I’ve been through three regular dispatchers here at Hill Bros since I started: first was Ross who was quickly replaced by Cory. Then a month or so ago Cory moves over to planning and Bryan enters the picture. Today I had to let Bryan go.
A couple weeks ago I was getting ready to head home after having delivered a load on the south side of Kansas City, Missouri. There isn’t anything headed towards the house for the rest of that day, so my dispatcher tells me to pack it in and we’ll do something tomorrow. Okay, no problemo.
Since any load heading south will probably be dropped in our yard, I deadheaded there and called it a day… until my dispatcher calls with a problem. Turns out, there is a load there at the yard another driver has left that has to be over at the Coca-Cola plant in Lenexa, Kansas at 0300 the following morning. All of fifteen miles for less than twenty bucks in pay, and I pay for the fuel and everything else. Not a bad deal for an independent truck, skilled driver and the early hour. And no one but me can possibly get it there in time. Oh my.
Naturally, I call horse hockey. We go back and forth for a while until eventually I agree to take the load over so long as I can deadhead home after the trailer is empty and the miles will be counted as deadhead towards my next load, the load I will pick up in a few days from the local Buske operation. This is agreed to and I set my alarm for 0200 and I make everything happen as planned.
Last Friday I got my settlement emailed to me and, as usual, I go over it line-by-line. I don’t see any deadhead on that load to Lenexa, nor the one that follows. Where’s the beef, I ask.
Yesterday morning I’m told the miles were added to the previous load (where I went to Milwaukee, Wisconsin for that load of Miller beer kegs) and it is in the system. Yes sir, its right there. If you don’t see it on your settlement, talk with payroll they will get it straightened out.
Well, I double check and it still ain’t there so I call the nice lady in payroll. She says she sees the notation for deadhead miles to Springfield when I went home and they are on the previous trip, just like the dispatcher said. Only, there are 242 deadhead miles on that trip and those were what I was paid for running from Eau Claire, Wisconsin to Milwaukee to pick up the load.
I confront my dispatcher (via satellite unit) again, supplying all the trip information and the like which is kind of a pain-in-the-butt with the goofy keyboard. Still, he eventually responds that he’s getting together with payroll to get me the miles.
No problemo, I settle back and putter down the road. A while later an unsigned message arrives with a Beep (unsigned messages usually come from the higher-ups) telling me I won’t get paid for those miles because after I delivered the Lenexa load I went home. I patiently explain that this was the agreement and I’m still owed my miles.
More puttering and another Beep, and its my dispatcher. Now, remember, I’ve been on him over the satellite unit since last Friday about these miles. He’s told me that they were appended to that other load, that he’s getting with payroll to get it straightened out and suchlike, and I have a photographic record of his “tweets” to this effect.
Now the story is different — I couldn’t have made that deal with you; that wasn’t the agreement; we only talked about getting more miles, blah blah blah. I didn’t bother mentioning I have a record of his remarkable 180 degree turn on one of my cameras.
So, the final message to him is a kind of Trump ending: You’re fired. Don’t pass go. Get your boss to assign a new dispatcher, blah blah blah.
I was going to post pics of the screen grabs I have but for some reason my $2,000 Nikon can’t grab pictures of the satellite screen anywhere near as well as my $200 dinky point-and-shoot I have at the house. I had to settle for videotaping the unit while I page forward through the messages. Regardless, I have the evidence I need, the dispatcher has been dispatched and I will have my satisfaction.