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Viva Las Vegas!

July 26, 2009

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As the hybrids took a break from the road in Las Vegas before their final descent into California, I had the special opportunity to sit with station managers, Tom Enright and John to talk about how things were going in Las Vegas.

Two mouths. One word. Busy.

In Las Vegas there are three FedEx Express stations.  One station exists just to serve the famous Las Vegas strip.  The others carry out the business of the city that doesn’t sleep. This station I’m at does just that. They serve large customers, small businesses and residential areas of town. And they say it again: busy.

They talk about how the difficult economy has forced the Las Vegas operation to streamline its operations. They are confident they are working smarter, more efficient.  And, as a result, they are busy. 

But after talking for a brief period of time I learn they aren’t from Las Vegas.  In fact, for both of them this is their 3rd or 4th city they’ve worked in for FedEx.  Louisville, Atlanta, Chicago among other cities are thrown out.  They further explain how no one in Las Vegas is from Las Vegas.  They go on to say that it’s this unique blend of culture and experience that makes working at this particular operation so interesting.  There are different points of view, different work ethics and different backgrounds.  They both agree there are a lot of differences. There are a lot of differences except for one thing: taking care of their customers.    

We’re sitting at lunch at a nearby diner and an off-duty courier and his wife stop in.  They recognized their cars and wanted to say hello.  I learn he’s not from Las Vegas either.  I’m learning the FedEx culture is uniquely consistent in its differences.

As I’m about to leave Las Vegas a courier comes in to the station from her route.  We talk briefly about the hybrid road trip and she informs me that she originally started working for FedEx just outside of Charlotte, N.C in Gastonia. Wendy tells me on her route in Gastonia she delivered to Freightliner Custom Chassis.  Wendy goes on to say that this was the second tour of duty for her in Las Vegas.  She also worked in Orange County, NY.

The serendipity is quite intriguing, a courier originally from the origin of these retro-fitted hybrids talking to me about Las Vegas and an Orange County. Orange County, California will more than likely be getting some of these hybrid trucks.

As I leave the station with Sheryl Crow’s Leaving Las Vegas playing in my head, I think about this station made of people from all over the country serving people who come from all over the country to live and play.  And after seeing the strip in the early hours of Saturday morning, one word comes to my mind: busy.

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