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Thursday, July 03, 2008

We had a delivery at work yesterday of two pallets, holding ninety-six boxes, each containing ten one-litre bottles of potassium chloride solution. That's enough to keep America's death row in business for the next decade. Although I think they use a slightly higher strength than we do.

Having watched the two blokes in the massive truck unload them with a little forklift thingy and wheel them to the far end of the fluid store, I waved goodbye to the men and went to check the delivery. At which point I discovered that although it was addressed to us, it was actually for the hospital down the road.

A quick phone call later, and you'd think the men in the articulated lorry would have been straight back, picking up their bottles, and driving them down the road. But no. Instead, the manufacturers decided it would make far more sense to send a bloke round this morning. In a transit van. With no tailgate. Or forklift. They also decided not to tell him what he was picking up. Probably because he'd have refused to come.

So at 10am this morning, I found myself standing in front of 960 bottles of liquid, with a man who thought he'd come to pick up a cardboard box. Unfortunately his employers refused his plea for help via mobile phone, and told him to get on with it. Officially I wasn't supposed to help, on the grounds that it was their mistake and I have my own work to get on with, but on a human level, it's hard to ignore a man who's about to make nintey-six trips up and down a small flight of stairs and to the far end of a warehouse and back.

So we did 480 bottles each. It was like a full body workout with cardiovascular endurance training. Honestly, if it wasn't for the home-made cakes, cookies, brownies and flapjacks that people bring in for me on a daily basis, this job would be making me thin.

As it turned out though, it was all quite enjoyable (in a Good Samaritan kind of way) because I got to hear about some of the chap's other deliveries. Apparently he once had to collect what his work schedule described as a 'live animal' and take it to a pet shop. He was expecting a hamster. It turned out to be a boa constrictor in a sack.

Interestingly he also mentioned that he'd once transported a box of live bees. Which could explain this story from Monday...

Leave it bee.
Personally I want to know who counted them all.