Saturday, October 21, 2017

Hmm, well I started this yesterday and forgot about it, so post it in incomplete form, lol.

And just like that, my credit score takes a 31 point nose dive on 2 of the reporting agencies.  I opened up an account a few months ago that had zero fees to move from one card to another, so I maxed the thing out.  It's 18 months interest free, which I fully intend on paying off long before 18 months is up.  That is, if my income starts flowing in the right direction.

So, I guess if I pay a few thousand dollars off of debt, the score should bot back up.  Right? Maybe, credit scores and what affects them are a netherland to me.  You do something you think will help and it does, but then it hurts you.  In this case, it appears to the credit reporting agencies that I just used $1,500 of credit card limit and therefore, I think if I am assessing this right and all the reading I have done, I must be desperate for money. So, double whammy - I opened a new account and I used $1,500 instantaneously on it.

I didn't figure getting my credit score to go back up would be an overnight proposal, tho.  once I pay my debt down to below 30%, that will raise my score significantly.  I'm at 37% right now, so that really shouldn't take too long once I get a good flow of income in.

My previous employer sent my final vacation payout.  The company "lost" the hours and that is why i didn't get paid.  Well ho ho ho, Merry Christmas!  If I hadn't of said anything to former GM, it would never have been resolved.  Seriously.  They just switched over from one format to another for signing in and employee information, my vacation hours were left on the old format and hadn't transferred over.  Yet, the Regional manager got a bit testy with me.  I wrote him a nice letter back, telling him if he has issues with me, that's fine, but my stance is, why is this taking so long? It''s company policy, it's in writing.  I bid him a nice day and never heard back from him.

Anyway, my first full paycheck was more than 2 paychecks at the previous employer, as expected. Still, you never know, so I kinda held back any optimism until I actually saw the thing deposited into my bank account.

I have my doubts about this company, tho. As I reported yesterday, the truck is having issues - some serious issues - and after bringing it up to both my dispatcher  in texting and the head mechanic in person - and getting nowhere with it - well. that's a big red flag on my list.  You don't make money broke down on the side of the road.  Or even if it's in the company shop, you aren't making money sitting there waiting for days for them to fix it. If the transmission is having the trouble I think it is, it will definitely take a couple days to fix.

Then there is the issue of who is going to get blamed for that damage.  I can honestly say that in all the years I have driven trucks, I have never trashed a motor or a tranny, or a differential for that matter. Never burned up a clutch, either.  In the first years of driving, without engine brakes, I smoked the brakes a couple of times coming down off of very long, steep grades.  I was a rookie, some things are going to happen. But nothing ill became of those instances.  So, I will not accept and declaration that "you did this" unless I actually, really did do it, but since there is no way of proving that and I know that I haven't done anything to cause it, it's a moot point in my book. The truck has half a million miles on it, that alone is enough to simply be a wear and tear issue.

Well who knows, I'm not going to fret about the blame game, but I will have an issue if this thing breaks down out on the road. Not after I warned them about the issues and actually told them this truck needs fixed to 2 different people, now 3.  I asked the recruiter who I am supposed to report this stuff to since the head mechanic didn't do or even say anything.

Meanwhile, tomorrow morning at 9 am I have a road test with the first company I had wanted to go with.  At this point, it seems very prudent that I go ahead with that and play this thing out. Because, I have quit companies in the past that wouldn't maintain or even repair their equipment and get pissy about it breaking down for no fault of my own.  One such time was a bad fuel pump.  I told them it has a bad fuel pump.  They said how would you know, we are sending someone to get it started. I said fine, but it isn't going to fix the problem.  It's a long story, I won't go into it here, but the end result was the service guy got it running (not a mechanic) by spraying starting fluid into the intake.  I drove the truck half a mile and it stopped, on the highway, at a light.  All hell broke loose after that and I ended up quitting the company.  I didn't even tell them - til the end.  I drove the load back to Phoenix (where it was going anyway) after they fixed the truck, delivered the load, took the truck back to their yard.  Got all my stuff out of it, handed it back to them and quit.

Same thing would happen here.  Take the truck back, get my stuff out of it, take a bus back home, c'ya.  That's it.  I haven't heard back from the recruiter, maybe I won't.  Dunno, but if I don't, I am definitely going to take it up with the owner of the company who contacted me about this job in the first place.  Whatever he determines, that is what I will base my decisions off of.  I'm sure these are all nice, good people, but, they have to deal with the negative elements of the trucking industry and includes broken trucks.

Finally home.
Truck is having issues.
The fuel filters were the top of the list, now it's secondary.
The air leveler valve - a 99% solid guess - is bad on the truck and needs replaced.
The transmission is making grinding, chunking noises that sound like the thing is going
to fall apart. 
That's 3 issues. All of them need immediate attention.
Yet, when I brought it up to the dispatcher, he asked a few questions and then, disappeared.

I actually saw the head of the mechanic division today and mentioned all of it, he said nothing and did nothing.

I shrugged my shoulders. Who is it going to hurt in the end? Me and the company. Me, because the truck is going to break down on the side of the road and I will be stuck. I'm not making money if I'm not driving the truck. The company because it will cost them 3 times as much to fix it somewhere other than their own shop AND they won't be making money off of the truck. 

It's whatever.  If the thing happens to make it back from Oklahoma this coming week, I'm simply going to tell them the thing needs to go to the shop and get fixed.  If they refuse, I'll  call the owner of the company - whose cell phone number is printed in very large letters with the orientation packet and you can call him anytime type of thing - and ask him how he would like to handle this.

I've got a road test on Sunday morning.  Guaranteed that company takes care of their equipment.  When you're hauling a chemical that can kill a lot of people in a nano second if there was a serious crash, they aren't going to fool around with bad equipment.  They have newer Peterbilts and replacing all of them with brand new Peterbilts.  So hey, it's whatever to me. 


So, Saturday evening.  Looking forward to this road test.  Just because - providing I pass it of course - I have an out here. An out that I had originally planned as the first choice. 

Whatever the case, I have spent the day getting mundane stuff done, going around town getting chores taken care of and basically relaxing for the most part. 

I did get a chance to talk with my son today. For an hour, lol.  But hey, our conversations are far and few between.  Texting here and there, but not the same as talking on the phone. He's busy, he's got a new wife, they are adjusting to the lifestyle of living with one another, I totally understand. So, it makes the gems of talking to him at whatever occasion even more precious to me. 

There's one thing that my dad did for me that I feel inclined to carry on.  He sent me checks at random intervals.  Hi son, just wanted to help you out a bit.  I miss my dad.  I look back and wish I had visited him much more often than I did.  He really was a great influence on my life.  We used to email a lot, tho, before the Alzheimer's set in, I have that to feel that at least I connected with him  - rather often at that.  Thousands of emails over a span of a great many year's time, still in my AOL email account.  I read some of them here and there.  He was a man of God.  Always had a positive outlook - well mostly, sometimes his relationship with his wife got the better of him, but al most always he was upbeat and encouraging. 

Anyway, that's it for today.  Tomorrow will be a new adventure.  I guess I will be a little bit nervous. It'a always that way when you have someone scrutinizing your performance even if it's something you are totally comfortable doing, have been doing it for decades and do it well.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Well first off, I've been sitting at a place in Hammond, Louisiana, for 7 hours and will be here at least another 10 before I can get out of here.  When I found out they wouldn't unload me today, I took off to the nearest truck stop and had dinner, tho.  Spaghetti and salad. Very tasty with some leftovers that I am about to eat.  I wasn't near as hungry as I thought I would be. 

I did get some exercise today, tho, in traipsing through woods where the truck is parked.  And stood on a set of railroad tracks for an hour at least, just thinking about things.  I know how truck drivers get so fat and out of shape.  I am struggling to figure out ways to avoid that.  I already had a gut going before I got into this job. Yet, I am eating some granola bars throughout the day and having dinner at night.  I want to change that to eating the meal earlier and not before I am going to bed.

Anyway, the truck is making some chattering noises in the gear box and I have my doubts that it's going to last much longer before it dies and needs repaired.  I did say something to the dispatcher about it, he asked if it was a throwout bearing. Very well could be, I replied, to which he had nothing to offer. Great, if the thing breaks down, I thought, don't say I didn't say anything, is in writing.  He's a cool guy but he is far too overextended.  32 drivers? How does one person manage that many drivers in a day? I just text him mostly, he can get back to me whenever unless it is urgent then I try to call him. 

If the truck doesn't die on me, then I will get this thing finally unloaded at 4am this coming morning, get on up the road to 17 miles to a load site, then up to near Jackson to drop the trailer, go to another site, pick up another trailer and head - home.  Should be doable in one day. Monday morning I will have to be in Oklahoma City at 9am. 

Meanwhile, my first paycheck is everything I thought it would be and then some.  The orientation dude said there are potentials for bonuses on paychecks, I had no opinion one way or the other. Just sounded like blather that oritentation guys give when they are trying to get you hired on. If it's true, wonderful, if it's not, I wasn't holding my breath for it and turning blue anyway. Well, there was $150 bonus on that check.  It was amazing to see that. I busted my ass last week tho, not like it was a free ride.  Still cool tho.  Not complaining. Haha

And then there is the prospect of this other job. I am just in limbo. What to do, what to do. I'll tell ya what, I netted $400 more on this paycheck in one week's work than I netted in any paychecks in recent times from my previous employer for two weeks worth of pay.  If that stood, that's a net gain of $1600 per month. That's after taxes, mind you.  Net, not gross. Gross pay even more.  I could get used to this job for a while.  I could.  Weekends off. The other job offered, however, is even more pay. But, no weekends off, not guaranteed anyway. Just come and get the truck, drive over to Eastman and get the tanker loaded - they do all the loading, you actually have to unhook the trailer and leave the premises while they do that (very hazardous material, the the 195 below zero factor is enough to kill you instantly, if not that, the suffocation and one other thing that kills you that was explained to me that I have since forgotten).  But I don't really care about that.  They haul these trailers all over the place.

If I did have some happenstance that took my life, I figure instant freezing wouldn't really be that bad?  I dunno, not really wanting to find out, but I do think death would be quick, fast and - painless?  I laugh at these people that say "instant death, no pain". How the HELL does anyone KNOW that for sure?  Haha, great minds that propagate their scientific wares, anyway.

I'm getting more comfortable with this.  I hate being away, but this stuff I can endure. Would be better in a newer truck and definitely if it was the new trucks that have the free Direct TV in them with a 22 inch flat screen tv mounted in the sleeper and a double bunk - I'd brink Addler once at least to see if he can deal with it, because from what I am seeing, he is a grumpy dog when I leave.  That's coming from them, at the house, not me.  He is well loved, tho, and well taken care of. Two other dogs for company as well.  So not the end of the world, I just want better accomodations if I'm going to do this.  I  can't get the cigarette smoke smell out of here as much as I have tried, it's tamed down quite a bit but that pervasive odor doesn't go away. 

Anyway, I'm going to wind down for the night, meaning getting off of here and dealing with paperwork and getting ready to go to sleep. 3am I need to be in there with my paperwork.  I don't have to drive anywhere, the door is 300 feet away : )

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

A short entry. 
4 accidents in various places today left my in want on the total number of miles driven. I guess 600 isn't that bad but closer to 700 would have been better.

Meanwhile, this lady from that other place called today. I had totally given up on them. She wouldn't call me back, but it's a large, nationwide company that is reputable and has great benefits, better than what I would currently be getting at new job.  They still want to hire me, they said, when can you come in for a road test?

I didn't bother to tell her I was working a new job, I figured to go ahead and schedule it - for this coming weekend - to give myself some time to think about this.  And also to see my first real paycheck from this new company.  I had ample miles last week, I should have a healthy check.  But the proof isn't in the pudding until you see what that check is.  

I have always wanted to do tankers, tho and this other company is nothing but tankers.  Enough experience with them - like 1 or 2 years anyway - and I could easily score a local job hauling gasoline and home every night, making decent money. In fact, this company has a huge fleet of gas tankers running all over the country.  You've seen them, KAG or Keegan Advantage Group.

Doing the road test and just even leading up to doing the road test gives me time to revisit this in my mind.  For I was sold on that job in the beginning, I was going to go for it.  But she got caught up in whatever is going on over there. I did talk to several other drivers and they wouldn't do anything else.  People that have been working there since the 80's and 90's, when their yard was located in Magnolia, Arkansas.  They moved to Longview cause - well, the supplier of the chemicals they are hauling is in Longview. 

So anyway, I do want to see my first paycheck here, before I make any decisions and I willl get that on Friday. Well I got the "first" paycheck, it was only for 2 runs and that wasn't going to be that much money, obviously.  The difference between home time for current company and the other one is actually quite a bit. Current company at least gets me home on weekends.  That company gets you home every 3 days - but only for a day and only if they don't have another run for you to turn around and go out on.  

But, the future is what I"m looking at and KAG could eventually lead to a local job, either with them if possible or move on to another company.  Preferably stay within company.  

And then I was thinking about doing online classes with ASU today, as I keep hearing their ads on the radio and they are offering over 150 courses that you can do whenever you can get to it, all online, all the same credits as if you had shown up in the classroom. ASU is from my 2cd hometown, they have the most registered students of any college in the nation.  They continue to expand all over the place, I didn't even know they were offering online courses.

Tho, I learn better in a classroom setting, to be honest. 

Anyway, that's it. There's more but it's bedtime and I have a full day ahead of me tomorrow.  

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Driving in hellish traffic all day long today.  I was sent to Columbus, Ohio, a place I haven't been to in decades.  Had to pass through several large cities, got caught in rush hour traffic in one of them. But that, bad as it was, wasn't the worst thing.  My GPS came on and told me that I could "save 36 minutes" by taking an alternate route. 

Well darn if there wasn't a bad crash and I got off the Interstate just in time, so I thought.  I got to a turn in the road that said "trucks turn left, bridge ahead 11"".
Traffic was totally snarled anyway.  I gave up on that, went back to the Interstate and spent two hours - yes, two freaking hours - going the distance of 4 miles.  I mean, 30 minutes of that was sitting on the side of the Interstate - I ran out of hours, I had to take my mandatory 30 minutes break or be in "Hours Of Service" violation, so I did. Just pulled over and parked. By the time I woke up - I was tired, fell right asleep - 25 minutes later, the traffic had completely  cleared. 

Anyway, traffic ate up my drive hours today and I didn't have enough time to get to the drop place.  Or I might have, but I wouldn't have had any time to leave that yard.  No thanks.  I'm not sitting in a yard all night long with no access to a toilet or food.  Yes, I could "improvise", but why bother.  Well, I was fighting the clock just getting here.  I mean, I pulled into this Pilot truckstop with 3 minutes left on the clock!  I stopped, pulled the valves and put myself on "On Duty", taking myself off of "Driving".  Yup, electronic logs.  Pros and cons to it.  Pros are it's much easier than filling out a log book. Con - Once the 14 hour clock starts, you don't get off of it.  You can't just stop, but yourself on "Sleeper Berth" line and take a few hours to sleep if you're tired, losing no on Duty or Driving time. 

Lots of truckers are complaining about that and another road block apparently is being planned, or so I heard on the CB radio today. Ahh, yes, just found it, a Facebook group called Operation Black and Blue, but it's a closed group. Kinda dumb to be a closed group if you're trying to encourage a bunch of truckers to stop dead on the highway for 2 hours and block traffic. I asked to join anyway, just to see if this guy I was hearing on the radio was making accurate statements.

Well anyway, this is a small Pilot truck stop. I guess they are all small, but when I pulled in there, I was aghast.  I am out of hours, I am not going anywhere, even if every single parking space is full.  And they were  -  allllll - filled up.  I drove around to the fuel pumps to act like I was fueling - which I was not, had fueled up earlier since I also pushed that one to the limit and ended up putting 226 gallons of fuel into this thing.  See, if you aren't doing electronic logging, you can just fudge the books if you have to drive down the road to find a place to park.  In this case, you can put yourself off duty, but if you start pulling through the gears, that thing is automatically putting you back on "Driving" status.  So I stated in 3rd gear only.

Well, I pulled through the fueling lanes and much to my surprise, a truck pulled out of it's spot, right there.  And at the same time, another truck had pulled in and was backing into another spot.  I pulled up in front of my intended parking space and waited. And waited some more.  You see, this lot wasn't exactly designed for big trucks to be pulling intricate backing maneuvers into tight spots between 2 trucks already in there. This is a daily dilemma for truckers across the country and have been complaining about it for years - it's only getting worse. 

I can envision an entrepreneur with money simply buying up land, opening up parking only lots and charging a monthly fee for nation wide access.  Yea, I mean something on a big scale.  I mean, if I got out of this truck right now, at 7:00 pm, I can guarantee you there are no empty spaces and this is the only truck stop around.  That I know of anyway or saw coming in.  There are several 50 miles outside of town, but not here.  I was afraid I was going to run into parking problems when I got here.  Anyway, I waved all the fuel lane trucks trying to leave past me. Yup, please go on.  Cause I was going to go down, to the end, flip a U-ey and come back.  NO way I am backing a truck this big and long into a space that small without doing it from the right side. Blind side backing is dangerous even for the most skilled driver with backing skills. You can do it, but you are likely going to have to get out of the truck several times to make sure you aren't about to take out the truck you are backing against.  

I have seen drivers using a spot mirror on a pole so they can see out the passenger side while blind side backing.  It is just highly not recommended if you can avoid it.  If you can't, do what you must. 

My problems were exaggerated by a broken down pickup across the other side and a parked semi over there behind it. I could not get the full access to pull up as the "designers" intended. Fortunately for me, a man decided he was going to help me back into that spot, and I was very much grateful for the help.  He was quite adept at giving hand signals, obviously been helping drivers get their trucks into spaces long enough to have gotten good at it. But, at the same time, the driver has to have the sense enough to get that thing angled right and get the truck banking around just right.  You take a tractor that long and a trailer that long and get it off even a little, you are pulling up and trying again. I had to do 2 pullups just because of the obstructions in front of me, but the 3rd time was the charm.

Thank you!  To the man that took his own time out to help me. 
So, I am stuck here for another 12 hours.  Yup.  I could get the load delivered after 10 hours - meaning 2am - but I can't get the next load on until 8am and it's only 13 miles away.  So, I have some free time! And, I am going to decide what movie I want to watch and go on Putlocker and watch it.  I have so much gigs every month on my phone, I can do a lot of streaming before I even come close to running out.  And, the phone works very well at supplying the computer it's needed input to pump out a movie. I watched Unstoppable last night - runaway train movie with Denzel Washington, trying to decide what I want to watch tonight.  Anyway, that's enough for one entry. 

As expected, getting up at 11:45 pm for work and starting driving at around 12:15 am was a total disaster. For me anyway. I am definitely not a night driver.  I only got 3 hours of sleep to start with and keeping myself awake all night long until I arrived at 7 am was ridiculous. I climbed into the sleeper after I got backed up to the dock and told them to come knock on the door when they're done, cause' I'm wiped out.

I was sleeping soundly, too, when that knock came on the door.  Well that much driving ate up a bunch of my allowable driving hours to the tune of over 7, leaving 3 hours and 45 minutes drive time left.  I was given instructions to head northwest to a company that we do a lot of business with, get loaded and the head out.  I didn't look at where I was heading out to, just the loading information.

I was a bit shocked when I went to do a map route for it to see I am going to Columbus, Ohio.  I can't remember the last time I was there, at least 2 decades.  I decided the miles outweighed the home time.  They couldn't have gotten me home today anyway, not enough driving hours left to get there.  So, I put on almost 700 miles today, which is a pretty good feat in a truck the is governed at 70 mph.  You get 11 hours of driving allowed in a 14 hour time period.  The extra work hours are for loading and unloading, fueling, whatever.  I'm a driving fool when i want to be, I can go on and on and on without stopping for anything at all.  Keep a nicely stocked truck and you don't need to stop.  And yes, I bought a variety of low calorie/fat snacks - several boxes worth this time.

The last time I just bought one huge box of granola bars, and tho they were tasty, very much a big mistake.  Must have a variety in the offerings.  So now I have 4 different types, plus some crunchy things that Rene gave to me (tenant) and another case of water.  Welp, the load itself was difficult because it is very near 80,000 pounds, meaning trying to get the steer axle, drive axles and tandem axles all below the maximum amount allowed.  For whatever reason, this company doesn't want drivers fooling with the placement of the Fifth Wheel.  Meaning I can't slide it back or forth.  The only thing you can do is slide the tandems - that's the axles and wheels on the trailer.

Well, when I looked into the trailer I picked up, I knew right away it was a heavy load, so I just went ahead and slid them suckers on up.  It wasn't enough, tho, my first round through the scales at that place I was over on the drive axles by 1,200 pounds.  You don't go through weigh stations like that.  They will give you a hard time at best, most likely issue you a fine at worst.  So, I slid them even further forward and it came out very nice.  I've been through 2 weigh stations since then so I know it's good lol.  \

The things that I have forgotten about trucking.  It's all coming back to me now.  I despise heavy loads that are near full amount of legal weight because it can take several tries to get the axles set to where the truck is no more than 34,000 on the tandems, 34,000 on the drive axles and 12,000 on the front/steering axle.  You can't just be below 80,000 and call it good, you have to be good on all 3 of those things as well.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

After careful consideration, I decided to simply try to take a nap this afternoon for at least an hour, or however long I can get out of it, go to bed around 8 - 8:30 and get up at midnight. 

I would have to leave out of here at 2:00 pm today - which is an hour and 45 from now, to get there in time to have the mandatory 10 off time and be at the delivery place on time.  The problem is, I am not really a night driver.  I get sleepy.  I'm going to have even more discussions about this night driving business.  A few hours of it, fine, all night long, no thanks.  Plus it throws off my sleep schedule and takes awhile to get back to normal. 

I'm not really looking forward to tonight, to put it mildly. 

Whatever.  I've got most of my stuff done. Just a few more loads of laundry and all of that is over with.

I turned on the truck today to make sure it was going to actually turn on - unlike last Monday - and Addler went goofy crazy.  He figured I was leaving right there and then and wasn't really a happy camper.  He has figured out already that the truck running either means I am coming or going.  Since I'm here, means I'm going. 

Well whatever.  Meanwhile, I am still putting my thoughts to local work. Yes I know I just started this job but I am not really happy with it.  Unless they move back towards the center, at least, of where we were discussing my home time should be at, I don't see myself staying here that long.  I've spent minimal money on supplies for the truck and not buying a refrigerator and such just because of my reservations.  I made my case to the recruiter in a polite email, let's discuss this.  The original conversations were to do this, you are doing that, how can we adjust this and bring it more to a central position? 

I haven't heard back from that one. If I don't get some kind of reply this week, I will call him and try this again.  I'm the only one from out of state working there, I found after I got there. They aren't taking into consideration that I don't live there and the concessions they make other drivers simply do not apply to me because of that.  I could be home frequently if I lived over in Jackson.  Nope, not even remotely thinking about moving there, just saying, if I were like the rest of the drivers, I could park the truck at the yard and go home on many nights.

The only move I could think of to go to now would be an old friend that probably would have a job for me if I decided I wanted to take one.  We're good friends from the 80's in the mission field.  I missed the opportunity to go visit him because all of this other stuff came up with my dad and then my son getting married.  Now I have no paid time off and not likely to get any of that going for a long time.  I can take time off, just isn't paid.  Not in a position to absorb that right now.  If I did decide to stay, I likely wouldn't want to even ask until being there for a while.  I would really like to go visit mom tho.  Even a weekend and a couple days before or after would work. 

I have to say that there are a few competitors in the area vying against my old company. They are making gains and taking over some of our contracts because some of those contractors absolutely despise this new manager.  He's not really new, now, but I call him that because he is an ogre, a troll from the past.  an antiquated relic of a human being stuck in some time loop from the past where things, in his mind, were better.  Anyway, I am definitely considering putting in apps to any of those places that might be hiring drivers.  I have enough experience to supersede anyone else that might be applying for that specific type of position. 

Whatever the case, I have few precious hours of home time left, so I'm ending this one. 

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Well the recruiter asked, so  I answered.  Not in a very negative way, just sort of, this is what I imparted at the beginning, this is what was told me, this is what is happening.  Look I'll drive that ruck - I have - without stopping for hours and hours.  Get it over with. If the next stop is 9 hours away, I"m driving it out until 6  or 7, where I have to stop by fed mandate for a 30 minute break, get out of the truck, exercise, and then go until it's done.

Yesterday, neither my final vacation payout nor my first paycheck arrived in my checking account.  I should have gotten both.  Meaning, for the time being, putting off paying the mortgage payment.  I can do that all the way up until the last day of the month, after that I jeopardize my credit score once again.

I have enough to pay it, but not enough to pay it and the bills that are going to hit my account in the next 15 days.  Right now, the worst that happens is a $40 late fee. 

Obviously, I contacted both my GM of the old company and the recruiter of the new company.  The recruiter wrote back and gave me a number to call for a specific person - who did not answer the phone.  I tried throughout the day to get a hold of him to no avail and left my name and phone number, with no reply to it.  I wrote the recruiter back asking him to look into this, for whatever money is there, I want, it's owed to me, this isn't really a good way to start off an employer-employee relationship, thanks. 

I don't mind that he handed me off to the department that deals with it, I do mind that that department doesn't answer their phone nor reply to their voice messages. 

As for the vacation hour payout, the GM wrote back and said he would look into it. At the end of the day, like 9 hours later, I heard nothing back from him and asked him why.  He made a lame excuse and yes, I called him out on it, then wrote the Regional Manager for help with the situation since he wasn't going to do anything.  Monday, I'm bypassing both of them and calling payroll myself.  I should have received that payout yesterday.  I will find out why it wasn't paid out, it is company policy, in writing, that's all I need. 

So, two strikes.  Fortunately I had the money from the house rent in Phoenix in the account - otherwise I would be totally screwed right now.  Like, get out the credit card again and start paying bills with it, for there are no other options.  I want to start paying those cards down, not continue to have to use them. I figured go pay out $500 on one card with the vacation payout, which will bring that card down to almost zero.  I then figured to start paying off one of the zero interest accounts, I have two of them now.  That will take some time, but I need to get this credit card junk managed.

Well well well. Sure enough, the Regional manager wrote and gave an excuse for the GM. Short, curt and to the point.  My rather short email to him was polite and professional.  No reason for him to reply to me in that manner.  I have no expectation of ever going  back there, certainly not now.  I mean, yes if I moved back to Phoenix I would certainly ask my old GM, he's a great man, knows how to treat employees like family, like they are a part of a team and makes you feel like you actually belong there. The Regional manager over there as well, very cool person. 

I did reply to him just now, but not in kind.  I'm not going to fall for it.  I don't care what they think about me, my requests for pay raises went ignored. That's that.  In fact, the GM actually lied to me about getting a pay raise, but he doesn't acknowledge that, of course. I didn't bring that up, at all, in this round of emails, not worth it.  I'm going to go out in class and keep my head up.  Whatever happens to me, is on me at this point.  I am going to rid this new job out for while - unless there are going to be pay issues, that's a bit ridiculous.  I will be keeping my eyes open for a local job that pays good enough and gets me home at the end of the day.  If I'm going to live in a truck, I want one of the new ones since they have already reneged on their promise to "have me home most nights".

That was just utter blather, no reality to that at all.  I don't want to move around from one place to another, but in the trucking industry, that is actually a very common thing to do. Move around until you find one that works for you.  They are mostly the same, but it's how you are treated that makes the difference. I was going broke at the old company, I was going into debt, no thanks.  I made my pitches on several occasions for a pay raise, it ended up empty handed. That's their decision, mine was to move on, I let them know that near the end, like the last few months.  I flatly told them because of the hour reduction, my banking account was almost drained and I had no savings. 

When I got to the point that both were empty, living paycheck to paycheck, that's when I made the move. This wasn't some thing that I just decided to do overnight. This was a long time in the coming.  I can say that I am very elated not to be working for that a-hole boss anymore.  It's like becoming unshackled from chains and locks. 

Anyway, I must be about my Saturday. Need to visit Walmart and get some supplies for the truck - water and low calorie, low fat snacks to munch on.  The granola bars I bought for the last two weeks were okay, but just okay.  Try something else.  And a haircut.  It's pretty difficult to wake up in the morning and not have a shower to go to to wash your hair and get it kempt looking again.  I have to have a haircut that looks good regardless and that would be short hair. 

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Today was a little different.  I was in some town south/central Mississippi, parked over night.  Got up this morning, made the delivery and then sat and waited for the next load.  Meanwhile, another truck pulled up so I asked him if he could help me identify where an air leak I kept hearing when I hit the brakes was coming from.  I can't hit the brakes and go look at the same time, but I pointed him to where I thought it was coming from and sure enough, a good air leak coming out of one of the air lines that goes from the truck to the trailer. 

So I threw that in the text as well: Got a good air leak, gonna need fixed soon.

I had called him before that asking if he had received my other texts cause he wasn't responding.  He's a busy dude, I get that but I don't want to needlessly sit around when there are miles and money to be made.  I was waiting there 2-1/2 hours when he finally said well come up to the shop and get it fixed. 152 miles away, dead heading? Okay.  They pay me for it, so that's on them. The entire glad handle had to be replaced, which was done relatively quickly and then I get a text: Get over to Brandon's ASAP. 

When he says that, I assume the place is closing shortly and a narrow window of time to get there. So I boogied on over, got the truck loaded with riding, zero turn lawnmowers - at least 100k worth lol, wish I could take one home - and headed out.  I'm back in the same area my old job used to send me.  Too bad I couldn't have gone another 80 miles further west, I could have spent the night at the house. 

Oh well. I will be going even further west than my house tomorrow and I have 4 drops, so maybe, if I"m lucky and time works out that way, I can still take a break at the house.  You never know, I'm not counting on it but it's a possibility.  I can't see myself leaving the last stop before 2 or 3 - these stops are scattered over 130 mile range and obviously trying to get them done in a day.  I would really not even want to do this junk considering the lack of miles, but they make it up by paying a per stop pay on top of miles in cases like this.  So it's $200 worth of stop pay plus mileage, it will be a good paying day tomorrow. 

I'm stuck in Minden, LA, just a mile down the road from the 1st delivery.  Hit them up early and get on down the road to Shreveport, then down to Mansfield and then over to a small town just south of Tyler, Texas. 

And so it is. I dont know what to make of all of this yet, hence I have kept my mouth shut about home time.  Give it some time to figure out whether I can adjust and actually maybe even like the lifestyle.  Last night was the first night I really slept good in the truck.  I drove until 11:30 pm and I was bone, dead tired.  I finally figured out how to adjust the AC on this APU, that was one of the problems. It would freeze this thing out.  I mostly am running it to get rid of the humidity, the temps aren't that bad at night. 

I'm kinda in lala land today.  Not sure what to think about anything going on.  Just riding it all out, seeing where it goes. 

Hmm, well I started this yesterday and forgot about it, so post it in incomplete form, lol. And just like that, my credit score takes a 31...