The rain started just as I turned off the van’s ignition. Just a few quick drops at first. We were parked on the shore side of Persimmons, a waterfront restaurant in New Bern, North Carolina, where we were planning to meet some folks for dinner. I looked at my friend, sitting in the passenger seat.
Had I run at that point, I probably could have covered the thirty yards and two flights of steps to the restaurant front door with only a few raindrops landed. That wasn’t an option. My friend travels in a wheelchair – easily a five-minute process for me to unload and set up the chair, then for him to hoist himself from the van front seat into the chair, then for me to close up the van.
By this point, the rain was pelting down. We could barely hear ourselves speaking.
“I think we should wait,” he said.
Fair enough. I’d left plenty of time for us to reach the restaurant, unload, push the wheelchair up the ramp, and get to our reserved table. We had twenty minutes to spare before our reservation time.
We looked out across the water, to the right of the restaurant, toward the long NC 70 bridge over the Neuse River. Couldn’t see the bridge. There was literally a curtain of falling rain moving slowly toward us.
“I’d give that five minutes until it reaches us,” he said.
We waited for a bit. My phone alarm rang. Dinner reservation time.
“Oh, crumbs,” he said. “Let’s go.”
I opened my car door and stepped out into an inch of water rushing down the parking lot under the car. I sloshed to the rear of the van, pulled out the wheelchair, then sloshed around to the passenger door so he could slide out of the van into his wheel chair. Another friend arrived with an umbrella to shelter the wheelchair and our friend. The back of my recently pressed dress shirt was fully soaked through and my pant legs (glad I wore dark blue) were almost as wet. My black leather dress shoes were so saturated that I felt like I was walking on sponges.
It’s amazing how cold air conditioning feels when your clothes are wet.
As I relayed our arrival story to one of our dinner guests, he said, “You know, just before I leave the house, I use a weather radar phone app so I don’t get caught out in the open. It’s common in this part of North Carolina to have late afternoon thunderstorm ‘surprises’.”
Yes… it’s good to plan ahead. Even better to check, just before meeting time, “has anything changed”?
Nick Miller and Clarity train banks and bankers to attract and develop deeper relationships with small businesses. Many more Sales Thoughts like this and a host of other articles and resources at https://clarityadvantage.com/knowledge-center/ .
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