Hurry Up And Wait

 Posted by at 12:07 am  Nick's Blog
Jun 212011

Yesterday was a very frustrating day for us. One of those “hurry up and wait” kind of days.

Before we visit an area, I do a lot of research on places to visit to gather stories for the Gypsy Journal, and contact them ahead of time to try to obtain passes to come in and take a tour, take photos, and gather information to flesh out the stories.

We have a policy of not paying for admission to an attraction that we will be doing a feature story on. We do this for two reasons – first of all, we sometimes visit 20 or more places in a month, and with admission prices at many places as high as $20 each, that would quickly blow our budget; and also, because we don’t believe in paying a place to give them free publicity.

When we do a feature story on an attraction, we are giving them a lot of valuable free publicity that lives on long after the issue they are featured in, because a lot of our readers save every issue for future reference, or they buy CDs with our back issues on them. Sometimes it can be two, three, or even more years before they visit that area, and stop at the attraction.

One of the attractions that we wanted to tour in this area was the Tillamook Air Museum, which was a World War II Naval airship base. I contacted them before we got to the area, and never got  a response, so Sunday we stopped in. But the young man at the desk said we would have to contact the assistant manager, and gave me her card. I e-mailed her Sunday evening, and got a reply mid-morning Monday saying to come on over. Cool.

But then, I received notice that the new issue of the Gypsy Journal had arrived at the UPS freight terminal in Portland, and when I called, the lady on the phone said we needed to be there by 3 p.m., because they closed at 4. Okay, we’ll run to Portland, and go to the Air Museum Tuesday (today) before we leave for the Long Beach NACO campground.

It was 75 miles from Tillamook to the UPS terminal, but a lot of those miles were spent winding over the Coast Range, the low mountains that lie just inland from the ocean, so it wasn’t a real quick trip. We arrived at the UPS facility at 2:50 p.m., I checked in at the office, and the nice young lady told me to drive into the freight yard and park at the Will Call loading dock. I did that, then went in to see the dispatcher, as instructed. That’s when things went downhill.

The fellow in the dispatch office told me that yes, the trailer with our pallet had arrived at 7 a.m., but it hadn’t been unloaded yet. He said to hang on a few minutes and they’d get to it. So we waited. And waited. And waited. Finally I went in to the dispatcher to see what the delay was, and he said they hadn’t started to unload yet, and suggested we go grab a sandwich, and come back about 4. Huh? Didn’t they close at 4? He said no, they were open 24 hours a day. Okay, by then we were not only frustrated, but  hungry too, so we found a Jack in the Box, had a bite to eat, and arrived back at 4:10. The trailer still had not been unloaded, and nobody really seemed to care.

We watched workers unload other trailers, we watched workers standing around smoking and talking about their golf game and fishing, and we watched workers going on break. Everything but unloading our trailer. I was really ticked off, but what are you going to do? Sit and wait. That’s the only choice we had.

Finally, at 5:50, three hours after we arrived (at the time we were told to), a forklift drove up with our pallet and dropped it off. We have had papers shipped to freight terminals across the country, from Florida, to Arizona, to Oregon, and never have we had to deal with such rude, slow service. We’ll avoid the Portland UPS freight terminal in the future, even if we have to drive another 100 miles to pick up our shipments someplace else.

By the time we filled our gas tank and got out of town, the sun was getting low, and since my low light vision is not very good, Miss Terry drove on the return trip to Tillamook. After a quick stop at the grocery store, we got home about 8:30, more than ready to call an end to our long, frustrating day.

Today we’ll run by the Air Museum, and then hook up and head north. We’ve enjoyed our trip up the Oregon coast, but it’s time to cross the Columbia River and see what adventures await us in Washington state.

Thought For The Day – We can’t all be lighthouses. Some of us have to be candles.

Click Here To Register For Our Eastern Gypsy Gathering Rally!

Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  8 Responses to “Hurry Up And Wait”

  1. Another Oregon air museum is the Evergreen Aviation Museum at McMInnville where the one and only Spruce Goose is the feature.

  2. Just another example of the loss of the American work ethic, but how eager we are to trash corporate executives when inferior products are produced and jobs are moved overseas. Before you trash me, my father was a Union coal miner and worked very hard, but could tell many stories, but fellow “workers” who loafed.

  3. One rotten apple can spoil the barrel. I would send your column to the CEO of UPS. What you ran into at that UPS terminal is not the real UPS.

  4. The problem I have with free admissions and then writing a review is that I don’t trust the review, for a few different reasons.

    First is that they know that you are going to write a review, so you get much more personal service then someone that pays at the gate and they make sure that everything is perfect for you. We’ve stopped at places that you have reviewed and didn’t have the personal guide that you had take us through site explaining everything and answering our questions.

    Second, it’s hard to write a bad review when they’re giving you something for free. You stated “We don’t believe in paying a place to give them free publicity.” To me this means that you already plan on writing a good review of the site. I’m not saying that you’re fudging the reviews or anything ,it’s just human nature, A free lunch always taste better then one you have to pay for.

    We have visited a lot of places that we really enjoyed but felt the admissions were way to high for what we got and would not recommend to people as a place to go because we didn’t feel that we got enough “Bang for our Buck”. If the admission had been more reasonable, say half of what it was, we would probably recommend it as a nice place with a fair value, but if admission was free it would be a great place and everybody should stop there.

    Just an Opinion.

  5. Some suggestions for your stay in the Long Beach/Ilwaco area:

    Be sure to have breakfast at Don’s Portside Cafe in Ilwaco. It’s a local favorite, has great food, friendly service and HUGE portions! For history buffs like yourselves, the Lewis & Clark Interpretative Center at Cape Disappointment St. Pk is a must-see!

    You’ll miss the Kite Festival in Long Beach, but take in the Kite Museum. There’s also an interesting cranberry museum with a self-guided walk through the bogs north of town. And don’t miss the cranberry fudge at Scrapacino’s – an eclectic shop that is part scrapbooking store-part tanning salon-part espresso stand (for your cappuchino fix) and part fudge shop!

    Have loved following your trip up to our part of the world. If you get to Bellingham, I’ll have lots more suggestions.

    Safe travels!

  6. We are in site #98 of NACO Long Beach. I would advise trying to get an even number site since that puts the sewer on the driver’s side. Lots of attractions, including the natural kind, locally. You won’t be bored.

  7. Hi Palms,
    I appreciate your input, however, if you were to go back and read our review of the Spy Museum, for example, from last fall, you would see that we don’t hesitate to report that an attraction is too expensive or not worth the time, in our opinion.

    I agree that many attractions are overpriced, and I believe they could actually get more visitors if they made it more reasonable. But if they all gave everybody free admission, how would they pay their bills?

  8. We are finding the same problem with state parks. They raised the camping fee and fewer people camp so they raise the camping fee higher. What a circle.
    After 11 years on the road, still one of our favorite museums is in Chanute, KS, and last time we were there it was still free. Also the one in Deming, New Mexico, low-cost or free.

 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>



Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.