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A Day at the Office: My Day With Brian Sheely and the Lovely Ladies of Epic Limo, Part II
The meeting begins and all eyes are Brian, now sitting on the couch in the office. He’s still thumbing through the mail. “We got an invitation to a fundraiser at the opera house,” he says, glancing over a freshly-opened letter. “Looks like they’ll have a version of that newly-wed game show.”
He remains seated, but leans forward with his arm extended to place the invitation on Lisa’s desk. “Jason’s not going to come in til 11,” he says. I later learn that Jason comes in Tuesdays and Thursdays to detail Epic Limo’s vehicle fleet.
Brian, Lisa and Anne catch up briefly, discussing a recent interviewee for a chauffeur position, business invoices and the company’s pricing on Limos.com, an extremely popular transportation-booking website. They also chat about the chauffeur scheduling for the upcoming weekend.
“Is Saturday covered?” Brian asks.
“Yeah,” responds Lisa.
“We have no availability for Saturday, then?” he asks.
“Not unless you, me or Anne plans on driving that day,” Lisa says with a smile as the group shares a laugh. “We’ll just have someone on call that night in case we get a pop-up,” says Brian. “We need to be ready to dispatch.”
The phone rings. Anne swivels in her computer chair toward her desk to answer it. “Good morning! Epic Limo…” she says in her cheery voice.
“I was going to see if you could call a lady from church about her son’s wedding in 2016,” Brian says to Lisa as Anne finishes up on the phone. “We don’t need a deposit or anything, I just want to put something down so we have it.”
Seconds later, the phone rings again and Anne answers.
Lisa and Brian continue to converse. “I have a whole list here for you,” Lisa says, pointing to her yellow notepad.
“How many people and what kind of vehicle would you like?” Anne asks the caller on the other end of the phone line. “Yes, 340 in the six-passenger.” As Lisa looks over her list, the caller’s voice can be faintly heard from the speaker of Anne’s phone. “It would be 290 in the sedan from Lake County, not including tip.”
“Make sure you get Anne the updated event list for the chamber,” Brian says. Lisa scribbles something down in her notepad while Anne is finishing up her phone conversation. “Okay. You’re welcome. Bye.”
The sound of pens clicking and low-volume Jack Johnson tunes from Lisa’s computer speakers fill the office between discussion. A minute later the phone rings again. Anne answers it. “He’s in a meeting, can I have him call you back?” she asks the caller.
Lisa and Brian are deliberating what prizes they may feature at the Epic Limo booth during an upcoming event. “Should we do little wine bottles, you think?” Brian asks. “What kind of wine should we get?” Lisa replies.
Anne, now finished with her phone conversation, walks over to Brian and hands him a small piece of paper. “I have a message for you,” she says.
“There’s an event at Crossroads next week,” Lisa says, referring to Crossroads Regional Chamber of Commerce, a Northwest Indiana-based chamber Epic is extremely active in.
“What’s the date?” Brian asks. His pen clicks as he jots something down in his own yellow notepad. “Which one was the event Manny said we could have a car at?”
Lisa and Anne are both clutching their coffee cups with both hands while they sit at their desks, listening to Brian. “The Scientist” by Coldplay plays faintly from the Pandora page on one of Lisa’s duel computer screens.
“Don’t forget next Thursday,” Lisa says. “We have the thing at Four Winds.”
“What time is that?” Brian asks.
“Four to seven,” she replies. Brian proceeds to write it down in his notepad.
As Lisa mentioned to me, the weekly Epic Limo meeting is essentially a debriefing of everything that’s going on with the company. Brian, Lisa and Anne aren’t always in the office at the same time, so Thursday mornings serve as their time to catch up. The meeting is adjourn around 10:00 a.m.
Brian heads into the neighboring airplane hangar to continue constructing Epic Limo’s new trade show booth. The office is quiet again as Anne is clicking away at her computer, going back and forth from one screen to the other. Lisa, now working from her laptop, turns up her John Mayer tunes.
Throughout the morning, several chauffeurs come and go. Sleekly dressed for the drive, they typically just peek their head in the office, say “hello” to the ladies and carry on with their business.
“We’ll see the chauffeurs walk in and out,” Lisa says. “They say ‘hi,’ then leave. They have a job to do, as well.”
At 11:00, the aforementioned Jason arrives. He walks in the office to briefly catch up with the ladies. Jason wears many hats at Epic Limo. In addition to washing the “fleet” twice a week, he also works as a chauffeur and is even training in the office to learn the daily operations of the business. In his own words, he’s a “Jack of all trades, master of absolutely none.”
Today Jason is sporting a white hoodie, cargo shorts and tennis shoes. His Cubs hat sits backwards atop his head, ear buds around his neck. His wardrobe is a far cry from his black tie and slacks worn while he’s chauffeuring. Today he’s washing cars.
I follow as he puts his headphones in and walks out of the office toward the hangar.
To be continued in Part III…
By Brett Halon