Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: AS EASY AS PIE (12/01/16)
- TITLE: Rolling on the Floor
By Lois Farrow
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He’d been driving big rigs for years, usually long haul and he loved the solitary feeling of miles and miles of open road. Music blasting and no one nagging in his ear – bliss.
So a request to deliver fruit and vegetables to four vege co-ops out in the country was sweet. He could fit it in with his other work, and still get time to sleep before his next big night. This was cruisy, man, easy as, and no trouble at all.
He called into the depot to pick up the truck and the schedule. Oh, she was a beauty. Then off to the market where the orders were filled and loaded, each order for the four co-ops carefully stacked. A short drive out of the city to the first community hall and the first one was done and dusted.
Volunteers were waiting at each place, ready to help unload and then pack the produce for their customers. He was running ahead of time when he pulled out of the second co-op, he would get a good sleep after all.
The route to his third destination was unfamiliar, but GPS showed the way, so no problem. He barrelled along the country road and let his mind wander. A sharp corner loomed, he braked hard and the trailer began to swing. Jake held on to the steering wheel with all his might, and with skill in his steering only just prevented a tip. But the noises from the back of the truck were worrying. What had happened to all the produce? He pulled over by the side of the road and went to investigate.
What a mess greeted him! For some reason the shrink wrapping designed to keep the stacked crates together had not held, crates had fallen, and fruit and veges were rolling around the floor all mixed up together. Order number four had held, but order number three was a mess.
Jake looked in dismay. He knew the next lot of volunteers were waiting. He phoned the co-ordinator, gave brief details, and apologised for the delay. Hurriedly he threw tomatoes, apples, broccoli stalks and strawberry packs back into crates. He would deliver his load somehow, he had never let anyone down yet.
Finally the truck arrived, and the waiting volunteers set to unloading from the truck and taking the crates to the waiting tables. Things weren’t looking too bad, everything was here, and with a bit of sorting it should be fine.
Half-way through unloading the Administrator burst out of the office.
“Stop!” he cried. “We can’t do this, we can’t give people inferior produce and have them coming back saying their fruit was bruised and dirty.” Stunned, the people stopped. What about the disappointed people about to collect their vege bags?
“Their credit will transfer to next week,” the Administrator said. “We have to claim the whole lot together, we can’t put in a part-claim.”
The unloaded crates were reloaded. Seething, Jake stacked and secured the load as best he could. He pulled out of the parking lot and looked at his watch. He had just wasted over an hour of his time, and after the next delivery he would have to take this lot back to the depot. More time wasted!
There was his sleep gone for the day, again. Perhaps he should just go home and sleep, and stop helping people out. Or perhaps he should just take more care on the road.
And he had thought this job would be easy. Wasn’t there a saying that pride goes before a fall, or something like that? Oh well, he was all right, and the truck was fine, so although there were a bunch of disappointed people he guessed it could have been worse.
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