Hey there, everyone! I just got back from an excellent weekend at the ATHS National Convention and Antique Truck Show in Reno. That was a huge gathering of trucks! I got to meet friends I’ve known for years, and made some new friends, too. I even got to meet Greg Evigan from the BJ and the Bear TV show! And there were some drivers there whom I’ve idolized over the years, ever since I was a kid. It was a great show, and now my wife and I are considering flying out to the next one, being held in Springfield, Illinois next year. Anyway, this poem has nothing whatsoever to do with that. Rather, this poem is something I think most of us can relate to, regardless of what part of the trucking industry you’re in. It’s that frustration you get when you’re feeling rushed to get somewhere, and then when you get there, the product isn’t even ready. It happens a lot when you haul produce. A common complaint among reefer drivers is that they’ve been waiting for a load that hasn’t even been picked out of the ground yet, but I’m sure each and every branch of trucking has their own version of that same dilemma. I call this poem “Hurry up and Wait” for obvious reasons. Thanks to our contributor Dennis Mitchell, a card-carrying member of the “Hurry Up and Wait” club, for the picture below of his “waiting for a load to get ready” setup. Enjoy!
I was sitting ‘round the truck stop,
When I finally got the call.
Dispatch found a load of spuds,
They needed me to haul.
“Driver, this one’s got to go,
You simply can’t be late!
Deadhead on your own dime,
Your appointments set for eight.”
So somewhere there’s a load of spuds,
That I’m supposed to take.
But first, they’ve got to stage the load,
When they get back from break.
Before all that can happen, though,
The taters must be boxed.
While folks with bigger checks than mine,
Just stand there watching clocks.
Prior to all this standing around,
The spuds must pass a test.
To quality-insure these taters,
Are nothing but the best.
But first they have to take a bath,
So, someone, may assert.
That these-here golden russet spuds,
Are free and clear of dirt.
But none of this can happen,
Until they pick ‘em from the ground.
Which won’t be anytime soon,
With all these pickers standing around.
Maybe they’re just standing there,
To watch the taters grow.
But first you’ve gotta plant the seeds,
And wait for rain, you know.
But tater seeds don’t ship themselves,
They get here on a truck.
And that guy’s running late, because,
He’s broken down, or stuck.
Meanwhile, in this dusty lot,
My E.L.D. is cooked.
I’ve checked-in at the window,
For this load, my dispatch booked.
By now it’s nearly 3:00 pm,
My appointment was at eight.
And so it goes, with produce loads…
It’s always, hurry up and wait!