Skunked in Chicago

| May 15, 2012

I learned today about a neighborhood restaurant in a Milwaukee, Wisc., suburb where the regular customers bring their own coffee mugs to be stored there and used by the mug owner when he or she comes in.

Diane and I woke up this morning in our truck parked in our relatives’ driveway in a Milwaukee suburb. We delivered freight nearby yesterday morning and stopped in for a visit.

We were surprised to have the time to do that. Milwaukee is a pretty good freight area, we thought, and we expected to be quickly dispatched out. That did not happen so we ended up spending the night here.

Our relatives took us to a restaurant for breakfast where I learned about that coffee mug thing. What a great idea for a small restaurant and its regular customers. The mugs could be seen on a shelf in all their variety. Every mug has a story that is meaningful to its owner. I’m sure there have many conversations over meals about those mugs.

It’s something that ties the customer to the restaurant, the restaurant to its customers and the customers to each other. Other than providing storage space, it costs the restaurant nothing to do this. Very cool, not like high-tech is very cool, but very cool just the same.

Not cool was our freight results today. We got none to haul. Concerned by yesterday’s strike out in Milwaukee, we drove south to Illinois to get closer to Chicago. We are scheduled for a pick up next week in the Southeast. Chicago is one of the best freight centers in the country, if not the best. Certainly we can find a load from there that will take us south or east, we thought. No joy.

There was one offer that we accepted and were actually dispatched on. But five minutes into the run, the agent called and said to stand by because the shipper did not know if someone could stay after hours to load the freight this evening. After an hour or so, word came that the load was off. We returned to the TA and spent the night there.