A bunch of useless crap
Published on March 31, 2011 By MasonM In Blogging

Yesterday morning I and another driver delivered a couple of military trucks on Capitol Hill in Washington DC, right in front of the Capitol Building. Needless to say, getting in and out of that area in a couple of big rigs is no simple matter. The problems were somewhat compounded by less than perfect directions.

I have been in DC many times and so knew a bit about where we were going, but when we reached the point where we were told to turn left onto 3rd Street SW off of Independence, we saw a No Left Turn sign as well as an electric sign indicating that all trucks should turn right.

Well, that right turn went in the wrong direction and into an area that just didn't look right for trucks, so I told the other driver to just sit tight on Independence and I would go check it out. Sure enough, it was the wrong way and no place for a truck.

I managed to work my way around and back onto Independence, having picked up a couple of US Capitol Police cruisers on my tail in the process. Once they saw me turn onto Independence they broke off and went about their business.

When I was a half block from where I had left the other guy I saw a Capitol Police K9 unit hit the lights and make a u-turn. I assumed he wanted to know why a truck was sitting on Independence. I pulled up in the left lane intending to just go ahead with the illegal left turn but since the light turned red I decided to see what the officer had to say.

We explained where we were trying to go and he told us he would block the intersection for us to make the left, and that we should immediately pull to the curb and park until he could sort it all out.

We did, and he parked in front of us and began to "sort it out". Once he got the gist of things he was angry because, even though it was a Capitol Police special event, it seemed the special event guys hadn't informed the regular police units that we would be coming. He was on the phone and a bit gruff with whomever he was speaking with.

A few minutes later a couple of other officers showed up, one with the paperwork containing the event information. And then the bomb unit showed up along with another K9 unit. They blocked the street so we could back up a bit and pull into the area where we were supposed to be, and then did a bomb sweep of our trucks before letting us unload.

Once they knew what was going on, the officers were extremely helpful and friendly.

During the unloading, I was helping out the other driver since he hadn't done many RGN loads, and was a little slow with the detaching process. As he was setting the trailer up for detach I was taking the chains and binders off of his load. That is where the trouble started.

While I was being nice and helping him out, I was standing near the front of the trailer and backing off one of the chain binders. Without any sort of warning he pulled his tractor away and dropped the trailer to the ground (which is part of the detach process). Unfortunately, the toes of my left foot were under the edge of the trailer at the time.

The  combined weight of the trailer and the load was right around 40,000 lbs. Being divided between the front and back halves, I figure just about 20,000 lbs of steel had just dropped onto my toes. Needless to say it did not feel very good. Not good at all. In fact, it hurt like hell.

A couple of the officers saw it happen and rushed over to me. One asked if I needed and ambulance. After about three attempts I managed to jerk my foot out from under the trailer. I was extremely angry and in a lot of pain. I looked at the officer like he was nuts but didn't say anything for a few moments.

It was about that time the other driver came rushing back to see what had happened. My instinct was to knock him on his ass, but with all the cops around I figured that wasn't my best move so I just yelled at him about not giving warning before dropping the trailer, which is something you are supposed to always do when there are people around.

When he realized he had crushed my toes under the trailer he turned white as a sheet and was apologizing like mad. Didn't really make me feel a lot better.

I really didn't want to make a big issue out of the incident in front of my customers, so I just told him we needed to get the job done and leave, and we would deal with any injuries later, back at the truck stop.

We got the vehicles unloaded, me limping around and trying to ignore the pain, and him doing what he could to help. A couple of times the officers annoyed me by repeatedly asking if my foot was alright. I finally just told them that I didn't have time  to think about it right now and would see to it after the job was done.

Once we had unloaded and set up the vehicles, right in front of the Capitol Building, we reattached and headed back up to the truck stop where we had to wait until time to go back down in the afternoon and reload the vehicles.

When I got to the truck stop I pulled off my boot and sock and inspected the damage. A little bleeding on the big and second  toes where the edges of the toenails had cut into the skin, and some obvious bruising across the top of the big toe. I felt for any fractures and found none (a painful process). I decided it was just a really bad bruise with some minor lacerations.

I cleaned everything with alcohol, applied some  gauze and surgical tape from my first aid kit, and replaced my sock and boot. I then called the office to report the injury, per regulations, just in case I might need follow up treatment at some point.

I lit up a pipe and while smoking it to relax myself I reflected on the fact that I have to give credit to my Red Wing work boots for saving my toes. Although they aren't steel toed boots they are very solidly made and quite tough. Had I been wearing tennis shoes (which I never do while working) I likely would have lost at least my big toe and perhaps more. They really are very good work boots.

I will be limping around in pain for a few days, I am sure. This morning the big toe was quite purple, somewhat swollen, and extremely painful. It could have been worse, but each stab of pain reminds me that no good deed goes unpunished. Had I stuck to working my own load instead of helping out the other guy I would have remained uninjured.

But, of course, being who I am, I will help out the next guy too.


Comments
on Apr 01, 2011

I read your title in light of my recent experiences and it seems the gods are angry at us!

Keep a close eye on that big toe.  Hopefully it is just badly bruised as you say.  And I know you will help out the next guy as well.  That is what makes you a good person.

on Apr 01, 2011
Thanks, Guy. Perhaps the gods are angry, or perhaps it is just a case of shit happens. Either way, sometimes things just suck.
on Apr 04, 2011

MasonM
Thanks, Guy. Perhaps the gods are angry, or perhaps it is just a case of shit happens. Either way, sometimes things just suck.

Shit happens is just the new way of saying the gods are angry. The next iteration will be the gods are shitting on you.

on Apr 04, 2011

Dr Guy

The next iteration will be the gods are shitting on you.

 

That seems about right

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