Friday, September 22, 2017

Welp, the last few days of work.  I have a coworker with which we really get along. Actually, we're pretty much going at it a lot, but all in fun.  Definitely in fun, keep things live spirited versus dull an boring.

This afternoon in the yard, I"m loading up the semi for Monday delivery.  He's looking at all the pallets on the ground and looking at truck: You ain't fixing to get all of that on there.

Oh yes I will, there's plenty of room.  He says, no way, you can't get all of that on there. I'm firing back, hell if I can't, all of that is going on there, pointing at the truck. I had already assessed the loading sequence necessary to get it all on there.  He says I'll bet you can't. I said fine, I'll take your bet.  He says, you want to be a beer? I said, no, I"ll take 3 of them!  I was taunting him for the next 30 minutes as he was driving by on the other forklift and I was almost finished.

"Well yooooooouuuuuuu cheated!".  Cheated? How do you figure?  Well you put that pallet on top of that other pallet and you moved the pipe.  Whoa, pardner, there wasn't any agreement on this bet as to HOW I was going to load the truck, only that I would get it done.  He finally shook his head, sitting there watching me load the last pallet on there.  You won.  And yes, true to his word, we went to the liquor store after work, he bought a 6 pack and gave me 4 of them.  Lol.

I have subsequently found out, today, that everyone but the outside salesmen are looking for new jobs.  No idea if any of the salesmen are or aren't, they aren't letting on.  I would guess no, because they are making bank. Or are they? I looked at the numbers today, sales are down.   Meaning their commissions are down as well. Even the yard guy today was overheard on the phone talking to an employment agency.

Anyway, I'm not doing anything differently at work. I work my butt off, I get the job done.  There is no-one that is going to be able to accuse me - legitimately anyway - after I leave that I had a change of attitude at the end.  Monday is a full day.  Drive the truck to the port, unload all of that stuff I put on there today, drive to Lena, make a small delivery, drive to Alexandria, load the truck up with concrete meter boxes, drive up to Ruston, deliver all of them and then back to Shreveport.  With all the driving and loading and unloading time? That's getting me back to the yard by 5 at the earliest.  Tuesday will be my last day and then, get a suitcase, load it up and get over to Mississippi in whatever fashion they are going to figure out.  Which is likely a truck coming through here, going back to Mississippi.

I saw one of their trucks driving through Shreveport today which sparked the memory: Oh yes, I've been seeing them coming through here for a while, just never gave it any real notice.  I mean, I am a truck driver from the old days though.  I look at trucks.  The colors, the chrome, the name of the company. I always note things that are wrong with them.  Today? A logging truck with no mud flaps on the tandems.  Violation of FMCSA regulations - they are there to protect the motoring public's vehicles from debris flying up from the tires.  There weren't even brackets for flaps on this truck.

BTW, have you ever seen the signs on the back of these dump trucks that say "stay back 300 feet, not responsible for damage to windshields"?  The hell they aren't.  They are solely responsible for any "unsecured cargo" that is ejected from their trucks, including rocks that they are hauling.  I got on a hauling company's case one time for a truck dumping rocks all over the highway and cracking my windshield.  They thought I was going away, but I made frequent calls and increasing levels of irritableness.  YOUR truck did NOT have a tarp on the load and those rocks were flying out everywhere.  They finally dd replace the windshield.

Anyway, the manager has been avoiding my like the plague.  He rushes on by if I happen to be heading towards his direction.  There is no way he's spending any time in the same room with me, at all.  If I come in, he walks out.  This is a "manager", an insecure, narcissistic, self-aggrandizing small, little man.  My last thing to do there will be to send an email to the regional manager and also include corporate management in it with a forwarded email - the one I sent these 2 individuals - and a statement that I never received any kind of reply form them at all. Note,  it doesn't matter if the reply doesn't agree with my assessments, but can these people see beyond their own pathetic selves and wish me a successful career such as I have them?

I am going to contrast the GM of the region I am in now and the GM of the region I was originally hired into.  WORLDS apart.  My Phoenix GM I will ever hold in respect and admiration.  A man of class and a true professional, yet had compassion for every single worker. He showed concern for the everyday trials and tribulations we went through. He gave generous raises to those that supporter his vision and kept within the parameters of the goals of the company.  Held Christmas parties at his house.  Compared to a GM here that could care less, doesn't check up on anyone,  is part and parcel of the good ole' boys club - so on and so forth. If it burns my brdiges, so beit.  It likely will have no effect. so beit as well.  But I am likely to speak my mind -within some boundaries.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

 So yesterday, I write a professionally worded intent to terminate employment, here is the advance notice you requested email to the manager and his manager, the GM.  I am good at writing letters like that when i want to, learned that in High School learning secretary stuff while learning typing.  Some of it still in my head lol.  I did leave the option for a pay increase offer.  Not getting my hopes up - AT ALL - but still put it in there.  There was nothing accusatory, condemning or any malice in that letter at all. It wasn't even that long, quick and to the point.

So, neither manager responded.  No email back, no phone call, not even a word about it in person.  Instead, this morning, they had a dude in there applying for my position.  What a lame management structure.  I have only a few times in my life worked for such pathetic, sad, sorry people and that was when I was in my mid teens working kitchens in restaurants.  I distinctly remember one of them, she was the GM of this restaurant I was working at, she was a drunk and would get drunk at work. And, she was a total b****.   That's the only real word that comes to mind, sorry.  She intentionally had me replaced a "burnt out" light bulb to see me get electrocuted.  Yes, she was cracking up about it when I got zapped by the current that she already knew about.  Without going into full detail, stuff like that.

These people aren't any different.  Juveniles in adult bodies.  I'm trying to hang in there til Tuesday, but I am finding that to be very difficult.  The only reason to stay, obviously, is a full paycheck next week when it comes into my account.  Just one more day for that.  I could skip next week at work completely for the way they are treating me and not bat an eye.  I have 137 hours of vacation that they will pay out - how long that takes I don't know tho.  It's a couple thousand dollars worth and then some, enough to tide m over for the interim of starting a new job and actually getting a full paycheck.
I'm slated for orientation on Thursday.  Meaning I have to take a bus or something over to Jackson, Mississippi.  They were going to try to find me a ride with a truck coming through, dunno how that may work out.  I would rather ride in a truck than take a Greyhound.  I can't drive my car because the intention is that I will leave there in one of there trucks after a couple days orientation and go straight to work.  Which is fine by me. That's what I want.

Meanwhile, I called the other place. Not as alluring because of the lack of time off.  You are out 3 days and come back, no guarantees on that 3rd day that you actually get to go home, you might be sent straight back out.  Anyway, they were supposed to have me slated for a driver test a week plus ago and she never called me back.  Out of curiosity, I called her.  Well, she says, I was going to call you. I thought, when? but didn't say it.  She said my application says that I don't have a Hazmat or Tanker endorsements.  It's an old application I placed there 2 years ago.  These trucking companies keep your name forever, basically.

So I told her no, that has changed since that app was put in, I have an X endorsement (hazmat and tanker combination), what's next?  Driver test and physical.  Let me get some stuff done and I'll "get back to you".  I mean, I'm getting mixed signals from her.  If she doesn't like me or want me, why not just come out and say so? Or is this just the way she operates?  She seemed to be a very organized person when I was in her office.  The allure of this job is the money. .51 per mile, which in the trucking industry is excellent mileage pay.  The other place is starting me out at .40 cents per mile, which is the top end for new drivers coming into that company. That is the top end for a lot of companies for a new hire, tho some pay more.  You have to prove to them that you will get your work done, ie: get as many loads as they want you to get done in a specific time frame.  you do that, consistently, over a period of time, they'll bump your pay up.

Actually the job I am already slated to going to in Mississippi sounds better because there is no weekend work, there will be nights during the week I can sleep in my own bed and see my doggies and not be out so much.  I can still make decent money there, around $1,250 per week to start.  I never did ask them if they had a pet policy.  I could take my giant Great Dane on a trip here and there.  He is quite at home laying on a bed and sleeping lol.  Btw, that's about 60k per year, which is FAR more money than I'm making now ever since this manager took over and stripped us of our OT.

Changing the subject, do you ever listen to the potential side effects of these drugs that are touted on TV?  I don't know how many of them say "and possibility of heart attack, stroke and death" for drugs that aren't life saving for a life threatening situation. Would you take one of these drugs?  Knowing that you might keel over after taking it? How is it acceptable to have drugs that can kill you?

Just one of many things I ponder in life.  Like, if I had condition, would I take that drug?  I guess it's hard to say what you will allow yourself to get into when you are faced with some dire situation.

Oh well. I was slated to have the lowest paycheck I can possibly get until the manager decided I should take a late run that would have me out a couple extra hours.  How nice of him.  But when I get these paychecks as of late, I just laugh at them.  These aren't paychecks. They're like spiffs.  A bonus.  Like a big tip at a restaurant.  My next paycheck will still suck with only 3 hours of OT on it. Remember, that's a 2 week pay period, not a weekly check.

I do believe on my last day there, I'm going to write a letter to the regional manager - who probably doesn't care either but I'll tag corporate into it as well - and the manager and GM, forward the message I sent to the GM and manager to him and explain to him that I sent this email out of good faith because I was asked previously to give an advanced notice, and instead of a thank you or some kind of reply, I got nothing from either of them.  Why go there? Why not.  This is not the way this company operates anywhere else. This division was mom and pop thing that was a statewide setup with several stores that was bought out the company.

If hindsight were 20/20, I should have left as soon as I found out this new manager was taking over.  If I really want to fault myself, I should have never agreed to a pay cut to come out here working the same job and taking a $6.24 per hour reduction in pay.  Actually, I probably should have never come out here in the first place, but I am not really regretting that decision.  I made new friends, people that actually love me (and even say so) - my friends that own the house - and it's a much nicer environment out here. I miss the mountains, mostly.  No mountains here, none at all.  A few hills here and there but nothing like the Rockies.

Of course, changing the subject again, in all of this, finding an entirely new line of employment goes out the window in sitting behind the wheel of a truck every day for 10 or 11 hours.  \

At least my 401k is growing if nothing else.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

I was actually amazed that it's been a year already since I did the fed loan restructure thing on my house.  I've made a year's worth of on-time payments, but for whatever reason, my mortgage company always lags behind on updating payment information by up to 3 months.  Once it ever updates to showing a full year's worth of on time payments, that should bump up my credit score. I don't know how much, but that's what i was reading some time back about the subject.

I am trying to wait until I get my score up into the good range before looking for a car loan.  My current car is simply falling apart, has a lot of miles on it, I"ve been driving it for 9 years now, I'm tired of it.  I want something - newer.  Not new, but at least 2010 with low miles.  I just don't want to pay anything even remotely akin to "high interest".

With a new job, hopefully I can start saving money again.  I am literally down to almost nothing in both my checking and savings accounts, which is what led me to start looking for a new job in the first place.  I haven't been in this position in a long, long time and it doesn't feel good.  The manager could care less.  He's a total jerk. He knows business, he doesn't know people, how to deal with them and how to treat them.  He should have never been put into that position, a scenario that will likely play out as more people leave the company solely because of his bs.

When I do the exit interview - they call you - I'm going to spell that out.  In fact, I am writing my thoughts down so I don't forget anything.  They will have heard by 3 different people at that point complaints about this manager's behavior and how he treats the employees.  When the other inside salesman quits - providing he does - that will send a resounding message, this manager is a piece of s*** and needs to be dealt with, ie: fired or moved back to his old position.  Not that it will matter to me, I'll be gone, but in this case, that dude has ruined for me a 12 year career that I was attempting to make out of that place, has forced me to find new employment because of his petty, narcissistic and egotistical views on things and now I am losing the ample amounts of vacation time.

Note that OT wasn't removed from anyone else in the region. It was reduced slightly, but they are still getting OT.  I looked at our sales today, pretty lame.  This time of year should be double what's in there near and at least triple that by the time the end of the month gets here.  Writing on the wall, since I've been through this with this company before: enough of that and layoffs.

Well whatever.

Sunday afternoon.
Haven't been to work since Tuesday morning - went and came home. Sick. Been sick the entire time.  I was hoping the flu would run it's course and go away, but it got replaced by other things.  I finally went to the doc yesterday who said I have an upper respiratory tract infection, sore throat, had the flu, had GI tract junk and .... possibly TMI....but jock itch.  Never had that one before so I didn't know what it was, only that everything in that region was quite sore.

I wasn't able to get the prescriptions til this morning, pharmacies close early around here on weekends.  I was, of course, there at opening.  Because right now, I still feel quite bad and if I feel like this again in the morning, it will be yet another day that I don't go to work.  Which might cause issues at work with this manager.  Not that I care what he thinks, but I would rather not hear it.  People get sick, oh well, s*** happens.

The whole thing has put off my new job aspirations at least temporarily.  I can't even think about starting a new job feeling like this. Heck I can't even think about doing my current work like this, but at least I know what I'm doing, if I must go, I can force myself through it.

Well anyway, nothing really new going on.  The part for the dryer came in, popped it on there, fixed in less than 5 minutes.  Dodged another bullet on that one.  Of course, I didn't dodge the bullet on the doctor's visit, hence the reason I hadn't gone.   $108 just to walk through the door of the place and pay that up front.  I didn't have to pay anything else so I guess not that bad and I will get half of that back - eventually, like a month or two down the road.


So, the inside salesman quit on Friday.  Today, showed up to find out they had already transferred a young dude from one of our stores down south to take his position. The position was never offered to any of us, at all. Not to mention this kid doesn't know anything about the software that we use, doesn't know the basics of anything, really.  It was astonishing to see that they had not only filled the position that quickly, but also just passed over all of us for any kind of promotion.

That prompted me to write the manager and the GM a short letter.  Basically, I'm quitting.  Unless I receive and offer of increased compensation, Tuesday of next week will be my last day working here. That was his advanced notice. The inside salesman gave no notice and the other drive didn't, either.  I got no reply back from either of them.  I didn't expect them to offer me money, at all, but I did expect that they would at least have the courtesy to say something.  I hate going to work.  It's a daily thing. Go to work, dread being there.  It's even worse now. In the middle of summer, our sales are slumping when they should be rocketing towards the moon.

The reality is, several contractors despise this manager - decades old bad blood - and refuse to do business with him.  That coupled with the fact that we start at 8:00 - none of our other outlets start that late.  That means, we come to work, contractors want their stuff, we aren't even out of there sometimes as late as noon.  We aren't servicing the customers.  That's it, this is the kind of business where you go out of your way to do whatever it takes to make them happy, and a large portion of that is early deliveries.  I was amazed that this guy was allowed to even get away with starting that late, but, the GM is a gutless wonder. He doesn't have his managers under his control.  He simply lets them do what they want.

So, I was discussing this with the other senior driver today. Good luck! I exclaimed to him, because now they are going to have 2 new drivers that know nothing or very little about this type of work.  they nothing about loading big trucks.  If you stay here, you do understand that this isn't going to get any better?  Remember what happened when the other driver quit? We were still held back at 8 hours.  He hates driving the big truck.  He's 57 years old and tired of all the work entailed with it.  The new guy has no clue.  I'm not leaving to spite him or most anyone else, I'm leaving because of low wages and an ass**** manager whose bizarre, narcissistic and egotistical behavior is insufferable.  Tho if they offered me enough money, I would just ignore his stupidity and do my job.  That would be a far easier thing than going to some company I have no clue about excepting what I can find online, get thrust into a totally new environment and also have no tenure, ie: benefits.

But, now I've freed myself of this current place, I have nothing anchoring me down anywhere.  I'm fine with going to work for this place and if it doesn't work out too well?  Find another one, keep going til I find the pay and home time that will work for me.  Pay being the biggest issue.

Meanwhile, my new Citi card arrived.  It has no credit available since I am transferring it's limit from my Capital One card. It's a zero interest deal for 18 months.  So, that pays down the Capital One card quite a bit, still some on there tho.  This deal was just to get zero interest, not to have more credit available.  It will, however, increase the amount of available credit on my credit report, so my score should go up a few more points. It's slowly creeping up there.  Still a bit off from the good range, but it's actually a light at the end of the tunnel now.

My sickness is almost past now.  That is one of the worst ones I have ever gone through - 6 days laid up in bed.  I can't remember being laid up by a virus that long.  I can remember being bedridden for a long time after getting fully injected with a black widow spider's venom, that was a hellish event as well.  But this thing here was an animal  I got hit with the flu - body aches ALL over, terrible headaches, fever, cold chills.  Then 3 days later I got hit with an upper respiratory infection and a terrible sore throat, meanwhile, the flu symptoms hadn't subsided and in all of that, I had stomach junk going that ended up with - a lot of bathroom visits and then on top of that, I find out I had jock itch, I a thing I have never had so I didn't know what was going on.  The doctor just said - you've had a helluva a week!  Yes and it sucked, totally.  Sometimes you get in the middle of these things and wonder if you're ever going to get better.  Like, am I dying?

I can't say that I'm 100% but dang it's good to be back among the living!

Friday, September 15, 2017

Umm, well what a day!
See, I thought I felt some grumbling downstairs this morning before going to work, but I didn't give it a lot of thought.  I got to work, got in the truck and headed south.  And that's when it started.  I don't want to TMI, so I'll just say that I spent quality time in the woods on the side of the highway dealing with business you would normally do in a bathroom.  Yea, that bad.  Either crank the truck over and get out in the trees or end up with pants filled with.....

I finally got to a place 6 hours later where I could both get some acetaminophen and some Pepto.  That helped - a lot actually. Though the day was 2/3rd's over by then.

Huh.  Didn't stop me tho.  I got off work at 3, as I had asked the manager, and headed the 65 miles over to the job interview  The lady says, well, what are you here for today?  I mean, she knew I was there for a job, but took that question in stride. I'm here for a job, going into current situation - without going into foul management, just pay issues.  I kinda think if you sit around saying your manager sucks, they might think you are the one with the problem and dismiss you.

Well, we didn't really get too far into before she invited me out to meet some of the drivers that happened to be there.  I knew where this was going.  Lol, no problem there, i can talk to other drivers for hours.  And sure enough, we got to talking that she eventually left. But, that was what she wanted.  She told me before we went out there: well, you aren't really going to hear what you need to know in here, let's go talk to the drivers.

She eventually resurfaced and said, ok, let's go back in side. She had a 5 page list of pre-printed questions.  The only thing I disagreed with was team driving. No thanks.  I'm not driving all the time with another person I don't even know.  She said, yea i didn't think so, lol, it's not mandatory.

I left thee with a job offer pursuant to passing a driving test.


That was Tuesday, now Wednesday.  Whatever I had yesterday? Got worse today.  I had half a mind to call in sick today, I should have.  I took a load of concrete pipe out to a job site and started feeling really bad.  I got back to the yard, noticed that the delivery board had been wiped clean of deliveries. Went and asked the boss, can I go home? Doesn't look like anything going on today. I left there, 10:00 am, came home an slept 4 hours.  Body aches all over.  Just a virus of some sort.  But yeah, yucky feeling all over.\

Hopefully I won't get a call to go on the driving test today.  I dunno when she was going to get that set up, I just asked her if it could be after hours or on the weekend so I don't have to figure out an excuse to leave work early.  Today simply wouldn't be a good day. I could do it, but I'd rather be on top of my game for a driving test, considering it will be done by another 30 or 40 plus year driver.  We can get a bit picky on how a person drives, lol.

So that's that.  I also so yet more jobs that looked interesting today, so I applied for those as well. Ideally, it would be a local job. The Kag one is 3 days out, sometimes longer.  They have various length runs and she - the dispatcher - likes to even them out so the drivers get equal amounts of long and short runs.  Which is cool, means you get some good miles in and decent paychecks.  I'm still kinda leaning towards that other job, tho, too.

That's really my focus right  now.  I am taking into consideration that it's kinda hard to be involved in a church in any capacity if I can't even be there consistently on Sundays.  Not that I am involved in this new church yet, I'm just going to services and feeding on the Word for the time being.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Well, today is mom's birthday. I texted her early this morning a Happy Birthday wish, got on her FB wall and did the same.  Then, when I got home from work a little while ago, I definitely called her to give her the birthday wish in voice.  I then went on to post a happy birthday to her on my fb wall as well.

What was strange?  The fact that I was the only one that actually called her today.  Everyone else, including my brothers, had texted her. I understand acquaintances doing it via text or Facebook. I get people that met each on Facebook doing that on Facebook, of course.  But people that you have known all your life?  Or your own family? Seemed rather strange to me.  I guess in this day and age you count your blessings to get it in the form of printed words than nothing at all.

Even my son sent a text.  Does that take the place of an actual phone call from your own family?  Am I off base here? I'm really just asking.

IMO, strange times we are living in. Not just because of this, this is just another factor.

Meanwhile I was stuck behind 3 cars going 60 in a 70 zone for several miles before I decided to pass on the right.  Well, turns out the car in the front was a form of law enforcement, no idea which, just had a small ensignia on the side and......the dude turned on his lights and gave me the siren job.  I figured I was busted and oh well.  Guess he had better things to do. I never passed him, not after he did all of that. I was coming up on him when he did all of that.  I backed off, he turned all of that stuff off and I guess decided to let it go.

Okay, well on to the real deal. I made a legitimate excuse to leave work this afternoon to go for the interview. I was engaged in that this morning.  So I got the approval from the manager and then found out that the lady that is going to do the interview is going to a funeral tonight.  In fact, there right now.  One of the drivers that she has worked with for years passed away and she was going to give her condolences.  Kudos to her on that.  And good thing i called this morning, otherwise, I would have gotten the time off for nothing and then would have really had to figure out how to get to this interview, the next day, tomorrow actually.


Some serious looking at reviews on this company.  Not in the division I am looking at going into, but in the gas industry division.  In fact, the gas hauling industry in general. Not really as good as I thought it might be.  Or is it?  Just depends where you are looking, but I was looking at reviews for the gas haulers on this specific company and I didn't see a lot of good stuff on there.

Is the gas hauling industry what I thought it was?
Perhaps not.  Appears the chemical hauling industry is much more lucrative, but, it's not really local.
What now.  Go in for the interview tomorrow. This is the company's chemical sector, has nothing to do with gasoline.  I've gotten this far with this company, the pay is definitely excellent.  I can't even think about complaining about it.  This particular type of job is available to people that live close to the plant that manufactures all of these chemicals, namely: Eastman Kodak.

Anyway, I'm going to go to that interview tomorrow. If a job is offered, I am now at the 90% chances of taking it, where as before reading all this other stuff I was at 100%.  The reason for the downgrade is simple.  It doesn't appear that transferring to the gas division is a viable alternative in the future.  the near 80k per year pay with this division, is, however, quite compelling.

Anyway, I started feeling bad today, like lung congestion and feeling ill at work. It started shortly before I went to the hour long lunch break junk. Which, today, I was glad to take. Got in my car, drove a quarter mile down the road to my favorite, huge but low-lying tree and slept for 45 minutes. I felt better after that, but not great.

Well, it's almost 9 pm and I decided earlier I was going to go to bed early tonight.

This is likely to get repetitive over other posts I have put up in the last week or so, so probably not worth reading. I just need to get this out of my system, sometimes writing about things helps me do that.

Well, first off the dryer quit working.  Pressing the start button, however, I noticed it didn't move either way. Like,  those push button switches are spring loaded so it should move in and pop back up once you let go.  Figured that problem out pretty quick, the switch is broken. Ordered a new one but still figured out how to turn the machine on without it.  I'm not recommending the tenants here do that, though, if they aren't careful they will electrocute themselves.

When facing such dilemmas, tho, and know you really don't have the finances to go out and buy a new one excepting putting it on credit, that instantly becomes a scary thought. "Hey Ben, the dryer quit working".  Gag, I'm thinking, how much is this going to cost?  I went to work immediately on that and it didn't take long to figure it out.  New switch ordered via the internet, grand total: $17.53 including shipping.  Wipe the sweat off my brow and hope nothing else goes wrong.

Well, we do have a rat problem and I"m sick of it.  One of the tenants is allergic to cats or I would have gotten a couple of them a while ago.  As it stands, I may just go ahead and get a cat for outdoors.  Feed it, give it a cat style home to live in and hope it sticks around - and does it's job.  But at this point, it's time to call in an exterminator.  We've caught probably 15 rats but it's never-ending. They breed quickly and their offspring love the couches and recliner and wherever they can find to nest.  Just before they damage wiring or whatever other damage rats can do, I'm calling in the professionals.  Yup, it's going to cost, yup I"m going to have to put it on a a credit card, but this is one of those things you just can't let ride forever.

Which brings me back to my job search. Tomorrow, a job interview at a place that I have now determined I really want to work at. On the road a lot? Yes.  Money? Yes.  Pay off bills? Yes.  The training is $21.00 per hour.  Far greater than anything I have ever seen anywhere else.  Common is $500 per week of training, which is ridiculous and unrealistic, but, if it's a good company otherwise, you eat it and deal with it. Not so here.  I dunno, but I have a lot of vacation hours that will help me float through several weeks of paylessness.  Depending on how long that takes to get paid out.

Whatever. If I get that job, I have no qualms paying with credit cards until I get some serious finances in. I hope not, but it's a possibility I am willing to deal with - and then pay all that junk back down.

Well, it's Sunday night.  A wonderful day of the same ole s*** tomorrow at work. Actually, it should be drive a vehicle to Monroe to get the semi, which should be fixed.  Unless they do, for some reason, send someone else.  I dunno, but if they send me, that eats up half the day.  I plaster a fake smile on my face at work and act all upbeat.  It's all acting on my part.  I'll not give them a reason to get rid of me, if such were the case, for "bad attitude". I keep much of my thoughts to myself. I have determined, however, that if necessary, I will take option two to go work for and though it's a "lessor" job in many ways, it's plenty more money than what I'm making now.  Just no real room for advancement.  I have always wanted to do tanker jobs and the second job is not a tanker job.

Posting this and on to a new one.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

My situation:
I have a solid job offer of about $500 per week more than I am currently making. This job entails hauling paper rolls from Grenada, Mississippi to Lufkin, Texas.  It's a small, family owned company.  I can get home a couple of times per week from what I'm looking at on a map and intended time it takes to do a round trip.  It's 40 cents per mile, expected about 3,000 miles per week.  There is no guarantee of pay raise, but it's still a lot more than I'm currently making. I believe they said they don't do weekend work.

So, I'm home fairly often. Which is a good thing, but I don't get ahead on bills that fast.

The second job I am almost sure to take if it is offered to me.  I have passed the corporate headquarters background checks - which is a significant portion of getting hired on at any trucking company.  I was calling them when they called me yesterday, actually. I hadn't heard from them and I wanted to see where the process was. It was really strange that the urge hit me to call them and they were, in fact, calling me at that very point.  I don't necessarily call that a "sign", lol.  But who knows.

Anyway, this job pays .51 cents per mile, around 3,000 miles per week, work your way up to .56 per mile over time.  You don't really get much better pay as a company driver than that.  Especially considering you are pretty much looking at stable, constant work.  This is hauling nasty, dreadful chemicals that are used in products you use on a daily basis, but get exposed to them? You're pretty much instantly dead.  I've had a driving career devoid of any serious accidents and none of them my fault.  In such accidents and if I had been hauling a tanker, the tanker would never have been in danger of rupturing.

The con to this job is 3 days out at a time.  And when you get back, you get a day off - maybe- but if they have something urgent that needs to go out, you're back to back runs.  She named off many of the places the run to.  Some of them definitely a ways off, even up to Canada if you have a passport - yes I have a passport and yes I would gladly take one of those runs! - others as close as Houston, which is a day trip there and back, offloading the chemical included.

The chemicals are loaded onto the truck at Eastman - Kodak in Longview, Texas.  about 30 miles from here.  Loaded drive down, empty drive back, paid the same both ways.  The plus side to this job is the money, obviously.  At 3,000 miles per week, that's almost 80 grand per year.  Realistically probably in the low 70's.  Which is quite fine by me.  This pays off my credit card debt in short order.  6 to 8 months I could have most cards paid to zero balance.  I could get 5k back in my savings account and a could k back in my savings account, just as it was before this manager came along and decided to do away with my OT.  Oh, and I don't load or unload chemicals. That is all done by the plants you are delivering to. They have their own teams of people doing that. No objections.  Some of these chemicals are serious stuff.

I could see myself doing a job like this for a  year, maybe two and then asking for a transfer to the gas delivery division where I would just be doing local work.  Yes, I'd get sick of being on the road, but no, I wouldn't get sick of the money, the goal of getting out of debt or the idea of getting a newer vehicle and paying cash for it, or putting a hefty down payment on one and having low monthly payments.  The appeal to this job is that there is a way out: transfer out of it to a different division. Even if not, tanker experience will land me a job at a gas hauling company and home nightly scenario.

Any way about it, I'm going to have to make some sacrifices to get out of this s-hole I am working at now.  I'm beyond tired of it, I'm very much beyond these pathetic paychecks.  The other experienced driver is also looking for a new job and others in the organization are also looking to get out of there.
The only ones that are probably not looking to get out of there are the salesmen. They are making too much money to walk away from it.  How this manager gets away with the behavior he does without anyone of "importance" turning him in?  They want their jobs.  They don't care about this dude because the money over rules any objections.  You have to get to the more blue collar positions or semi white collar to get anywhere.

Anyway, I have an interview on Monday with this company I want to drive for.  I spoke with the lady on the phone for about 30 minutes.  Seemed like a good conversation, trying to make a good first impression.  I'm going to leave work early and get the 60 mile drive over there - my work is much farther away from there than where I live, and hope that I get the job. If not, I"m taking off on Wednesday for Mississippi for orientation, if not this coming week definitely the next.  The only factor that would change my mind is if another company finally called me that I have applied at offering a more appealing work schedule - meaning home more often.

I've pretty much come to accept that the way out of where I"m at is to spend some time on the road.  Driving a late model Peterbilt and sleeping in it will be ok.  I'll get used to that lifestyle again, I probably won't like it much, but I have to make a move and I'm getting too old to wait too much longer.  I want a good chunk of change in my 401k by the time I retire and that sure ain't happening where I"m at now.

And, along the lines of paying down credit card debit, I just applied for yet another credit card a little while ago. It was instantly approved and I went ahead and made an immediate request to transfer the credit line limit that they are giving me from my Capital One card to that one.  That was also approved. It's interest free for 18 months. That is the appeal.  Every dime I pay goes straight to principle.  It was only a $35 fee to do that so definitely worth it.  It will bring my monthly payment down on my Capital One card as well.  Credit Karma has actually helped me quite a bit in this endeavor.  The cards that they said I have a "good" approval chance for, I've been approved for.  This will also cause my credit score to go up yet again. It will take a hit at first and then it will go up because my percentage of credit usage will go down.

But, the late mortgage payments from before I did a refinance on my home loan are going to take a while to fall off and that is what is really affecting my credit score.

Fingerhut, however, is messing with my credit score and I am going to ask them to stop giving me "temporary" credit line increases. It helps my score initially, but then they take it away and that hits it.  I don't want their temporary increase. They are just trying to lure me to spend thousands of dollars with them and that isn't happening - ever. Not with Fingerhut. It helped me get my score out of the hole but now? I'm ready to dump them if they won't stop this temp crap.  I've had a balance with them in the past upwards of $800 bucks, it's down to $100 right now and I have no plans of buying anything from them.

Anyway, it's Saturday. I got my butt out of here, went over to Lowe's, got some small engine carb cleaner, some fresh 40:1 2 stroke gas, some weedeater line.  Pull the weedeater out of storage, sprayed the cleaner into the carb, let it sit in there a while, turned it up side down.  Drained the old fuel out of the tank over the fire pit then put fresh fuel in it, fired right up after the second try.  Got the front done - which was over running the curbs with grass.  I was very glad it fired up and worked.  I don't have to buy another weedeater.  I do need a blower, for I am tired of the trees endless dropping on to the ground and having to sweep it up. Other than good exercise, it's a waste of my time.  A bower would get the job done in a fraction of the time spent.

Anyway, I'm going to get out there and rake the yard - once again.  Sweep the concrete - maybe but probably tomorrow.

There are other things going on, but I don't feel like writing anymore right now.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

I slept like crap last night. Woke up around 3 am and was never able to get back to sleep. Which made for a very long day at work today.  The only thing that really saved me is that I had a very long drive in the semi, of which I was thankful for.  The jobsite -in  a very small town you have never heard of out in the of the sticks - is this giant plant they are building to process stripped trees into particle board.  They are spending millions and millions of dollars on this place. Where are they going to get the help to run this place?  Apparently a lot of automation, but I'm telling you, if that town even has a 3,000 population I would be surprised.

I was there and hour and a half. So, by the time I got back to the yard, it was time to go home.  In fact, the manager had already sent the other drivers home and it was 4:30.  This is the state of affairs there and it's not going to change, at least not with this dude managing the place.  I was thinking about this all day long today on the verge of potentially starting over somewhere else. I will  miss the idea of having 200 vacation hours.  That's a tough one to swallow.

Anyway, they called today, wanting me to take a drug test.  They had to get a list of places from some company since they aren't locally based here.  Be kinda strange driving for a company in a "lane" that will never have me seeing any management.  I didn't say it would be bad, just different lol.  Well, they wanted me to us a urgent care place in town where I live, which I said fine.  However, when I got there, the place was filled with people in the waiting room.  I decided to go ahead and wait and get this over with.

So, I give them all the info they want. I'm there an hour waiting, I was so tired I nodded out in the chair.  I finally got called to a side window behind a closed door and am told that they don't do drug tests after 4:30.  Well, why didn't you tell me that when I came to the window? I've been here waiting for an hour.  I was trying to find the chain of command so I could switch it to me, but I can't find the chain of command. Fancy that, they can't even find the information that they input into their system.  I wasn't real happy, mostly because they had held me there that long for nothing. Well, sir, you can come back before 4:30 tomorrow.  No, ma'am, I'm at work, thanks.  And walked out.

Came home, wrote the dude at the company an email of what happened, leave it up to them to fix this.

The other thing that was put on me today was this idea of the home owner's friends moving a travel trailer over here and living here in that thing.  I dunno, I said to her, I'll have to ask everyone here what they think. Well, they don't care, come to find out, in face,the lady finds it an exceptional opportunity to cook for ever more people.  Okay, well, then she, my friend that owns the house, wanted me to name the price.  Huh?  Okaaaaaay.  Well, what's lot rent going in this area plus utilities?  We discussed this for quite a while and finally came up with a figure.  I said, but if you want to go lower, I have no problem with it.

Nope, she says, you are running the house, you are dealing with the bills and everything there. So, she texts them with my offer and the lady said sounds great.  But have to discuss it with the dude when she got home from work.  Well, I know these people.  I dunno what they would be like to live with but they are pretty cool to party with lol.

Enough. I'm bone tired. Going to bed 2 hours early tonight. If I wake up at 3 again, at least I'll have some sleep to bank on.

Welp, the last few days of work.  I have a coworker with which we really get along. Actually, we're pretty much going at it a lot, but a...