Stress, thy name is...Weasel?

I really prefer to be laid back, take it as it comes and roll with it. In fact, my stock answer to nonsense at work is a modified version of the motto said to belong to Henry of Navarre ("The Black Prince"): "It is what it is."

But sometimes things get to me. Example, last Thursday.

Due to the economic climate, we are never supposed to work past 40 and not past 36 hours would be better. Actually, working 32 is what we are supposed to push. But we were super busy which mostly means lots of extra work for me and my co-closer. I mostly don't really care,  I like my job and will go the extra mile to make sure the place I work at stays afloat. 

Well, by 12:30 AM Thursday, our 40 was up but the trucks must be loaded, so we were still working. Tat-boy was doing one truck while I finished the other final truck.

It was a pretty easy truck, I figured to finish it in about an hour or maybe a few extra minutes.

But several factors suggested that might not be the tale of the tape. First, it had been raining. Second, I was carrying LVL. 3rd, I am too cautious.

LVL stands for "laminated veneer lumber" and is coincidentally French for "slicker than snot on an oil slick". 

Rain makes it...well...slicker. 

So I had about 2000 pounds of beams on my forklift. The yard space is rather narrow so we often have to lift them high overhead to pass through the bottleneck. On this night, there was a semi we had loaded earlier there, so I had to watch it as well as the beams. 

Tat-boy was grabbing some beams for his load and laughing at me for going so slow. Slowly, carefully I navigated my way. Adjacent to the 53' trailer, no problem. As soon as I got past the truck itself, I would lower them until time to dog-walk them through the opening...and since they were 30' beams, it would REALLY be necessary this time :-)

Except something happened. I hit a depression in the pavement. Not a big depression...maybe 2 deep". 

However, the beams were about 14' overhead. Which means the momentum created by that slight dip was quite exacerbated by the distance it had to travel. And remember I said LVL was super-slick and it had been raining? Plus, a certain someone to remain nameless because it really, really, really irritates me every time he does it, someone greases the forks.

So the LVL started to slide. Straight towards the truck. There was not a thing I could do other than yell, "NNNNNoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!" and watch in terror as the beams slid off the side of the forks towards the truck.

Now, as it so happened I had 4 packs of beams on there. One was 4' wide and was my base. the top one, the 30' ones, were only 16" wide.

There is a metal plate on the back of the truck. It covers all but a 2' by 30" section...and those LVLs lodged straight in there.

As it turns out, that was unbelievably fortunate. Oh, sure, the other ones dented the gat tank and protective plate, and the 30' sheared off an air hose and were stuck in there hanging in the air at a 45 degree angle...but that was all the damage that was done.

A foot further forward and I would have totaled the semi. A foot further back and I might have knocked the first load off the truck which might have careened into Tat-boy and probably killed him.

Sure, I did some minor damage but not nearly as much as I could have.

The worst part is I have Fridays off...so from Thursday until today I had to wonder what my boss would say. We called him when it happened, but that was mostly because we had to get another truck under the load to get it delivered. Thinking about things like that for an entire long weekend? Not good.

Well, anyway, long story made longer, between that and the Goose and I deciding what to do about her going to Nashville and whether I would too or would stay here...it was a stressful weekend. On the bright side...it is over. On the dark side...it is over. 

We will see what transpires from here on. 

I feel bad that despite thinking about it over and over and over ad nauseum, I still cannot think of what I could have done different. Dangerous conditions resulted in a dangerous incident that ended as fortuitously as possible. So I suppose that is good...I just hate having stuff like that happen to me.

3 comments:

pheromone girl said...

What an awful experience. The pure meaning of accident. I'm just glad you or someone else weren't hurt. I hope your boss is reasonable and that your week is much less stressful.

Riot Kitty said...

You are SO lucky not to have gotten hurt! That could have happened to anyone.

Wishing you more peaceful stuff this week.

crisjesse said...

My mom's cousin (and closest friend) was killed because of uneven pavement. Glad nothing like that happened in your situation!

I bet Tat-boy didn't laugh at you for going slow after that.