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Lakeshore
An author of no particular popularity

Jay Lake
Date: 2010-01-13 16:48
Subject: [personal] Bad days and stupid stuff, non-cancer division
Security: Public
Tags:cancer, personal, portland
As a part of a larger comedy of errors this afternoon, had an incident with a trucker which has become annoying. I had to pick something up urgently over near E Burnside just after 2 pm. Got two blocks from my destination and was stuck behind a truck which was trying to spot a trailer into the 7-Up plant. This guy took ten, fifteen tries, couldn't get it anywhere near. After literally five or six minutes, I gave up, pulled to the curb, walked to my destination and picked up what was needful. Coming back out, the trucker was still at it. By now there are between 50 and 100 cars backed up on NE 11th, E Burnside is snarled, a construction project is jammed up. About ten minutes has passed.

I've never seen anything like this. Back in the mists of time I held a Class A license, before they switched to CDLs, I know how hard that kind of city driving with large equipment can be. But this was beyond incompetence or bad luck and somewhere into weird. Or drunk. Or something. Frustrated, I photographed the truck and plates, got back in my car, and waited to get out of there.

Eventually I get home and call the City of Portland traffic division. Nothing they can do, recommend I call the carrier. Prowl around the ODOT Web site, file a complaint with the motor carrier enforcement people. Call the carrier to tell them I've made a complaint, figuring they might want to work it from their end. The dispatcher starts giving me shit, then dumps the call. So I call back and ask for a supervisor. He tells me he is the supervisor, gives me a bullshit alias, and dumps the call again. So I call the cell phone of their sales manager and tell him the whole story, from the top, emphasizing that I know as a noncustomer they don't really have an investment in my opinion, but that this was deeply unsafe and rude. As I pointed out to the guy, I could and should have called Portland 911, but chose to go with ODOT instead.

Not naming names (or posting the photos to Flickr) now, because I'll let the process wind itself out. No need to embarrass the company or its employees. But it was truly bizarre, and the attitude of the dispatcher was a total capper. Oddly, it was almost a relief to have a crappy experience that wasn't cancer related.

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Kelly Green
User: saycestsay
Date: 2010-01-14 01:22 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
There are people where I work who will hang up on a caller, or put him in infinite hold. I won't do that...

Glad you were able to make a difference.
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Kelly
User: retrobabble
Date: 2010-01-14 02:15 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
My brother was a professional trucker...until the market was flooded with cheap-o trucking companies who lowballed deliveries. He says he won't drive for most companies now - trucks are in horrible shape, and they don't pay enough. So the drivers are...well, as you saw today.
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Kevin Standlee: Menlo WWL
User: kevin_standlee
Date: 2010-01-14 03:09 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Menlo WWL
Ouch! I hope it wasn't one of my parent company's drivers/dispatchers. But from the way you describe it, I would be very surprised if it was. It's not the way we operate, in my experience.

Of course, if it was, write to me directly. I can conceivably take it very high in the food chain. Like maybe all the way to the CEO.
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2010-01-14 14:33 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Not unless your trucking arm is based in the middle of Willamette Valley... :)
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Kevin Standlee: Menlo WWL
User: kevin_standlee
Date: 2010-01-14 14:41 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Menlo WWL
No, but we have a signifcant building visible from I-405 near Vaughn -- Menlo is owned by Con-way Trucking, you see. HQ is in San Mateo CA, but the IT and much of the support services are over in the NW Industrial District off Vaughn St.
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2010-01-14 15:01 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I know who you guys are. I even know where NW Vaughn Street is...

Definitely not you guys in this case.
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CatJuggling: Wash - leaf
User: catjuggling
Date: 2010-01-14 03:12 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Wash - leaf
Life marches on and people can still be idiots.
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(no subject) - (Anonymous)
farmgirl1146
User: farmgirl1146
Date: 2010-01-14 03:43 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Your experience seems all to usual to me. I suspect drugs or alcohol, but I never rule out sheer stupidity. In the realms of stupidity, right after Xmas the guy who sells have from our farm had a load brought in, a full-sized trailer with a pup. The driver took it where he was told not to go, in a field that was rather sodden. He got just about every wheel stuck. A full-sized bulldozer got it out. DH and cousin got the ruts sort of filled in. This save fellow almost took out one of our buildings, and today almost hit his boss's truck. With all the unemployment, I wonder why this guy has a job.
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shelly_rae: Bartleby
User: shelly_rae
Date: 2010-01-14 06:07 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Bartleby
Ugh, sorry the errand was such a hassle but thank you so much for rescuing my ID.
::hugs::
Anon
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Jay Lake: jay-suit
User: jaylake
Date: 2010-01-14 14:17 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:jay-suit
I'm glad we got it back. Sorry about the other forgetfuls!
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