ITD swag makes complex trip
to Camas County Fair
A few weeks ago, on a blistering Wednesday afternoon, a call came in on the District 4 Communications Hotline. On the other end of the line was Doug Hoskinson, a TTO who both lives and works in Fairfield.
“Hi Jess, this is Doug,” he boomed. “Do you by chance have any little bags we could use for our Camas County Fair kickoff parade? Nathan gave us some a while back that contain safety messaging – we’ve been filling them with candy for the kids but our supply has dwindled down and we’re on the hunt for more.”
Being relatively new to my job at the time, not yet even off probation, I was unfortunately unaware of the bags he was referencing. However, unwilling to be outdone by the aforementioned Nathan (who admittedly is quite spectacular), I promised Doug I would do everything within my power to garner some additional bags.
After disconnecting the call, not a moment was wasted as I promptly traveled across the hall to knock on my predecessor’s door. “Yeeessss?” Nathan called. “What can I help you with today?” I grinned and told him of my charge.
After a quick chat with Nathan, it was concluded that the D4 office was out of bags and further outreach would have to be done in order to accomplish the goal. The plan of action was to contact ITD Headquarters and see if they had any more receptacles or similar items to spare. Mike Stowell, a D4 trainer, just happened to be walking by at the time of our discussion and overheard the dialogue. “You know, Shelby Johnson* is in Boise right now,” he stated. “If you locate some items, I’m sure she would be more than happy to bring them down for you, and I could then drop them off in Fairfield tomorrow morning when I head up that way.”
The stars, it seemed, were aligning with our cause and so I headed back to my desk to make another call.
Before long I was connected to Ken Corder with the Office of Highway Safety and I shared with him our plight. “You know what,” said Ken, “I actually know the exact bags you are referring to. In fact, I just sent a box to another district the other day. I’m not sure if we have any left, but if you’re willing to wait a sec, I will literally run over right now and check the stockroom.”
I was willing to wait.
I held my breath for a mere few minutes while I waited for Ken to return. Before long his voice sounded through the receiver once again. “You’re in luck!” he proclaimed as I breathed a sigh of relief. “We have a box here and I’ve put your name on it. How will I get it to you?” I told him of Shelby’s presence in Boise and stated that he should assume she would collect it today unless he heard otherwise. After a quick rundown of the OHS labyrinth where the box would be placed, I said my thank-yous and we bid farewell.
Armed with the knowledge that bags were in fact available and ripe for the taking, I shot off a text message to Shelby. Not wanting to waste time explaining the request via text, I asked that she call when she was able, provided it was before she left Boise that day. She was in a meeting at the time but promised to reach out before she left town and headed my way.
Time ticked by and many other items caught my attention before I realized the day was nearing its end. I glanced at the clock on the wall, and it was at that moment a familiar tone began to play.
I knew the second my phone rang that something was wrong. It was the same feeling I get when I open the door after a long day and somehow know without even looking that my dog chewed up the t.v. remote... again. Unfortunately, that gut feeling proved to be correct.
The caller in question was Shelby Johnson, who proceeded to delve into a diatribe of excuses as to why she had forgotten to call and subsequently grab the ever-important bags. Phrases like “I’m so sorry!” and “Please forgive me, this week has been crazy!” were falling from her mouth so rapidly that I had no choice but to promise that I wouldn’t hold it against her forever provided that she “owe me one.”
Not to be thwarted by this slight setback, I went to the drawing board housed deep within my mind and started to think. I myself would be in Boise tomorrow for a meeting and although the bags were needed in Fairfield late that afternoon, I figured I could detour home via US-20, before heading south to Shoshone. The plan wasn’t perfect, as it was contingent upon my meeting running short, but it was the most viable option on the table and so I rolled the dice and walked out the door.
As dawn broke the next morning, I began my journey to HQ. Perhaps it was mere goodwill throughout the universe, or perhaps some ancient soul of ITD past had heard our call, but whatever the reason, the day ran its course in perfect harmony with our cause. The drive to Boise was quick and easy, the meeting ran a few minutes short, and the journey to Fairfield was a scenic delight.
As I pulled into the quintessential town, heading as directed to the county assessor’s office, a smile formed on my face. Doug’s wife, Deanna, met me on the sidewalk and helped carry the bags through the door. The items had arrived on time, and I filed the event away in my mind as an ITD success for all parties involved.
So how was the parade you ask? Well, it was as lovely as one may imagine a small town, heart-of-Idaho parade to be. The community gathered to cheer on children of all ages as they rode their decorated bikes down Main Street before turning right to head to the local park. Some were fast, some were slow, but every one of them was adorable as they raced to the promise land of bouncy houses and caramel corn.
*Shelby Johnson is an alias used to protect the identity of an ITD employee whose commitment to the department is as undeniable as her jovial personality is adored.