Here I am , living the life of Riley. Isn't it amazing how some things just miraculously appear in your life and seem to lead you into new directions.
A few weeks ago, an opportunity became available in which one of the Aluminum drivers was needed to assist in a dedicated furniture route delivery. Because I had low miles, the opportunity was given to me. I will admit with much fear and trepidation, I reluctantly agreed. As a matter of fact, I think the only reason I agreed is because the route would get me and the Truck within 15 minutes of my home, thus eliminating a very long commute in the Pony Car. I managed to sail through the route, completing 10 deliveries to small discount furniture stores, while hand unloading every single piece.
The next week, the same opportunity was offered but I was in Miami at the time, and could not return in sufficient time to make the run. Alas, I had low miles again. So, the next week, I was contacted again. This time it was cabinets, which was actually a little more difficult. But once again, I completed the task. I even managed to get a half of a day ahead of the schedule, and that was after starting 8 hours late.
I have already mentioned that I actually enjoy the labor aspect of my job. I think I would become disgruntled if all I did was drive. I look forward to the work, the interaction with so many customers, the feeling of completion as the trailer becomes empty. This is perfect for me. Another angle which I consider to be an amenity, is the fact that this account delivers to many out of the way locations.
On my second route, I actually delivered to a storage facility ( as in U-Haul ) and the customer met me with a little box truck. We transferred the product literally bumper to bumper. The parking lot was tiny and it was a challenge to maneuver through. But even better than that, was the residential delivery I completed in Jackson, Mississippi. While following specific directions, I started to get nervous as the trees and power lines began to creep lower and lower. I am sure I broke a tree limb or two, but luckily I had just enough clearance to pass under the overhead lines, of course I did have to travel at about 5 mile an hour and zig zag down the street to avoid them,dumping my air bags to gain that much needed extra inch of clearance. But, any clearance is good clearance!!
On my final load of cabinets, I had an even more precarious delivery. Once again, the site was residential. I was given directions which led me astray. Wrong Exit!! So, I made the return trip to the appropriate exit and once again set about on the correct course. Except, when I got to the neighborhood, which was located on a tiny little two lane road, I realized instantaneously that I would not be making this delivery. At least not here. I mentioned the tiny road I was traveling on, well, it was indeed only about 18 feet wide. I was literally taking up half of the road surface. To make matters worse, the entrance to the community was not a typical residential street entrance. No! This one had pretty stucco walls and a gate. Plus immediately inside there was a huge garden complete with massive ornamental fountain. The gate clearance was about 10 feet. There was no way I was going to fit, not all 60+ feet of me without doing some remodeling on this entryway.
The contractor met me at the gate. I had been parked in the road for at least 5 minutes and was feeling very uncomfortable, fearing someone was going to have a head on collision due my obstruction of the road. After much senseless debate, he finally agreed with me that is was not worth the risk. He thought I should be able to make it. I adamantly declined the offer to try, thus is was time to make a u-turn. I spent the next 20 minutes meandering down tiny routes, over weight restricted bridges, and finally found a parking lot I could pull in and back out of, thus changing my direction. The contractor had suggested I use an apartment community, but I declined that offer too! There are just some places a big truck does not need to be.
The contractor then told me that the delivery site had a construction entrance and they were trying to get the lock off of it. It seems the Fire Department has the key to the lock. But our appeal was declined. The construction entrance, is actually an emergency entrance, used for the sole purpose of allowing the fire trucks access. WHY? Because they cannot fit through the main entrance.
Hey Buddy!! neither can I.
Finally, the contractor agreed that delivering to the house was not going to happen, so he sent me to another parking lot to wait it out, until he could find alternate means of unloading the cabinets. Twenty minutes later, I was instructed to meet him at a Truck Rental Facility about 20 miles down the road. He would rent a small box truck, we would transfer the load, and he would make the site delivery himself. Good Luck!! This was the second time I would tailgate to a tailgate!
Now, it may seem to you , that perhaps I have been complaining throughout this post. I assure you, it was not meant that way. See, this is the stuff I love. I would become stagnant if all I ever did was dock , highway, dock. I need complications. I need adversity, I need a good challenge.
Hopefully, there will be more more cabinets/furniture in my future!!
Oh, and just a side note. I have not been to NYC in 2 months, and honestly, I do not think I have missed it that much. Well, maybe a little! But I have had so much fun doing these other tasks, that I have not thought much about it. Who knows where this will all lead.