Time flies when you get older. Speaking of which, I got older. Yay!
After working at Mainfreight for six months, I’d like to share what the heck I do all day. I started working with our Canada shipments. For Mainfreight, all of our US shipments going to Canada must go through our Chicago branch to our Toronto branch. Their paperwork needs to be in order (the equivalent of a passport, but for packages). I corresponded with the corporate equivalent of border patrol.
When the person working night shift suddenly fell ill for an indefinite period, the veterans of the group took turns working night shift in week long stints. I knew that eventually I’d be roped in, and that I would hate wrecking my sleep schedule once per month, so I took the plunge and volunteered as “Night Operations.” My job for the past four months has been to determine how shipments get moved off of our dock. If they are going to, let’s say Baltimore, we could send it on our Mainfreight truck to New Jersey, which leaves every Wednesday and Friday. It’s a two day trip. Plus one day from New Jersey to Baltimore. I have to calculate in my head if the shipment is due late enough to put on the truck. On one hand, I want as much on our Mainfreight trucks as possible (that’s how we make money as a branch and as a company). On the other hand, there’s always the risk that it will miss the transfer in New Jersey, making the shipment late. I could just send it directly to Baltimore, but we don’t make as much money that way. I do that calculation in my head for every single shipment going in every direction across America from Chicago. Then you have to add in all of the exceptions, as each customer has different requirements to how you send it. Some would rather be a day late if it means that it rides on a Mainfreight truck. Some never want to be on a Mainfreight truck. If I want to send a shipment direct, such as to Baltimore, I need to outsource it to one of two companies / competitors. Both of those companies go to most cities, but I have to memorize the exceptions. One of my crowning achievements in this position was the cessation of sending out Pittsburgh shipments via New Jersey. Pittsburgh seems like it’s much closer to New Jersey than Chicago right? It’s only seven hours from Chicago and five from New Jersey. By sending our Pittsburgh shipments to New Jersey we were taking up space on the Mainfreight truck which could have been used for something else, not to mention delaying those shipments. Now we send them direct. On the flip side, Denver is surprisingly only one day away from Dallas, so I have instituted a rule that we add Denver shipments to our Dallas truck.
I could handle it fine at a certain level of shipments, but as soon as that threshold was breached, I was overwhelmed. I had shipments coming out of my wazoo and couldn’t route them out fast enough. It seemed like no matter how many hours I worked, I couldn’t keep up. I was failing over and over at my job. Finally they hired not one, but two people to replace me. One is now in charge of planning the what goes on trucks and the other, who I am training now, is going to take care of the outsourcing of shipments. I am ecstatic! Not only will I be relieved of this high-stakes job, I will be relieved of night shift. Woot! Starting Nov 19th, they’ll all say, “Damn! I didn’t realize how good you were at this job, you did excellent all things considered.”
I’ve been going to Toastmasters. I received a standing ovation and a ribbon for giving my first speech ever (everyone gets a standing ovation and a ribbon, but hey it still feels good) and a series of compliments for an evaluation I gave, including a special mention from the president.
Can you believe I haven’t moved in 11 months? I sure can’t. That’s why I’m moving. I LOVE my studio apartment in downtown chicago. I get starry eyed whenever I walk the 0.1 miles from where I park my car to my apartment. However, the time has come for me to settle down. I’m house shopping now. I’m hoping to move in January.
I stopped journaling in early September. Let me tell you, I feel… nothing. I don’t notice any difference whatsoever. Most of my entries consisted of, “Today was good. I’m sleepy now.” Maybe I have to write about my feelings to get any benefit. I’m ok to let that habit die.
We have so much fun at work. My teammates are easily the best part of my job. I’m thrilled to be among such happy, friendly, helpful people all day.
Little known fact: Chicago has the world’s largest water purifying station. It’s hidden… right next to Navy Pier. The downtown pumping station is actually beautifully decorated on the inside. It also houses a theater and a one room library. There was an open house downtown where they hosted tours and gave a short lecture. I almost bumped into Mayor Lightfoot there. I saw her retinue of body guards before I saw her.
I officially started as a Hospice Volunteer. I have a patient that I visit every Friday before work. She just talks endlessly. It’s effortless for me to listen and prompt her to say more and she always seems to enjoy my company.
- Empress by Evelyn McCune
- Citadel by Kate Moss
- The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
- Maze Runner by James Dashner
- La La Land
- Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
Song of the month
- Long Road to Ruin by Foo Fighters
- Baby Girl, I’m a Blur by Say Anything
Stock Trading Performance
- September & October
- Roth IRA
- Elon Musk performs stunts to generate buzz for Tesla. I’m convinced he keeps the stock price pumped up with his silly antics such as starting frivolous companies like the Boring Company and the flamethrower thing.
- The point of fiction, on a fundamental level, is to provide simulations. Your brain is like… an AI. It’s machine learning and it needs new situations in order to predict to pros and cons of different behaviors.
- Don’t forget to get your flu shot! It’s like the number one preventable killer. If enough of us get the vaccine, we can establish herd immunity. Herd immunity not only protects the elderly, young, immunodeficient folks, and those not able to receive the vaccine, but it brings us one step closer to making the flu like Polio; a thing of the past.
September & October Survey Results