily open and close it before and after meetings rather than have to start it up and shut it down every time.  As I was opening up all of the computer programs that I would use throughout my day, I organized my sales reports, notes and my agenda on the passenger seat.  This whole process usually takes me about 5 minutes.

Once I had everything organized, I glanced at the dashboard clock, smiled and thought to myself “This is great! I feel awake and I’m on time!”. As I closed my laptop and sat back upright in the driver’s seat, I noticed something out of the corner of my left eye.  Before turning my head, I glanced slightly to my left thinking maybe it was just my hair and there it was, the most terrifying thing I had ever seen…

There was a man whose face was covered in bandages pressed up against the window of the driver side of my car!!!  I was so distracted looking at the passenger side of my car that I never saw him approach my vehicle.

I completely panicked!  All I could do was start screaming and flail my hands in the air. As I was doing that, I was thinking to myself how disappointed I was in myself that I was that girl. You know, that girl in the horror movies that just gets paralyzed with fear, screams and then gets brutally murdered?  I am an avid horror movie buff and I really thought that all of those years of watching horror movies would better prepare me for when I would encounter a real life boogeyman; I would be better than that and certainly not be that girl.  But this guy looked just like Darkman! And it was the middle of the night!

Ok,Time to suck it up Princess!” I told myself.  I had to take action, so I immediately threw my car into reverse and backed out of my driveway at top speed.  Just as I was about to back right out into the street without regard for oncoming traffic, I stopped the car abruptly and thought to myself, Wait, he is trespassing on MY property!”. 

I put the car into drive and drove back up to the boogeyman, lowered my window just one inch and screamed at him at the top of my lungs “Get the #%*$ off my property!!!!!!”

He then proceeded to calmly ask me for directions to a street that was on the complete opposite side of town and not at all within walking distance.  He spoke as if there was nothing odd at all about his appearance or the fact that he just leaned up into my car window while I was parked in my driveway in the middle of the night!

I was so distraught that for the life of me, I couldn’t tell him if he had to go left or right so I just told him to Get the #$&* off my property or I’m calling the police!”.

He walked away and I sped off.  Pfewf!!!

As I sped off, I saw my neighbors lights go on.  I found out later that apparently I screamed so loud from inside my car, I woke up my neighbors on the opposite side of my vehicle!

To this day, I’m not sure where the boogeyman came from: The local psychiatric institution? The hospital after a bar fight? Who knows! Regardless, I am lucky that he intended to do me no harm.   Since then, I have installed motion activated lights in my driveway, a monitoring system and I have made it a habit to lock my car as soon as I enter it.

So fellow travelers, the take home message of this story is please be safe and aware of your surroundings.  You never know if the boogeyman will come for you.

Safe Travels.

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The Busy Bee Gets Stung

Yellow-Jacket-Wasp

Entering a new year, most of us sales professionals will start preparing to hit the pavement once again. As you all know, all of that travel certainly doesn’t always go without incident.   In my first blog post of 2015, I will share with you, one of my funniest “Road Woes” which happened to me while I was working in Quebec last year.

Managing a territory as large as Canada is no simple task.  Calling on mobile medical professionals adds a whole other level of difficulty and requires superior time management skills.  On an average day, I will travel anywhere between 400-500 km and meet with 4 or 5 practitioners.  I’m sure you’re thinking, “That doesn’t sound very efficient!” however, most of my clients (90%) are located in remote areas, travel in a 1-2 hour radius from their office base and frequently get called out to emergencies.  Needless to say, I spend a lot of time on the road and well, anything can happen!

I usually spend the better part of September calling on my clients in Quebec (AKA “La belle province”).  For those of you who are not familiar with Canadian geography, Quebec is the only French speaking province in Canada.  It is essentially its own country with its own culture that is completely different from the rest of Canada.  Whenever I travel there, I always seem to experience the most hardships and not simply because I am an Anglophone.

This past year, I was about half way through my trip.  So far so good I thought.  No speeding tickets, no accident and no flat tires. I was travelling along Aut-55 to Sherbrooke grooving along to some tunes approximately 1 hour from my destination when I discovered a large bee inside my vehicle.  To be precise, it wasn’t a bee but rather a yellow jacket which is a type of wasp. It was approximately 1” long which is quite huge!

Everyone always says that if you don’t provoke them, that they won’t sting you.  Well, everyone is wrong.  So wrong!

When I first noticed it sitting on my passenger seat, I thought (and hoped) that if I simply opened the window it will just fly out.  But it didn’t. I suppose driving at 120km/hr isn’t exactly conducive to flying out of a window if you are a wasp.

How did it even get in my car without me noticing?  A few days prior when I was unloading my things from my trunk, I noticed a large wasp land inside my trunk. It didn’t leave and I couldn’t find it, so I closed my trunk and forgot about it.

Well, somehow this thing was still alive and it made its way into the front seat of my car and boy, it wasn’t happy!

I continued driving and tried to remain calm, telling myself “If you don’t piss it off, it won’t sting you.”.  I was planning on keeping calm and taking the next exit to safely pull off the road, stop the car, open the windows and doors and let it out of my vehicle.

Then suddenly, I felt an excruciating, sharp, stabbing pain in my back!

The wasp was under my shirt and bit me.  Even though I leaned forward towards the steering wheel, it continued to bite me and again, and again.

After the fourth bite, I was delirious with pain and could barely concentrate on the road.  I was still 2km from the next exit and I just couldn’t take it any longer, so I swerved my car to the side of the road and pulled over.  The car was still moving when I threw it into park.  At that point I really didn’t care if I ruined my transmission.  I immediately jumped out of my car, ripped my shirt off and started running around screaming at the top of my lungs.

So there I was, on the side of a major highway, running around my car wearing just a bra and screaming like a madwoman!  I’m sure someone caught that on video and posted it on YouTube somewhere.

I knew I was bit pretty bad and I needed some sort of treatment.  Fortunately I had my fishing gear in my trunk and in it I had a tube of AfterBite.  I couldn’t apply it to my back directly, so I squirted the stuff all over the window of the passenger side of my car and then proceeded to rub my back all over it.  Classy move, I know!  But it helped a bit.  Thank goodness I wasn’t allergic!

As I drove to my hotel, I was thinking, “What if I was allergic and had a medical crisis while I am here in Quebec? If I call 911, do they even speak English?”.

When I arrived at my hotel, I asked the concierge that very question.  She informed me that it is mandatory for all 911 operators in Quebec to speak English.

This turned out to be very useful information as the next day, I was involved in a car accident with a man who did not speak English and I had to call the police.   If I didn’t know they spoke English, I probably wouldn’t have made that phone call and the guy who hit me would have gotten away.

All things happen for a reason I suppose.

So the next time you’re driving on the highway and you see someone driving erratically, just think, maybe they are getting violently stung by wasps. This experience has given me a whole new perspective on “distracted driving”.  You never know what’s really going on behind someone else’s wheel.

Drive safe fellow travellers.

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