I still cannot get over the loss that comes with losing my good friend and co-worker Scott. Working with him at Ralphs for almost 30 of his 40 years there was truly a joy. He was my dispatcher for so many years, and I miss terribly hearing his voice over the phone whenever I would call in with a situation. He would answer with, "Transportation, Scott...". Usually arriving a couple of minutes late, combing back his hair and in a rush. Sometimes carrying a bag from Del Taco with his breakfast burrito. Then quickly tossing his wallet, keys and phones into a drawer, he was ready to go.
Scott rarely got mad, but the times he did it was directed at the Ralphs computer dispatch system. In all the time I knew him, this happened maybe three times. He was a happy and positive person, always. Ralphs is just not the same without him. Everyone who knew him misses him. A testament to his popularity at work was the number of drivers, both active and retired, that attended his service on Friday. I gave up counting at almost 70...and Scott wasn't even a driver.
Being a Teamster driver, we hold sacred our seniority rights in selecting runs at the start of our shifts, and no dispatcher can "tell" us or assume he knows where we will be going that day....except for Scott Smith. He knew every driver's preference, and he would schedule runs accordingly. Normally we just went up to his window at the start of our shift and he had our runs laid out in front of him, ready to go. Usually he required no bid because he cared enough to know his employee's likes and dislikes. That was his way. He knew his people and cared for them. And his people cared for him.
Hands down, Scott's family can know that he was THE most liked and respected dispatcher at Ralphs, and in my 30 years there I never heard one negative comment spoken about him. In fact, at his service on Friday one driver made the comment that whenever we came in to work and we saw his truck in the parking lot, we all thought, "Yes!...Scottie's working today!". How many bosses can that be said of?
This is a small perspective from the driver's point of view. So much more can be said about Scottie, much too much for this small space. He was a kind and caring man, a testament to God's idea of a fine, decent, generous and faithful father, friend, brother, uncle, grandfather, son and husband. Truly, he loved and lived his life for others. My sincere condolences to his entire family.
I miss you, Scottie.