Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Longest Day?

When I went into work this morning, I knew what was in the truck routing system and what deliveries had to be made where. I already had the semi loaded with a giant fusion machine and it's accompanying generator. I was to take it to a jobsite only 7 miles down the road and then go make another delivery, a pickup at a vendor and then deliver what I picked up at the vendor. I figured that would take most of the day.

I'm getting ready to leave when a salesman calls my manager - who showed up to work today after being off for 2 days extremely sick.

It's a long story - trying to completely change the game plan for 2 warehouses worth of drivers usually is going to take a while. The change was simply this: Take the machinery I have on my truck to White River, Arizona - they have an emergency and have to have it there today, the earlier the better. The 7 mile one-way drive turned into a 172 mile one-way drive through some of the most beautiful scenery to be found in Arizona.

Words cannot describe the Salt River Canyon. It gives the Grand Canyon a run for the money in terms of beauty and vastness - yes, the Grand Canyon is definitely a wonder to see, but the Salt River Canyon is amazing. I hadn't been through there in ages. It's up in the mountains - you go down must be thousands of feet from the top to the bottom with switchbacks, steep grade and some intense views. I went through there twice - going up and coming back. Never does God's creation cease to amaze me.

The place also brings back memories - my family did a white water river rafting adventure starting at the bottom of that canyon some years ago. Long story - a dude almost died - but anyway. I took a video of going down one side of the Canyon - I didn't expect to be sent anywhere today, so, even though I had my camera, the battery was more than half dead. I was able to take some pics, 2 videos and really, enjoyed the drive. 13-1/2 hour day. I am going into work late tomorrow and probably getting off early. The only thing that could change that?

I no more got home than ANOTHER salesman calls me, not half an hour ago. Hey, Ben, it's Hector. Now, Hector is a totally cool guy, even if you wanted to get mad at him you just couldn't . He was wondering whether I had left the fusion machine and generator up on the reservation. Nope, I said, it's on the semi, I spent all day taking it up there, taking it off the truck, assisting the field tech using it, loading it back on the truck. I was bracing myself.

The project I was going to take the machine to this morning was what his call was about. They are on a VERY tight schedule in getting whatever work is being done there. I think they have to shut down an entire wastewater treatment plant to do the final connection for the pipe. That pipe is welded by the machine that is on my truck. Yes, amazingly, there are types of underground piping in existence that is welded together by heat, not by gluing it together or using fittings that mechanically join the pipe together. The situation is mandated by the city: you WILL have this done by X amount of time. Usually, in such situations, if it is not done, there are huge fines involved.

The point. The contractor doing the work demanded to have a backup unit available - and close by - if the unit being used breaks down for any reason. Yes, I'm on call. But "only after 3:00am", lol, when they're starting the work. They brought another machine up from Tucson with another tech to do the work. I had to ask: Well, what's wrong with THAT machine?

Nothing. But, Hector is leaving nothing to chance. If someone's ass is going to be hung up on a line, it ain't gonna be his. I doubt I will get a phone call, but if I do, I agreed to get up, drive to work, get in the truck and drive it to the jobsite. I can't imagine what could go wrong with the machine and I don't want to try - if I do, I can imagine getting a call at 3:30 am : )

As it is, I am not expected at work until 8:00 am, which is fine by me. The company will not allow OT, I know I'm gonna lose it anyway, I might as well show up later to work - there is nothing to do tomorrow excepting some pickups from vendors.

I have one of those head frying brain buzzing things going on from driving all day along with working. Dunno how to describe it - if you've ever spent a day driving you may have experienced it. I am not even going to try to go to sleep until it subsides. I have PLENTY of experience with that. For me, anyway, I cannot sleep in such a condition until that noise fades. It's sorta like the sound of bacon frying mixed with the sound of water coming out of a faucet.

The only regret today is that I had no choice but to put off taking Caleb to the DMV office for his second attempt at getting a learner's permit. Yesterday was the doc's office and I had already told him Mondays aren't good for me after work. I wasn't in cell range today - there ARE no cell towers for 75 miles anyway of the area I was at. He had called and wondered where I was at.

Well, whatever. This day is trashed and cashed and I'm outta here.



Interesting day. Up early - 4:00, jolted out of deep sleep by the ridiculous phone alarm - annoying as all get out but that's the inten...