Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Dexter, Puff the Magic Dragon, Elvis, Jed Clampett, Socrates & Dick Cheney Rolled Up in One

So today....around 9AM at my magnificent modular desk (a vaulted view included).....the fire came. When crap has hit the fan and you really got a fair sized fire....you come to my desk.

So....this contractor who shall remain nameless....was a member on a four-man team....driving from Ramstein Air Base, Germany....to Aviano Air Base, Italy. Remember....crossing borders here....Germany, Austria, and Italy.....and the contractor discovered that she'd forgotten her passport. For some reason....like you'd expect....they didn't even check at the two borders involved. Thats how free Europe is today. But then....reality hits....because she has to fly back on Friday night....and the airlines will ask for a passport.

So we got tossed this "fire" and so began my efforts. We got her kids to hand over the passport at the house....and began. Our little office began to discover that overnight delivery....doesn't really exist in Germany. The best that FEDEX could say....maybe Friday....but probably Saturday. DHL.....same story. But then I came to UPS....they would take the passport, and deliver on Friday morning....but then the amusing thing....they won't take VISA. Yep.....gotta do a bank transfer and this takes a day to be accepted.

I sat there laughing at the idiot....telling no VISA cards accepted....third world country status here. Even in Florence, Alabama....they'd take VISA. Thats the kind of country that Germany is.

So then I continued on....looking for this way to get a damn passport down to Italy within 36 hours. I pulled out every possible clue.

Then....I went to the pilot routine. Ramstein has planes flying down.....could I find one pilot who would take this and dump it at Aviano? The odds? To find the pilot who was willing? Pretty difficult....so I pull out the favor's book....and find the one guy that might help....and within 30 minutes....he'd found that pilot and got the guy to agree. I delivered the passport by noon....and by 9AM tomorrow....it'll be in Aviano....for our contractor to pick up.

Honestly....I live for these situations. I refuse to give in or surrunder.....and I honestly think you could cook up just about any emergency.....even to the 9-11 scale, and hand it to me.....and I'd just invent the solution right there on the spot.

Years ago....in my youth....my dad laid out the "create a answer out of thin air" situation....and there on the farm....you'd come up with various solutions that weren't textbook written or fitting into anything you could imagine. I accepted this mentality....and have used it my entire life. When there is a "fire" brewing.....folks tend to come near my desk and just lay out the situation....and I'll get on the phone and invent something that works. It ain't pretty.....as in my "Ripley-mentality".....life ain't simple or pretty or multi-colored. What I invent....won't be sold at some store or repeated on CNN....nor would you want to write books on my solutions because some of them are a bit far fetched. But I'm the guy you want when the smoke appears.