Blanketing opinions that I'll probably regret soon.

Monday, March 01, 2010

A 39.2 Metric Ton Mistake: A Work Rant

Think about a time when you ordered something from a company and you received the wrong product in the mail, or Fedex messed up the shipment somehow. Most likely, this was a small item, like clothes from the Gap, computer parts, or a used book on Amazon. Probably made you irate, and was annoying to deal with because you had to return the shipment and you lost time dealing with it waiting for the product you actually wanted.

Now imagine that situation, except you didn't order a small item like a book or computer part, but many tons of product -- and I'm not talking about dainty-ass American "tons", I'm talking about the way the rest of the world reads the word "ton" -- a metric ton, ie, 1,000 kilograms, ie, 2,200 pounds of stuff. Now multiply that metric ton -- that two thousand two hundred pounds of product -- by 39.2. That's 39,200 kilograms or 86,240 pounds.

The point of this rant is that because of a screw-up that was entirely NOT my fault, the manufacturer of the product I sell accidently sent 39.2 metric tons of the wrong product -- some weird type of powdered clay instead of the mineral product that they wanted -- to my customer in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

This is a bunch of shit he doesn't need, and as elaborated above, it's a BUNCH of shit. I often find that people can't directly relate when I tell them that I sell real goods in massive quantities in forty-foot shipping containers to nations very far away. Most people work in offices where they deal in abstract services where no physical goods are ever traded. I sometimes envy those people. When I get an order, we ship hundreds of metric tons at a time and there's a possibility that all that crap will get fucked up along the way.

You know those freight trucks that carry big loads across highways? Yea, well, I'm talking two of those guys that are loaded onto a ship and have crossed the Pacific Ocean for three weeks, then fought through Communist customs people in Uncle Ho's Socialist Republic of Vietnam, then trucked to the customer many miles away, only for him to discover that we've sent him the wrong god damn product. Jesus Christ, steam must be coming out of his ears by now. It's coming out of mine.

This is the problem with this business of exporting big loads. There's a good chance you can make decent money in the long term, but there's a decent chance that the screw-ups will be embarrassing and put my years of labor down the tubes, or cut it back significantly.

I've had a rough week. Sales had been great for the first part of 2010 and I was looking ahead at seeing my income increase by an amount I haven't seen in years, or ever. But now, because some uneducated fuckface low-level loading guy loaded the wrong god damn product on my shipping containers, I have people on the other side of the globe so angry that we might be back to a revenue of like 2007.

I hope a visit with a bottle of Blue Label can keep this customer, but Christ, would you want to remain my customer if I had just sent you 86,240 pounds of shit you don't want and can't dispose of?

(Rant over).
Comments:
Are you hiring?
 
So, I guess returning it is not an option?
 
Boy, I guess selling shit is selling shit. Even when It's a fuckload of shit. This is what we get for paying attention.
 
Any chance of finding someone to unload the product the wrong product to in vietnam?
 
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