Sunday, July 28, 2013

Trucking Management Disconnect

The other day one of our drivers had a minor preventable accident. Jackknife on a lonely stretch of road in the rain. Non DOT reportable incident and frankly, I, as a one of the "management" team could have easily just had the guy return to the terminal, repaired the minor damage, and been done with it. No harm no foul. That's how it would have been done back in the day. We are however no longer "back in the day."

As it was I, at risk of losing my lucrative job, was obligated to report this to the safety dept. OK. No problem. Part of the gig. The real interesting part is that the driver is now to be suspended for a fairly long length of time (he doesn't know this yet certain as he is out on a long haul), go through "retraining" and be subjected to overt (and covert) surveillance. If this guy was a "problem child" then that would be par for the course however this man is a professional driver with years of experience who had a minor accident. It can happen to anyone. Somehow or other he does appear to have some inkling that disciplinary action is to be taken against him as we have already received a couple of "verification of employment" inquiries from competing firms. Can't say that I blame him.

In the world of chemical trucking there is very little difference between companies other than the nifty hats that seem to be part of the salary package. Oh sure some are marginally better than others. Among the major players in the big leagues, my particular employer is merely scraping the bottom of the barrel as opposed to some that are truly bottom barrel (CTL, Linden, and Tankstar aka Bob Schwerman come to mind). There are even a few that are a slight step above ( Superior perhaps and Enterprise until bought out by the Kennan Advantage Group), but none are what I would call a real good company to work for. Hard to find in trucking outside of some LTL and private fleets I suppose.

Back to the driver - He will likely, after being informed of the news of the corporate decision to "discipline" him, be wearing a different hat by the end of the week. Guess who's fault that will be for not "retaining" him? Our terminal "management" staff of course. Typical.

About the only thing good to come out of this is that all of us will lose our safety "bonus" of one to two hundred bucks. Good? Yes. Along with that little check comes a mandatory corporate type banquet where the powers that be fly down on their corporate jet, make inane speeches about nothing, and pass out baubles to the masses. Everyone sees through it and I for one am not going to miss  hearing snide (but  understandable) remarks from drivers, shop, and steam rack hands, about their pathetic wages (and in some cases near wage theft) while the big wigs fly around in Lear jets, limos, and (some) take side trips to high dollar "gentleman's" establishments.

Yes it is worth a couple hundred bucks to just not have to attend that clown show.
For a while at least. Sooner or later we will reach or "safety goals."

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Wiley Would Just Love the Lone Star State

My first experience with government civilian employment was an eye opener to be sure. My tenure as a 911 operator/supervisor years back taught me a whole lot about the mindset of many folk who tend to work in law enforcement in general. My findings were certainly confirmed on my in between jobs job last summer in a juvenile "supervision" facility. Something wrong with some of these govt honks. Something wrong indeed.

I used to work with one person by the name of Wiley, who believed that anyone who refused to have their address listed in the 911 system (you could do that back in the day) should be fined. She also was an advocate of field interrogations (interviews) where a police officer could just stop anyone anytime and conduct a search and even enter your dwelling on a whim. She told me this in person and I have not forgotten it.  I, at the time, found this mindset both bizarre and dangerous to liberty.  I still do and I am no longer a young buck. Oh. On a side note, this Wiley also proved to be a one of those who would stop at nothing to try to "get" anyone who she considered a danger to her "position" within the organization. I saw through her rather quickly while it took others a bit longer. All I worked with at the time recognized a problem (I hesitate to say evil) after a time. (She also appeared to be a typical cop "groupie" but that is perhaps another story for another time..)

What am I getting at exactly here other than taking a pot shot at one of the few people I have met that I truly detested? Not sure. Read on while I put things together. Shouldn't be too hard. Not writing a novel here, just blabbering ..........

Here in the Lone Star Republic some municipalities have been conducting a "no refusal" policy in order to combat driving while intoxicated. In other words, if an officer of the law has a suspicion that one may be intoxicated behind the wheel he/she can order the person to take a sobriety test. Sounds good right? We all know of the damage that some drunken fool who drives (although who among us is not guilty of that at least once in our life?) causes. Problem is, it is a violation of our rights concerning unreasonable search and seizure. Or do you disagree? If I told you that some of the sobriety "tests" included forced blood draws would you change your tune? Probably not. Still, in my mind this is a gross violation......

Still not convinced this is a wrong are you? Well what if a local yokel decides that he will just pull random drivers over just to meet his quota (of sorts) of checking driver sobriety? What is there to stop him? Cops tend to be notoriously lazy pricks (I can safely say this having vast knowledge on the subject) and that type of behavior could certainly become par for the course for many. (No, not just a few but the majority likely).  How would you like to find yourself driving home from work, pulled over, and "asked" to do roadside calisthenics or, even worse, be forced to have your blood drawn and analyzed? What if you refused? Well off to the hoosegow you go. Sounds a bit Orwellian does it not?
But of course there are those who think that if they are not guilty then it is reasonable to be required to prove that when asked to do so by an "officer of the law." Those type folk are sheep......

Now there is some talk of "sobriety checkpoints" being set up in various locales throughout the region. Does this not bring to mind some third world country where armed thugs operate checkpoints? Perhaps a bit of a stretch comparing our country to the likes of say Syria. Yes a bit of a stretch.......

But you gotta start somewhere.

Oh this Wiley. She is a big wig last I heard in emergency communications. I hate to think how many folk she tried to damage in her mindless quest to reach the "top" of her "profession." Some people are like that. You can see that type in any profession I suppose and they are easy to recognize.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

I Guess I'll Put my Two Cents In On The Zimmerman Incident.

I suppose I too will put my two cents in on the Zimmerman incident (no not the pre WWI affair - never mind). Why not. Everyone else is.........

The jury has spoken. One George Zimmerman (the white Hispanic) has been found not guilty of anything. Anything at all. While this may or may not be a "good" verdict, it is the verdict we have. Of course not wanting to respect the decision of the court, the NAACP (outraged of course), is calling for a federal "denial of civil rights" investigation into the affair and, as easily predicted, the racist, virulent, New Black Panther Party is calling for this Zimmerman's head (to shrink I suppose). Typical.

This whole episode is a tragedy of the first order but nothing more than a local affair that should have made no more than the local fish wrap. Instead with the flames fanned by none other that our illustrious President (still hard to believe isn't it), the flapping gums of Sharpton and assorted other opportunists, it has become a national story and one that poses a real danger to order.

Some say that this Martin kid was guilty of nothing more than "walking "Black."" I think that leftist "writer," one Robert Crawford, aka Jurassicpork (found a job yet? It has, after all been years) said something like that in a surprisingly lucid rant (well until he got into the Koch Brothers thing) over at Brilliant at Breakfast. He might admittedly have a point. Or not. Hard to say and it matters not anyway. The jury has spoken.........

Was this Martin kid a thug? I don't know. Do you? He was I guess a pot smoker but then I myself would like to light up and will again as soon as I can get back into "education" where one is not subject to DOT drug screens and the like. Does that make him a criminal. Not really.  Supposing he was a thug. Does that mean he should have been stalked by this Zimmerman? Probably not. One wonders what would have happened if this Zimmerman had simply taken the police dispatchers' sound advice...

What of Zimmerman? Was he in the right here?  Perhaps not. There is not doubt that he could have avoided the situation. Does that make him guilty of murder? I don't know. The jury thought not.
I am fairly certain that he is guilty of being a dumbass. That perhaps should go without saying. The fact that he is a dumbass is certainly a contributing factor in the young man's death. Being a stupid ass however is not a crime.

Profiling? Of course that is being "discussed" now on what passes for the news media these days. I will go out on a limb here and say that "profiling" is natural and in some cases necessary and this Zimmerman certainly did a bit of profiling.  Profiling (I call it good common sense) is a fact of business in the passenger vehicle for hire (taxi) industry here in Houston and everywhere else likely. I profiled constantly. Everyone does.  You are a fool if you don't........I suppose that makes one who "profiles" a bad person. Or something.

Well so far no one has thought it necessary to burn down their own neighborhood over this. Not at this juncture at least (Remember the semi competent president who used to say "at this juncture" a lot? Or was that just the comedian that portrayed him on comedy shows? No matter and I digress).

Oh well. I am sure the media folk are disappointed that riots are not breaking out all over the place over this.

Cheer up though honks. The week is young.

 I would watch for these "news" folks to fan the flames and spark some civil disobedience which in fact may lead to more tragic and heartbreaking episodes. Not that that would bother them any.......

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Paula and the White Hispanic

I haven't done much "blogging" of late. Been way too busy at work. Managing a trucking terminal is a 24 hour a day job, most of which is dealing with idiots. No I don't mean the drivers (well there are a few). The most idiotic are some of those residing within the hallowed halls of the corporate office and then there are some of our "customers" reps whose grasp on geography, mileage, and transit times (not to mention the new hours of service regs), is bit lacking. There are some among our corporate staff who I would have a hard time putting in charge of a snow cone stand. I am sure there are MBA's among them.............Be that as it may, there are a few things going on which I would like to touch briefly on.

It seems that one Paula Deen (or is it Dean? No matter) has said, at some point in time, the dreaded and career killing "N" word. Her reign as the southern cooking queen is now in jeopardy. Don't you think that we are just going a bit overboard here? It is ironic that her merchandise is now flying off the shelves. I am sure that is little consolation though as almost everyone in the distancing themselves from her. I doubt that she will become destitute but.............

That whole episode is minor compared to the divisive Trayvon (or is it Travon? Again, no matter) incident. You know where one young innocent (as pure as The Carpenter some say) was allegedly gunned down by the "White Hispanic" George Zimmerman. White Hispanic? Remember when the twats (oh yes I said it!) in the "news" media coined that one? Oh well. The crux of the matter is that one young man is dead and the other is on trail for his life A tragedy no doubt. A national newsworthy story? No so much. A local matter entirely. Perhaps Zimmerman was justified in killing the guy and perhaps not. That is what the trial is for. Of course if the outcome is the "wrong" one then some neighborhoods may be set alight. These things happen..........Funny however that is usually the very same neighborhoods in which the arsonists live.

I did briefly watch some bimbos and one "man" on one of the networks debate the Trayvon episode. Predictably it was divided among racial lines. On one side we had the Ivy league honkies and on the other (of course) we had the finest that the SWAC has to offer society. It held my interest for about one minute. The sisters' dialect was near unintelligible (I, as an ex 911 operator however am fluent), and the honkies were especially arrogant. Other than the fact the subject debated was a very tragic event that likely could have been easily avoided, the whole thing is really not worth taking any of our time. I suppose there is no real news to report....

Paula's career is ruined and her reputation in shambles. Trayvon is dead and Zimmerman may or may not have been justified in gunning down the lad. This is what we are talking about this week.

Wonder what next week will bring. Paris Hilton hasn't made a porn lately. Perhaps she's overdue.