Tuesday, June 15, 2010
LESSON IN POSITIVE THINKING
I'd love to embrace that whole positive thinking stuff when it comes to Ralph's in Compton, CA but I can pretty much guarantee that no amount of positive vibes would have made this load any more desirable, and may I add that we are still on it? Let me begin my little saga from the beginning so we can are get caught up on our little drama.
Yesterday, around 12:30pm, we head off bright eyed and cleanly showered to Ralph's from the Flying J in Lebec. Arriving in Compton at 2:30 we pull into the entrance and take our place in line. The set up is crazy if you ask me. You wait in a line until you get close to the guard shack, then take your paperwork and stand in line behind other drivers at the shack. When you finally get to the front of the line, they tell you to park and then come back and wait in line again.
Parking there is a joke. If there is an empty space on the staging line, which only has about 10 spaces, you have to do a blind side back, all the while avoiding the small van type trucks that are parked along the fence in front of you. If there is no parking available, you wait in the line until one opens up and then you take the empty space. It doesn't take much of an imagination to picture the total chaos this can create during peak delivery times.
Once we got into the staging area, it was back in line for Craig to be told to go back to the truck and await being told which dock to report to. An hour or so later, we were handed our paperwork with our dock number. Good news was the dock number we had was well beyond the fire hydrant issue, and even better news, we had double the space due to an entrance door next to our dock. With a sigh of relief, we are in the dock with no issues and then the waiting begins.
Because of the tight quarters, it's not uncommon, to have to unhook from your trailer to make room for other trucks to back into a space, which we had to do. As we watched truck after truck back in and then leave shortly after, we began wondering about our load. We still had a green light which meant they hadn't even begun to unload our apples. Finally, two hours after being in the dock, they begin unloading. Would you believe it would be over four more hours before we would leave?
They rejected 162 cases of apples because they ordered Pink Lady apples and got Pink Crisp, and they rejected 90 other cases of apples because they had the wrong UPC sticker on them. It's always something at Ralph's, so after being at their facility for over 8 hours, we leave and head to the company yard in Bloomington to get some sleep.
This morning finds us heading back to Ralph's, (insert positive thinking here), to redeliver the Pink Lady apples, because they are also known as Pink Crisp apples, so the rejection of those apples was unnecessary. The other rejected apples will wind up downtown in the Produce District to be sold by a broker. I hope to survive our second trip to Ralphs and live to write about it later.