January 1, 2007
(To all Truck News readers and my new friends at Purolator, especially my colleagues in Linehaul, wishing you a Happy Christmas and a great 2007):
‘Twas two nights before Christmas, and all through the Hub
The conveyors were whirring, belts spinning up above.
The parcels were streaming and totes being hefted,
But control room was worried, the hot mix hadn’t left yet.
With three open doors and trucks stuck in the snow,
The piece count declining, production was low.
The ten o’clock clear time had come and gone past
And shunt trucks were straining with loads on their backs.
At Hamilton Airport, jets waited all night
For shuttles from Toronto that were nowhere in sight.
Then the radio crackled, came a call from the gate:
‘The last loads were backed in, but running so late.’
But worse was to come, amongst sparks on the dock
A motor had seized and everything stopped.
The lights went out on the primary line,
But battery-powered reggae music kicked in.
“Get up, Stand up, Don’t give up the fight!”
Peter Tosh sang in the darkness, filling the night.
Electricians found the problem,
the power surged once more
And sorters joined loaders
working on the floor.
The volume was intensive,
freight barreling so fast
The lead hands grew apprehensive,
the night was surely lost.
When much to our amazement
and much to our surprise,
Dressed as old St. Nicholas,
CEO Bob Johnson had arrived.
He was playing Santa at a party,
when he got the awful news,
The Hub was in big trouble,
not much freight was getting through.
Johnson’s eyes twinkled,
as he grabbed the mike in the tower
“C’mon people, let’s clear these docks, we only have an hour.
“Families are counting on us,
across this mighty land.
If these parcels don’t get through they’ll never understand”
With his round belly shaking,
the CEO implored,
Cajoling and wheedling,
he asked his elves for more.
“On unload, on high cube,
on bulk line and DG,
Let’s clean out those trailers
as quickly as can be.”
And something magic happened
on that shift with Christmas near,
Something like a miracle,
just ask someone who was there.
The freight moved as if by sorcery,
the load-out was never that smooth.
The truck bays were soon emptied,
and the workers found their groove.
The ground freight was loaded last,
but that did not take long.
When the brokers closed their barn doors, nothing else could go wrong.
Then Santa Bob took the microphone to thank his steadfast crew:
“If it wasn’t for your efforts,
I wouldn’t know what to do.”
And as the brokers left the yard,
he was also heard to say:
‘Without you dedicated drivers,
the season would not pay.
“On Yanke, on Highland,
on Arnold and Transpro.
On B.R. Smith, and Challenger,
you absolutely must get through.
“To Halifax and Vancouver,
and everywhere between
We must not fail the children,
the ones who are so keen.”
The last depot truck had left the yard, droning into the night,
Nine 727s took off from Hamilton, with their cargo packed so tight,
And I heard old Santa exclaim, before the fleet was out of sight:
“Employees are encouraged to take holidays in January and February.
See your manager and good night.”
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