Way up north in Pembina, North Dakota cell phone coverage is spotty, at best. When I talked with Joe yesterday morning at 8:00 a.m. he was so riled and worked up about the events unfolding his frustration level was getting higher as we spoke.
Around 4:30 p.m. I called Joe to see how things were going and went directly to his voice mail. Same with his Coldiron phone. I got a bit worried since I had not heard from him all day. Tamping down the worry before it turned into panic I told myself he will call when he can. He did call at 6:12 p.m. and I heard about every other word then lost him. So, panic averted because I did get in contact with him.
Joe and Les had a very long and cold day yesterday. Windy, cold temperatures, but no snow. Joe called me from a FedEx Kinko’s in Fargo, North Dakota at 10:30 p.m. to assure me that all was well and they had the Dock Receipts in hand and were in the process of making five copies of each of them for the requirements of the Baltimore Port.
There is enough anxiety over getting these trucks moved it has become a “Keystone Cops” comedy of errors that is not very funny.
In yesterday’s post I said there were two drivers on their way to Baltimore already. In truth, that is not the case. So here is a run down of what took place in Pembina.
- Someone was in Pembina to meet Joe and Les to tell them which trucks they were taking. There was someone at the truck stop representing Coldiron and being a “traffic controller” of sorts.
- The two Two-Way drivers referred to as having already been there and gone…had in fact never shown up. They committed themselves to the loads, said they were on the way, then later called and said they were not going to take the loads.
- The confusion around this fact was the terminology used. Joe was told the drivers “Left on the load”. Pressure was being poured on the drivers that did show up because of the two that will not be showing up.
- Nine of the 30 trucks still remain in Canada and there is no one that can legally go into Canada and bring the trucks out. There is some other stuff going on with one of the guys that was doing the work of getting the trucks out of Canada and into Pembina. He’s been banned from going back in. The other person(s) going in and out of Canada have been sent on to other things.
- The trucks are not new, they are used Volvos. *groan* Similar to the ones Joe and I took out of Atlanta, Georgia and going to Compton, California on that “Trip from Hell”. Here’s hoping they don’t experience any problems with the air dryer on these.
- The cold temperatures in Pembina, not freezing yet, had it’s own set of problems. The trucks did not want to stay running. Joe and Les had to stay with each truck until it quit sputtering and dying before they could begin their work. That ate up over three hours and the bulk of the morning.
- Once the trucks were moved and positioned for Joe and Les to do the work of getting hooked up, the winds and cold were affecting their fingers making it hard to do their jobs. Having to stop frequently and get in the running trucks to warm feeling back into aching fingers ate up more time.
- Both Joe and Les have some heavy duty winter gloves they were working with. According to Joe the wind was driving the cold right through the gloves.
- By 4:30 p.m. other drivers began showing up, some more will be arriving later today.
- 6:00 p.m. Joe and Les were hooked up and waiting for someone to show up and air up low tires on the trucks.
- 7:30 p.m. the Dock Receipts arrived, one for each truck, along with some kind of strange document indicating the trucks were legally out of Canada and ready for transport. The usual documents are copies of Titles belonging to each truck with the necessary paperwork that indicate transfer of ownership.
- 8:00 p.m. Joe and Les left Pembina and headed for Fargo. 129 miles away is food (neither of them had eaten anything since leaving the hotel that morning), a Kinko’s to make the full compliment of copies required by the port officials in Baltimore, and a much desired warm room and bed.
After having had some food, gotten warm, fingers moving freely once again, Joe called me from the Kinko’s and related his tale of the days events. His telling of it jumped around in the time frame so much that I nearly lost track of how his day went. He was so frustrated I let him vent and get it all out.
Once he was finished venting and calmed down, my poor Joe, realized he has nothing to do with this mess except get these four trucks in his care delivered on Monday. The rest of the craziness is for someone else to deal with.
Joe told me that he and Les had planned on getting to Baltimore on Sunday morning, parking the trucks at a nearby truck stop then being tourists. He was so bummed these plans were now dashed because of the long and grueling day they had.
Joe was feeling pretty bad about Les not getting to be on board a historic Clipper Ship, walking through a World War II submarine, spending time in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, or tramping the grounds of Fort McHenry. The more he talked of letting Les down the more determined he became in making it happen.
As it stands right now, Les and Joe will be tourists on Tuesday. They will be going through the hoops at the port on Monday. When they have made their delivery and seen the backs of those trucks they are going to a hotel and turning the work world off the remainder of the day. Tuesday they will get up early and do the tourist thing.
Joe has even gone so far as to make me jealous. Absolutely green with envy. He plans on going to Charm City Cakes in Baltimore (we’ve been there and I have photos of the outside of the building). Joe said he is going to go inside the bakery. I told him if he makes it through, which I highly doubt, he will HAVE to get me something from Mary Alice. Don’t get me wrong, I love Duff Goldman – owner of Charm City Cakes – but I’ve been an office manager before (in a different lifetime 20+ years ago) and I appreciate the role she plays in keeping Duff busy with cakes to make and sell.
I guess it is time for me to get off this blog and get cracking at my bookkeeping paperwork. It won’t get done if I don’t get after it.