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Wednesday, October 18, 2006

I'm Back and Ready to Ship UPS

Thank you for eagerly awaiting my return. I have many stories and observations to share over the next week, but wanted to start with the end of my trip first.

Yesterday morning I woke up in Orlando, Florida. I dressed in my usual vacation attire of shorts and t-shirt and packed up to head home. Everything went smoothly, accept the bus driver going the wrong way down a divided street and almost going head on with another bus. Personally I thought it was just part of another ride at Disney World, but what do I know?

I looked out the window of the airplane as we were descending and noticed snow on the ground in Denver and my short and t-shirt clad body shivered with anticipated frost bite. The typical drive time from the airport to my house is about 75 minutes. It was 5:00pm when we left Denver International Airport, so I figured maybe 90 minutes with traffic. When we made the half way point in just over an hour I knew we were in trouble. The snow was falling heavily, cars were in the ditch and things were looking bleak as we hadn't even approached Monument hill, the high point in our journey home.

We pulled over for some dinner at the half way point and were promptly laughed at by the wait staff as we came in brushing snow off of our t-shirts and shorts.

Back on the road at 7:00 for the last half of the trip which only took two and a half hours. Let me sum this up for you. It took us 4 hours to travel from Orlando to Denver and three and a half hours (not counting our stop for meals) to travel 70 miles from Denver to Colorado Springs.

As we approached Monument hill, traffic stopped dead for 20 minutes. Then as we started going again we went less than a quarter mile and stopped again for another 10 minutes. We were behind an SUV which was behind a Fed Ex truck and we couldn't see a thing because of the truck blocking our view, but we figured with all the reports of accidents on the radio, we'd soon see an ambulance or fire truck pass by to clean things up.

Finally, after waiting, a truck passed us all and drove right on past the Fed Ex truck without slowing. At the same time, the driver of the Fed Ex truck gets out and starts putting chains on his rig. There are no cars in the right lane because of a semi in the ditch a little ways up on the right, but we figured that must be where the accident happened. All of the sudden the light went on in our heads and we realize this idiot of a Fed Ex driver has been blocking traffic for the last 30 minutes because he can't get traction up the hill, but hasn't had the decency to let the 4 or 5 HUNDRED cars behind him know they can all pass on the right.

We pulled out around and drove the next 15 miles without seeing another set of taillights ahead of us. I vowed right then never to ship Fed Ex again.

I've heard marketing defined as everything you do from the time you wake up until the time you go to bed. Intentional or not, this driver did some poor marketing for his company last night.