Saturday, 30 January 2010

The Ongoing Viking Saga

Last night UPS called to tell me that they were unable to deliver the kicksled because my road was icy.  I told the woman that the road was sanded and plowed and that my old Toyota front wheel drive managed it fine ... and so did the municipal garbage and recycling trucks.  What vehicle were they using?

She told me they would try again.

"Tomorrow?" I asked hopefully.

"Oh no, not till Monday."

"I thought your had 24/7 service," I replied.

I was wrong.  But why would that surprise me?  The first delivery service (Dicom) took five days and then delivered a broken sled. By the time I got the phone call I had been waiting five days for the UPS shipment.  And it was now two weeks since I bought the spark.

Of course, I suppose it was silly of me to expect that any delivery service would have drivers and vehicles that could handle snow in the Gatineau Hills AND know enough to load their truck so that light things were on top of heavy ones.

The two sections of this road are 10 and 12 feet wide (I know because I measured them for another trucking service).  They are scraped right down to the gravel bed and the icy spots have been spread with sand and salt.  I know all this because I hire and supervise the man who keeps the road clear, and I just provided $350 worth of sand for him to use.  I walk or drive that road every day at least once.  This is the third year I have lived here full time and it is the first year that everything has gone perfectly ... partly because Leonard and I are more experienced but largely because this has been a very easy winter.

You have to understand, I am probably the worst winter driver up here in these hills.  I hate winter driving and the best vehicles to use up here are ones with 4WD.  I can't afford to trade in my trusty little 1998 Corolla for a Honda CRV,   I would like to, but the old Toyota manages just fine.  This suggests to me that UPS is not using snow tires or hiring competent drivers.

There!  Rant over.

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