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February 12th, 2010, 12:47 AM #1Dealing with surprise on the way to ThinkTank by Dennis Johnson
Got a kick out of this commentary by Dennis Johnson our iNet Community Coordinator from the WbHosting Talk Insider:
Last night my wife and I were at our local Toastmaster's meeting. The table topics discussion was "what has surprised you?" The story of the time Kevin Gold and I made a hurried trip to LA that was filled with surprises from the beginning quickly came to mind.
On October 20th of last year, iNET Interactive had just acquired ABestWeb. The next day (Wednesday) as I was introducing us to staff, they mentioned I should come to a conference that several ABW staffers and members would be at. I said, "Sure! Sounds great! Just tell me when and where, and I'll be there!" The response I wasn't expecting came in the form of, "Saturday. Newport Beach California". - Surprise!
Since Kevin works at the office in West Chester Ohio and I work remotely from Kalamazoo Michigan, we whip some travel plans together and meet at LAX. Once the car was rented, Kevin hopped behind the wheel and we headed down the coast for the Newport Beach area. The 50 minute drive is a chance to catch up and decide on what we're going to focus on when we meet these people that wanted to know what we had in mind for their community. Driving down the 405 is always adventuresome, but we were making good time and having great discussion. Of course, we're not used to driving in California. We're just following the GPS and doing what it tells us to do. We hear the "turn right ahead" message and follow directions to CA-73 South.
The sign clearly states it is a toll-road. But we weren't concerned because Kevin had stopped at an ATM and got $40 in cash in case we needed any. Pulling up to pay our toll, we were both just a little surprised that there wasn't a manned booth. Did I mention we're both from the mid-west and not used to toll-roads at all? It was OK though - it appeared to be an automated payment system. Strange, it only accepts $1 coins though and we hadn't thought about carrying $1 coins with us. No bother, there's a change machine that takes bills. Kevin grabs one of the 20's picked up from the ATM earlier.
After about the third time of straightening out the bill so the machine would quit spitting it back out, we notice the sign that states, "$1s and $5s only". OK, this could be a problem. Is there an option for credit card? No. By this time the drivers behind us were getting a little anxious. I was busy digging through my wallet in hopes that I had an emergency stash of cash. Eureka! One $5 bill stuck behind a picture of my grand daughter. The sound of the coins dropping from the change machine as it accepted that bill was one of the sweetest songs we've heard. We could barely hear the horns of the cars stacked up behind us.
Kevin grabs the change and hands it to me as he starts to drive off. Problem - the gate is still down. As I look at my hand I notice he had given me the 5-$1 coins. I said, 'you have to put 2 of them in the basket". "What? Didn't we just pay? Isn't that our change? What basket?" he asks as he's looking out the window, back towards the booth. "Oh - back there?" By this time other cars have creeped up and drivers were not shy about laying on their horns coaxing us to move on. With a flip of the wrist, Kevin managed to get a couple coins into the basket and we cheered as the gate rose. I imagine the drivers behind us cheered as well. I'm not sure what we would have done had I not stumbled upon that 5 dollar bill that was hidden in my wallet for some unknown reason. But it was a pleasant surprise to find it there.
Dealing with that toll booth wasn't so much different than dealing with demanding clients like our first Featured Thread below.
Thanks for listening. And I'll see you on the forums.
Dennis Johnson (aka SoftWareRevue)
iNET Community Coordinator
February 12th, 2010, 01:12 AM #2
That's why GPSs stink. If you had a MAP instead, you'd have seen you could have taken the 405 to the 55 to the 1 (Pacific Coast Highway) and never had to pay a cent. And it would have been a much nicer drive along the coast on PCH.
February 12th, 2010, 08:53 AM #3
GPS units allow you to 'Avoid All Toll Roads' in their route planning..
Shame on you.. *beep*
February 12th, 2010, 11:33 AM #4Originally Posted by AffiliateHound
Originally Posted by IAmMe
February 12th, 2010, 04:47 PM #5
I hate those unmanned toll booths. I hate toll roads in the first place, but I can't count how many times I've had problems at unmanned booths. I don't usually carry a lot of change.
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