Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Tuesday

My new manager brought in the washer and dryer set today. It looks great - albeit the fact the set is 10 years old. I did not install them, I just got them on the property and will be thinking about doing that tomorrow. Can't go wrong for the pair at $50 - can't unless, of course, the units fail in 2 weeks. Lol, I didn't ask but he wants me to use them for a month and if they are still working then, give him the $50.
Okay.

I can't count the number of times I was cut off in traffic today in the semi. I had a heavy load on so I was easing back on any speed factors. I'm in your way, so go ahead, fly around me, cut directly in front of my truck and then slam on your brakes to make that right turn that you just saved a billionth of a second in executing by executing your outrageous reaction.

I took that heavy load right into the Driver's License division place today - right into the CDL test track. No testing was going on. In fact, I have NEVER seen any testing going on there. I wanted to find out how long I have to renew my license and also to pick up a CDL manual to study for the test. I could pass the test without it, but - I'm just one of those people, study, study, study and then go in and do the test. I figure sometime next week. Get it out of the way before the end of month - JUST in case, I DON'T pass it.

However, the test isn't that hard and the questions are all basically answered through the manual. Too bad the State of Arizona, at least according to the lady behind the counter, is out of the manuals. When she said they didn't have any, I asked where the nearest location is that does have one. "There ARE no more manuals, we have them ordered but right now, the best you can do is print it off the internet".

I stood there in silence, looking at her. Huh? There are NO locations that have this manual anywhere? In my mind, I thought: Who is the genious that lets ALL of their stock of these rather necessary manuals to run out completely? As if she were reading my mind, she says: I've ordered more but for right now, you'll have to go through this, handing me a piece of paper with instructions on how to find the manual online.

I looked around the room. This room was for nothing but CDL stuff, no regular licensing in here. I saw the faces of future truck drivers and wondered if they had any clue what they were getting themselves into. I watched a guy getting exasperated because he had failed the written test. How do you fail the written test? It's 100 questions. If you study the manual and memorize most of it, you will pass the test.

I didn't feel bad for him - he either came unprepared or he doesn't have a clue. At his age, starting out on a "career" like this one (he looked to be in his 40's) and not even being able to pass the written portion of the test - which is definitely the easiest portion of the test - he probably doesn't belong on the road.

I finished the conversation with the lady behind the window - she was all for me taking the test today, no way I could do it. I was on my way to a jobsite, the only reason I picked today to stop was I really had NO idea when my license was going to suddenly expire (it was good until I turn age 65 on my birthday, now they changed the rule to have to have it renewed every 5 years) and needed the peace-of-mind of that particular date. Some serious backing skills were used just to get OUT of the place they have trucks park. I guess they don't expect drivers to pull in with loaded trucks on a fishing expedition.

The jobsite was a joke. These people make me wait a minimum of 1 hour to get unloaded. Today started to piss me off. The dude above dudes was waiting for my arrival - he needed a fitting. He took it an left. Another guy showed up for another fitting - he took 3 of those and left, but not before I asked him about getting the truck unloaded. He said he would take care of it.

Been there, done that, I've talked to 2 people about getting the truck unloaded now, let's wait and see. I don't see, actually. I close my eyes and go to sleep. I have no reason to sit there for 45 minutes doing nothing, I would rather just take a nap. I REALLY fell asleep - about 30 minutes worth, no-one had showed up. I get out of the truck, go to the office and the 3rd person I talk to about getting it unloaded - I'm now over an hour at this site - is surprised to see me still here.

Yes, well this isn't the first time he's seen me walking in after he's allegedly told someone to come unload the truck. He assures me that someone will come to unload the thing. The dude above dudes shows up - this is now 75 minutes later. He says we have to take the pipe to another location, that they really don't want to unload the pipe here.

Now, this is where I'm starting to get a bit peeved. He KNEW I would unstrap the load there, I told him that was what I was doing, now an hour and 15 minutes later he's telling me to put " a couple of straps on it we have to take it down the road a bit".

I informed the man that I will have to fully restrap the load - the pipe is too heavy and I can't drive it on the street like that. You wanna know what would happen if I got into an accident with understrapped load? Even if the accident weren't my fault? Even if the load didn't come off? BIG trouble. I told him he could come back in 20 minutes cause' that's how long it's going to take. He didn't say anything, I just started the strapping process. I'm not losing my career - or killing someone - because he's suddenly in a hurry.

We get out on the road - another of this company's foremen sees me - coming from the other direction on the street - pulls over and then pulls in front of me - totally cuts me off. Okay, dude, where ARE we going with all of this? I am REALLY starting to get annoyed with all of this now, but I'm keeping a lid on it. This guy that cuts me off? We get to a stop sign, he signals for me to stop. The signal is putting your hand out the window, clench your fist and open it and clench it again. WHY does he want me to stop in the middle of the street? There are 10 cars behind me.

He gets out, races to the barricades and starts removing them. I have not positioned the truck to turn into THAT mess. It's a right hand turn - there are barricades on every corner. I end up going into opposing traffic lanes, all 4 corners are stopped waiting - they have no clue what I'm doing. I'm heading northwest to make a turn going east. Lol. I swung the truck around the entire intersection and then heading back east to make the turn. I went slow - never know if one of those car drivers are going to think I'm doing something that I'm not.

This delivery seemed endless. The loader operater dropped an entire lift of pipe onto the ground. He also dropped a stick of ductile iron pipe. He was lucky the street had been torn up and it was now dirt - if it had been asphalt, most of that pipe would have been destroyed due to the hard surface and shattering effect.

FINALLY this delivery is over and I am making poste-haste for the yard. I have to get back, get into the pickup and drive home with the washer-dryer set. Off the clock, of course, but I'm already 3 hours over and only 2 days into the pay period. I would be 4 hours over if I had gotten my breaks yesterday and today. I suppose you could call my snooze at the contractor's yard a break, so I'll call it half an hour from yesterday - I was moving all day long.

My life really doesn't have a lot of changes. I have financial emergencies seemingly frequently. I get out, but not a lot. I've been thinking about a change for a while now. I dunno what, but life needs to take a new direction with new challenges.

Well, it's almost time to go to bed.

G'nite.
ben

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