Being that I haul local/regional, the scenery can become quite repetitious to say the least. This doesn’t usually make for the most exciting days when completing my daily tasks. The one part that never ceases to keep it interesting are the cool shippers and receivers I get to meet that are always changing. This week took me to three new customer locations that were not your average “super-warehouse’.
The first customer that set my week up of great customers was a delivery of pillows for the MGM Grand Casino in Las Vegas. Sure, 26 pallets of pillows might not sound exciting, but it was the hospitality that was far above par at this delivery location. After backing into their laundry facility’s dock and checking in, I was given a tour of where I could spend the hour or so it would take to offload my goods. Much to my surprise I was shown to a staff break room where racks of donuts, pastries and fruit were offered free of charge, as well as a gourmet coffee/cappuccino machine. Marveling at their laundry facilities and the grand size of it all, I was also given the “50 Cent” tour of the operation.
Next up on the exceptional customer list was a delivery of air filters to Nellis Air Force Base in North Las Vegas, NV. Since I was not too familiar with the base, only knowing it was on the backside of the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, I decided to head up a couple hours before my appointment time. This was fortunate for me, as I spent about 20 minutes chatting with the gate guards about their admiration of my CNG-powered Freightliner Cascadia. That early in the morning, much of the base was inactive, so I was able to poke around trying to find the particular building that I would be delivering to. What made the day special to me was when I got to get just the other side of the fence from where Nellis AFB’s resident celebrity, The USAF Thunderbirds, were parked! What a site to see from just a few yards away in their serene state of rest, complete with desert mountain backdrop!
The tail end of my customer trifecta came in just before the writing of this blog. This customer helped reinforce what I have learned throughout my career as a driver, that being courteous and professional often has rewards you don’t expect. I was loading a truckload of shopping carts for a direct-to-store delivery to a well-known major retail giant. Needless to say, I spent a little bit of time talking with the warehouse manager about how unique their loading process was and how much I appreciated loading crews that were “on it” as much as his guys were in loading those carts. As I came back from using their facilities to sign my BOL, I happened to see the rows of kid-sized “real” shopping carts that they stocked and thought of how much my daughters love those things at the store. I asked the manager kindly if they happen to sell to the public, or know of where I could purchase these great little carts. He proceeded to ask what colors my girls would like, leading me to believe I could buy one direct right then and there. After loading them into my sleeper and asking how much I owed him, I was amazed when he said not to worry about it and that they were “on the house”!
This week offered a small glimpse into the different situations I am so blessed to find myself in with different shippers and receivers. The fact that the scene outside my window often does not change as much as an OTR driver, it is made up for in how great it is to see different unique loads and situations quite regularly. It also helped remind me of the importance of being polite and professional because you never know when you might be privy to special treatment just for exhibiting professionalism!