Thursday, February 26, 2009

Getting Our Truck Tweaked While Making New Friends And Enjoying A Free Lunch Pie *

Today we were in Shipshewana, a town located in Northern Indiana's Amish country. Beautiful town. Beautiful people. Beautiful pies.

We were in town to have some tweaking done on our new truck. Nothing major, just some wrinkles we found during our initial breaking in period that needed to be ironed out. The
company who makes our sleeper, is headquartered there.

We spent the entire day at their shop and while hanging out, made two new friends; Jenny and Leif. FANTASTIC people! The live in Wisconsin now, but Leif is originally from Norway and is a wonderfully interesting guy. Jenny was chatty and pleasant and quick to share her "living space" with me and my curious eyes.

They were both extremely warm, invited us to their house on the lake in Wisconsin and they both gave me a hug when I left. I love people who hug! So as we sat waiting on the crew to take care of us they shared their experiences in the trucking industry (he's been driving something like 40 years!), showed us their super cool sleeper (which is 170" long!) and introduced us to their three adorable Maltese companions; Mickey, Reggie and Max. Max was the tiniest of the trio and my favorite. When I first asked Jenny what kind of dogs they were, she answered, "Spoiled."

Later in the afternoon, our sales contact Tim took us all to lunch at a local Amish eatery,
The Blue Gate Restaurant and Bakery. What a great restaurant - the smells wafted out the minute the door was opened. After downing a few slices of fresh baked bread with homemade apple butter, I dined on roast beef so tender, a toothless baby would have enjoyed it. Add to that buttered carrots that made me want to dive into the dish and mashed potatoes that....well, I've never met a spud I didn't like. I took home a piece of carrot cake on Jenny's recommendation. She couldn't even form words for it when trying to describe its yummy goodness, so I figured it must be good. Eddie bought me a loaf of fresh bread for sandwiches and a special apple pull apart loaf that I wanted to pull apart right there in the store!

After lunch, we went back to the ARI facility to wait on the guys to finish up our work. Now anyone who knows me or has read my blog, knows I have absolutely
no patience when it comes to idiots. I abhor incompetence and cannot tolerate rude employees and poor customer service. I've even been likened to the Devil because I can't keep my mouth shut when any of these things happen.

I mention this because the next thing I'm going to say may shock you.....

I have not had a more pleasant experience in my five years of being on the road, in this industry, than I did today. Yes, never. The crew at ARI was absolutely THE BEST I've ever come across. Out of all the people we've had work on our equipment over the years, these guys take the cake (but not my carrot cake!). From Tim, our sales contact to Kelly, the service manager, to the guys who did the work on our truck; Mel, Greg and Mitch. I couldn't have had a better experience.

These guys were knowledgeable, precise in their work, competent (oh, how I LOVE competence!), friendly, easygoing, able to work around us as we were going in and out of the sleeper and didn't even balk about us being underfoot in their work space. AND, they were working on more than one truck at a time. Their teamwork was seamless. They moved around each other with the precision of an Alvin Ailey dance troupe. They shared tools, drill bits and flashlights. They laughed and joked with each other. They took rest breaks that were necessary yet not lengthy and they got us in and out of there in the normal span of a work day.

Guys from ARI...will you marry me??

Because of them, we're back on the road and will be able to deliver our load on time and accompanied by the beautiful blue glow of the now working rope lights in our sleeper. We can do our job without interruption because they knew how to do their job. Thank you, ARI. We can't wait to see you again!

* If you've ever seen the movie
Waitress with Keri Russell, you will get this reference.


Gil said...

A little better than the toothless trio and their mom in Slidell, LA? Glad that you found some professionals to try to make up for some of the klutzes you've written about. Now I want to visit my sister in PA and head West to Lancaster!

Lisbeth said...

I have seen Waitress but don't remember the free lunch pies! I guess I'll just have to watch it again... :)