Tuesday, July 21, 2015


Yes, we ship thousands of tons of sodium hydroxide from this facility every year. And we
often leave it outside in large plastic baggies, because, well, what could go wrong?

Every shipper and delivery facility has its own regulations. We've delivered to dozens of nuclear plants - most require a thorough bumper-to-bumper inspection while others don't even have a guardhouse ("excuse me, random hard-hatted person ... is that your receiving department behind the enormous, steaming nuclear reactor?"), countless military installations ("you want me to follow you twelve miles east on an unpaved trail through the Arizona desert to a secluded and unmarked group of airplane hangars?"), scores of chemical companies ("ok, when I hear four quick horn blasts in a row I should look for a flashing blue light on a pole and make my way there?"), and endless other facilities with inherent danger and reason to very carefully inspect every visitor.

And then, there are the small but mighty little suppliers with a single rail sideyard and a front office outfitted with one or two of the meanest, tyrannical, self-aggrandizing women in that particular town.

The kind of women, say, who print up company rules and regulations such as this:

Wayyt, whut??

You've got enough hydroxide sitting outside in enormous woven plastic bags to bring Lake Erie to a boil and your number eight concern is that I might spit?

May I point out that it's raining today?

What is the purpose of this rule? Is it a safety issue? If so, why are you freaked out - sorry, I'll use small town old lady vernacular: in a tizzy - about spittle, but either unconcerned about, or unaware of, the effects of atmospheric moisture on hygroscopic chemicals? I strongly suggest you look up "deliquescence".

I suspect that this wasn't a safety concern, but an issue of manners and perhaps weak stomachs.

If that's the case, let me suggest that you include that drivers use "Sir" and "Ma'am" when addressing employees, walk offsite to pass gas, refrain from cursing, and forever save bacon grease.

Just sayin'.

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