Another Day, Another Asshole Dispatcher

Paulsboro, New Jersey. Been sitting here since 2 pm yesterday. After I delivered yesterday, they never put another load on me, and eventually told me to check in with my dispatcher this morning. Well, I did. Nothing. Around 9:30, knowing that as the morning wears on my chances of getting a decent load go down dramatically, I sent the following message;
“You know, if you guys want to punish me by making me sit, I should point out that my sitting here with the engine idling is costing Epes a fortune in fuel. ;-)”
A few minutes after that I was sent a load that picks up in Jersey City this afternoon at 3 pm. I’ve sat an entire day.
Following that was a message from my dispatcher; “We and I do not punish people. Water under the bridge is just that. Freight is very slow and you are not the only one sitting!!!! Wow, didn’t didn’t take long for the attitude to come back!!”
To which I responded, “That’s not attitude, it’s paranoia. 😉 And you have to admit that sitting like this within a few days of coming back would make anyone wonder.”
He said, “Let’s drop this. We are doing the best we we can with the freight we have. Hope freight will pick up and this problem will go away.”
I assume “this problem” is me asking questions like “why am I still sitting here?” Of course, I admit that I come out swinging sometimes. A lot of that has to do with my dispatcher. He reminds me of those catty Christians most of us remember from church. The ones who smile beatifically to your face, but gossip about you the moment you leave the room. It also frustrates me that now that we’ve had some clashes he acts like a petulant child and only responds to me when he just has to. Hell, most of the time that I make some prickly statement I’m just trying to elicit a response.
Well, never one to let the dispatcher have the last say in a satcom exchange, I sent one last message.
“I hope so, too. All I ask of Epes is a chance to do the job I signed on to do. I genuinely look forward to us working past our personality conflicts and making that happen, to our mutual benefit. :-)”
Yeah, the last part was ass-covering cheese. But it’ll look good if anyone visits the satcom record. And I do mean it, really. This ongoing personality conflict doesn’t serve me well. But I don’t know how to resolve it. He seems to see himself (as the dispatcher) as my (the driver) lord and master. And, well, I’ve never had a master. Most likely never will.
For me the extent of my job related activities means that I have been commissioned to perform certain duties. In regard to the execution of those duties, I concede to the authority of those in supervisory positions, whose own duties are to assist and direct me in the execution of my own. That’s the extent of it. Anyone expecting fealty or ass-kissing will be bitterly disappointed. I am fully aware that I am free to take my services elsewhere at my discretion.
My contract with Epes is a labor contract. It simply states that I agree to perform certain services and to abide by the rules and regulations of the company. In return, Epes has committed to give me a certain compensation for my services, and has committed itself to certain other considerations (such as getting me home every weekend). That’s the deal.
The conflict with my dispatcher (who I’ve stopped thinking of as “fuck-tard” and now refer to simply as “The Asshole”) has mostly to do with the fact that he is keenly aware of my responsibilities as a driver (my part of the contract), but is dismissive of the company’s and his own as a representative of the company. In short, he expects me to deliver on my promises, but feels no obligation toward seeing that the company delivers on its own. In fact, he gets angry when this is questioned, and comes at me mostly like an irritated master who’s trying to wrangle an unruly dog. It seems to genuinely surprise him when those efforts see him getting bit.
Obviously, I am no one’s dog. I never will be. Right now I am beginning to wonder if I made a mistake in coming back. The frustrating thing here is that my issues are not with Epes as a company, but with my dispatcher. I don’t know how to resolve this. And I’m afraid it’s only going to get worse.
Of course, the most obvious way to minimize tensions is for me to keep my mouth shut and take my hits. But if I had not said something today, I may very well have still been sitting here waiting for a load. Where I am concerned, it seems apparent that my dispatcher has adopted a policy of “out of sight, out of mind”.

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