Friday, October 21, 2005

The Joy of Trucking (Part 1)

Truck driving is similar to serving in the Army. Most of the job consists of, “Hurry up and Wait.” If I dropped a load at 0800, I’d get another load assignment at 0815 that read, “Next pickup @ 0845 in Bumfuck. High priority load. Must be on time.”

No matter that the pickup was over 100 miles away and the directions sucked. I could message dispatch that there was no way I’d make it on time or that I was about out of driving hours for the day. The return memo would read, “Do the best you can.”

I’d bust ass to get to the pickup and guess what. The load would not be ready for another two hours. I hurried, now I’d wait.

At the other end of the run, the delivery, it would be a repeat performance.

Many a night I sat in a WalMart distribution center for 6, 8 or even 10 hours while they fiddle-farted around unloading 6 pallets from my trailer. Then I’d wait another hour while they processed the paperwork and got the signed bills of lading back to me.

It didn’t take long for my attitude to shift from, “If it’s due at 0800, I’ll be there at 0630,” to, “I’ll get there when I can.”

Yes, truck driving is a joy.



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