Custom House Pittsburg 1857 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, is one of those cities that simply don’t agree with my backward small town nature. Unfortunately, yesterday I was kind of stuck in Pittsburg, or to be more accurate the Pittsburg area for most of the day. Pittsburg and I have a mutual understanding. It is very much like my agreement with New York City, San Francisco, and Chicago. I agree to do everything in my power to stay away from them, and they will do everything in their power to completely mess with me and my schedule.
I had a great load on Monday, a Hershey load that would take me into the Saint Louis area. I had it planned out to work with the hours of service I had available to me. I was really squeaking it in, but would have made delivery on time with about 30 minutes left on my clock. My Driver Manager, (DM) did not agree with me, and took it upon himself to swap me out in Wheeling, West Virginia for a load delivering in Pittsburg Pa. the next morning.
My first point of contention was the fact that he did not feel it necessary to consult , or for that matter even mention his concerns to me. It is also important to view this occurrence in light of financial considerations. I get paid by the mile, and was forced to give up a load with 500 miles left on it for a load with 55 miles remaining. Taking this little tidbit of information into account, should help you to imagine the scene within my truck fairly well. To say the least, there was more than one creatively written message sent on the QualComm to my DM. There is no better practice for creative writing than being thoroughly peeved, and having to make sure any message you write retains a “polite and professional” tone. Trust me, I can be very creative and “diplomatic” when I find it necessary. I love to leave them scratching their head up there in the office, looking at my message, saying “did he just insult us and make it sound like have a nice day”.
To say the least I was left to unhappily sit on a load in Wheeling, West Virginia that delivered 55 miles away 18 hours from the time of my swap. Fuming, swearing, and being generally self-pitying, I waited out my time until delivery. Of course it did not help my mood that Customer Service felt it necessary to send me a message asking if I was OK for on time delivery! Really, are they serious? Of course I can now look back with amusement, and laugh heartily at my response , which was just as creatively and diplomatically written as my previous messages to my DM. After finally accepting my situation, I settled into the sleeper berth and watched a few movies with the welcome companionship of Peanut, my little boy. At least he had no problem listening to my woe’s, even acting sympathetic and understanding. Funny how dogs, animals in general, can comfort, console, and basically, just make you feel better.
After a good nights sleep, I woke up at 0 dark 30 and headed on to my delivery in Pittsburg. There is definitely an advantage to delivering early morning in Pittsburg. The lack of traffic make navigating and maneuvering a 75 foot semi truck far easier. For some reason, I have been haunted by football stadiums lately. Much like my visit to San Francisco, (I am so sorry Kel, for not even giving you a call on that one. In my own defense though, I was fully aware that my big sis was not even in the country.) I was only blocks from the Steelers Stadium. After sitting at the receiver for an uneventful four hours while they took their sweet time unloading me, I was released and free to find a place to park. Imagine if you will trying to locate suitable, safe, and legal parking for a 75 foot semi in a big city, downtown environment. I ended up having to settle for a truck stop 50 miles away, which cost me even more money in excess fuel. I was lucky in the fact that traffic was light, and I really had no difficulties navigating the narrow streets.
My history with Pittsburg was not to be changed on this visit as I was condemned to wait the rest of the day for a new load. I did finally get a load out of there, but it did not pick up until the next day, today, in Ohio. To be fair to the company though, they gave me load that had to be rescued, which got me out much earlier than I had anticipated. The load did cost me hours and fuel, for even though a place may only be 170 miles away, in Pennsylvanian mountain terrain, you might have to drive 260 miles to get those 175.
Now I am sitting here, in Canton Ohio, waiting for my clock to reset so I can go pick up my original re-load. All’s well that ends well, however, I can do without Pittsburg just as much as New York City and San Francisco.