Tuesday 4th September. Colton, Walnut & Anaheim CA
54 miles only. 14 hours ( I love my job)
After a relaxing Monday afternoon, I woke on this day in a fantastic mood. That was soon to be tested. I went to report to the warehouse early, that I was on site, hoping they would assign me a loading bay and would soon be on my way .
“Nothing ventured, nothing gained” right? Well , not in this case. I was met by the rudest, most ignorant person I can remember meeting in a long, long time . I would hate to think what they would be like if you were late for your appointment . This woman ripped me up cos I was early!!!. Now there is an opportunity for all sorts of funny comments and jokes at this point, but I have decided to leave those today, but I’m sure you know what I was thinking at the time. I took this as another test of the new calm me. Hey I passed!!!!
The most pleasing part was seeing her reaction, when I told her I agreed with her and should have been more considerate and not turned up so early. Left the building and waited in my truck, before returning to the building at my scheduled delivery time. Impressive. Well I was anyway. Later I found out she goes by the name of “Angel”.
I think the true meaning of this name was wasted on that “battle-axe.”
So after that rocky start, I eventually got rid of my first delivery and headed back to the freeway to find my second stop. I think “battle-axe” had actually done me a favour , because by the time she decided I was worthy to get off loaded and my paperwork was processed and I handed over $30 cash “lumper fee” ( Never done in Europe by the way ) , the early morning rush hour had passed and the freeway was running fine .
At the start of the trip I was looking into purchasing a navigation system for heavy trucks. I eventually decided to save my money and use the google map app on my cell phone. Today would be the first test of that decision hopefully I won’t regret it .
Having entered the companies details into my phone I headed West towards LA, paying full attention to the instructions given.
The directions given by my phone were spot on. Apart from trying to send me down a no-truck route ( not her fault as there is no way of me letting the clever little thing know that we were travelling in a semi) I arrived at the second warehouse, which was owned by the same company as my first location. It was here that I found out that the lovely Angel spoke to all drivers in the way she had spoken me earlier. Oh well, there was me thinking I was specially selected for her abuse .
I am not sure why warehouses give appointment times for their deliveries. Possibly the only reason was to fine companies if they are late for their scheduled times, so bringing an extra source of income ( maybe they could pay to send Angel to charm school). Although I arrived exactly on my delivery time slot, I was told it would be at least two hours before they got to my load . One poor guy had already been there for four hours and they were going to get to him after me, all because his load broker had screwed up making the appointment.
Test number two. In the past I would have come “un-glued” at the warehouse manager demanding to get off loaded at the time I was given, paced the yard and probably smoked ten cigarettes while waiting. I would not have got on a bay any earlier and would be in a bad mood all day. What a Muppet!
Today? I decided to park the truck, lock the doors and take my dog for a walk and check out the neighborhood. Test passed .
Some two hours later, I managed to finally get on a warehouse bay and my dog was now exhausted. I had an interesting maneuver to carry out, so testing how rusty I had become during my time away from trucking. This reversing exercise would have been a lot harder had I entered it in an angry frame of mind. Due to fact I was a lot calmer, it presented no problems and I was soon being unloaded. After an hour and a few more stories about the behaviour of the now infamous Angel, I was leaving and off to my final destination for this load.
My mind was also beginning to focus on what or where I was going for my load back to Canada. The only thing I knew is that it would be back to Canada. This is because a truck registered in Canada, cannot carry goods from a US state and deliver it to any point in the US. It can only do cross border work. In times gone by I have had bad experiences when it comes to waiting for a reload. Sometimes being sat for days. I was told by this company that this wouldn’t happen again, but this yet to be proven. Most companies don’t book your re-load until they know you are empty and ready to go. This means you cannot make any plans, or even know your destination, Canada is a really big place! Not an ideal situation and not for everyone.
For now, I can only focus on getting my last delivery done and worry about that later. As it turned out, much later
Arriving at the third warehouse of the day (all the same company) I was greeted by the familiar sight of a long line of trucks in front of me. The warehouse had four loading doors, but only one was working. Great . Looks like its going to be a long afternoon.
When I was finally done, it had taken over five hours to take the remaining three pallets from my trailer. It also meant that I had run out of hours on my electronic log , done very few miles and when I did the math , probably earned less that the minimum wage for todays work. Another reason why companies struggle to find drivers. It also meant that I did not receive any news on my re-load and had to negotiate with the warehouse manager to be able to park at the facility that night as I could not legally drive anywhere till the morning.
He agreed that it was their fault my day was screwed and kindly let me use their facilities for the night. It turned out that there was a great little restaurant down the road, so I finished my day writing my notes for this blog and having a great supper of Sweet and Sour chicken, Rice and Salad.
Happy Days , despite battle axes best efforts !