Nothing stopped me from completing a hire not even a breakdown
Nothing ever stopped me from making good on the trust my clients put in me to deliver on the goods when they booked one of my photo booths. Not even the time I was broken down on the side of the Gold Coast motorway 1.5hrs drive from a clients wedding venue with a blown tyre on my 2 tonne trailer and then got caught in a rain storm in the hinterland mountains was going to change that.
The closest I ever came to being late or not completing a hire was in summer 2013. I had a wedding at O’Reillys in the Lamington National Park which is quite a drive from Brisbane. Just 30mins down the motorway I heard a loud pop followed by a heavy pull to the left as the car slowed down quickly of it’s own accord. I pulled over onto the hard shoulder and unable to safely get out from the drivers side due to the closeness of the speeding traffic on the busiest motorway in QLD my wife exited from the realtive safety of the passenger side and inspected the damage. She told me that one of the tyres on the traffic side of my car had popped and there was no way I could change it myself that close to traffic. So I called the RACQ and sat tight knowing I had, as always, allowed time should traffic be an issue enroute to a set up. At this point with 1.5hrs drive ahead of me we had 3hrs till the wedding reception started but I called ahead to the venue to let them know as I waited for the RACQ.
The RACQ had said due to my location they had put a priority on my breakdown and would be there shortly. Of course even still nothing happens as fast as you would like but about 30mins later a tow truck turns up. Unable to tow both my car and trailer my trailer was unlatched, my car put up on the tray and then my trailer re-latched to the truck. Off we go down the motorway and take the next exit and in a local unused car park, the blown tyre is replaced with a spare, the spare has very little air and so that needs to be blown up and then finally the trailer is re-latched and I am on my way again. The whole ordeal has left us with just a 45 min buffer to ensure we arrive and set up in time.
When we had left home and even during the whole ordeal the weather was perfect, 27 degrees and sunny, but by the time we got into the hinterland and had started making the treacherous 40min ascent up the mountain to O’Reillys it had turned bad and quickly. Suddenly it was 19 degrees and it was raining cats and dogs. The road to O’Reillys is no fun at the best of times but hauling a 2 tonne trailer up those narrow roads with cars and trucks coming around blind corners was particularly unsettling especially as I knew time was against us.
We made it to the venue in the nick of time with guests yet to arrive however the fun was still not over. I still had to reverse the trailer down a steep curving driveway to get to the loading area as there was nowhere to turn around. As the rain teemed down my car skid and slid as the weight of the trailer pulled me down after it. Somehow we made it down in one piece with a few people watching in aghast. By the time I had the photo booth on the trolley and was wheeling it in the first guests were there and we looked like a pair of drowned rats.
With the thought of driving down the mountain in the wet only to return in the morning to collect the booth we decided to blow any profit we were set to make and stay the night. At reception we were told there were no guest rooms left but if we didn’t mind being separated we could stay in the dinky little, often unused, single rooms they had. We didn’t feel we had an option but on the positive side they were a lot cheaper than if we had taken a guest room. With no spare clothes or anything warm we hit the hot showers and then went into the restaurant to dine on piping hot pot pies and a glass of red before crawling into bed knowing that our booth was being well used by a bunch of people who had no idea what the hell we had been through to get it there.