Monday, July 13, 2009

Ding ding

To say every job comes with its challenges is not an inaccurate statement. Even in my job promoting McPherson, which is the best job I've ever had, I have days where I wonder "What next?"

One of the particular challenges of my job is managing our trolley. You gotta love the trolley. It's green and red and festive. It turns heads going down the street. You feel like you're stepping back in history about 80 years when you get on board. It's more fun than riding a school bus. It goes "ding-ding" when you pull the cord.
The bigger the vehicle, I've discovered, the more problems crop up. Right out of the shoot, my second week on the job, the battery died. That wouldn't have been a big deal but the door to get into the trolley runs off the battery and the keys to open the battery compartment were locked inside. Thankfully Gerry Tillett at the street dept. lent me some help to crawl around underneath the trolley and connect jumper cables the hard way. The street guys have saved my butt on a number of occasions with the trolley.
Then there was the driver's seat saga which began way before I took the job. We had to have it swapped out at least three times so far this year. I couldn't get the manufacturer to believe me the new seat belt did not fit in the old seat belt receptacle until I videotaped it and put it on Youtube for them to see. They finally sent the right part, paid our expenses and we rolled on down the road.
One ongoing challenge I have with the trolley is parking it by the Opera House to load for our tours. The curb along the south side of the Opera House is a bus loading zone. It's marked with two signs but people still park there. We're looking into better signage and marking but please keep in mind the police will ticket you if you park there. We like to pull right up to the curb because some of our riders have a little trouble getting around and we want to make it easier and safer for them.
This last week was a particularly busy week for the trolley. We had four private rentals booked, two public tours and shuttle service Friday night for Shop the Night Away. Our driver tells me more than 200 people rode the trolley Friday night.
Our trolley wouldn't get far without all of its drivers. Jeannie and John Werner, Ralph Barringer, Sam Stuckey and Jerry Fithian take great care of her. We also have a wonderful group of volunteer tour guides -- Virginia Luty, Bev Nye, Verla Thomasen, Phillipa Read, Trevor Wilson, Judy Carson, Veryl Leach and a few others I'm sorry I've forgotten. Even my predescessor Judy Casey fills in in a pinch. All of these drivers and volunteers are coordinated by Pam Jumonville, my ace assistant.
I hope my grousing hasn't turned you off the trolley. It is a wonderful way to see McPherson, a one-of-a-kind way to get to your wedding reception (she's very photogenic) or a fun way to shuttle around town for an event. Call me at 800-324-8022 to book the trolley. We'll have her washed and polished and fueled up for you.

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