Barstow Revisited, Broken Computers, and How Attitude Is Everything

In the interested of fairness, I must mention that I recently spent another night in Barstow, but at a different truck stop. It did not smell like ass. It was quite lovely, actually.

So, maybe all of Barstow does not smell like ass. Just so we’re clear.

Moving on.

I want to apologize for taking so long to post. I am working on a longer post, and need to make sure that I word what I want to say very carefully.

Hopefully, that post will be finished soon. Stay tuned.

Remember Martha, my Driver Business Leader? Yeah, I kind of forgot about her, too. Turns out she is actually in the Army, but in something different than just the Reserves, maybe the National Guard? She had been gone on a deployment for the last 4 weeks. Now, I come to find the Army called her back for another deployment, and she’ll be gone for another month. I had to learn about this from Chet*, who is temporarily taking over from Martha.

Way to communicate, everyone.

My truck was in the shop again. This time it was the on-board computer. It kept saying it wasn’t receiving any satellite signal, so my on-board computer, including my GPS, would randomly shut down and reboot while I was driving. No bueno. This has been going on for a while, so I had actually bought a Garmin Nuvi as a backup GPS. It’s not a truck specific GPS, so it keeps tempting me to drive down leafy suburban streets. But, the plus side is that I now have a GPS for my personal car, which is nice.

After my truck was in the shop to fix the GPS, I come to find that Chet, my temporary DBL, has actually scheduled my truck to go into the shop AGAIN next week, because it’s due its quarterly maintenance.  Way to communicate, everyone.

Also happening in this coming week is my 3-month newbie evaluation.  Which is funny because I’m well into my fourth month with Schneider.  What happened was another newbie driver got into an accident, and so they scheduled his newbie evaluation before mine.  Because, obviously, accident.

Bottom line is that I’m low on miles last week, and I’ll be even lower this week. No bueno.

One quick story: I was tasked with picking up a loaded trailer to take to a warehouse for unloading.  The company is a big one, you would instantly recognize their name.  It was late in the day and I only had about 3 hours left on my clock.  I arrived early hopeful about getting an early start.  I approached the door leading to the shipping office, buzzed the intercom, and the voice asked when my appointment was.  “Five”, I replied.  It was just after four in the afternoon.  “We’re really busy, come back at five.”

I’ve only been doing this for a few months, but I’ve not met a receiver who didn’t like their shipments to arrive a little early.

Five finally rolls around, I buzz the intercom, and get let into the warehouse.  The person who checks me in is terse, distant, and borderline rude to me.  I say can you unload me in under two hours?  “We have a two-hour window”

“I’m sorry, I don’t understand.”  “We have a two-hour window.”  “You mean, two hours to start?  Or you are required to be finished in two hours?”

Giving me the Death Look.  “We have a two-hour window to unload you.”

Holy crap.  I go out and talk to some of the other drivers who uniformly agree that everyone who works in this warehouse is an asshole.

An hour and a half into their two-hour window, and nothing has been unloaded.  I have 30 minutes before I have to leave or else I’ll be out of driving hours.  I talk to the same person, let them know that I need to leave soon, and nothing has been unloaded.  After rolling their eyes and exhaling loudly, they call over warehouse supervisor to talk to me.  This person is even more dismissive and rude to me.

“We can unload your trailer in a half hour.” “Really, because in 30 minutes I’m driving off.” “No your not.”  Well, I better drive off now then, and come back in the morning.

Now everyone is looking at me like I had just kicked their dog.  Holy crap.  This company is horrible, everyone who works here really is an asshole. I’m never buying this product again, I think to myself.

I drive off, and return at opening hour the next morning.  I get let into the warhouse immediately, and the morning shift desk person is attentive, polite and professional.  They call over the forklift driver who will be unloading me, he smiles and says “Good morning.”  I back into the door, and after one hour (I knew it couldn’t be done in 30 minutes), he lets me know it’s all finished.  I promptly get my paperwork and I’m wished a good day as I leave.

Holy crap, this company is amazing, everyone who works here is really polite and professional.  I’m recommending this product to everyone!

Attitude is everything, friends.  It’s a lesson I’m too often forced to relearn.
*Like Martha, not his real name. But I’ve met him, and he reminded me of the older brother Chet from Weird Science, so that’s what I’ll call him.

One thought on “Barstow Revisited, Broken Computers, and How Attitude Is Everything

  1. Whoa.
    I am about to go again to visit MadMax in Vegas.
    I am comforted knowing you are on the road ahead of me.
    I wish we could just stop somewhere and have coffee and hang out.
    I wish for a lot of things.
    Safe travels.


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