Tuesday, June 7, 2005

Ask Permission or Apologize Later

I had to fly to another city to shoot video of a fundraising race, sponsored by the client of an ad agency I work with. It is a huge race with over 47,000 participants in a large east coast city. 

So to get the camera guys from place to place along the runners' route, I thought it would be helpful to have a golf cart I could drive. Sure, said the race organizers, but I would have to get permission from the city police and the park police to use the golf cart.

Ordering a cart was easy.  Only two phone calls and we found a supplier who was used to delivering and picking up carts from any venue. Two seats.  Four seats.  Top. Topless. Gas. Electric.  You name it.

Getting permission to use the golf cart was another matter entirely. The metro police and the park police turned out to be a pain. After several calls to the metro police, whoever answered said that wasn't their jurisdiction.Only the park police had to be notified.

After I spoke to several park officers who gave me phone numbers for other officers who gave me phone numbers for more officers, I finally got the number for the guy in charge, who never called me back. 

However, someone else did. She said that I was going to have to add the golf cart to the permit for the race. Which meant we had to go all the way back to the race organizers for their permission before we could get the permission from the park police.

So I went back to the race organizers to see if they would be willing to give me a copy of their event permit so the park police guy could add the golf cart to it, then sign it and give it back to whomever I had to give it back to.

But, unfortunately I couldn't get a call back from the race organizers to see if they would be willing to give us a copy of the permit so we could add the cart, etc., etc.

Hmmmm. Ask permission?  Or apologize later. 

Looks like later. So we went ahead and had the golf cart delivered to the race site on the day of the race. There were already dozens of other carts there, it should be noted. What difference was one more going to make?  But you never know.

The cart arrived on the back of a trailer. We rolled it down the ramp and drove it past at least ten metro police officers, who waved us through the barriers without even asking us who we were and what we were doing.  Of course, a
ll the cameras and tripods probably helped. Although I think we could have been in clown suits and it wouldn't have mattered.

Once we were into the venue, i should have known that cameramen are never ones to leave well enough alone.

I had been told that no motorized vehicles were allowed out on the race course either. It would be very dangerous for the runners. Since I was driving the golf cart, I mentioned this to the cameraman.

But all he said to me was, "They didn't tell ME that."

So if you were one of the runners that saw a speeding golf cart heading toward you with a cameraman standing up, getting shots of people racing toward the finish line, that blond in the driver's seat wasn't me.

Nope.  Not me. 

Golf cart?  What golf cart?


artloner said...


Red tape. <grrr>

bosoxblue6993w said...

i can see it now ... you bombing down the road in a golf cart, cameraman holding on for dear life.    hahahaha.

judithheartsong said...

Thanks for the huge grin I am wearing now!!!! judi

sunnyside46 said...

well, i am so glad that the bureaucrats are there to protect us innocent civilians against you golf cart crazies!

suzypwr said...

It's always easier to get forgiveness than permission. Good choice.

swibirun said...

That was great, Ms. L!  Funny story and I felt like I was there.