Friday, July 29, 2011

Adrian Gets a Ticket, Gets a Bonus Out Of It

The Scene:  My Co-driver had just driven through Illinois and Iowa, and was just entering the Flying J in Nebraska.  It was five in the morning, and I was feeling good so I took over.  I had only driven five miles when I hit the weigh station in Lincoln, Nebraska.  As I put the truck on the scales the light stayed red for just a few seconds too long.  That's when I knew something bad was about to happen.

"Driver, pull your truck to the side, come inside.  Bring your logs, licences, and paperwork," said the disembodied voice.  Just great, a D.O.T. inspection.

As I walked in, the D.O.T. Officer told me my right front headlight was out.  My co-driver had been driving all night and didn't notice.  I had only been driving for a few minutes, and didn't notice either.  What made me mad is that, this must have just happened.  The truck had a complete preventative maintenance inspection performed on her only one week before. 

I handed the officer all my paperwork and licences, and gave him all my information.  He told me he had to give me a "Fix-it Ticket" for the headlight.  What that is for those who don't know, is that, I get the part repaired that needs repaired, and have a Law Enforcement Officer sign off on the repair.  I don't pay a fine, I don't have to go to jail, or do community service.  I just have to get it fixed and signed off.  Hence the term fix-it ticket.

The officer then tells me that my paperwork inspection is all clear, and that I passed that no problem.  He then gives me the fix-it ticket and the clear inspection paperwork.  He then very nicely informs me that I can have a D.O.T. Officer at the North Platte, Nebraska scale house sign off on the paperwork. 

I then head to the T.A. to grab a new headlight.  I then had to fight Cassie the Cascadia to give up that blasted headlight.  It took me asking a mechanic how to get that stupid thing out, and even then I had to resort to breaking out my channel-locks to remove it.  But I got the new light bulb in, and got it working.

It was then, and only then that I called our company's citations department.  I told them what happened, and that I had already got the bulb repaired, and I would put the expense down on my expense sheet.  Needless to say, the citation department was happy with all my efforts.

And then!  It was then that I let my dispatcher know what had happened, and that I repaired the bulb, let citations know what happened, and would have the D.O.T. Officer in North Platte sign off on the repair. 

I also let him know what had happened the day before.  I basically sweet-talked the Sears Distribution Center in Illinois give us a load early.  There was a paperwork snafu, and we were told to get a load at 18:00 that day instead of the next day.  So I talked them into loading the trailer early, and I managed to get it out that night.  Then something happened that had never happened before.  I was given a complement by a dispatcher.  He told me, "Thanks for all the effort out there."

I then made my way to the North Platte, Nebraska scale house.  The D.O.T. officer was less than nice to me, but did sign off on my paperwork.  I then faxed it to the citations department along with the clean inspection report.

And then, something happened that had never happened before (yet again.)  I got a message across the Qualcomm (our truck computer) that I had gotten a bonus for a clean inspection, and it would appear on my next paycheck.  My co-driver had to tell me that the amount for a clean inspection was $75.00.  I had to ask him, "So I just made $75.00 for a blown light bulb?"  Sometimes this is one weird company. 

Now, I will mail in the signed off fix-it ticket to the Nebraska D.O.T.  I will chalk this up to one of my weirdest days of work in a very long time.

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