Today is one of those days.
It’s one of those days when retirement is sweeter than a sticky bun and hot cup of coffee. This is the kind of day I used to only be able to dream about.
It snowed today. It snowed big time. One of my driver friends called me about 1 o’clock from the parking lot formerly known as I-70. UPS had sent the trucks out on a mission of failure and now they had called them all back in. But of course, by this time, driving back in was nearly impossible.
I remember days like this when I was a driver. The TV stations had been talking about a blizzard for the last 3 days. They were predicting anywhere from 8 to 15 inches of snow in Denver and more on the west side near the foothills. It’s the kind of forecast that can give a UPS driver insomnia. I remember that feeling of impending doom.
When we woke up this morning it was already snowing hard. We had about 6″ on the ground out west here in Lakewood, they had a little less in town, but the forecast was unchanged. Driving into work was like walking up the steps to the gallow, you knew this was not going to be a good day.
True to form, UPS is loading the trucks and getting ready to dispatch everybody into the teeth of the storm. They were giving advice on what to do if your businesses were closed. DUH. Do you think anybody is really going to be open today. Not anybody with any common sense. But UPS is not able to see the futility of sending out 400 routes on a day when the forecast calls for heavy morning snow intensifying in the afternoon.
So out the trucks go. You know that if your first 20 stops aren’t open for business, then you’re screwed because you can’t empty the truck enough to get organized. And sure enough, your worst nightmare unfolds. Parking lots are not shoveled, businesses are closed, traffic is impossible to work around. And the snow keeps on falling. Now it’s 9″ and the wind is picking up. You begin to curse the fools that sent you out here.
By noon you’ve got about 30 stops attempted and half of them were closed. The truck is still packed. You can’t get to the boxes you need to scan and service cross. You are getting messages on the DIAD that various highways are closed. How much longer will they keep this fiasco on the street?
By 12:30 you get the message to come in. You head for the highway and see it’s at a standstill. Great. Now what?? You go over the options in your mind. The side streets might have less traffic but they aren’t plowed. There is always a bottleneck intersection or hill that will be tough to get around. The traffic moves a bit on the highway and you decide to get on.
Now you are sitting on I-70 and wondering why management would send out 400 drivers on a day like this. It can’t be cost effective. The risk must be unbelievable. How many accidents have they had already? During the 2006 blizzard, the only reason they called us in when they did was because they had 10 accidents in one hour. Didn’t they learn anything from that? Who could possibly be dumb enough to send us out into a growing storm? God, I wish I was retired……
And that brings me back to the reason I’m writing this. I AM retired. And I’m watching it snow and wondering if I ought to go out and do a little preemptive shoveling. Maybe if I shovel off every 5 inches tas it falls, then I won’t have to shovel all 15 inches at once. Sounds like a good idea. Maybe I should call UPS and ask their advice, they’re got the brilliant minds. They know what to do in a blizzard.
Today is one of those days.