Thursday, May 10, 2018

The Everlasting Ethylene Run

Should have been a one day trip. Overnight and home in the morning at most. 

Instead, I get to the plant on Tuesday at 1:30 pm.  When I pulled up to the Ethylene rack, there were fully 4 trucks in line ahead of me.  I mean, I've never even seen that there.  Maybe a truck or two, but 4?  I'm thinking, how many hours am I going to have to wait here? My appointment was at 2:30, we have to show up an hour early, which I did.  I just sat there and shook my head, gonna be a long afternoon.

I got in the sleeper and went to bed.  Fell into a deep sleep.  Woke up a couple hours later, now another truck had shown up and ahead of me.  My truck loads coming in from the opposite side than those trucks, which were all ISO tanks.  They filled them all up and then Lance comes up to my truck. Uhh, Ben?  We're out of Ethylne.  LOLOLOL

Okaaaaaaaaaaayyy.  I didn't get out of there until 9:00 pm.  After that, I decided i was too tired to drive too far, so I got a hundred miles in and then pulled over for the night.  Drove the rest out the next morning, got to the plant near Port Arthur. I was directed to the waiting lot, where I waited and waited and waited. 5 hours, actually.  I got tired of it, drove up to the guard shack where they gave me a look. They didn't come to get you? No. She made a phone call. Well, the plant operator forgot to tell the crew to come get you, but they can come now.  Okay.

A process to get the truck turned around, got back to the parking lot and waited 2 more hours.  Enough. I texted my manager and then went back up to the front.  She called me back, explaining that the plant operator had gone home - a shift change - and hadn't passed on the info to the next shift.  Same operator twice? We're on the level of incompetence.  Well, when I got up to the guard shack my manager called and said I have 2 options (but I really need the trailer back here): get up at 4:00 am and get it filled up or go in at 7:00 am.  She wants the trailer back, I opted for 4:00 AM.  The guard apparently thought I didn't know what was going on and tried to feed me a story. Instead of getting snappy with her, I just replied, yes, the plant operator went home and now they are pumping pressure into Train 1 to fill up the ships. 

She looks at me funny and nods, yeah.  Wouldn't have known any of that if it weren't for my manager.  I am assuming heads were rolling after she had called some senior manager who made his own phone calls and apparently let people know how things should be, versus how things occurred.  I like the detention time - 30 hours worth on this trip - but I had to cancel my all important dental appointment and that didn't set well with me. in fact, this trip spread out over 3 days which is ridiculous.   There aren't any stores down there, there is nothing but that plant.  It's positioned right next to the Gulf.  It has spots for 2 giant ships.  No one has built anything for a store within 10 miles of there.  There is no cafeteria on site, if you don't have food and drinks with you? You're screwed. I had food, so no biggies. 

The only good part about this besides extensive detention pay was that that "normal" crew I have to deal with, which includes 2 very arrogant and loud mouthed kids - weren't there.  A very quiet and reserved manager and his crew.  I was left to do all the work - which was fine with me.  I had the thing set up and got the pressure up quickly.  In fact, I had to shut the pressure building down for a while, it got up at the threshold.  This is an old trailer and I was surprised at how well the pressure coils were working. I got it to the right position for the liquid on the valve - about a 3rd of a turn - and that was it. Just wait until the thing emptied, pull out the excess pressure, leave. 

Drove back to the yard.  That plant asked if "that driver" could load up and come back down again?  No, she said, he won't have enough hours.  14 hours for today, to clarify, I have plenty of 8/70 hours.  She argued with them. Sure, he could load the truck but he won't be able to drive back down there, he won't have enough hours.  She got it settled with 10 am tomorrow with another driver pulling that trailer down there.  I don't want to go back down to the freaking place.  They can keep it. I didn't make that demand to my manager, but she can definitely spread that joy around. 

It's over. I was informed that I might have to go out again tomorrow. I said fine. If not, I replied, I'll try to get back in  with the dentist, but if you have a load that needs covered I'l take it. 

So far, nothing. But it's still early.  This trip really wore me out, I'd just as soon have tomorrow off but I won't ask for it.

I dunno, but life around here has definitely taken a twist.  Rene broke her ankle yesterday, so now the kids are going to a daycare.  I'm coming home to no one here. Okay, it's totally fine with me, lol.  Peace and quiet for a while. 

Ugh. I think I'm going to take a nap. Must be that old age thing. 

Happy Independence Day to everyone! Beautiful day in northeast Texas. Well, it's hot and humid but oh well lol. Good day to re-read th...