Friday, February 24, 2012

The SUV

This entire entry is not going to be about this incident.

However.  I was cruising along the 101 Freeway, southbound, approaching the Elliot road off-ramp.
I have traveled this stretch of freeway so often in the semi, I know what happens before it happens.  I am perched up high, I can see over all the cars ahead of me.

I am going 65mph in a 65 mph freeway.  But, I am prepared to shut it down cause' I know that at least the potential is there that the lane I am in is going to come to stop.  I am also looking WELL ahead of me, though I always do that anyway.

Sure enough, I get up to this portion of freeway - maybe a 1/4 mile before getting to the off-ramp and I can see 20 cars worth of brake lights, cars going off the side of the road into the emergency lane and your basic chaos and heterdyne situation.  I'm already slowing down but the 10 vehicles in front of me don't see what's going on ahead of them - or they simply aren't paying attention - or probably a bit of both.  I only had maybe 15,000 pounds on the trailer.  26,000 truck weight equals 41,000 pound or around there in Gross Vehicle Weight.

Well, the SUV in front of me finally sees the vehicle in front of is shutting down, ie: slamming on the brakes and does the same.  I can see her/him looking in rear-view and that person does something surprising:  he bolts in to the emergency lane.  No, not because they were about to run into the vehicle ahead of them - this person's brake slamming avoided that, no.  Because, they thought, I was about to run over the top of them.  Or at least slam into them and cause' some lifelong problems.  Or life-ending.

I was WAY ahead of that game, but I guess it didn't appear that way to that person.  They are sitting in the emergency lane for several seconds.  I did not attempt to pass, instead, I waited until they saw that I saw what they did.  Although it was unnecessary, I did appreciate that once in a blue moon, there is someone that sees the potential for disaster and actually does something about it.  Truck drivers basically drive for everyone.  Whatever you are doing in front of me, I have already gone through the list of things that you could possibly do, eliminated some of them and waiting and prepared for the worst.  It's how I keep out of horrific accidents.

On a somewhat similar note, I already have a voice mail in my phone concerning Monday morning.  A huge order for a contractor has come in - after I left of course.  I was at 40 hours and that's pretty much what I get - which is better than the 3 years of 35 hours I was getting, so I won't complain.  We already have a HUGE order for Monday which I started pulling after I got done with my deliveries.  Some 2 hours into pulling it - my manager also pulling this order as well - he gets a call.

Hey dude, I changed the order.  Oh. What are you doing?  He changed some things and then was going to change even more of it. We're talking around $130,000 worth of orders going to the same place that is going out first thing Monday morning, we are pulling it Friday late morning and trying to get situated for an early morning delivery and this guy comes along and tells us he is changing it.

We both gave up.  What is the point of trying to get ahead when the order is changed?  I was sent home - my 40 hours were there, though I would have stayed a few hours extra to get it done and ready to go.  We have come to the conclusion that it's time to stop pulling orders in advance, this happens so much that we are sick of the garbage.  Which will, of course, cause problems.  If we aren't pulling orders in advance, then contractors aren't getting  product when they want it.  Yet, the salesmen are allowing contractors to totally change huge orders at the last minute and then expect us - to somehow accommodate for it even after we have already pulled the order, palletized it and shrink wrapped it, ready to go.  

Just time to make a statement: get your orders right the first time and quite giving us "phantom" orders.  So, we decided that we will get it done Monday - and it will be LONG after that salesman wanted it done. But to top that, ANOTHER large order was placed in the system after I left, and apparently nothing has been pulled on it.  I was left an email to show up early on Monday.  You know, I am not going to lose sleep over another person's inability to do their job right.  Or to ensure that orders placed by contractors are done correctly the first time.

When you get orders changed over and over and over, time after time, you tend to get to the point where you don't really believe that whatever order is placed in the system? I really what it's going to end up being after all the changes.  I am ready to start writing them:  "when you are done making changes, please let me know and we will definitely get this order pulled". That notation will be given when the order is placed in our system.  I will assume changes are going to be made.  This will delay deliveries.  But it's necessary at this point.  We spent 2 hours pulling this order today and then get a call: I'm making changes to the order.

We're looking at each like, what the freak?  You want us to pull 130k worth of orders and have it ready to go for Monday delivery and you are calling us this late in the day and telling us that you are now changing the order?

Yeah. That was the end of it. I was ready to spend another couple of hours finishing pulling that order.  Now?  I will spend Monday morning pulling a completely different order, lol.  I am asked to show up at 5:30 am.  No problem.  Doesn't necessarily mean I will get off early on Monday, but it WILL either add to my hours for that week or I will be getting off early one day.

Meanwhile, it's the weekend.  Yes, indeed.  Warming up.  80 degrees today.  That isn't really hot here, but inside a house with the sun baking down on it? Yes, it will warm up.  Inside a car? It was hot inside my car when I left work today and I was running the AC all the way home.

Enough for today.

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