It's Showtime!

Bessemer, Alabama. I’m leaving a grocery warehouse where I had an interesting encounter, and a big surprise. Look, it was a grocery warehouse. Every truck driver groans when they realize they’re going to a grocery warehouse. They’re always lumper facilities. They always take forever. They always treat you like crap.
This place not only required that you use lumpers, but didn’t even provide a lumper service. You were left to find your own lumper to unload your truck. Milling around in the parking lot of this place was an assortment of lumpers that you could hire, on a one-on-one basis, and you could pick one from these. But it was left up to you.
Well, I met my lumper on the way in to the warehouse. He was sitting in his car on the corner where you turned onto the customer’s street. He flagged me down as I was turning the corner, before I even got into the warehouse. When I stopped, he asked “you need a lumper, sir?” Well, I did. So, sure. He told me his CB handle was Showtime, and he followed me into the warehouse. We agreed on a price ($125), and I went back to the truck. I didn’t expect much. It was a grocery warehouse and I was being unloaded by a lumper.
But I admired this guy, Showtime, immediately. Instead of gathering that morning with the rest of the lumpers and waiting half-heartedly for a chance to service a truck, he sallied forth and secured his employment from the trucks coming into the warehouse.
Showtime told me he’d have me out of there in a few hours. I grinned. Sure. I figured it was time to catch up on a little sleep. But Showtime unloaded me in just under two hours. That’s saying something. He had to unload the trailer and break down each pallet. To put that into perspective, the directions to this facility had a comment; “Do not use lumper James, he will take all day.” Showtime didn’t.
Anyway, I wanted to mention Showtime. It’s rare to run across someone these days who not only does their job well, but does it efficiently and quickly. Showtime conducted himself like a professional, and obviously took pride in his work. I identify with that, and I think he deserves proper respect. It was a pleasure doing business with him. That’s not something I get to say all that often on the road. If I ever go back to this warehouse, I will certainly hope to be able to hire Showtime to unload my truck.

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