George & Wendy Show

Wendy Parker

Hurry up and wait or pay $500

This has been an extraordinary trip. I can’t think of any other job in the world where you get to travel from the beautiful green fields of Ohio, to the incredible scenery of Utah, into the excitement and depravity of Las Vegas and out again to the vast, open spaces of Northern Nevada. We’ve met some awesome people, seen some extra-cool things and marked traveling the Extraterrestrial Highway off our bucket list. (George’s alien within was homesick. Kidding! Please don’t shoot me with your laser beam eyes, babe!) I’m always amazed we get paid to do this. Of course, I’m not doing the hard work, so it’s a little less amazing to George, who has to drive all these miles while I simply observe and report.

We’re making our way back home now, and to do so in a timely manner, we take whatever load is going East and reasonable. Consequently, George agreed to take a grocery load to the Safeway warehouse in Tempe. I say that because he generally avoids Safeway loads — they’re heavy as hell and a few of the warehouses use lumpers. Also, Safeway is one of those aggravating companies that schedule a hundred trucks for the same appointment time, when they may or may not have 15-20 bays open for unloading. This pisses me off so bad I can’t see straight. We always end up waiting forever and burning valuable road time, because apparently schedulers for this company are unable to count, or just absolutely don’t give a flying crap. The latter seems to be closer to truth.

George takes it in stride, says it’s the nature of the beast. After about nine minutes of waiting, I’m ready to write scathing letters to everyone involved. I may have a little bit of an impatient streak. Just a tiny one. I usually calm down and find something else to entertain myself with (Hey look! Shiny things!), but this time, after an hour of waiting in line, I made the mistake of reading the notes Safeway sends with the load info on the Qualcomm:

Late drivers will be fined $500.

Late Drivers will be fined $500

What. The. Hell.

We were sitting, an hour after our scheduled appointment time, waiting on jerkos who threaten to take our money if we’re late but have absolutely no regard for our time. I immediately reverted to my standard line.

Safeway, this means war.

So I did what I do best. I bitched. I bitched long and hard on their Facebook page, and sent a lengthy and slightly hostile letter to their business practices office. I pointed out the fact that while it’s bad enough to schedule more trucks than you know you have docks, to threaten fines for the drivers being late, when if they showed up on time they’d likely wait anyway, was disrespectful and showed a complete lack of regard for the very people who make their profits possible. I also mentioned that lumpers originated with organized crime, and aligning themselves with such practices leads me to believe they support criminal activity.

I’ve yet to hear back from either the Facebook page or the business office, and I don’t expect to. This attitude toward truckers is so prevalent in the grocery industry (and most others as well) it’s considered acceptable.

Not in my book. Put your waders on, Safeway. I’m coming for you, and the poop is gonna get deep.

**Addendum**: I did hear back from the Facebook page. I was told they were sorry for our inconvenience, and they would notify the shipping department. I sent a very nice message back, explaining it would take a little more that notifying the shipping department, because the disrespect they have shown has been to the entire trucking industry, not just one individual. I’ll keep you posted.