Tag Archives: delivery

A Surprise!

As I’ve noted previously, I am working on a couple of memoirs and my autobiography. In doing so, I’ve been conducting a bit of archaeological research on my two current computers’ contents. I have a PC laptop and an iMac. The laptop is going on three years old and the Mac was purchased around June of 2010, right after I retired from Rocketdyne, though it crapped out while it was still under warranty, and the CPU and most of the other components were replaced with those of a newer model.

Something I hadn’t been thinking about much was that I had moved all of my personal files from my years at Rocketdyne, as well as a lot of writing I did while I was there that isn’t worth their energy to call protected IP. At any rate, I’m encountering things I had long forgotten existed and I’d like to share some of them.

This is a press release I’m pretty sure I wrote tongue-in-cheek, but I’m not sure what happened with it. It was, if the file metadata is correct, written in early February of 2006, a little over 14.5 years ago. I can’t recall the last time I read a physical copy of the L.A. Times.

For Immediate Release

In an amazing display of ineptness and communications failure, and for the third time in almost as many weeks, the Los Angeles Times’ home delivery department, Ventura County division, on Sunday, February 5, completely mismanaged the delivery of the Times Sunday edition to the home of a Simi Valley family.

For years, this weekend edition, complete with both the opinion section and numerous advertisements and coupons, has been delivered to the Ladd family double wrapped in plastic and sealed to protect it from being soaked by the sprinkler system which, unfortunately, drains water in the exact location where the paper seems to be most conveniently placed by the L.A. Times’ intrepid delivery person.

Approximately four to five weeks ago, and without any explanation or reason which would be immediately apparent to the Ladds, the paper started being delivered with one, unsealed plastic bag. This difference, however, was not matched by a change in location used to place the paper and, the laws of physics and water being what they are, the paper wicked up enough liquid to add several pounds to its weight. As a side effect, it made reading the articles and advertisements contained in the Times virtually impossible.

Up until the 5th of February, subsequent to calls to the Times’ Customer Service automated telephone number, a new paper has twice been delivered within the promised 90 minutes. The last time brought an apology and a promise to see the paper was sufficiently wrapped and it was, in fact, delivered dry on January 29th. However, the following week, on February 5, the paper was once again single wrapped, and soaking wet by the time it was retrieved.

Richard Ladd immediately called the Times’ Customer Service automated telephone number, once again pressing the button to inform the electronic system that there was, indeed, a delivery problem involving an automatic sprinkler system and a wet newspaper. He then entered his phone number and street address, and was informed a new paper would be delivered within 90 minutes.

As of midnight, at the beginning of a new week, the Sunday edition of the Los Angeles Times had not been delivered to the Ladd family, causing them to wonder if they shouldn’t just throw in the towel and cancel their subscription, opting instead to read the paper (assuming they even care any longer) on the Internet, and either celebrating or bemoaning (they are currently not quite sure which it should be) the continuing slide of print media into oblivion.

– END –


How To Shop

Clothing for entering a blast freezer

This is what I should have been wearing!

Many years ago, when I was in the wholesale food business with my father and brother, we got a new customer who sold to many high-end restaurants. Many would recognize the names of these famous Hollywood eateries, all of which were very successful and (bonus) somewhat recession-proof. This was a very good thing for us, as it provided a substantial boost to our gross income. I became the schlepper; the one who had to drive around every morning and pick up the items our new customer needed to service his clientele. I did not mind. I was young and full of energy and truly enjoyed arising very early in the morning to greet the day.

My job meant driving around every morning, picking up the items that had been ordered and getting them to our customer’s location, where they would be either stored temporarily prior to delivery, or further prepared for later  delivery to their customers. Generally, three days of the week required me to enter as blast freezer that was forty degrees below zero; so cold that it had no solid doors, merely thick plastic curtains as a safety measure, ensuring no one could be accidentally locked in. The freezer was huge and the doors big enough to accommodate a large forklift laden with several palettes of product.

I never had to pick up more than I could carry out by hand, so I wasn’t in there for very long. As a result, I made the decision not to spend the money to purchase the kind of clothing that I would have needed had I been required to spend more than a few minutes in that freezer. I would put on a sweatshirt above my regular shirt, a jacket, and a white butcher’s coat on top of that. Still, I can’t recall a time I was in there more than a minute before I found myself wondering what it would be like to freeze to death. It was painful almost from the instant I pushed aside those curtains and stepped inside!

This meant I would generally stand outside of the freezer for a few minutes and mentally chart the shortest course to pick up what I needed, which would facilitate a quick retrieval and egress. With the exception of stationery stores, which I view as museums of contemporary business practices (and which have those sacred items, paper and writing materials, enshrined within), this is how I have since shopped for everything. I suspect most men do the same, despite never having had to enter a forty below blast freezer. It’s how we roll.


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