Friday, 1 January 2010
I get to work by eight to start another mind numbing day of driving deliriously through the streets Austin for another ten hours without resting, speeding, screaming, honking, eating on the fly, picking up and delivering packages in precise and frenzied time windows with the dispatcher calling constantly on the cell phone / walkie talkie (provided by the company) to ask where I’m at, check, change and rearrange the status of my deliveries in an ongoing free flowing kinetic jigsaw puzzle of capitalism where hopefully by days end all of the pieces have been fitted into place in the allotted windows of time– time always being of the essence, as each package is worth a different amount to company, and by correlation, to the me the driver based on the time that we promise delivery: the packages that have that biggest time delivery window, the all dayers (as they’re called in our courier industry lingo) which are eight hour deliveries are the cheapest; then there are the half dayers (courier lingo) which have a six hour delivery window; then the four hours (actually what they’re called); then the 2 hours (also what they’re really called); and then, the most important ones of all, as they’re the real money makers for the company, the delivery that all the other deliveries, literally and figuratively, take a backseat to - the one hour time window delivery (or the hotshot as they’re known to us). Each delivery window has a different price attached to it, going up in price in converse correlation to the time window going down, i.e. the larger the delivery time window the cheaper; the smaller the delivery time window the more expensive. And I, as the driver get a percentage of each delivery I make. And if a delivery is promised within an hour time frame – a hotshot - and the package isn’t delivered in that time window and falls into the two hour time window, then the client gets charged less for the delivery and we lose money, and the time wasted by me scrambling my ass deliver the package in the one hour time frame that we’re no longer getting paid for. Then the company who didn’t get their package in their desired time frame usually ends up calling and bitching to our boss about us not meeting the promised deadline and they whine about all the inconvenience it’s cost them and blah blah blah. And then the boss bitches to the dispatcher (as shit apparently rolls down hill) who then calls me asking what the fuck the problem is! as we’re all making less money because of our failure to deliver the package by the promised time in the process ruining our reputation with the client and our ability to get further work and therefore we’re all going to starve. And what’s going through my mind while I’m being bitched at over the company provided cell phone / walkie talkie while weaving through traffic is that there was fucking traffic everywhere, and there was goddamned construction going on, and I got stuck behind a goddamned garbage truck, and then I had to detour out of the way from that delivery - that I was perfectly timed to drop - in order to pick up another delivery that came blasting through on my company provided beeper with the urgent note attached to it saying PICK UP ASAP EN ROUTE TO CURRENT DELIVERY so I had to back track a little to then find that place all the while looking through my road atlas on the passenger seat of the car while trying not to kill anyone driving 65 mph through traffic in 45 mph designated zones! And when I finally got there the girl at the front desk didn’t know what in the hell I was talking about, and it turned out that I had to go around back to shipping and receiving and when I got there no one was to be found anywhere – it was like they’d all gone home - and the guy who finally showed up out of the depths of the warehouse after I kept calling HELLO! HELLO! HELLO! wanted to talk my goddamn ear off about his fucking co-worker who doesn’t pull his weight and is still on his lunch break, while he still hasn’t eaten anything all day long. And when I got the package and got back in the car I realized I was almost out of gas and if didn’t stop I was going to run out on the side of the road and when I pulled over to get gas I realized that I had to use the bathroom or else I was going to shit myself, and some old man beat me to the bathroom and wouldn’t come out. And when I got to the street that the hotshot one hour delivery needed to be dropped off on I couldn’t see the goddamned street numbers and I was all hopped up on coffee and cigarettes and starving to death and getting fucking crankier and angrier with passing second that there wasn’t food in my stomach and I had to double back down the street to try and figure out which building was the one I needed and I didn’t see the numbers on the buildings again and I had to turn the block because I couldn’t flip a u-turn and I finally found the place and delivered the goddamned package. But all I say over the fucking walkie talkie / company provided (not to be used for personal use, otherwise the bill for any minutes that go over the company plan will be taken out of your next paycheck) cell phone to the dispatcher who is bitching me out is that I only dropped the package two fucking minutes late and those people could shove the fucking hotshot package up their ass for all I cared! And after that I hang up on the dispatcher because I really don’t give a shit anymore and then the boss (who’s four fucking years younger than me!) calls me on the company provided cell phone / walkie talkie (that’s not to be used for personal use, but it’s the only phone I’ve got, and my wife is calling me on the other line) to bitch me out not only for dropping the package late, but also for hanging on the dispatcher and I hang up on him to answer my personal call that turns out be a complaint from the goddamned woman. All this while driving to the next delivery, catching a glimpse of the back seat in the rear view mirror as I blow through a red light because I’m cursing out my woman about another money problem that we’re having while I’m staring at a pile of overflowing fucking packages that still need to be delivered that seem to be screaming at me like needy disrespectful little kids that I just want to get rid of.