Amparo Bertram (spacealien_vamp) wrote,
Amparo Bertram

Deskwork days

Last week at work I started my Cargo Desk training. The job of the person in charge of the Cargo Desk involves answering phones, reading faxes, and assigning duties to the other inspectors. The latter two aren't so bad, but sometimes the phone is ringing off the hook with people who want to know what paperwork they need to bring Item X from Country Y, asking if we've received the documents they sent, and demanding that we release the hold on their shipments RIGHT NOW. Honestly, I empathize with people who took the day off work to drive all the way to the airport to pick up a shipment only to find that it hasn't been inspected yet, but if we don't have the manpower to do the inspection, we can't release it. For the people calling, it's their one and only shipment and they are emotionally invested in it, but for us, it's just one of a loooong list.

The problem is, one never knows which shipment might contain contraband, so we can't really just say, "We'll take your word for it, here you go." Even if a person isn't intentionally smuggling (and there are people who do), the shipment may contain an item that the owner never dreamed was prohibited. This is particularly true when it comes to things like chicken extract, where people often don't even read the ingredients closely enough to know that their food contains it. Sometimes the shipper puts items into the package (as packing material, for example) that the recipient didn't know were coming. Some items would be okay with the proper paperwork, but are prohibited without it.

Anyway, I was on the desk from Wednesday through Friday, which is the usual training schedule, and then again on Monday. I was told that I got an extra day because I was so good at it, they wanted my help longer. The way I look at it, working the desk keeps me off the road. I may not enjoy answering the phone, but at least I can't crash and die doing it.

My cargo training module ends on Friday. I'll be going back to passenger baggage on Sunday.

In my free time, I started looking up what house prices are in my area, out of curiosity. It seems that the asking prices for houses in my neighborhood start at a million dollars and go up from there. Yeesh.
Tags: cbp

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