Archive for August, 2009|Monthly archive page

I got appreciated by Michaels

A few days ago, I got up, and got moving for what I expected to be another routine day.  I headed on up to Fort Worth, Texas, and delivered the load I had, dropping my trailer at the consignee (nice and quick and easy doing that). Dispatch sent me over to Michaels ( warehouse in Fort Worth to pick up an empty trailer.  Purely routine.

I got to their warehouse, and checked in with security.  The young lady working security at the gate was both pleasant and professional.  Did the normal sign in routine etc. Still normal.  Then, suddenly things changed.  Not for the worse, which would be typical, but for the better.  Lots better.

She  invited me to take one of their gift bags (which was full of bagged snacks, and a small American flag), and to help myself to a bottle of nicely chilled water from the ice chest.

That was a surprise.

When I inquired as to the reason for this generosity, she told me that “It was truck driver appreciation week.  Didn’t your dispatcher tell you?”   This was news to me, since I had gone all week without being appreciated at all. As usual.

The bottle of very cold water was particularly welcome, since the temperature there was hovering around 100 degrees.  It doesn’t take long to hook up a trailer, but in that kind of heat, you lose water pretty fast.

While it doesn’t sound like much, this is so far past the normal treatment of truck drivers, that it turned what had started out as a mildly crappy week, into a good one.  In fact, I’m still in a good mood, and still munching on the snacks.

Thanks Michaels.  It’s really nice to be appreciated.

Comments welcome.


Times are tougher than I thought

Running from North Carolina down into Mississippi last week, I stopped at the Pilot truckstop in Jackson, MS for some diesel and a burger.  After I filled up and had my lunch, (it was straight up noon local time) I got on the phone to my travel agent about a load.  While I was talking to her, a local lot lizard came up and started banging on my door.  I told my travel agent to hold on for a second, and I made go away motions at the lot lizard, who finally gave up and moved on.  When I got back on the phone, my travel agent asked me what all that banging was.  I told her, and she started laughing and said “times must be really tough if they’re coming out during the day”.  I agreed, and added “yeah, and it’s pouring rain here too”.  I had to wait for her to stop laughing to get on with getting a load.

She got me a load into Texas, which is where I wanted to go, so I could stop in and fix the brakes on my daughter’s car.  Even with the extra fuel I had to burn going out of the way to get there, it still worked out to less than a third of  the price the local auto repair place wanted to do the job.  It also took me less than two hours, and that includes getting my tools out, putting them away, and cleaning up afterward.

Freight has actually been better lately.  My miles are back up to around 2800+ a week, which is about as hard as I really want to work.  The selection of freight has been improving too, so I may soon be able to go back to rejecting anything that goes east of I-75 again.  The bad news is that diesel prices have been inching up over the last several weeks.   Overall, not too bad.