I had a horrifying experience last Friday. It was 12:15 p.m. when a dispatcher came to my office to tell me that she had received a phone call from a frantic lady saying that I was supposed to be a keynote speaker at a Rotarian luncheon at 12:30 p.m. They were concerned that I was not there yet and not answering my cell phone.
I declined three cell phone calls from an unknown phone number and that should have been my hint that someone was urgently looking for me. I vaguely remembered booking a speaking engagement with someone from Rotary about a year ago. I remember thinking, "Wow, that is a long time from now." I did put it on my calendar but apparently on the wrong date. Anyone that knows me can tell you I am extremely anal and suffer from OCD so how this happened is beyond me. I jumped in my car and zipped downtown arriving two minutes late.
I was introduced by the emcee with my standard bio. As the emcee ended the bio, he said, "Mr. Luff is going to give us a peak behind the scenes of a limousine company." Whew! At least I knew what was expected. I had to ask how long I was expected to talk. The emcee said, about 45 minutes. I thought I would die.
The first few minutes were rough as I had no planned speech. However, I recently wrote about the history of the stretch limousine for an upcoming article and thought that would be a great place to start. From there, I just rolled from one funny story to another that I have experienced over the past 25 years. As I concluded my speech, I saw a hand go up in the air for a question. The question ended up being, "What are your thoughts on Uber?" My response was, "You'll have to have me back for another lunch to cover that."
I did provide my opinion and much to my surprise, another hand shot up. "Can you tell me in terms of safety, what makes your company and Uber different?" From there, the questions just were shooting up all over the room and I spent an additional 15 minutes talking about Uber as it relates to our industry. I suppose if I had known what a hot topic Uber was to these Rotary members, I would have spent the entire time speaking about it.
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A dangerous five-point U-turn, lack of local knowledge, and requests for directions ruined an evening limo run.