Sunday, December 13, 2015

Pressure Player

I had a load to deliver to a large Kroger's warehouse in Louisville KY. I arrived early in the morning and waited along with a dozen other trucks for the gates to open at 6:am.

Kroger's had a policy that they wouldn't start unloading any trucks until all the trucks were backed into the dock. All the drivers managed to get their trucks backed in except for a hillbilly from Arkansas. This guy had the easiest spot to back into since it was right on the end of the dock.

At the time, I had shoulder length hair and was at least 10 years younger than most of the other drivers. My long hair combined with my youth automatically pegged me as a hippy to the mostly redneck drivers who were standing around watching the guy from Arkansas.

After he had made about a half-dozen unsuccessful attempts, I walked up to his cab and said, "Look, why don't you let me back that in for you. If I can do it perfectly in one try, you owe me 5 bucks. If I have to pull up even once, you owe me nothing."

The pressure was on, so he had to agree to the deal.

I climbed up into the cab of that filthy International cab-over. The empty potato chip bags, scattered dirty clothes, and empty coke cans rolling around on the floor combined to give it the ambiance of a homeless camp.

I fished around with the sloppy shifter until I found reverse, put it in gear, and backed that thing into the dock perfectly. As I was getting out of the truck, the guy walked up to me and started reaching for his chain drive wallet.

I said, "That's OK, keep your money. Just remember this episode the next time the subject of hippies comes up."

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