Monday, June 20, 2011

The Joy of Rules

Breakfast cereal is a serious business. If you don’t believe me, try to deliver your load of Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs fifteen minutes before your appointment time. 
It ain't gonna happen.

No soup for you!
Come back one year.

There are two ways to deliver a load. 

The live unload is the longest. 

In that situation you back into a dock and wait while a guy on a forklift unloads your truck. He counts the product, takes a cigarette break, rearranges the product, takes a cigarette break, puts the product on a shelf, has a sandwich and a cigarette break, and then gives the paperwork to an office person to perform some kind of computer voodoo-hoodoo. She also takes a cigarette break, paints her fingernails, goes and flirts with the guy on the forklift, then signs the paper you need to leave. This can take 2-24 hours.
The second way to deliver a load is called a drop and hook. We go in, unhook from our loaded trailer, drop it on their lot, then pick up an empty one. In and out in less than 30 minutes. 
We have no control over which method, it’s the customer’s choice. Usually, an appointment means a live unload. But not in the high stakes world of Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs. They give out appointments because they like to feel special and in control, even when it’s a drop and hook. And they have rules. And they do not bend them.
1. You may come in one hour before your appointment time. No more. 
2. If you are late by more than 37 seconds you will have to wait 48 hours to be rescheduled. (This has happened to us.)
3. No dogs, children, wives or guns allowed on the property.

4. No public restrooms.
5. No overnight parking on the property. (Even though it's big enough to hold the Lost City of Atlantis, there are no truck stops within 50 miles so you have to park illegally near a meth lab, and it’s their idea you come in the middle of the night.)
So we get to the Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs warehouse at 11:45. Fifteen minutes earlier than is allowed. We approach the Security Gate. The lot beyond the guard shack is wide open, lots of space, no other trucks in line or moving about. 

We think we’re golden.

Himself: “ Hi, we have a load of Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs, appointment number 12390-42149-537759-335398311M.
Guard: “Oh yes. It’s a drop and hook. Your appointment is at 1 a.m. You can come in one hour ahead.”
Himself: “Um...That’s just fifteen minutes from now.”
Guard: “ Yep. See you then.”
Himself: *Stands there for 15 minutes, repeats procedure at appointed time*
Guard: *Looks over paperwork* “ Hmm. This number looks funny. I need to call someone to come and verify the load, hang on a minute.... Oh, darn. That guy goes on break at midnight. He’ll be back at one. You’ll have to come back then.”

A lone wolf howls in the distance.

Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs is not real. But Hobbes is.


  1. you're hysterical! just another day in the life...of trucking tumbleweeds, eh?

    you could get a job thinking up names for cereal! love it!

  2. Seinfeld, I love Seinfeld!

  3. Great story... Knowing you it went down just like you said... Did they even give you a free box?


  4. Laura, I stole that name from Calvin and Hobbes, it was better than the boring stuff we really had!

    Glen, that guard was the Soup Nazi's grandma, I swear!!

    Heywood, Yes. Yes it did and no, we didn't get any of their stank cereal. I'm sure it's against the rules!

  5. OH, ok...i knew i shoulda read that Hobbes link a little further...well...doesn't're still hysterical and i always leave here LAUGHING!

    darn rules!

  6. No worries, Laura. I just wanted to make sure the credit went where it's due. I LOVE Bill Waterson's Calvin and Hobbes.
    Glad you're laughing, it's not against the rules HERE!!

  7. What's the issue with those lazy workers? I only needed two cigarettes to read this post. Very well done, I hate that sort of beauracratic bull. I hope the next trip goes better!

  8. Tumblebomb, You are sooooo funny, You need tgo try out for th Fay Leno Show. It's great to start the day with a healthy laugh, love it.

  9. Melissa, thank you, you only needed 2 cigarettes?? Give up your dreams of working at the Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs cereal warehouse then!!

    Doug, I think I'm gonna trademark Tumblebomb, love it!!


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