|Gopherbassist ||09-06-2013 07:55 AM |
When time, effort, and energy are wasted
Yesterday at work, I was asked to take pick up some cargo and take it to a customer. As I inspected the cargo, I found a large hole in one of the containers. Moving the stuff is illegal in that case, and even if it weren't no one can handle the container with hole in it, it poses a danger that I would be responsible for if anyone were injured while the goods are in my possession. Fixing the problem is not quick, so I told my manager about the hole, expecting them to find something else for me to do while this container is repaired.
The normal repair involves cutting out the damaged section, replacing it with a patch of the same material, and bonding it with a heavy duty epoxy, and letting that cure. I've never had to wait for this to be done, but I'm sure it takes more than a day from start to finish.
This is a picky customer, and they need this cargo TODAY. My manager tells me to take the containers to a tech and get an estimate on the time to make the fix. I take it to the tech, the tech says he can't touch the container, it's sealed and he needs permission from the customer to break the seal.
So far, everything is making this take longer and longer. I'm still waiting for my manager to take me off of this assignment, but I'm putting in my due diligence and trying to get this project in motion. The tech has to break the seal, but customer service thinks that the customer has no one on duty to give permission, but sends an email to them to try to get the OK. Then customer service asks how it was established that there is a hole in the container. I answer that I looked at it and there's a hole. A simple answer to a pointless question. But customer service miraculously gets an answer! The techs can break the seal and fix the container.
I go back to the tech, tell him to break the seal and start the repairs. But, no go, he says. The container is loaded, he doesn't want to risk damaging the goods inside to repair he container. I explain that this cargo must be delivered in less than 24 hours, it's an important customer, blah blah blah JUST DO IT. He talks to the next tech, who talks to the next tech, who talks to the NEXT tech, all trying to find out who is going to fix this thing. And, I can't just leave and let them decide this on their own, my manager wants me to wring an estimate for the time it will take to make the repair out of them, so I have to keep prodding these people to agree to fix it and tell me when it will be done.
Finally the techs take this issue to their manager. He doesn't think they're going to be able to get to it today. I tell him "I don't care when it's done. I just need to tell my manager when it will be done because he's asked me to get that information and give it to him." So I'm waiting at the counter for about an hour. The tech manager has decided to bypass me and just talk to my manager directly, ignoring that I have a responsibility to my manager to give him this information. He's decided that they can make a quick fix by bolting a metal plate to the container. This will meet the letter of the law as a temporary fix, and eliminate any practical danger to anyone handling the container. And, it will be done in and hour. Great!
Well, not so great. I have only so many hours that I can work in a day. After they're gone, I have to take a certain amount of time off. All of this is eating into that time, and it's looking like I can't make all of the deliveries in the time that I have. I can make the first one, but then I'll have to take time off and won't be able to make any more on time. I tell my manager this, and tell him how far I can make it, and see if there is someone else that can take it from me once I get there. This is a long shot, and I don't have high hopes for this plan. I'm just going to have to be late to all but one site.
But, it turns out, there is someone that can relay it from me. And, I don't have to make any deliveries. He can take it from me before the first stop and then make all the deliveries. Cool! But, the repairs aren't done in one hour. In fact, two hours after they told me one hour, they haven't even started the patch. The container is still sitting where I left it.
Now, for me to take these containers and get the to the relayer, I'm going to have to stay up much later than I normally do. I don't want to stay up late, so I'm thinking I'm not going to do it. The deliveries will just be late. But word comes back that the relayer will take the cargo, and I find out he's just been sitting doing nothing for 3 days, not getting paid. And the assignment has already been changed and the relay put into the plans. If I don't take this cargo to the relay, the customer will be PO'd, this guy will have to sit longer without work, and I will have some responsibility for just not getting it there when it's supposed to be there.
So, I get to the relay. I send the next guy a text message. No answer. I find out that because of the hole in the container it's probably going to take some time to get it released from the site, so I send the relayer another text giving him a heads up. No answer. Finally, I'm tired, I want to go to sleep, I call this guy to tell him where I'm leaving the containers. He doesn't answer the phone, but I leave a message. I leave the containers, but stay in the area for about half an hour to make sure he comes and gets them. It's getting to the time that he said he would be ready to leave with them, and the end of the time that they can be taken and the first delivery made on time. He's not there.
As I'm sitting there, I realize that this guy is probably asleep somewhere. He's not going to come get this stuff any time soon. He's not going to make the deliveries on time. I realize that I just did something that I wouldn't normally do that I didn't even want to do because this person said that they could fulfill an agreement, and they're just not going to do it. I could have saved myself much hassle by just telling my manager I would take it and it just wasn't going to be on time, but I wanted this to be done right and went out of my way to that end. It's frustrating to have my time and energy wasted this way, and more frustrating that there is nothing I can do about it. :spit: