|Shopping at Ikea will save $$ too.|
Every job has its pros and cons and trucking is a 24/7/365 kinda business, but for the most part we Tumbleweeds have pretty normal hours.
The loads that we take usually have ample time built in to drive from the shipper to the receiver without much stress. There's plenty of time for breaks, meals, and sleep without keeping vampire hours.
But every now and then, we get a grocery warehouse load, (may a pox be inflicted upon them and their donkeys) and for some reason those places like to get their Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs in the middle of the night.
Because of the hours of service rules, this means we have to finagle our day so that we are driving in the wee hours.
This is definitely a con. People are meant to be sleeping in the wee hours (and sometimes when the hours aren't wee). It's not natural to be up a 2 am, much less working.
I need a lot of sleep to maintain my cheery disposition.
This week we had a pro and con load all in one.
Because we had plenty of time and we were going through Minneapolis, we were able to stop at Ikea and feel like skinny, urbane Europeans for a while. This was the pro.
On the con side, we had to deliver at 2 am in the middle of nowhere Iowa, then drive 200 miles to get to the edge of nowhere Iowa by 9 am.
All the shiny, cheap, Swedish home furnishings in the world don't make up for me being up in the middle of the night. But it could have been worse, we could have been in New Jersey.
Here are some Ikea facts:
Ikea sells every kind of home furnishing imaginable, and in some countries, even the home.
Ikea was founded in 1943 by Swedish dude Ingvar Kamprad because he couldn't fit a chair into his car.
There are over 300 stores in 35 countries and their catalog is printed in 27 languages.
The stores are laid out like rooms, so that you can see how their products look put together; their furniture is sold "ready to assemble". (Some people are really good at this.)
Their stuff is cheap but it's also sleek and good looking. Much like the Swedish people themselves. (And I know what I'm talking about here because I was on a Swedish military frigate once, and every man and woman on that ship was so creamy and beautiful that it made me want to walk the plank.)
A typical Ikea store is roughly the size of Lichtenstein and by the time you get through all of it you will be so hungry that the $2 Swedish meatballs with lingonberry sauce will seem like a good idea.
All the products have Swedish names on their packaging and if you try to say them out loud you turn into the Swedish Chef from the Muppets.
We spent over 3 hours there. It was Saturday and every person in Minnesota and possibly South Dakota was there. It was a mistake to shop on the busiest day of the week, as crowds give me the heebie-jeebies.
We bought a blanket and a cheese grater.
But really good looking ones, though.
Even though this post is chock-full of Ikea talk and great links, no one is paying me for it. That Swedish Chef is a real snål oäkting.