Wednesday, May 03, 2006


"Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so." ~ Douglas Adams

I mentioned the changes happening at the company I am contracting for on a previous post. These changes are both inconvenient and infuriating.

To begin with, as I mentioned before, my dispatcher was laid off. She was a very good dispatcher. Much better than I thought apparently. Losing her is more unsettling than I would have anticipated. Before, when I came into work in the mornings, she would have my bags laid out, in order, with the paperwork already filled out except for times of pick up and delivery, lying on top of them.

Now I go in and find a pile of bags that I have to sort through, and place in order, and I have to fill out the paperwork myself. It is a small thing, but one that I had grown accustomed to not worrying about.

Also, before, if I walked into the office, I did not need to call and check in. This eliminated the necessity to use my cell phone everytime I picked up and dropped off. Now, since we have no office, I have to call in about 3 times more often. I will probably need to upgrade my cell service and add more monthly minutes now. That will cost me.

Up until now, we have been encouraged (and it is a good idea, anyway) to make copies of all our paperwork until we get paid on the jobs, to insure that we are getting proper credit for all that we did. And we also have to use the copier to make copies of our paperwork before it's filled out, so we always have extra blanks to fill out.

But we no longer have a copy machine. So, if we want copies we have to go somewhere that charges for every copy we make. The absolute lowest price on making copies I've found is 10 cents a copy. That isn't a lot, but considering that I have at least 4 pages of paperwork every day, and often times as many as 10 in one day, that adds up quickly.

So it looks as though I will have to invest in my own copy machine. I've been pricing them and I can get a Cheap printer/scanner/copier from Walmart for about $55.00. In the long run, having my own will be cheaper. Plus, I will have a scanner on which to scan photos from newspapers and magazines to use on my blog.

Now time is an issue, as well. The rules are, bank proofs, the cargo we typically carry, are considered highly sensitive documents, and cannot be left unattended. We are working out of a storage facility. One that is surrounded by security fences that can only be accessed by keying in a numerical code. In addition, we each have a key to the padlock that locks the overhead door to the storage compartment.

As far as I know, the only time we can leave bags in this storage compartment is when they are empty. I see no reason to even have a storage facility if we have to stay with the proofs until someone else can pick them up.

But we do. And guess who has the longest wait.

Since implementing the new procedures on Monday, I have had to sit in my car and wait for another driver to come and relieve me of my work for at least an hour. This is the time I used to drop off my work at the office and then go home for lunch, where I would have approximately 2 hours to eat, and work on my blog, or visit other blogs, or just play computer games.

Now, I am lucky if I get 30 minutes at home before I have to make my afternoon run. Instead, the time I had to do those aforementioned things (and any thing else that I needed or wanted to do) during that time, is no longer available to me. Because I have to babysit the bank proofs.

And the stupid thing to me here, is, I don't see how the proofs are any more safe in the trunk of my car than they would be inside the locked storage unit. As I see it, there really isn't any reason to even have a storage unit if we aren't allowed to leave proofs there until the next driver arrives.

The management says they are going to adjust the times so we will have less waiting time between connections, and if they do that, hopefully, I will have more time for doing things I used to do between morning and afternoon runs.

There are more things about these changes that annoy me. Including the fact that I have to call in to dispatchers that are unfamiliar with our particular trips. It is bad enough that I have to use my valuable cell phone time to call in, but since they are so unfamiliar with our procedures in this area, oftentimes the individual calls themselves take longer to go through. And I get annoyed with having to go through details that Sharon already knew when she was dispatcher.

Well, I am always resistant to changes of any kind. Perhaps once we get used to the new routine it will be better. I don't know.

All this to explain why I don't have the time to blog and visit other blogs that I used to have.


FIAR said...

You need a laptop so you can sit in the car and write. You should write offline so that you don't have your work get "eaten." As for portability - in case of having to use a different computer to publish - flash drives aren't that expensive.

And happy blogoversary. I'm always lurking around, but I don't have the patience for your commenters anymore.

Mary said...

Change is part of life.

You'll adapt, Mark. Things will get better. :)

TECH said...

Mark, you should check the cost per page before you purchase the copier from WalMart. Many of them are cheaply priced because they make their money on the ink or toner. Some ink copiers have a cost per page of 54 cents or higher. A good rule of thumb is that a copier that uses toner will usually have a cheaper cost per page than an ink based one. Staples has a Canon four-in-one with a cost per page of 7 cents for about $375. You might check there. You might also check out office supply companies. Many of them offer copies at less than 10 cents. One in my town offers self-serve copies for 4 cents a copy for letter size.