A Courier I Will Never Be

I don't mind driving, either around town or while on vacation. But I have several rules I like to stick to. One is to not drive at night, my vision seems to be diminished when it gets dark. I don't really like driving while it's snowing either. But I guess it depends on the intensity of the snow. And I don't like to drive in unfamiliar territory, I just get too confused. Also, driving on the freeway is not my favorite thing either.

So last week when my husband wasn't feeling well he came home for a short dinner break and asked me (told me, really) that I would have to drive the rest of his route for him.

Say WHAT!!!

He had a bad case of Vertigo and got so scared while driving he just couldn't finish the route by himself. He would go with me but I would have to drive. The only other alternative was to call the day shift driver but he would be in bed in order to get up for his own shift early in the morning.

There were four things wrong with this scenario. It was dark and snowing and I would have to get on the freeway to get to some places that I had never been before. Oh Joy.

A little back story on what my husband does. He works for a company in another state which delivers banking material to/from banks and also some lab work to a local lab. Hazardous material is also handled occasionally. All of this material is either put on or taken off of the company's plane at the local airport.

The first thing we have to do is check the online tracker to see when the plane will be in. Then we had to get on the freeway and head east about 10 miles to a warehouse where several businesses use it to drop off and pick up their deliveries. My four most hated things about driving were now being thrown at me all at once. I couldn't see well to begin with and snow was flying straight at me. To say I was scared, was an understatement.

We get to the warehouse and make some exchanges and then get back on the freeway and head west to the airport. which was about 12 miles away. It always snows more at the airport for some reason so I was so happy to get there in one piece. I swipe his security clearance card and the gate opens. He picks up a fax at the office and then he drives to the plane. I admit it was very pretty out there. Mostly dark, the airfield was lit by blue landing lights and an occasional plane coming in. I wish I had my camera with me. He backs up the van and does his loading and unloading.

Then it's back to the freeway to head downtown to a bank. Driving downtown doesn't bother me much because hardly anybody is around at that time. We go down the alley into a secret doorway, again using a security clearance card. He makes his delivery and chats with another driver from another town. As we pull out of the bank he has to meet another driver at a gas station to pass off another package. There are many independent drivers who work for companies too and if a company can have an independent deliver more cheaply to an area they use them rather than their own employees. It's all very confusing and I'm sure I would be fired in one day because I wouldn't be able to figure out who I was supposed to meet where. And then there's the paperwork. Every stop requires signatures on every air bill, sometimes up to 8 at a time.

Up to the South Hill we go to deliver some lab work. The parking lot was very complex and he tries to lead me out of it. He said "Head towards the light Kden." I know he meant the street light but I accused him of trying to lead me to certain death.

We called our daughter about every half-hour because we had to leave her at home. The van only has two seats and the entire back is for delivery material. She said she was kind of nervous being home by herself at night but at least she had our dog to keep her company.

Finally we head back to the airport to park the van and pick up his car.  I know this all sounds like it just took a little while but it was 3 1/2 hours of pure agony and fear for me. By then the snow had stopped and it was a pretty drive home. We take a shortcut through the woods and the trees and sky was beautiful. We finally got home at 9:45 pm and I had a roaring headache. I'm just so glad that he doesn't drive the extra run into another state. That would have been 5 more hours of driving.

One thing I did learn though, is that no one could pay me any amount of money to do this job. Deadlines, heavy lifting, driving in crappy weather, in and out of the car several times in a shift and a generally low wage would deter me for sure. I did tell my husband a few days later that I applaud him because I never knew how difficult his job was. And I promise I will never give him a bad time about taking a nap in the afternoon to prepare for a measly 5 1/2 hr. shift of leisurely driving.


bill said…
When you get right down to it there are few easy jobs. A job may require only a few simple steps but then it's so boring no one wants to pull eight hours doing it. Most jobs require some level of skill or have some complications which require some training to do the job so that anyone couldn't step into this job and do it with out some training or special skill. Everyone works hard in some fashion, either mental, physical, or fighting boredom. We should appreciate the work others do. We ought to especially appreciates the work our spouses do. Everybody works hard. It's good to say thanks once in a while. It's good to be thanked for what we do.
Claire King said…
Interesting situation. It is surprising how it takes a situation like this to realize what others do for us. I am kind of glad you had the experience and that your hubby was with you.
Anonymous said…
I'm proud of you - I would have been scared to death too! Glad you both got back OK, and lived to write about it! :-)
Peruby said…
OMG! That sounds awful! I am with you on the diminishing sight at night and the roaring headache after a stressful time like that. Been there!

Kudos to your daughter for her bravery. That isn't easy, either. Good puppy to comfort her!
fernvalley01 said…
One thing I got out of this that I do have to say ,if yay for hubby being smart about it . realised he shouldn't drive, and while I am sorry you got put through suchh a scvary evening , way better than him pushing things and driving alone when he is ill
kden said…
Bill, you are so right about different jobs. Mine is boring and mentally draining. I know that my husband wouldn't last a day doing what I do, so I guess we're even.
Grumpy said…
I have always said it was a dark day when they allowed women to drive.

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