Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Time to Start Blogging Again

I kinda dropped the ball on this blogging thing and frankly I have missed it. Who knew it would be so enjoyable to write a blog. I sporadically kept journals as a young girl. But somehow they never interested me like this does. Who knew, well I guess that was my mom and oldest brother. After all they are the ones who encouraged me to start this in the first place.

Everytime something interesting happens, one of the first things that pops into my head is I should be blogging this! Take for instance where we loaded at a few weeks ago. We went in to check in and get our passes upon our arrival. They have a temporary building set up that is very basic and the flow of people, well there was no flow! We went to the left to check in and get our papers first. We patiently waited our turn. When it came we both walked up to the counter and gave the lady our information. Now I know as I describe her some of you are going to think I am mean, but this is a dead accurate description and without this mental image the story just wouldn't be the same. She was a large, heavy set black woman. Maybe in her mid 50s who looked as though she had stopped caring about her looks decades ago. Her clothing was unkempt and she wore what looked to be a really bad wig (to make matters worse, it was even slightly askew). Her mannerisms were overly exaggerated in ever way. My instant first impression was of a lazy drama queen. Then I immediately felt bad for categorizing her without even knowing her. If I had only known then...

As we told her what we were there to pick up she made several dramatic and loud comments regarding possible problems with our paperwork and freight then immediately dismissed them. Frankly at first I was confused as I tried to figure out how to respond to her. Then increasingly worried she was just plain crazy and this whole thing was going to go terribly wrong at any moment. However we both somehow managed to quietly muddle our way thru her dramatics, that is till she asked us about placards. I told her no we didn't carry any on the truck and would need them. To which she just stared at us...and stared at us. I swear it went on for over a minute. Finally she said, well just go load and when you come back here for your paperwork you can get them then. I was really worried then because I knew I was going to have to explain something to her. I told her simply we needed to take the placards with us in order to be able to placard the trailer once the freight was loaded. As we couldn't move a hazardous load without being placarded. She just looked at me, slack jawed and dull eyed. I tried again, "really we can't move the loaded trailer back across the facility without it being placarded. If there was an incident or accident we would be in serious trouble." Finally it started to dawn on her I wanted the placards now. So she informed us that the placards were at the end of the counter in that cabinet. Mind the cabinet she pointed to was a large double doored grey metal storage cabinet maybe ten feet to her left. Then she just stood there staring at us. Like that explain it all perfectly! I had to tell her again we really did need the placards before we could leave to load. She finally, very reluctantly, with plenty of shuffling, loud sighing and moaning, moved to toward the cabinet. One of her co-workers had the misfortune of being right next to the cabinet as she approached. First she stopped in front of it and just looked at it for a bit. Then she reached out a hand and poked the front of it! After this she turns to her co-worker and loudly proclaims it is locked in a whiny voice. He has obviously dealt with her before, as he simply turned around opened and closed the cabinet, then went back to what he was doing. She contemplated this for a bit then reached out and sort of wiggled the handle with two fingers. Here she complains to her co-worker again that she can't get it open. He, never saying a word this whole time, turned around again and opened the cabinet. She looks at his back for a few seconds, then looks into the cabinet....and stares into the cabinet....and stares into the cabinet. FINALLY...she proclaims, "there they are." Pause........"they are on the bottom." Then, she reaches out with her right foot and gently prods them as she continues to stare at them. She then has the audacity to turn to us and inform us that they are on the bottom. We manged, not without a struggle, not to say a word and keep our faces neutral. At this lack of response she turned back to contemplating the cabinet again, finally reaching down and getting the small package of placards.

She slowly walked back to her place in front of us and asked, "how many do you want, 6?" I responded telling her, "no, 5 will be fine." To which she proceeds to lecture me that I don't need "6" as there are only 4 sides to a truck and if we are worried about losing one she suggests we get out our duck tape, as all drivers carry that stuff, and tape the placards really good to the side of the trailer. Yes she knows what a mess it will make, but that's the only way to do it! I just gritted my teeth for a minute then calmly said 4 would be fine. She didn't like this response and gave us the WHOLE lecture again, after which she dramatically handed them over with another admonishment about taping them securely! After all as she informed us we would be in serious trouble if we were to loose one of them and not have a spare on hand to replace it with! With great effort we both gave a smile and thanked her for her help, then quietly turned and left as quickly as we could.

Our next stop was across the hall. As we were standing there waiting this woman came out into the hallway. There were two men standing in the hallway, which is about 7 feet wide. One man was standing on the right side leaning against some lockers and the other was on the left side, about 10 feet farther down the hall from the first, standing next to the wall. This woman, came to a stop a few feet in front of the first man and said, "excuse me!" in a medium tone of voice. To which both men responded by standing up straight and flattening themselves against the walls to make more room for her. She stood there for half a second looking at them then yelled, "EXXXXCUUUSSSSE MEEEEE!" at them. They both just stared at her helplessly not having a clue what she wanted. It didn't take long to find out either. She proceeded to yell at them that they needed to both move to the left side of the hallway and stand straight so she could pass on the right side of the hall. OH, and I forgot to tell you about her gloves! She had been wearing latex gloves when we first came across her. Which isn't entirely abnormal, but she had removed one while hand us our placards and then replaced it! So here she stands in the middle of the hall way holding both gloved hands up in front of herself like a surgeon yelling at these poor guys to get out of her way so she can go wash her hands immediately! I couldn't hold it in any longer, I turned around buried my face in Randy's back and started shaking with laughter. As soon as I heard the bathroom door close behind her I just howled! Even Randy gave in and laughed out right. She, while impossible, had to be the funniest person I have encountered in a long time! What was even better was while in getting our passes I heard her repeat the entire scene in the hallway in reverse when she left the bathroom. It took all I had in me not to start howling with laughter again till we left the building!

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