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Errand runner’s diary. How I ran my first errand service errand. By Rodney Powell

My first errand came from a call on a Friday night about 6:00 pm to my newly formed business, Emerald Coast Errand Service.  The caller said they needed some grocery shopping done and that they had just arrived in town and were staying at White Cliffs condos in Santa Rosa Beach, a town about 12 miles from me.  (Little did I know that this errand was more like 25 miles from me almost to Panama City Beach)  The woman caller said that they needed this errand service done by 8:00 as they were going to an important function at that time.  I figured “no sweat” thinking that the errand was only 12 miles away and a Winn-Dixie store was right up the street from me where I could buy the groceries for this errand service run and I assured her that I could get the errand done by the 8:00 pm deadline. The caller said that it was important that I meet the deadline for the errand and gave me directions to the White Cliffs condos I was to go up 30 A to a white wall and a White Cliffs condo sign.  Here again, I was thinking she was talking about the Santa Rosa Beach and Hwy 289 intersection.  Which was wrong by about 10 miles of two lane beach road to get the groceries delivered from this grocery shopping errand.

 It was now time to take down the shopping list for the errand run from her.  It went something like this: 3/4 lb. sliced roasted turkey breast from the Deli; 1 small pack of sliced cheese individually warped; 4 apples; 3 or 4 bananas; 1 loaf of whole wheat bread; 1 small Hellman’s mayonnaise; 1 six pack of Miller Light in the bottles; 1 small Entenmann's coffee cake; and 1 half gallon of 2% milk.  I took all of this list down making sure I wrote the details so I would be sure to do this grocery shopping errand right.  I was a little nervous it being my first errand.  I hung up and was enthusiastically off to Winn-Dixie to shop for my first errand service job.  Time was short so I hurried, grouping the items in my mind as to where they were in the store so as to save me time by not having to go up and down too many isles, but there was one thing I could not hurry and that was the deli.  Guess what, there was a line at the deli so I was held up to get the turkey breast. Even so, I still finished the shopping part of this errand at 7:10 pm which (I thought) gave me plenty of time to get to Santa Rosa Beach by the 8:00 pm deadline for the errand service run.  I zipped up Hwy 98 and turned right at the intersection of 289 then about 2 miles and turned left on Hwy 30 A looking intently on the right for a White Wall and a White Cliffs sign.  It was about 7:55 and I thought I was going to be able to finish this errand service run on time, or not more than 5 minutes late.

 This is when I decided to call and tell them where I was.  When I told her where I was on 30 A, she was upset and said that I had about 10 more miles to go.  Where this White Cliffs was would not have been called Santa Rosa Beach by anybody who lives around here and this was the biggest part of the mix up that happened on my first errand service run.   If I had known this fact at the beginning when we were first talking on the phone, I would have told her that there was of course no way that I could have shopped for the errand and got to her before 8:00 pm.  I told her that I had just passed Criolla’s restaurant on 30 A and I heard a guy’s voice in the background saying to go back to Criolla’s and he would meet me there to pick up the groceries.  I was now sorry I had misunderstood where they were located in the beginning when I first accepted the errand service job.  It was embarrassing that this my first errand was turning out so wrong. As I waited for the guy to come to Criolla’s parking lot I looked at my watch and it was now 8:40 pm and I was feeling quite self conscious the way the errand was turning out.  About that time the guy turned into Criolla’s parking lot.  I was standing at the back of my SUV and waived at him and he saw me.  Here is another embarrassing thing that happened the night of my first errand for my errand service.  In all of this hustle and bustle, I had forgotten all about change if a customer paid cash with large bills.  I had hastily prepared an invoice showing the charges for the errand. $68.50 for the groceries and two hours for my errand service $60.00 for a total of $128.50.  After we “both” had loaded the groceries into his car from mine, he remarked that I had bought his favortie kind of Entenmann's cake and asked me how much it was and I told him $128.50 including the groceries and forgot to give him the invoice I had prepared, but did give him the receipt for the grocery part of the errand.  He said all he had was $100.00 bills.  I was sort of red faced and told him I did not have any change but could write him a check.  However I did look into my wallet and found a fifty dollar bill.  I do not usually carry large bills and sometimes not even as much as $50.00 on me at times.  It seemed like God was looking out for me because this particular night there was one $50.00 bill in my wallet.  I gave him the fifty dollar bill and he said that he guessed that it would have to do for the change.  I again offered to write him a check, but he said no.  So, I ended up with a $21.50 tip. And so ends the story of my first errand with my very own errand service.

 What is an Errand Service?

An errand service takes care of the details and does all the chores that you do not have the time to do for yourself, including the ones you don't do and let build up that put pressure on you. We do the all the actual running around. We will go to the grocery store and shop for you. Stand in line for you and get your new car tag. Pick up gifts for others that you know what you want to get for but can't take time to go and shop for. In short, we are your extra hand.

About the author: Rodney Powell is the owner of Emerald Coast Errand Service

Emerald Coast Errand Service is located at 1241 Airport Road, Suite H, Destin, FL 32541 - Phone 850-368-8509




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