This song is my alarm, I wake up to it every morning.
Whenever I feel like not getting out of my bed, the lyrics motivate me to get my ass in gear and get out there to do work.
Oh, there ain’t no rest for the wicked
Money don’t grow on trees
I got bills to pay
I got mouths to feed
And ain’t nothing in this world for free
Indeed. Except for this weekend. I arrived in Oregon on Friday afternoon, and Saturday morning I received a message over the truck’s computer that “The market in the Pacific northwest is soft this weekend, and we don’t have a lot of loads, if any, before Monday morning,” so go ahead and shut down for a 34 hour reset this weekend. Dammit. I was doing so well this week, too, running hard, gearjammin’, going from state to state, haulin’ freight and not being late. Then, all of a sudden, the planners hit the brakes.
Well, as Hyman Roth said to Michael Corleone, “This is the business we’ve chosen.” Hopefully I’ll get layover pay. We’ll see. In the meantime, rest for the wicked is in order.
I’ve spent most of this week in Washington, which is gorgeous. Green, like Oregon, but with more character. Driving through the Snoqualmie Pass was an epic experience. The only thing is that it has been cold. Now, when I say “cold”, I’m talking low 40’s Fahrenheit. Which, I know, isn’t cold for most people. But, unlike Elsa, the cold always bothered me, anyway. It’s why I love living in Las Vegas. 100 degrees? Yes, please.
I am not looking forward to driving in proper winter conditions.
Favorite story from this week. I’m at a Costco Distribution center. Now, I like going to large distribution centers like Costco and WalMart because they have their act together. Two different times this week I went to pick up loads at small companies and I swear there was not one sign indicating where the truck entrance was, and absolutely no signage for the Shipping and Receiving office. Nothing. I keep having to track down random people just to find the right doors. It makes me wonder how you run the rest of your business if you are that lackadaisical about basic property management.
Not so with large distribution centers. These operations are enormous in scale, but everything tends to be well managed, and certainly without any of the guesswork you find at smaller businesses. There are large signs directing trucks to exactly where they need to go, and plenty of space to move. Love it.
So, I’m at a Costco Distribution center, and I’m waiting for my delivery door to become available. There is a truck being unloaded and I’ve staged myself in front of it ready to back up into the open slot as soon as they’ve finished and departed. But, because I’m new, I’ve not perfectly positioned myself, I’m skewed off to the left a bit. No big deal, though, I’ll correct it when I back up.
The truck I’m waiting on drives out, and I’m up. I start backing towards the empty door, but the no-big-deal backing doesn’t go as smoothly as I had planned. I have to stop, pull up, and attempt to reposition myself. Again, large distribution center with acres of concrete means lots of room for this kind of maneuvering. However, the guy in the truck next to my empty space can immediately smell that I’m a newbie, gets out of his truck and starts yelling at me, “Oh no, you’re not going to blind back into my truck. Go out, come back around, do a proper 90 degree back and put it in there like a white man!”
Wait….what? Put it in there like a white man? I’ve thought about that phrase all week and I still don’t know what that means.
One of the things I’ve noticed about trucking is actually how ethnically diverse it is. I see Hispanic, African-American and Indian truckers every single day. I’d like to know some actual figures on how diverse the industry is, because it certainly looks like we have all the colors of the rainbow. I’ve always wondered how many bitter, angry white guys are still out there, though. I guess I found one.
Turns out he was finished getting unloaded about that time, so while I’m pulling up for another go, Angry Guy rushes back into his truck, and burns rubber getting out of there and away from the dangerous newbie. A few trucks down, another guy was watching all this go down. After Angry Guy left, he walked over and calmly help guide me into my space. With no yelling.
Funny old world, innit?