Driven to Deliver|
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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in
Driven to Deliver's LiveJournal:
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|Wednesday, September 5th, 2007|
Ranting and raving
If anyone's still reading this, you might be interested in a new account I just created: jerkoftheday
. I made it specifically for ranting and raving about all the idiots I encounter in my daily travels. I'm trying to do it in as witty and entertaining a style as possible, rather than a fountain of "AAAAAARRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!" :)
|Monday, August 20th, 2007|
Amazing how I drop out of courier work for a while due to car problems, get back into it about 9 months later (I'm not counting a month as the UPS driver helper for the peak holiday season, because it's not quite the same thing), and my post is still in the last 20. Is anyone out there still reading this?
|Tuesday, June 19th, 2007|
If you could say 3 things to fix traffic what would they be?
(And you have to say something new. No repeats.)
1. Gain freeway speed BEFORE trying to merge. If I can do it in a Geo anybody can do it.
2. Fluid merging is faster merging, for everybody. Don't fight for the last spot, and don't fight to close the gap. It doesn't work to your advantage.
3. "Hey lane hoppers!" Us experienced folk are laughing at you!
|Wednesday, August 2nd, 2006|
It comes with the job....
|Monday, July 10th, 2006|
Didn't feel a thing
I'm back on the northern route this month. There was a huge influx of orders after the July 4th break, and with the usual complete lack of planning they gave me too much to deliver on Wednesday. This leads to a wonderful domino effect where places begin closing before I can make their deliveries, so I have to try again the next day, with all of that day's stuff, too, resulting in me being still overloaded. But I caught up on everything Thursday, and Friday was a relatively short day for me - which, on this route, means I actually get to take a lunck break and go home on time.
So there I was, heading north on 295, after looping around the perimeter of Portland so I can take an exit that will literally dump me next to the warehouse. Of course, being Friday afternoon, there's heavy traffic from all the vacationers from out of state. Very heavy stop and go traffic heading north, far worse than usual. Fortunately, I'm in #2 (the truck in the userpic), which has good air conditioning and an automatic transmission. I don't mind shifting my own gears, except in stop and go traffic.
Cruising at 10-15mph, suddenly the van in front of me stops short. I nail the brakes and stop short of hitting him, though I think I heard the empty pallets in the back shift forward. Then we start moving again.
That's when I noticed a Lexus with a potato-chipped hood pull up next to me, and the driver very politely waves for me to pull over.
When I stopped short, she didn't. That wasn't a pallet shift I heard - it was the Lexus running into the power liftgate on the back of the truck!
She was very, very cool about the whole thing. Nobody hurt. You can see the condition of her car. The truck was completely undamaged. Not even a scratch. While waiting for the cop to do his thing, I lowered and raised the liftgate to check it out, and it still works perfectly. The Lexus got towed. The liftgate sits higher than her bumper, so she ran into me with her hood instead. Fortunately for her, the damage looks pretty much superficial - hood, lights, radiator support, but that's about it.
After a while, once the backed up traffic was past us, it started moving smoothly again. In fact, the only reason traffic was slowing down was because of the stupid rubberneckers. (Though on the plus side, the bottleneck this created meant that once I headed home from work, there was very little traffic continuing northbound... >:) )
No issues at the office. Of course there's lots of paperwork to fill out and people to talk to and such, but I'm working through the red tape as best I can. As far as I'm concerned, it's a no-fault accident. I'm sure the insurance will declare it her fault, since she hit me, and argue that she should've left more room between us. While theoretically true, in practice if she allowed that kind of room, someone merging onto the highway would've cut her off, slipped between us, and left even less room than she'd left me.
|Wednesday, June 28th, 2006|
I got a job as a dispatcher
I love reading these stories of couriers, it is so thrilling hearing about driving. So I felt like I sort of had a clue about what goes on at a Currier company. And maybe that's why when I heard about a dispatcher job, I jumped on the opportunity. So I'm working as a dispatcher and a call capture at a local messenger company in Seattle. I don't think that my posts won't be as interesting as you guys, but I'll give it a shot.
Here's what my Friday was like. Is it just me or do Fridays seam a little busy?
I feel like I lost it. Usually I'm up beat, I'm energetic. and I don't feel down. This morning was fine, I was answering the phones to take down the customer's info. After lunch, I was at peak performance. My reading off the numbers didn't go smoothly. I stumbled through reading off the list, so the bikers want happy. They would ask me to give pick up to someone else and I would hear that number. I would have to ask for 10-9 quite a bit, to have them repeat them selves. I was getting like 10 jobs needing to be dispatched, and the bikes were meeting to swap packages, then calling me to move that around on the computer. Plus they need to use their pagers to clear out the job seek! I heard the phone ring at my boss's desk, and figured that when he answered the phone as the lead bikers name that I was soon going to be pulled off. And I was. The other dispatcher, who's moving on-that's why I was hired, replaced me. Yea, ok.
I guess I don't need to think that I'm not doing a good job. It's my first week. Plus one of the bikers is out this week on vacation. I'm listening in on what the new dispatcher is saying and he sounds busy. Now he's telling me not to worry about. But I feel bad that I was not able to do it prefect today.
Then the phone was ringing, and it wasn't one of our normal company's. It was some lady who wanted to talk to someone who's name I couldn't find on the list. I can't transfer anyone! I fucked up and the phone hung up on her. So she called back, fortunately I wasn't the one who answered the phone. But she did mention to the guy that she was hung up on the last time that she called in. Then the guy that she was transferred to asked to have a word with one of my other bosses.
Later I learn that I got the name of one street confused with one not at the top of the hill. Boston and Boylston. I feel awful. Have the weekend to recover.
|Tuesday, June 27th, 2006|
Well! I've quit my courier job. My car insurance was $170 a month (female under age 25, solo account, 2003 car), and I had to cough up $700 for new belts, brakes, and a few other parts, all in the last month. That's about all the proof I needed that it was time to move on. I might still be working in the industry, though, only as a handler on a shipping belt. So I'll get to see the other side of it. I hope. Oh, the end of an era... quite something, really. Love to all my courier peoples! :)
|Monday, June 19th, 2006|
|Saturday, June 17th, 2006|
I'm sure some of you have seen it before. So please spare me the "repost" style comments. I still love it!
|Friday, May 12th, 2006|
I'm not sober and I want to babble. Deal with it....
First of all, clothing is not the only thing I have bad taste in. I also have bad taste in music. I listen to Z100 when I'm working. You may not have a Z100 but you probably have a local station that plays the popular junk. It's all the same. I listen to music i don't really like all day long because I can't find enough music that i do like to make Cd's. And even if I could, when you listen to the stereo 9 hours a day, everything gets old really fast.
So this song came out. I don't know what it's called or who sings it. But the chorus is something like "Tryin' to catch me riding dirty". I LOVE that song! I'm easy. I like every song that has anything to do with driving and is groovable. I can't even understand what the artist is saying, and that's probably a good thing since I'm sure he's not singing the courier theme song. But i relate to the part I understand so much.
There are 3 basic rules to being a good courier:
1. Don't get lost
2. Don't get stuck
3. Don't get caught
The first 2 rules are so basic they spend a couple days training UPS drivers to avoid their snags. It's the third rule that separates the route drivers from the haul ass and do whatever it takes drivers. It's pizza style, but it covers all zip codes. My work is a constant battle and I love it. My adrenaline level rarely drops below that of somebody who drank 4 espressos in the last hour. After years of experience I've learned a lot of ways to get ahead without breaking any traffic laws. But everyday I still do something illegal. I'm a naughty driver.
All of this driving plays a big part in my ego. I don't care who got in front of who when, I only care who gets there first, and I always want it to be me. I'm not above taking cuts in a line and and I'll dive through a parking lot /gas station/ etc. if I think it will help me. Traffic is a game, and I don't play fair. As I've said before, "Traffic played well is traffic played dirty". I'm usually the nicest car out there but when things get tight I play dirty. I want the conquest of getting the rush job there on time more than I want to be viewed as polite, and I don't care who I piss off in the process.
My company was cool enough to not add the phone number to the other info they slather on our vehicles. If somebody wants to report a bad driver they have to spend some time working on it.
There is something about being "bad" that I really like. I don't really understand it myself so I can't explain it. But sometimes I'm the naughty driver. I do the wrong thing. I do the illegal thing. I do whatever it takes to get there in time. The things I'm transporting probably aren't "dirty" but my actions are. I love these moments more than anything in my job. I love the rush. I love the high. I love the adrenaline surge. I need something to fight for or else I don't get to feel victory. These are the moments I crave because when I succeed I feel proud. I was the savior. My dispatcher put faith in me to pull off an impossible task and I did it.
I am usually nice but I will play dirty. After a few years of doing this I know how to play dirty and not get caught doing it. There is something about pulling off the perfect maneuver that is intoxicating. It's incredible.There is a very strong seductive value that I feel when I just do what I do. I'm on top of the world. I'm the best. I know that no other job will ever give me this sensation. I love my job!
|Monday, May 1st, 2006|
Robbery? Or Crazy Lady? Part II
Remember my tale: "Robbery? Or Crazy Lady?" that I posted last week Thursday? Well, here's the follow-up to that tale.
I went ahead and filed a report with the MPs last week Thursday on this incident that happened last week Tuesday. It only took me two hours! The MPs were puzzled by her behavior as well and were impressed with how detailed my report was!
When I went in to work on Friday, I told both Assistant Managers and the General Manager that I filed a report.
(Names have been changed to protect the innocent. Also, some language behind the cut.)
Anyhoo.( Read more...Collapse ) Current Mood: amused
|Thursday, April 27th, 2006|
How chatty are you with your customers? Do you grunt and say the few words your job requires? Do you allow yourself to be lured into that commentary on the weather? Or do you know your customers almost like friends? And how much do they know about you? About your job? Current Mood: curious
Robbery? Or Crazy Lady?
(Names have been changed to protect the innocent. Also, some language behind the cut.)
Last Tuesday I decided to cut through a new subdivision on my way from a delivery in the barracks area to a delivery in the housing area on post. Since it was a slow day, I was taking my time and going right at the speed limit, which for that area is 15mph.
Two days before, the General Manager had told me about another driver getting robbed via gun to the head at the sister store that also delivers on post.( Read more...Collapse ) Current Mood: annoyed
|Saturday, April 22nd, 2006|
Oh, the irony.
When there's an idiotic protest through a high-traffic area during, say, rush hour, shouldn't occupational drivers have some sort of counter-offensive? Say, an association that issues press releases on how bad the traffic impact was, or denouncing the minions of evil? It just makes me so angry. To further one cause, a group of people will single-handedly cripple another group's ability to even function
. Yes, yes, that's the point. To get noticed, to be heard. But if I've got fucking bone marrow
in my backseat, that's another story. You've no right to hinder me. Get out of my way.
No matter the cause, no matter the circumstances of my delivery – if I'm stuck in a detour from a protest blockade, I get turned off to it immediately
. I won't support them.
Now for a lighter story.
A while ago, I was dragging along on my typical morning run, except the freeway was crawling at a much more agonizing pace than usual. I watched several tow trucks roll up the shoulder, looking for stalled vehicles. Nothing. It had to be a pure rubbernecker's delay. I wondered what was going on. Finally, I came within view of an overpass, and the source of the distraction.
Standing on the overpass were people holding election banners that read "SAY 'NO' TO TRAFFIC CONGESTION! VOTE [CANDIDATE] FOR METRO DISTRICT 4!".
I can't wait to see those
|Tuesday, April 18th, 2006|
|Monday, April 10th, 2006|
|Friday, April 7th, 2006|
I made a new community, as promised, curvesncanyons
It is for and about drivers and motorcyclists who enjoy the twisty roads.
|Thursday, April 6th, 2006|
Work smarter, not harder
Now that I'm back on the road again, I'll actually have some interesting tales from the road to tell. :)
Tuesday, it was raining. It had been raining all night. Many of the places I deliver electrical supplies to are construction sites. While I have not yet had a need for a 4 (6?) wheel drive box truck, things did get a little mucky at times.
One of these times was where I drop a shipment at a conex (container box) a water bottling plant. It's in a nicely packed down dirt area. Unfortunately, it's so well packed that when it rains, the water doesn't soak in. So no matter how I did it, there was about 40 feet of puddle between me and the conex. And I had a good deal of stuff to leave in there. I didn't bring a rowboat, so it was going to be a miserable series of trips back and forth.
So I thought about this. If the dirt was packed that well, it meant the truck wouldn't sink into it. I've gotten pretty good at backing up without really being able to see behind me that well. And all our trucks have a powered liftgate in back.
I maneuvered the truck into position, and backed it most of the way up to the conex, stopping about 3 feet away from it. Trudged to the back (some trudging through puddles had to happen regardless), unfolded the liftgate, raised it to floor level. I rolled the big heavy reel of wire onto it, and staged the remaining boxes and such far enough inside to not get soaked while waiting outside. I lowered the liftgate, not to the ground, but about halfway between truck level and the floor of the conex. I could now use it as a step to go directly from the truck to inside the conex without glomping my way through the mud! Even better, I was able to roll the spool of wire off the liftgate and into the conex without dropping it in the water, or having to lift it myself. >:)
|Tuesday, April 4th, 2006|
Ok, I haven't posted in awhile due to being quite busy with both my 'main job' and my 'pizza delivery job'. ( Read more...Collapse ) Current Mood: annoyed
|Monday, April 3rd, 2006|
Moving up in the world
Some of you read my personal LJ and already know about it, but for those of you who don't, well, it's a good thing amber_kay
and I created this community for delivery drivers of any kind, not just couriers like us. Because, well, I'm not a courier anymore.
I'd been getting so few hours from my courier job for so long that I had to pick up a second job just to stay in debt. Landed a day and what was supposed to be a morning, but turned out to be a crappy overnight, with the local newspaper, delivering bundles to stores and restocking paper boxes with the Sunday edition overnight. Good steady income, and the two jobs together usually added up to around 30 hours a week. Sad, huh? Plus I almost entirely lost my weekends due to the overnight and switching schedules and such. Not to mention losing sleep. Kinda sucked, but at least I wasn't running out of money anymore.
After a month at the paper, I got a call on a resume I'd sent out before the paper even called me. Yeah, that long. Actually, I got a call before this one for a temp job doing computer stuff, but I couldn't justify giving up the relative security of my current arrangement for a temp job. This was for a driving job. I explained my current situation, but this other job was for full time - with benefits. I wasn't actively seeking, but decided it would be smart to pursue this. One thing led to another, and I'm now working for them. :)
Left the other two jobs, and I'm now working for the Portland, ME branch of a national electrical supply store. I'm driving a 22' box truck, biggest thing I can drive without a commercial license, delivering this stuff to contractors and such. That's what I mean when I say moving up in the world. I literally sit higher in this truck than my car's roof!
It looks like I'm going to mainly do the southern (relative to Portland) route the guy I'm replacing had been doing. Kind of ironic, because I already know most of the places in the northern route, since that's the area I live in. But the boss is big on having me and the remaining driver switch routes regularly, so that both of us know both areas. Makes sense. I'd prefer the northern route, because I know the area better, and because I can probably arrange to stop at home for lunch. :) But whatever works.
I just started my second week there, and spent my first day on the road all by myself. This is quite unusual, apparently - normally they do a lot more training before throwing you out on your own - but the guy I replaced started in the retail part of the store today, so we didn't really have much choice. Fortunately, I got comfortable with the truck pretty quick - quirky 5-speed and all - and when my boss asked me for an honest answer this morning as to whether I feel comfortable enough to go out on my own, I could honestly answer that I was more concerned with figuring out where I was going than handling the truck. And I was right - no worries with the truck today, but I got a little discombobulated along the route a couple of times since I've only seen it twice, and I'm not that familiar with southern Maine. Guess I'll be getting more familiar with it real quick. :)
Hmm, I need to make a new LJ icon for the new work truck... I don't take this one home, by the way, so I actually have to commute in my own car - my 20 year old rusty Toyota MR2. Great car, but it's not going to last with a 45 minute commute each way. I'm probably about to buy an old racing buddy's Saturn SL2. Modified, of course, so it won't be totally boring... ;)