Jousting with Fuck-tards

I just locked horns with my fuck-tard of a dispatcher. It started because I got pissed about the load they gave me today, which will see me in Philadelphia on a Friday morning. It pissed me off because they made me sit all day on Tuesday, and every week when they make me sit like that, they come up some stupid shit like giving me a load to Philadelphia toward the end of the week (that will see me working into the weekend). It’s all about “utilizing the equipment” and seeing that each truck runs a certain number of miles and therefore returns a certain profitability. The drivers’ needs be damned.
It started innocently enough. I delivered last night in Charlotte, North Carolina, and crashed for the night. This morning they told me to go to Shelby, NC (about 50 miles west) to get an empty trailer. But they never told me what load I would be picking up once I had the trailer. So I sent a satcom message to my dispatcher.
“Well, ya’ll are sending me for an emptry, which means you’ve got something in mind. But you won’t tell me what it is. Which means it’s diabolical.”
After I picked up my empty trailer, they sent me the load info. Picks up in Linconlton, NC (about 50 miles east) and delivers tomorrow morning at 11:00 in Philadelphia. Well, it annoyed me that I was going to drive around 100 miles for an empty, and was going to be in Philadelphia on Friday morning. So I sent another message.
“Like I said. Diabolical. Whenever [the company] makes me sit for a day earlier in the week, they decide to make up for it and ‘utilize the equipment’ by screwing me on my weekend time.” And another; “Being in Philadelphia on Friday morning means the best I can hope for is getting home on Saturday.”
My dispatcher then sent me the full load info without comment. But finally, after a bit, he sent back a message.
“Will get you back ASAP and if you need time off Monday we can make it happen, a long weekend next week will also work. Sorry. Cannot control how our customers ship.”
Okay. That didn’t go over very well. Mainly because they always shrug and blame it on the customer.
So I said, “This is not the customer. This is [the company]. You know, instead of sending me 50 miles back west to pick up an empty trailer, and then 50 miles back east to pick up a load, they could have just sent me north to pickup … in Statesville [about 30 miles, at several locations].” But by then I had my gander up. Mainly because he didn’t seem to see or acknowledge my point. So I hammered on. “Every single time [the company] makes me sit during the week, they put something on me toward the end of the week that sees me working into the weekend. That’s what ticks me off. It happens every time.”
I guess by then he’d had enough of the whiney driver. He snapped back, “Every time????? Home the 16th – 19th???”
Okay, this really pissed me off. So I wrote, “I hate to break it to you, dude, but when you drive hundreds of miles and get home on the same day, that does not count as a day off.” And just in case he didn’t get that, “Will you count today as a day off because you got to go home today?”
And then I got to thinking about what the fuck-tard had just said. He said I was home from the 16th to the 19th? What the fuck? I had to respond to that.
“And for your information, I delivered on the morning of the 16th (which means I was working). On the evening of the 18th I was sitting at the shipper in York, SC, trying to pick up a load. On the 19th I was on my way to Michigan.” And a follow-up message; “So how you arrive at ‘home the 16th – 19th’ mystifies me. The only day last weekend that I didn’t have to log driving was on the 17th.”
I guess he switched to driver pacification mode, because he wrote back, “Oh. You win. Let me know if you need extra time off and I will be glad to get it set up. Just let me know.”
Gah! He still wasn’t getting it! So I took one more shot at it.
“It’s actually not about the amount of time off that makes me crazy. It’s not being able to plan anything. Seems like every time I make plans on Saturday, I wind up sitting somewhere earlier in the week, and then [the company] has me working into the weekend to make up for it.” By then I had decided that maybe some dispatcher pacification was in order. I didn’t need to make an enemy of this guy. So I said, “I’m not trying to win anything. But if my issues get dismissed, I’m going to make my case.”
After that he wrote me back one last message. “I totally understand. On weekends you need to be home early. Call me. Let’s talk and we can make it happen. Not every weekend. You know how it works. But when you have a need I will do my best to make it happen.”
Which is so much bullshit. He didn’t take the Philadelphia load off of me. I’m still not going to get home until Saturday. And as soon as I trot along like a good little driver and do what they want me to do, this exchange will be forgotten. Did you notice? He missed my point! Missed everything I was saying. Do you really think that if I had said “you know, I’d like to be home Friday evening so that I can get a head-start on backing up my laptop and getting some things done on my web site,” that the load planner would have said “let’s not put the Philadelphia load on him”?
My point was that it pisses me off that the reason I’m not getting “home” until Saturday is that they’re making up for making me sitting on Tuesday. I’m paying the price for their ineptitude from earlier in the week. And I don’t like it that my weekend is being shortened just so they can make sure their truck remains profitable. You know, if these fucks could plan better, they wouldn’t have to worry about that. How much profit went up in exhaust while my truck idled from 10:30 Tuesday morning to 04:00 Wednesday? How many gallons of fuel did that cost the company? They sent me to Michigan. Wouldn’t it stand to reason that someone might think that maybe they’d have to get me back from Michigan? No, we’ll let the truck sit for almost a whole day. We can always make up for it later in the week. So what if the driver has to work in the weekend? That’s just the way the business is. He knows “how it works.”
Look, I realize that shit happens. I don’t expect every week to be perfect. I don’t expect to get a full weekend every week. But this shit happens so consistently that on Tuesday when a friend asked me if I would be in on Friday, I said “Probably not,” because I figured they’d do exactly what they did. They always do. And that is what pissed me off.
Well, that and the fact that I really hate Phila-fucking-delphia. 😉

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