Friday, April 17, 2009

What a Crazy Week

This has been such an insane week.  It started out with a kind of slow drudgery, and I have never quite gotten up to speed.  First off Monday, Randy had to wake me earlier than usual to do a random drug test.  Then of course to top it off yet another rain front was coming thru and I got yet another headache.  Of course I had to drive starting Monday evening around 1700, but it was just a short 350 mile run so we were parked by midnight.  Then when we were sound asleep the delivery decided they wanted to unload us early, 2 hours early.  We rolled with it as usual and got to our next pick up 4 hours early because there was absolutely no parking in the truckstops.  Luckily, we had Live Searched the next pick up and knew the area was mostly opened and gaurded.  So we went ahead in, thinking we would just park and catch up on paperwork and breakfast.  Nope.   As soon as we arrived they were out the door and wanting us in the dock and loaded.  Of course this didn't make dispatch happy, because this was another TVAL load and the SOP on the Qualcomm wasn't set up to start recording on their end for another 4 hours.  We had to sit there, loaded, at the pick up for another 2 hours while they got everything straightened out on their end.  Which included them trying to tell us that our trailer traks wasn't working.  Funny thing was though that they knew exactly when we had turned the reefer on and off all morning, but now they supposedly couldn't get any temp readings off of the satellite.  We knew it was working (the previous load had been TVAL as well) and had to explain to them about 6 times that the problem was on their end.  The just needed to adjust the pickup time in their system so it would start capturing data.  Of course after the 3 try Randy was completely frustrated and tossed the phone at me and told me to "JUST DEAL WITH HER."  It took 2 hours, but she finally got it right.  With TVAL loads the satellite is set up to start capturing temp data from our unit 1 hour in advance of the scheduled appointment.  It is hard wired into the system, as our customers want at least one hour of the unit at temp prior to loading.  Well anyway, once we finally got that out of the way they released us to leave.  We ran the 7 miles to the delivery.  Of course the location was under construction.  These last couple of weeks it couldn't have been any different.  There were probably 30 docks open and wouldn't you know it, they just had to have us back into the one dock that had a huge dumpster/compactor on one side and a large ellevated cement ramp for straight trucks on the other side.  Yup and of course all of the personal vehicles of the companies employees were parked right in front of the dock where we needed to be able to pull up in order to even get turned around, much less back up.  But we did it.  I tell you that $120 we spent on our little Radio Shack handheld CB was the best money spent ever!  Oh and did I mention it was starting to rain. Again. Yup. Yet another headache too.

So then after this lovely morning we deadheaded 550 miles to pick up our next load.  It was to load the following afternoon.  I got lucky as Randy drove this stretch since I hadn't had much sleep since Sunday night.  The next pickup was a usual customer of ours, but we haven't been in there for maybe 6-7 months.  So it was, of course, nice to see them again.  We played the usual musical docks before they finally decided on one.  At least we are used to this dance and just wait it out till they actually all troop outside to access the sitution and point to the dock they REALLY want.  What a hoot it is to watch.  They take it all way to seriously!

So now it is Wednesday evening and I drove 626 miles thru sunshine, sunset, rain and finally fog into the delivery.  I got there early as usual and was unwinding playing online, when the customer came out and banged on the side of the truck's cab wanting to get things started.  I swear this sort of thing is taking years of off my life.  I jumped so high when he banged on the door beside me I almost hit my head on the roof of the cab! If course this caused yet another run around with dispatch (yup another TVAL load).  They take this stuff very seriously.  Though things seemed to flow easier this time around, since it was an early unload.  Then we actually had a second drop on this load. So I ran over to the location next.  I sat there for another 2 1/2 hours so that the clock could catch up with itself. Even though eveyone was there and ready to unload.  Nope, we had to end this one on time.  So we sat till it was our confirmed scheduled appointment time.  By the time I made it to the sleeper it was almost 0900.  I was so tired of course it took me a while to settle in.  But then I was gone.

For all of about 1 hour.  ANOTHER RANDOM DRUG TEST!!!  Of course they don't care if I just collasped and couldn't legally log anytime on duty for another 9 hours.  We had one hour to find the test location and check in.  Which in Allentown, PA it takes every minute.  We ended up having to park at a K-Mart and walking to the clinic.  At least it wasn't far and wonder of wonders it wasn't raining!

But by the time I got out of there it was after 1300 and we were locked down for another customer.  So I didn't want to crash.  Of course as a result here I am like an idiot still up at almost 0500 in the morning.  Going on 40 hours here and feeling every single one.  What is that saying...?  THANK GOD ITS FRIDAY!  Oh yeah.

I just really hope that this customer doesn't want us to do what I think they want.  At least not for another 12 hours.  Because once I fall asleep, I know from many past experiences just like this one.  I will not be waking for at least 10 hours.  I am NOT setting my alarm either...

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