Boobery at the Baltimore Port
So it’s been a damn week chocked full of boobery. Most of it spent at the port in Baltimore. Let’s just do a little run down of the Baltimore Boobery so it doesn’t slip my mind in a few weeks:
11:00am >> Arrive at port to pick up load. Finally find our way to the correct guard shack. Show proper id proving we’re not terrorists — or at the very least we’re terrorists with valid commercial drivers licenses — and actually get into the port itself. Drive back to main shipping office.
11:30am >> Go into main shipping office with both drivers licenses, truck registration papers, load pick-up number, baby pictures of Maggie, and a list of everything eaten by the three of us in the last 24 hours. Check in with shipping clerk. Fill out a bunch of paperwork. Get handed a big number to tape in windshield of truck and a map to the warehouse where we will be loaded – which is somewhere else on the port grounds.
12:15pm >> Drive around aimlessly for a while then finally find warehouse where we are to be loaded. Wander around in giant empty warehouse for a while before realizing that all the dock workers are on their big old teamsters lunch hour. Go back to truck and read information given us at main shipping office which includes “Once you have checked in with shipping office you will not be allowed to leave the port for any reason until loaded” and realize we should have had lunch before we came to port. Take a moment to thank god for massive quantities of body fat which will ensure our survival.
2:20pm >> Finally find some dock workers and give them the paperwork sent over by shipping clerk at first office we visited. Instructed to tape large number on windshield of truck and wait to be told when to hit the dock. Hedon taken aback somewhat by being called “Sugar Doll” several times but shrugs it off.
5:30pm >> Still waiting. Various body fat starting to cry out for replenishment but none to be had. Hedon starting to covertly eye Stace and Maggie, wondering which would taste better with left-over Panera’s bagel. After so many years together, Stace instantly catches the drift of Hedon’s thoughts and casually points out how “firmly meaty” Maggie’s thighs are. Hedon decides to take nap instead of resorting to cannibalism so early in their captivity.
8:15pm >> Finally told to hit the dock and prepare to be loaded. Hedon hits dock in expertly efficient manner rarely seen outside of a trucker’s rodeo competition and settles in to wait for the loading. Dock worker is immediately at Hedon’s door saying, “Hey there, Baby Doll, if you wouldn’t mind we need you to sweep out the trailer for us.” At first Hedon is confused, thinking dock worker must be talking to someone else, but finally understands he means her and goes to sweep out trailer. Sweeps trailer. Then dock worker tells Hedon, “I’m sorry, Sugar, but we’re going to have to reject this trailer. It’s got too many nails in the floor.”
8:35pm >> Hedon contacts Those-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named to let them know the trailer was rejected and asks for instructions.
9:15pm >> TWMNBN messages us back and sends directions for a place in the area to go swap empty trailers. We have to go check back in at main shipping office to get gate pass before being allowed to leave port. Fill out much more paperwork. Tell them what happened with trailer being rejected, what we’re doing about it and that we’ll be right back with a different trailer to get loaded. Hedon is informed the port is closed for the day and we will not be allowed back in.
9:45pm >> Drive 45 miles round trip to swap trailers.
11:10pm >> Finally get a decent meal and head to our secret hidey-hole parking place in Baltimore to sleep for the night.
Boobery Recap: Twelve hours and ten minutes
9:00am >> Show up at port with fancy no-nails-in-floor trailer, cooler full of lunch meat and diet coke, and cabinet full of snacks. Same check-in procedure as yesterday. Drive over to actual warehouse, greet dock workers, Hedon gets called “Sugar Honey Bunch” by someone half her age, tapes giant number in windshield, and settles in to wait to be called to hit the dock.
3:24pm >> Still waiting. Hedon suddenly remembers that they bought a camera a while back and starts taking pictures of crap around the port. Stace becomes concerned that the port people will think they are terrorists and makes Hedon quit. Hedon makes whiny OMG I’m SO BORED sounds.
6:28pm >> Still waiting. Will the never-ending horror drive Hedon mad as she watches other trucks come, get loaded in thirty minutes, and leave? The jury is still out.
7:56pm >> Finally told to hit dock. Sweep trailer. Get loaded!! Drive back over to shipping office to get paperwork and discover load is 45,000 pounds. Make innocent passing comment to shipping clerk that I sure do hope we can scale that out legal. Clerk says to go to nearby truck stop, scale load and if there is a problem come back with scale paperwork and dock guys can rework load to get it legal. But she adds that we need to be back before 9:00 tonight because if we have to come back tomorrow they will put us at the end of the line.
8:12pm >> Haul ass over to truck stop. Scale load. Load is so ridiculously illegal it’s actually funny. Laugh. Haul ass back to port as quickly as possible. Shit! Maryland DOT has the south-bound interstate on-ramp closed for construction. Follow long winding detour and finally get on interstate. Head south. OMG!! Off-ramp to port is closed, too. Start off on long winding detour toward port, check watch, shake head sadly and point truck toward secret Baltimore hidey-hole to sleep for night two.
9:23pm >> Contact night dispatcher and let him know what’s going on, that load is illegal and we will not be able to get it reworked until late tomorrow night. Night dispatcher says he will leave message for day dispatcher so everyone knows what’s going on since load is now late for delivery in Kentucky.
10:40pm >> Go to sleep. Grind teeth. Wake up after horrible foreclosure dream involving dancing purple elves and Will Smith. Lay there in the dark a minute petting Maggie and being grateful that we live in a crappy trailer down by the river — it may be a shit-hole but it’s our shit-hole. Go back to sleep.
Boobery Recap: Thirteen hours and forty minutes
9:00am >> Wake up to three voice mails and five messages from day dispatcher wanting to know what the hell is going on and why we aren’t headed for Kentucky. Call and explain situation since night dispatcher obviously didn’t explain jack shit. Head over to port. Get through security gate and back to shipping office. Take bills and scale ticket and explain that load is seriously illegal and will have to be reworked. Hedon is somewhat disgruntled by an unseen voice on other side of shipping office window suggesting that the shipping clerk “tell the bitch to just shut up and take the load” but Hedon doesn’t say anything rude or crank-like. Hedon considers it a personal victory. Clerk sends us back over to where we loaded in the first place.
9:20am >> Head back over to big old warehouse, find dockworker, and explain scale problem. Guys at warehouse who over-loaded us don’t want to fix problem. They make a couple of calls. They stare at Hedon in hostile manner that makes it clear Hedon is no longer their “Sweet Sugar Baby Doll.” Then they send us to another warehouse to get reworked.
10:00am >> Hedon walks in second warehouse with bill of lading and overweight scale ticket. One inbred dock worker takes paperwork and, standing less than three feet away from Hedon, tells another retarded-looking dock worker that “this is that woman Mike called about who has the overweight load. Stupid bitch. There ain’t nothing wrong with that load. Probably just needs to slide her tandems. I don’t know why they even let women drive trucks anyway.” Sputtering mad and on the verge of saying many things that will get her fired immediately, Hedon marches back to the truck.
10:05am >> Hedon calls day dispatcher, tells him everything that has been said to this point at port, and informs him if one more word is said to her “we will drop this trailer right where it stands” and drive out of port. Dispatcher says he will get with Customer Service Representative for this account to let them know what has been going on cause “you don’t have to take that crap” which is code for “I’m blowing an awful lot of smoke up your ass right now. How does that feel? Would you like more or less smoke?”
10:45am >> Sheepish-looking inbred dock worker stumbles out to truck and apologizes. Informs Hedon that the trailer was not loaded correctly the night before and that he has fixed the problem. Our heroes head back to truck stop to scale load again.
11:45am >> Oh Glorious Day! After sliding tandems, load scales out legal. Send all-clear message to dispatch and head toward Kentucky.
Total Boobery for entire load — 28 hours and 35 minutes
And people wonder why truckers are so surly.