Thursday, September 2, 2010

You Need to Know Your Toon

I think I read that title in one of the blogs. To summarize the article, there is either the GS argument or the skill argument. I totally believe in the skill conquers all argument. The "don't stand in the fires", "more dots", "phase two ranged only" blah blah blah. Just the other day I did a GDKP in TOC 25 with the raid leader sporting a 3800GS. We never wiped once and he never died during the whole raid, because he knew how to play his toon. Funny enough, he also came second on the healing charts. I consider myself to be somewhat competent with my toons. I also know my limitations and do not attempt instances/raids when I know for sure I neither have the gear and my skill is not quite there. For example, I duel spec'd healing tree on my druid and the first random instance I got into was HHoR. So here I am with mostly feral druid gear on, attempting to heal my first time on a druid. I politely told the group I was with that I was not ready for this instance and kicked myself. I am slowly getting my skill and gear up but I am still not ready to attempt that instance.

The above being said - "Know Your Toon" can apply to RL as well. Just yesterday, I was asked to go out on the road for work with a "temp" driver. As in, can you go with this temporary AZ (tractor trailer) driver and go service some of our customers. Although I didn't like the idea of going with a temp driver it was a day out of the office.

So here I am, sitting in the passenger seat of the tractor listening to the driver tell me that he didn't remember how to do a circle check (and the required paperwork to fill out) and what I thought was the best (although it was going to be a day of "bests"), he states he doesn't know how to back up a tractor trailer. I shuddered thinking that I had 3 loading docks to back into during the course of the day.

Off we go, heading to the biggest metropolitan centre in Ontario, on one of the busiest highway systems in Canada with a driver from a temp agency (that can't back up a tractor trailer). During the two hour drive I determined that my driver had two speeds:
  1. Complaining that the vehicle was governed at 100kph; or
  2. Locking up the brakes (because monitoring the flow of traffic and adjusting your speed accordingly wasn't in his skill set)
Well we got to our first stop. The business was a building sort of behind a strip plaza, so there was a need to back down a driveway. I got out of the truck because I knew a spotter was going to be needed. It took close to 1.5 hours for him to negotiate the backing up of the vehicle. I along with the owner of the plaza had to stand at the drivers door and relay wheel turning instructions to my temp driver as an additional 2 spotters at the back of the trailer relayed everything to us with respect to distances and location of the trailer to inanimate objects like gas meters and the like. Once positioned my temp driver stayed in the cab as I off loaded the 20 drums (it took me about 20 minutes). Did I mention it was 32 degrees C plus humidex. Tally - 2 curbs crushed, chunk of lawn flattened, section of interlocking brick pulverized and close to 4 dozen vehicles with their schedules impeded.

Our second stop afforded us with the "mistake" that when we pulled into the wrong driveway, it inadvertently positioned us to easily back into our assigned loading dock. I got out of the truck to find our contact and when I returned I found my temp driver now perpendicular to our assigned door. How the hell did he do that? No problem the facilities loading dock area was "L" shaped and he actually positioned himself in front of one of the other doors. The contact and I ran to the other loading dock and opened the door. Waving the temp driver to back into this dock instead. 5 minutes later, he was no where near the second option but he was in line with a third dock. We opened that door for him. Yes, he missed that door too. I finally yelled, "Pick a door, I want to get this job done." He got the truck parked and disappeared (ashamed of himself perhaps), I ended up loading this customers material by myself (about 10 skids and a dozen drums). This job took 4 hours for me to complete by myself because I had to actually pack the material onto the skids and shrink wrap them.

Off to our final stop. We pull in and I get out to find the contact. I walk with my contact to the loading dock and open the door. I go out to truck and tell the temp driver which dock he needs to get into. Sixty eight attempts later and the following items violated:

  1. One sea container bumped (no damage thank God)
  2. One landscape boulder ran over and pulverized (they don't make rocks like they used to)
  3. One abandoned skid crushed
  4. One building across the parking lot - scuffed (no one came out so I guess they didn't hear the noise of the vehicle crashing into it.)
As soon as he got it into the dock I noticed that he hadn't opened the back doors of his trailer before backing in. So he actually had to pull out in order to get them open. Once opened he took another 32 times to get back into the dock. He didn't come in to help me load, he stayed in the cab and I loaded 30 drums of sulfuric acid by hand, by myself.

By this time I was about 12 hours into my day (the whole day was expected to take about 8) we still had to drive back to our base. I get a call from our dispatch, "Drop the trailer at Plant 2 and bob tail back to Plant 1.", "Ugh" I say. "Don't worry about backing it into a spot, I will get one of our regular drivers to do it in the morning.", dispatch says. "That is assuming he knows how to drop a trailer.", I reply.

Well a two hour drive back to Plant 2 through the extended rush hour. As we are pulling in I tell him to just drop the trailer along the fence. I get out and gingerly walk around the yard gathering some wood in order to put under the landing gear, you see the asphalt is a little rough in that area. As I am returning to the truck/trailer I notice him tearing apart the cab. "What are you looking for I ask?" He states, "I am looking for the 'button' that disengages the fifth wheel." I am about to explode. "So you don't know how to drop the trailer." I query. "Not entirely sure, I haven't actually did it before, I haven't driven a tractor trailer in about 3 years.", he replies. I get a pair of gloves on and reach under the trailer and pull the fifth wheel release, "Get in the truck and drop the trailer, I want to get home."

Dropping trailer done, Plant 2's gate is closed and we head back to Plant 1 so I can get my car and go home. My 14 hour day complete. We pull into the driveway, he extends his hand and say's, "Thanks for the work today, and how did you think my driving was?" In my head I was screaming 'EPIC FAIL' but not wanting to totally crush him, I stated, "You showed improvement throughout the day, I would suggest a lot more practice in backing up. Try to visualize a situation and run through it in your head how you would do it." I am a nice guy. Had this been WOW there would have been a vote to kick about 10 minutes into our "instance". I couldn't trash him to his face, I will just do it in my blog. He was an example of not having a good gearscore, as well as, not knowing how to play his toon.

Not only did the landscape have a heavy toll taken on it, a pretty hefty toll was exacted on me:
  1. Two upper back muscles blown out
  2. One hernia irritated (I had a hernia operation about 3 years ago, I think I stressed it out)
  3. Two red and chaffed testicles - It was 32 degrees C all day and I had meatball soup happening
  4. Both knees messed up
I got home quaffed 3 beers, a monster energy drink, swallowed two Robaxocet, ate dinner, and Heath Ledger'd on the couch until my wife shook me awake this morning.

Have a nice day.

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