...but you could be.
I pull into my first stop of the day, the same stop every Tuesday on my route to Eugene.
For the first time in the 4 or 5 months I've been driving this route, there is a milk truck parked in the spot where I usually park. For some reason this has a dizzying effect upon my mind. "What the hell is this guy doing in my spot at my time," I'm thinking, but realize that is a pretty ridiculous thought as all patterns are at times disrupted, especially in delivery work.
There is a spot right beside him, but for some reason, it doesn't occur to me to park there until after I'm settled in the spot behind the building next door, with the nose of the truck pushing into the parking lot on the other side of the building. I don't know why it didn't occur to me to park beside the milk truck, it just didn't, until I was parked and settled behind the other building. The confusion of my pattern being disrupted had thrown off my thinking in ways that it shouldn't have, but there you go.
I get my load checked off and am about to handtruck down the ramp the first of 8 loads into the building. A man appears.
"You shouldn't park there," he tells me. "The nose of your truck is in the parking lot there, and trucks use that as a pathway to get to the dock of this store."
"Do you need me to move?" I ask.
"No, I'm already pulled up over there," he points to his truck with the trailer open and the liftgate down with a pallet jack on it. "But in the future, you shouldn't park there with your nose in that parking lot."
At this point, I'm kinda pissed. I had never parked this way before, and here this fella whose truck is already parked and I'm not blocking. It is not like this work doesn't come with disruptions we work around or come to cooperation with. It is not like I have parked here so many times before that it has become annoying.
I know this fella means no harm, but I can kind of tell he is somewhat agitated.
"OK. Thanks," I tell him, and move to get the produce into the catering service to get out of there in a timely fashion. "There was a milk truck parked in my usual spot next to the building," I pointed out. The milk truck had left seconds earlier. "In all the months I've been delivering here, there has never been another truck here. It just threw me off."
After the delivery and paperwork, I walk back to the truck, to find another older fella with the same slightly disturbed expression on his face to tell me the same thing.
"You shouldn't park your truck there," he says, and I imagine that he would be using expletives should it still be politically correct to do so. I imagine that after the expletive sentence I would feel the desire to punch the fella, but all this is done through gritted teeth, figuratively speaking, of course. And I know that if it had come to the actual desire to punch this fella, I wouldn't for desire to keep my job, and he would know this. Pinning me against the truck, as it were. "Your nose is sticking into the parking lot and trucks need to use that lot to get in and out of the dock area," he tells me.
"You see," I explain, "there was a truck parked in my usual spot. There never had been before and it threw me off. So I parked here."
"Next time park in that space beside that truck," he tells me. At this point, I'm ready to speak through gritted teeth, but I keep my calm easily, knowing this will be over in a few seconds.
A woman employee throwing things in the garbage for the catering company that I just delivered to added her two cents in, and I'm wondering what the hell she has to do with this which makes every word she said somehow incomprehensible to me. Like it was a language I couldn't understand.
I hop into my truck. I had been there 20 minutes. During that 20 minute duration of horrifically blocking the pathway of so many invisible trucks, causing thousands of dollars worth of invisible delays, I just happen to notice there isn't the long line of 48' and 53' trucks lined up out onto 99 because of my 20 minutes of blockage. There is not a single truck waiting for me to move. Yet, my horrific offense managed to get me three people pointing out how wrong I was for parking the way I did.
I couldn't help but think I never received any comments from folks for the way I parked my truck in almost the same exact spot every time I delivered to this catering company. No mention of how I figured out exactly where to place my truck each time to get my ramp around the empty milk cartons and pallets that were placed against the wall of the catering company I deliver to. Never a mention of the fact that in all the months I've been delivering to this catering company that I have always parked out of the way. But I could have potentially caused problems that never happened. Never was it mentioned that if a truck pulled in during my offense, all he would have had to do was ask me to move...and I would have happily done so.
I hop into my truck, and drive away, maneuvering around all the invisible trucks I held up for those 20 terrifying minutes I blocked a very important artery of truck traffic causing imaginary thousands of dollars worth of imaginary delays.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
...but you could be.
Posted by Eugene at 1:35 PM