The Long Way Home 4.21.23

 My dad was a salesman, by profession and demeanor. Probably more Willy Loman than Tony Robbins, but he got the job done.

Dad taught me many things. Drinking coffee (with milk and sugar) in the mornings with him and Uncle Kenny at the kitchen table before slogging off to school. How to smoke at the same table. And how to drink. Three habits with me still. 

He also advised me, being the salesman he was, “Do not ever try to bull***t a bull***ter.”

In “the freight business” we are often called upon to make excuses for why a truck was late. We joked about having a list of excuses for when a customer called to find out where the truck was we could refer them to number 8, or 64, or number 135 on the list. 

I once worked for a company that provided transportation for a major frozen food company. Food companies are sensitive about timely and safe movement of their products. If you know the corporate world, this one had a protocol we followed if there were exceptions to planned schedules.

One load from the midwest to California was delayed by a day or two. Usually we could report mechanical issues or weather as the cause of delay. In this case the load was delayed because the driver's German Shepherd delivered puppies in the cab of the truck. Yes, our long haul drivers could have their pet with them while working.

Using the protocol required by the food company, we reported the cause of delay honestly. No BS.  The logistics manager at the company told us that he would not accept that cause and we’d have to come up with something else. So we reported “mechanical issues.” So much for honesty. This is why I will never fully trust corporations. And all bureaucrats. 

Last week a BSer wannabe tried to BS us. 

Our washing machine has been acting up for several months. At first it was just a hot water issue. Then we had additional problems. After several visits by the repairman, and several new parts installed, the problems continued. The repairman was at times non responsive, not returning phone calls or fulfilling promises made onsite. 

So the bohunk, frustrated, negotiated with the appliance guy to buy a brand new machine. 

He promised the new washer would be here a couple weeks ago, but it wasn’t. Becky finally got him on the phone and heard, “The delivery truck (coming up the shore) was caught in the last snowstorm we had, went into the ditch, and believe it or not, the only freight on the truck that was damaged was your new washer.” 

Not to worry he said, “A new one will be here next week.” 

Turns out, unbeknownst to this poor excuse for a businessman, Becky had found that the manufacturer, a major builder of appliances,  will not have the model we ordered available until the middle of May. 

More BS is coming. Appliance guy told her not to worry. This appliance maker assured him he’d get our machine “right away,” putting the needs of one small customer and one pissant appliance dealer ahead of their production schedules. 

I’m a lot older than I was at that kitchen table with Dad and Kenny and I’ve seen more than my share of bull***ters and I’m not buying this story about getting a new washer.