Monday, August 09, 2010


No, I'm not talking about me, unless you take a look at my fingers, which I managed to pick and chew at all day, as I heard updates from Craig and the day he was having.  This first trip of his, out of Spokane, had a bit of a tight time schedule, with him driving to his maximum hours both Friday and Saturday.  Yesterday morning, he left Avenal, CA about 9am to make his way into Los Angeles for his 2pm delivery, and that is where his day would progressively get challenging.

Upon his arrival at his first stop in Vernon, CA and checking in at the office, it became suddenly apparent, that they had no record of the load of meat that Craig was delivering.  He watched, as they called their broker and spoke directly to the person who does the ordering, who in turn said she had no purchase order number for the meat Craig was delivering, and for them to refuse the 8 pallets of frozen meat.  After talking to Craig, and hearing that they had also refused a load just prior to his arrival, I'm thinking someone dropped the ball somewhere, and unfortunately, Craig would be left to deal with it. 

Now to add to the hiccups that had just occurred, Craig knew that he would need a CommCheck to pay for a lumber at his next stop.  When he called dispatch, he was told that the electronic checks could not be issued over the weekend, and the best they could do was issue an advance on Craig's next check, and then he could put in for a reimbursement.  I know, I can already hear you thinking "what is the difference"?, but with not nearly enough in his wallet to begin paying for what lumpers cost, Craig had to start driving around Los Angeles trying to find someplace where first, he could park a tractor trailer rig, and secondly, would have an ATM machine.

By this time, I think it was probably best that I was not with him, because as I sat at home and heard about his day, my stomach was churning and I started gnawing on my fingers like a buzz saw.  As you know, what you imagine is most times, worse than what is really happening, but no amount of logic would calm my anxiety.  But Craig, ever the trooper, found an AM/PM which he could park around the corner, got the cash he would need from the ATM, and headed bravely to his second stop.

He arrived a couple of hours early of his 6pm delivery, due to the refusal at his first stop, and got in line behind two other trucks that were waiting to be unloaded.  He was informed that the unloader would not be there until 6pm, but was happy to see that he actually arrived at 5pm and started unloading one of the trucks.  Now Craig started his day at 9am, which meant that by 11pm he needed to be somewhere for the night before his 14 hour clock ran out.  He was planning on being in Oxnard, CA where he had his last scheduled stop at 7am this morning.

I don't think I even need to say what happened do I?  Okay, okay, if you insist, I'll go on.  Craig finally gets into the dock, where the slowest ever lumper went about unloading their 11 pallets and then ever so slowly broke down the pallets and inventoried the meat as Craig, and I at home, watched the clock tick away at his quickly dissolving 14 hour clock.  By the time he was finally unloaded in Vernon and on his way to Oxnard, he had just 1 hour to go 53 miles.  Now we're talking LA and weekend traffic, and we got ourselves a race against the clock.  Much to Craig's credit, he pulled into where he was going to spend the night, about 2 miles away from his last stop, with only 3 minutes left on his 14 hour clock.

Boy, talk about a nail biter......literally!  I was happy to hear he got to Oxnard, and parked safely at a receiver we  had been to before, and knew had an open lot that he could use for the night.  He'll only be able to do an 8 hr break, before having to be at his last delivery 2 miles away.  Then we'll have to see what they will have him do with that refused 8 pallets of meat.  Not only for his sake, but to save my fingers, I hope he doesn't have to run around all over LA trying to unload those 8 pallets.  I think now would be a good time for me to start painting!

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