I’ve come to a conclusion:
…or maybe just not in logistics. It may come as a surprise to you, but I don’t think that locating missing freight is my passion.
On good days, I feel like a young Britney Spears in my headset.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful to even have a job right now. And I think I’ve picked up some useful information!
For example, nothing good comes in black shrink wrap. Well, nothing legal anyway…
I now know that in transportation, “no power” does not, in fact, mean a loss of electricity, but a shortage of vehicles or drivers. Every time I told someone that one of our terminals had “no power,” I included something along the lines of, “Yeah, there must be a lot of storms out West today,” while thinking to myself, “LAX needs to get a backup generator or SOMETHIN’.”
I like to imagine that my newly acquired knowledge of “hazmat” (that’s what we in the industry call hazardous materials) is comparable to Bubba’s expertise on the various types of shrimp.
You know, you’ve got your explosive hazmat, your highly explosive hazmat, your combustive hazmat, your corrosive hazmat, and, “Ma’am, there is a $50.00 surcharge on all shipments of hazardous materials.”
I quickly realized that if you gently remind an angry customer that his phone call is being recorded, his language immediately cleans up. “Well…I didn’t mean that…I was just…thank you for your help.” Problem solved.
I’ve also learned that people don’t react well to hearing that their freight’s done BURNT UP. Imagine that. So I call the customers like,
“I’m calling to inform you that there has been an in-transit accident in Central Illinois, and that, unfortunately, your freight sustained severe damage. I apologize for any inconvenience that this might have caused.”
And I imagine they will respond like,
“That’s no problem, we’ll get the claims process started immediately. Thanks, Lucy!”
“An accident?! I hope the driver is okay!”
But usually it’s more like,
“Are you sure that none of our freight is salvageable? That 800 lbs of medical equipment is needed in surgery tomorrow!” -Doctor. Great, now I feel like a total d*ck.
“You ****ed up my ******* freight, you sons of *****es, my boss will have my *** for your ****!” -Drama queen. But remember what you’ve learned: “Sir, this phone call is being recorded.” 😉
“Shit, man, my boss is gonna kill me, man. That shit’s supposed to be in Mexico tomorrow, man.” -Druggie. Sorry, man. Like I said, nothing good comes in black shrink wrap.