Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Decatur, Alabama.
Got there last night - decided I didn't have enough hours to offload - about an hour and 15 minutes on the clock, takes longer than that on the best of days, at least 2 hours.

Was a good decision.
The whole day was just one thing after another.

1. Security shack.  They didn't know what they were doing.  I spent 45 minutes in there just getting clearance to even get into the plant.  I had to watch a video - which they couldn't figure out how to turn on. So I answered the question sheet - which is based on the video - got them all right but they still wanted me to watch it.  A lady from another part of the plant eventually came and got it on for them.

2.  Ethylene rack.  The manufacturing plant was supposed to email them the COA - certificate of analysis - all plants require it before they will offload.  Over an hour wasted on that.

3.  Personnel had no clue what they were doing. They were literally learning from a manual how to take the product off the truck. That was a bit scary to me.  When they finally thought they had it going, they couldn't figure out why nothing was happening.  That's when I took over the truck - they want to control everything at this plant including the truck, but enough was enough.  "You don't have the valves on the truck opened, I'll deal with that".

4.  After everything was supposed to be fine - they still couldn't get their end of it to work.  They tried to blame the truck, as they did the last trailer up there last week.  Nope, not having it. This trailer is almost brand new, I said, there is literally nothing wrong with it. The valves are open, the problem is on your end.  I finally got them to admit their pump is defective and has a leaking seal. They actually tried to get the manufacturer to credit them for the last load - almost all of it was sent to their flare and burned off.  They admitted they have a leaking seal that stops the product from going to the flare when closed.

5.  After another hour and a half of that, they finally  got their pump to run. At high speed? It would take hours to unload - and it did.

6. After almost 5 hours of that nonsense, I finally got out of there.  Drove 300 miles, stopped for my 30 minute rest break. I was ready for it - all that time in the plant and then 5 more hours of driving, yes, I was ready for a break. When I woke up from my nap, I had forgotten I had not driven under the overpass. I got on the highway headed the wrong direction. Lost 40 minutes on that deal, my fault on that one.

7.  Coming into Jackson, Mississippi, there was a 5 mile long line of stopped traffic.  Stop and go for 45 minutes.  An accident.

8. Got lighted to go into the weigh station down the road from Jackson.  I usually get bypassed.  I knew I was in for trouble when the arrow pointed me to weigh the truck instead of bypassing the scale. They have a weigh-in-motion that determines your weight while you are rolling over it before you get to the scale. I was empty.  Yup, DOT inspection.  Almost an hour of that.  I could have actually made it home tonight if it hadn't been for that everlasting inspection.  Nothing I could do but show the officers respect, say thank you, yes sir, etc.  You will get a failed inspection every time if you give them hell and don't give them the same respect they give you - and yes, almost always, they are quite professional.

On very few occasions, I've given them attitude right back. They start out with authoritarian tones, go to demands and then start condescending and getting rude.  I bite my tongue until they get to the rude part, then I let them have it right back. They simply don't have a reason to be rude when the driver is being respectful and having a good attitude.  Especially our trucks. They are WELL maintained, they don't have leaks, bald tires, broken axles, bad brakes, etc. I accept that I can get pulled over whenever they please to do it, I don't accept the bad behavior.

But that didn't happen today, and after what seemed like an eternity, they brought paperwork back, asked me to sign it - which I did - and then pointed to fields on the paper where management had to sign it and send it back.  Oh, what was wrong? Oh nothing, he said, you're good! Good truck. Thank you sir!  But even if he had written me up for something, I still would have been respectful. They're doing their job and keeping the roads safe from bad trucks with faulty equipment.

And now?  At a giant truckstop well away from any big cities.  I'm not interested in engaging in these riots unless they come to my doorstep, which I doubt it will.  14 hours - and I am wide awake. I could have easily, safely, driven back to the yard.  DOT regulations, one-size-fits-all crap is bs.

To tell you the truth, tho, I don't really care.  The only thing that will happen is I get pushed down the queue for the next run. That's why I'm always trying to get back as fast as possible.  Get back on the road, get the paychecks.  Well I'm also interested in going home, lol. seeing the fam and the dogs.  I consider my friends where I live family now, as they have been calling me family for quite a long time.  The kids call me uncle ben. Yes sir, when they are doing something they aren't allowed to do by the parents' decree and I enforce it.  Mama says they like me more than them lol.

Okay, well, just watching the news at this point. These riots aren't going away.  Until these mayors that are refusing the help from the National Guard get to the understanding that their cities are going to be completely destroyed if they don't do something different than what they are doing - ie: call in for help that's already been offered to them - this isn't going to change.  Our nation is under attack.

What happened to the virus?

I looked on the door camera today - kids bikes haven't moved in days.  I took them around the circle the other day - walked the dogs while they rode their bikes. I'll do it again tomorrow after they get home time permitting.

Tomorrow, after I get back which should be late morning, I will be heading over to the other house. Maria is in Houston with her son and his wife and new born.  The remaining ladies are going at it throat to throat.  I'm going to show up with dogs, diesel fuel and a beer or two, go out back, douse the huge pile of tree branches that have accumulated on the burn pile and light'er up.  And then, we can discuss living together as mature adults and with respect, one to another.  The neighbor across the street witnessed one lady bullying the other, and the other not backing down. When I arrive, there will be the bully's kid and her kid's kid there.  This isn't going to be entertaining or fun, hence bringing the dogs and burning the woodpile that one of the ladies is complaining about.  Well disclaimer here: if I get back too late, I'm not going over there and I'm not dealing with this. It can wait until Thursday.

Boat. I want my boat!  Ugh. Beautiful boating and fishing weather right now. I could easily spend half a day out on a lake and just forget about all the garbage going on right now.  It could be weeks before they get the parts : (

I need a vacation.  NO, not a stay at home vacation, something away from home. Relaxing.  Entertaining. Rejuvenating.

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...