Saturday, April 18, 2009

So Sorry

Last week I intended to do a post or two that just never happened. Real life seems to get in the way of blogging.

Tax day was not a disaster for me and I did alright, unlike a few people I know.

Wednesday morning (tax-day) I had a bit of a nasty surprise. It was about 4:15 AM I was working 3rd shift in the guard shack and opened a fire-door to go to one of the out buildings to check locks, temps and take meter readings. About ten feet from that door is a large drain and nosing around that drain was a skunk. It turned, used its defense mechanism and ran. I had to leave my jacket outside of the guard shack but couldn't do much about my trousers. When the office staff saw me Friday afternoon I was the target of some teasing from the VP and seems that everyone in the plant seemed to know that I was obliquely blasted by skunk. I guess I shouldn't have told the janitor about it. (Thank God it wasn't a direct hit or, even worse, that I didn't actually step on it and get bitten.)

Then Friday I was working second shift and I dealt with possibly the worst truck driver I have ever dealt with. He could barely speak English (which I am told is not all that unusual in some areas). I told him to take his truck to a certain spot and wait for instructions and so he drives on through and heads for the first available dock, which was not what I told him. Furthermore he was followed by another car that was not authorized to be in that area. I first called shipping and told them what was going on, and they said OK, they were going to put him there anyway, then I went to see what that other car was about; it was the owner of the truck monitoring the driver. I asked if he was a trainee and was told the driver had been there for 20 years but just wouldn't learn. After watching him spend half an hour trying to line his truck up with the dock I began to have my doubts and the owner got out and got the truck in place for him. OK, drivers sometimes have problems, but then another truck came in and I directed him to the same spot I directed the first guy to and told him to wait for instructions, which he did.

A few minutes later, here comes the UPS truck and I open the gate to let him in and a look of amazement appeared on the UPS driver's face and I turned around and here comes our genius, moving way too fast in high traffic area with a posted speed limit of 10 MPH. Also clearly posted is DO NOT PROCEED UNTIL CHECKING WITH GUARD. That's so nobody leaves until everything is right. Well he almost hit the UPS truck and headed down the truck lane toward the exit and the main road. Part of what I am supposed to do is check their paperwork and make sure the trailer doors are secure. His were wide open. I run after him yelling "Stop! Stop!" and I hear a horn. I turn and it's the now exasperated owner of the truck saying "I'll take care of it!" I watch them leave thinking it's over. No such luck.

About two hours later as the shipping crew is leaving, I am standing by the crew gate letting them out and I hear a "Hey!" It's our hero standing at the truck gate. The head of shipping just happened to be there so we walked over and he needed his doors opened and a new seal. The shipping chief said OK and we let him back in. This time he managed to park his truck relatively quickly and they had to completely unload and reload his truck. Why? He dropped his cell phone in the very front of the trailer and needed it. That took a half-hour or so and as he left the shipping head looked at me and said "I've seen em even dumber." I couldn't imagine it but he has more experience. I sat in the guard shack and watched him fiddle with his wheel locks, which took him another 45 minutes, but he was outside of my gate, he was no longer my problem. Our logs said that he had originally left almost 4 hours before he finally got his load of our product on the road. I'm glad it wasn't a hot shipment that was in a big hurry.

What hit me though was how badly he spoke English and I just kept wondering "Where is this guy from?"


Blogger Chuck said...

Am I understanding that he has worked here for 20 years and cannot speak English?

8:49 AM  
Blogger shoprat said...

No one in the Shipping Department believed the claim of him being there 20 years.

8:52 AM  
Blogger Mustang said...

Our government's amnesty programs at work?

It must be that because with people standing in line for a job, there is no reason to keep a moron on the payroll. Hooray for LULAC.

11:02 AM  
Blogger dmarks said...

That bad English guy is probably a product of a NEA school, and reflects the high standards that they hold their teachers to.

4:46 PM  
Blogger Average American said...

NEA school?? He's a frigging illegal alien! You pay peanuts, you get monkeys.

3:48 AM  
Blogger The Saint said...

Great blog my friend, I be back again..........and often

8:44 AM  
Blogger Always On Watch said...

A skunk! Eeeeek!

Once, some 50 years ago, a rabid skunk got stuck in our outside basement stairwell. Crazed as the animal was, he sprayed the basement door several times before Dad finally shot the animal.

Our basement stank as long as the house stood -- no matter how much tomato juice we used to wash down that door.

As for non-English-speaking drivers, we have so many of them around here that one needs to speak Spanish so as to communicate with them.

1:13 PM  
Blogger Z said...

Shoprat! He might not be here 20 years, but he'll probably get 20 years of benefits soon...on us.

what a story! SO, where WAS he from!? (let me guess...)

4:32 PM  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

Looks like that driver needs to be on your "We'll Never Let This Guy Into Our Facility AGAIN" list. It's your property; you can do it.


6:22 PM  
Blogger Dee said...

Wow, with so many people hurting for jobs its hard to believe that guy still has his.

12:55 AM  
Blogger Gayle said...

An interesting and extremely discouraging post, Shoprat. I'm sure we're going to see a lot more of this. It's disgusting!

I'm very glad you didn't get bitten by the skunk, though. At least that went well. :)

10:10 AM  
Blogger Joe said...

Had a supply tent on a camping trip infiltrated by a skunk (no, it was not President BO), which left its evidence on every piece of food we had.

Good thing I knew how to "live off the land," or we would have starved to death.

We ate fish (caught with my trusty Popiel Pocket Fisherman) and swamp cabbage (heart of palm), along with some wild berries for three days.

11:18 AM  
Blogger Tom said...

Incredible! Two stinkers in one post!

5:10 PM  

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