Dispatchers can be weasels no matter the industryAnd the weasel award of the day goes to the weekend dispatcher in Phoenix.
I am paid "$50 layover pay" if the dispatcher can't get me a load within 24 hours of my previous "empty call." In other words: after I drop the full trailer at the receiving customer, I get
paid $50 after 24 hours if Dispatch has not assigned another load to go fetch.
The following occurred November 17-20, 2006, the weekend before Thanksgiving holiday.
I had been dispatched from Phoenix to fetch a load in El Paso Texas. I am to deadhead an empty trailer from Phoenix to El Paso. I am to swap the empty trailer for a full trailer.
This load I am to fetch will take me home in Memphis TN, just in time for Thanksgiving dinner.
Sunday Morning: I arrived at the El Paso terminal with plenty of time to refuel the truck.
I arrived at the shipper promptly on Sunday at noon, only to find out that the load is held up in US/Mexico Customs. The load will be released the next day (Monday). I inform dispatch of the problem.
I return to the El Paso terminal for the wait.
I had been thinking that I was supposed to be waiting for that load because the load would be released by the border guards in El Paso Texas the next day, Monday, about noon. I would still be able to make it to Memphis for Thanksgiving dinner.
So the weekend dispatcher in Phoenix cancels my load Sunday afternoon about 4:00 p.m., but does not tell me, or anyone else about it.
... There is no effort involved by doing nothing.
Monday at 11:42 AM. The next day's dispatcher in Phoenix issues a "preplan" for the next load. A really screwy load that picks up 380 miles away, back near Phoenix.
... Note the time: He's trying to weasel me out of $50, by 18 minutes.
Icing on that cake. The next day's dispatcher demands to know how I got to El Paso.
I calmly respond by re-telling the story about the load being held up by customs. But this dispatcher gets angry and argues that the particular load is not assigned to my truck, and demands ("Demands," mind you) to know how I got to El Paso as though I had stolen a truck.
... As though I simply got a wild hair up my pattootie, and drove nearly 400 miles for the fun of it.
... I should have responded by simply stating: "I-10 East for about 8 hours." That dispatcher would have popped.
At 11:53 AM, that dispatcher in Phoenix issues a "preplan" to fetch a load in El Paso to deliver in Houston.
... Note the time: He weaseled me out of $50, by 7 minutes.
There is nothing that I can do about it. The weekend and night shift crews do not fall into the sphere of influence of my regular dayshift dispatcher.
... and I hear that all of the big trucking companies are all the same.
Problems with the load to Houston.
1. It is not going to Memphis.
2. The load has been sitting at the El Paso terminal for 36 hours.
3. The delivery appointment can not be met due to the long duration that the load had been sitting at the El Paso terminal.
... Irony: the load going to Houston is parked about 150 feet from my empty. I had been able to see that trailer for almost a full day. ... seven minutes shy of a full day.
When I got to Houston: because I missed the delivery appointment, I have to wait over six hours to pull up to the loading dock. I leave Houston Wednesday morning to fetch another load that delivers about 100 miles from Memphis, TN on Thanksgiving day.
I get to my home in Memphis around 7:00 PM Thanksgiving day.
... pizza is a poor substitute for a big dinner with hot turkey.
I have found this to be typical of weasels: weasels all subscribe to this motto:
"Inflict the highest amount of inconvenience to the greatest number of people, by doing the least amount of effort."
... I got weaseled out of $50 and Thanksgiving dinner.
... nearly caused a coronary to the other dispatcher.
All of this grief because a dispatcher did not inform anyone of his decision to cancel a load.
Lessons learned: Shave the minutes by fetching the load before refueling, and don't tell dispatch that the load is tied up in customs.
JJ writes that "Riding in a big rig is boring. Driving the rig is sorta like second nature for me, now that I have been doing it for over a year. I would rather drive than ride as passenger." We couldn't agree more.
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