At approximately 1am, Pete pulled his tractor trailer into his plant's expansive loading dock area.
It had been a long twelve hour day dodging idiots on the highway, and Pete was in no mood for games.
As Pete entered the dock area, he scanned the docks assigned to his shuttle trailers, (104 to 111), and saw the only clear open dock was 104.
Pete backed into door 104 and got lined up. Then he got out of the truck in order to open the trailer doors and make trailer tandem adjustments.
It was at this time that Pete recognized an individual, (who for our purposes we will call Markuss), walking towards him who was saying something to him that he couldn’t hear over the noise of the reefer unit and the truck engine.
Markuss is a dock worker and loader. He is not a boss, a team-leader, or anybody in any position of authority within the company.
It is probably important to note that Markuss is black. Pete is white. Prior to this incident, neither Pete nor Markuss knew each other's names.
Pete noticed Markuss’s body language and overall demeanor and thought to himself that this interaction probably wasn’t going to go well seeing as he had had an unpleasant experience with Markuss six months prior.
Since Pete couldn’t hear what Markuss was saying, Pete loudly said, “What?”
Then, Markuss got close enough for Pete to hear and Markuss told Pete he could not drop his trailer there and that Pete needed to move it to another dock immediately because 104 was “his” dock and it was for full-pallet loading and unloading only.
Markuss's belligerent tone was as if Pete was his employee and Markuss was the boss…that he was in charge and Pete had no say in the matter…sort of a loading dock policeman, if you will.
Pete's bullshit detector and combat antennae were beginning to activate simultaneously.
Pete said, “Says who? Since when?”
Markuss said something about, “It was in an email today.”
Pete said, “I didn’t get an email.”
Markuss said, “Call your boss. Move the trailer.”
Pete said, “I’m not calling my boss. Fuck this noise. I’ll take the trailer to the back yard and you guys can put it where you want it later.”
At this point, Pete walked away from Markuss, who was still bumping his gums and demanding Pete move the trailer to another dock.
Pete got back into the cab of his truck.
Pete's window was down all the way, and Markuss was standing outside Pete's cab just below his open window.
Pete prepared to start the engine, and Markuss demanded to know Pete's name.
“What’s yo' name? What’s yo' name?” Markuss barked.
Pete replied, “Don’t worry about my name.”
Then Markus bellowed, “Step out the truck! Step out the truck!”
Pete perceived this demand from Markuss as a threat.
Who wouldn't? A command like that on the street while in a personal vehicle could get somebody hurt.
Pete said, “I’m not getting out of the truck. I got shit to do.”
Pete started the truck engine, released the brakes, and slowly pulled away from Markuss.
At this point Pete heard Markuss say, “Stupid ass.”
Pete said, “Fuck off!” as he drove away from Markuss.
This ended the encounter.
Or so Pete thought...
As far as Pete was concerned, that was it.
Two grown men with differences of opinion...
No need to go crying to a supervisor.
The next day, Pete got a phone call from the boss asking if there was some kind of problem the prior evening, and that a dock worker had complained (in writing) that he was cussed out by an as-yet-to-be-identified driver.
Pete's boss asked, "Do you know anything about this?"
Pete said, "Yes. I know about it. It was me. This asshole thinks he's gonna talk to me like I'm his slave and treat me like shit, and I'm here to tell you nobody is gonna talk to me like that."
Pete's boss understood the situation, but said Pete should refrain from dropping F-bombs to fellow employees at work.
Pete understood also.
Pete understood a lot of things.
Pete understood that he needs his job to feed his family.
Pete also understood that Markuss got pissed off and offended when the white guy didn't fold like a cheap lawn chair to his attempted ghetto intimidation tactics.
Pete pulled Markuss's punk card, and Markuss went crying to the boss...conveniently leaving out many important details.
(Subsequent conversations with supervisors and team-leads revealed to Pete that everything Markuss stated about supposed dock assignments was complete, unadulterated, manufactured bullshit.)
Pete received a "counseling session" from another boss regarding the entire matter.
Pete was advised to walk away and call a supervisor any time anything like this happens.
Pete was also advised that this wasn't the first time Markuss has pulled this type of shit.
Pete was not shocked to learn of this, and Pete wondered why Markuss was still in the employ of the company if this incident was not Markuss's first rodeo.
Then...Pete remembered all of the shit he understood.
Pete understands a lot of shit.
Pete is a racist asshole.
|My goodness! Those mudflaps would never pass a DOT inspection!|