Whatever it takes - A day in the life of an MCA trainer.
Like the Postal Service we will do whatever it takes to get to our customers, through storms, rain, snow, sleet, and hail.
On Sunday, January 6th the Midwest was in a state of shock with the weather. Below zero temps, freezing wind, and lots of snow.
Kathy Eby was on her way to facilitate classes in South Bend, Indiana. As a facilitator we tend to be proactive as it relates to travel and review all variables in our travel such as flight dependability, weather hazards, and how to get there the easiest.
On this particular day, knowing that January is very unpredictable Kathy decided since it would be cold and snowing on her day of travel that she would take a direct flight from SFO to ORD (Chicago O’Hare) and then take a bus service to her destination in South Bend, IN.
By time she arrived at the Shuttle Bus Terminal at O’Hare there was already mayhem with people wondering about their travel. Busses were moving to the Wisconsin locations hourly but the busses to Indiana were problematic as some roads were already in an emergency state meaning the National Guard had already issued a warning that only emergency vehicles were allowed to drive on certain highways in Indiana. If you’ve ever been in a group situation with a problem, strangers tend to start partnering as they realize it’s going to be a difficult situation. Eby was counting the number of people in the bus waiting area and realized because they don’t allow seat assignments, only day of purchase tickets, which once the bus driver finally showed up there would be some “road rage” as who would be allowed on the bus.
Kathy started strategizing with two strangers she was sitting by and they had the same concern. So the three teamed up. One of them was the bus driver lookout, one of them was in charge handling the luggage when the bus showed up, and one of them watched the bus receptionist who was also going to get on that bus. We figured between the three of us we would make sure by watching these areas we could make sure we’d have a seat on the bus.
We were correct in our assumptions; they had sold too many tickets. Luckily working as a team all three of them got on to get to their destination. Many of the people waiting were turned away as there was no room on the bus.
It’s amazing what strangers can work out as team members. Funny, here are total strangers and they set a goal and it worked. Teams in typical organizations may have worked for years and still don’t work together but here were three strangers on a mission and they worked it out together. What would you have done?
The good news for Eby was that the workshop that she couldn’t get to also cancelled as their entire campus shut down as well. Businesses were closed. It was a true storm where everything stopped.
But it was fun to see being proactive, strategizing, and how teamwork got us through.
The photos show the last town they were able to make it to in Indiana. They were stuck in a hotel overnight and then had to take the entire bus ride back to the O’Hare airport in Chicago as everything was shut down.
It was amazing to see people band together that night. Some sharing sleeping rooms with each other, others helping people get their luggage through 3 feet deep snow drifts to even get to the hotel’s front door. It was quite an event.
Luckily for Eby, since the workshop cancelled she is still able to keep her training record of 15+ years of facilitating and not missing any of them. She has had to get on planes, trains, boats, rental cars, and busses to get there but that's what we do at MCA. We keep moving forward to get the job done.