I like working with Barnes.
Unloading trucks is a fucking shitty job. You need to check the manifest, make sure the orders in said manifest match up to the ones in the computer system, unload the stock, put it into a holding area while you check it off, then make sure all the prices on the order match the ones in the computer before you GIR it into the system and finally sticker it.
And then, you need to find a place for the crap in the racks which is about as easy as fitting an elephant into a sardine can with the amount of shit coming in at the moment.
Normally when a truck rolls in, I go find something else to do pretty friggin quickly.
Unless it’s Barnes.
I don’t know about you, but the shittiest duties in the world can be made endurable when you’ve got someone to share stories with.
And by share stories, I mean listen to Barnes as he rattles off tales of working with Croatian dudes that sound like something out of a mob movie.
See, apparently when they came over to Australia, these guys bought their own work crews which included delivery drivers for all their freight around the nation. But they’d always keep a few Australians on the books.
Barnes could never figure out why until one day the boss, the big BIG boss came to him and asked him to personally deliver some stock on a day off. And promised to pay him cash.
Seeing as he was new to the company and didn’t want to make a bad impression he went along with it.
He dropped off the stock, collected a very fat manila envelope in return and delivered it back to the big big boss who promptly hefted it, looked Barnes up and down, reached in and gave him a months worth of wages without even making a dent in the thickness of that envelope.
Apparently after doing it a few times he got the balls to ask why they chose him for the work and the big big boss said that they need to keep a few Australians on the roster so they don’t alienate the locals but he picked Barnes for the ‘extra hours’ because he doesn’t trust his own guys. They’re greedy and either deliver short or skim from the envelope.
But Barnes knew a good deal when he saw it, so he kept his head down and his nose clean.
Well, relatively clean.
After a few years he had to make the move back to Tasmania for family, kind of like I did, so he left the Croatians on good terms and I guess you could say he went straight. Beats me why he’s still behind the wheel of a truck with the kind of cash it sounded like he was pulling in but I guess everyone needs a hobby?
Anyway he had heaps of other stories from back in the day, but those kind of ones are the most relevant for what I’m going to be telling you.
Because after a few months on the job I guess Barnes figured he could trust me and also figured I was switched on enough to know a good thing when it was put in front of me and to keep my mouth shut concerning it.
After unloading one morning he asked me into the container to check on a dented box before I signed off on it.
When I got in, he told me that the Croatians had been in contact with him again, apparently they had to ship something down this way and reached out to him to deliver it.
And by the sounds of it, it was a two man job.