Thursday, September 28, 2017

I know I just put up a post, but it really didn't get this all out of my system.
I am working through this entire situation in my mind.
How did I get to this point? Why did I agree to travel clear to
Mississippi for a job?  What is going to happen now?  Will I ever get home now?

Some of the numerous thoughts flooding my brain at this time. 
This place is just another trucking company.  Or is it? They certainly
take a personal interest in the drivers.  They have a vision and a goal.
They are at around 100 drivers right now, they claim they will double that
by this time next year.  Considering the rapid growth they have been making
up til now, I don't doubt them.  But, uhh, what is my part in all of this? I just
want to make a decent living and yes, get home.  Not 3 weeks, not 2 weeks.
Not even weekly. I want home more often than that.  This I made very, very
clear at the beginning of this. 

So I am hearing all this stuff and I have no idea what to think of all of it. 
What I will find out tomorrow is, where my first load takes me. Cause yeah, that's
where this is going. Get in a truck, get a load, drive.  Cept' there are loaded trailers
in the parking lot and they have the paper rolls that I was allegedly hired to haul
in them. In fact, the trailer I pulled today was filled with them. 

I'm just so - perplexed right now.  Not confused, perplexed.  I know why I came out here,
I know what the circumstances were that led me to quit, which will be reaffirmed tonight
when that pathetic paycheck comes through, I just am having a seriously hard time
digesting my decision.  I hated that place, but all because of one man.  Yet, that one man
has turned that place into a very undesirable place to work.  For everyone there. 

Of course he wasn't man enough to say goodbye.  Or anything at all.  I don't consider him a
man in the sense of a person that is mature, has some amount of wisdom, exercises some
restraints on their actions, gives thought to what they are going to say before they say anything.
He acts much like an impudent child. He has no empathy, no amount of concern for his fellow human being.  I much consider him like a dictator with the god-syndrome. 

And now, the other driver that quit a few months ago says the GM called him.  Why? But my thoughts went to: of course.  He's getting pressure from corporate. Why are all these people leaving? You may be able to dismiss one of them as a bad egg, but 3? And are there more considering quitting?  Well, they'll find out eventually, lol.

Yes, I would go back to that place - sans that manager.  No way will I consider going back under his management unless the price was right.  I'm not even saying they would call me back, but I did leave the option open.  Hey, I'll come back for the right money, if you ever decide to make me an offer, feel free to call me.

Whatever.  I"m bone dead tired.  I hope I sleep something tonight, cause tomorrow not only finish orientation, but pick up a load wherever and head out on the open road. 

Oh, the road test.  Lol.  The Safety officer - well, he was asking me questions to fill out on his form for the driving test.  I mean, he was totally kicked back in the truck, making small talk. If he was paying much of any attention to what I was doing, he certainly didn't act like it. But then again, perhaps he was just testing me to see if I can rub my belly and my head at the same time, ie: be completely comfortable behind the wheel and focusing as much thought on the conversation. I'm guessing that was it, but, who knows. 

I mean, the test was like, not even existent.  I had to keep asking him where to go next cause I want to know before I get to a stop sign or red light. Not that that bothered me, I just thought, well, with this dude all kicked back like this and barely even looking at the road, I'm pretty sure I'm passing this test. 

Alright. It's bedtime. Not really, it's over 9 hours til I have to get out of bed.  But I'm zoned out on all this thinking and lack of sleep and stress.  I am stressing, I will definitely admit that.  Paychecks solve my financial problems. Staying out on the road for seemingly endless spans of time isn't acceptable in order to accomplish that.  Weekends are off, yes.  But where will I be spending them? That is the question. 

An entire spent in orientation today. 
As I said yesterday, whatever reservations I may have had? I'm here now.
I need the job, I need the money, I can work on finding something else if it comes to that.
But, the safety Director is also a Christian so we hit it right off.  But, the first half of the day was spent with the recruiter going over policy and how to do paperwork and such. Which was fine, but I was tired.

I woke up in the middle of the night last night and my head was full of thoughts.  Mostly, what the heck have I done? Til I remembered what my paycheck is going to look like when they direct deposit it tonight at midnight.  It will be - nothing from my perspective.  They want you to do at least 3,000 miles per week, which at the pay I am at equals to about $550 more per week then I am making now. 

We got through with all of that and then came time for road tests. I didn't want to do it first. I figured it would take a while and I could take a nap.  There were only 3 of us there for this orientation.  The road test - by the time you get done with the pre trip and the paperwork and the actual driving test - takes an hour.  At least.  I disappeared after the first one and fell asleep on a bench outside. Then I realized I have access to a brand new pickup truck they rented for me, so I mozied on over there, turned it on, cranked the AC, and took a nice nap.

I felt much better after that.  I am hopeful these bouts of sleepless nights will diminish with a change of jobs and getting away from an abusive manager.  But there is still the shell shock of leaving a company I have been with for 12 years hitting me. I expected some of it, I didn't expect it as much as it has hit me. This too shall pass.

I guess the thing that really got to me was all this talk about "we run in 16 states".  That's nice, I most emphatically did not agree to be running to North Caroline or Ohio or Pennsylvania.  Sent me out west, that's what I agreed to, that's what we discussed.  This is a "wait and see" thing.  As it stood, they wanted a volunteer to drive to Bowling Green, Kentucky to pick up a stranded driver.  I gave that little thought.  Well, if I do that, they'll think I'm good to go for anywhere, screw that. 

Look, I wouldn't mind an occasional trip to the east and especially to Pennsylvania, that's where I was born and raised for the first 10 years of my life.  But all the time, no thanks.  Get me west, I'll come back east to pick up, get me back west again.  My road test was, in fact, done with a loaded trailer with the paper rolls in it. And my goodness they are heavy.  That truck was 79,000 and change pounds.  They are going to open up a terminal in Dallas soon. They keep pointing at me because I am from Texas. Yeah? That is 150 miles from me lol.  Not like it's a trip to and from work on a daily basis. Still, I would much rather be based out of that terminal than a terminal so much further east of me. 

The even more bad news today was the giant letters on a printed piece of paper. I was handed a stack of papers and read through all of it.  We have a no rider policy, which includes pets! Yes, the exclamation point included.  I was like, well damn.  If I could bring my Dane with me on a trip here and there, that might make make it a little better, providing he can handled the traveling.  Like, not every trip, but he's going to miss me as much as I miss him.  He lays around more than he does anything, sleeping in a truck really shouldn't be a problem with enough exercise on the 10 hour off times. 

But when we actually got to that sheet during the orientation, the recruiter said, well, that policy has changed.  A rider as long as they are registered with us first, a pet with a $150 deposit.  Okay!  I'd try it once to see if he could deal with it.  I don't care anything about human riders, who wants to do that? My son is grown, no kids to take or a wife.  No-one in the house would want to and even if they did, I wouldn't want them going with me.  It is a very intricate, delicate thing to think about taking a person with you that is not related to you. You are stuck in this little box, 24 hours a day.  If that person is unclean, smells bad, doesn't take showers, has annoying habits or characteristics? Screw that.  A dog, totally different story. Some dogs are cool with travel, some hate it. 

Okay, I'm the guy from Marshall. That's what I'm being called. They don't have people from all over the place currently.  So it is an oddity I guess. The allure was driving through my town frequently, getting to stop frequently for my breaks.  They did say finally, after the day was near done, that I was a different situation and would be heading west "a lot".

Ideally, I will eventually find a local job that pays well and can go home.  Weekends are off at this company, but if they aren't off at my house, that isn't going to work.  This is a wait and see, see how they are going to work this out type of thing.  If they really do my right, I will stay. The earnings potential is good enough.  A young lady driver was stuck there for a while today preaching the virtues of just staying out the entire week and getting your home time on the weekend.  Yes, ma'am, well you haven't been doing this that long. Wait til you have 20, 30 years under your belt and come back and talk to me about home time not mattering. 

So, I'm finally in Jackson, Mississippi.
Got here and got a sick feeling in my gut.
What am I doing?  Why did I quit my job?
I'm so far from home right now.....

Had to seriously revisit all the reasons I quit my job, the biggest
and most pressing one being paycheck to paycheck living.  But it
crossed my mind, after getting here, that at least with that other
company I was looking into, I might be out 3 days but I am always coming
back home because that's where the plant is to reload. They don't reload
those trailers anywhere else in the US.  It's like, guaranteed come home time.

Then, when I started discussing the situation with the recruiter, he changed the
other guy's tune.  Well we will get you through there mostly.  Mostly? Where the
hell else am I to be driving?  All over the US? Really, really don't want OTR, didn't
sign up for it, if that's where this is going, they can stick it in their rears. 

Now wait just a second, I have the email from the owner of this company, I do believe,
going to go look it up. Ugh, no, it was a phone conversation with him now that I think
about it, the rest of my communications have been with the recruiter.  But even the job
parameters were set up in the Indeed ad for drivers out of my area for dedicated run.

But, that job listing has expired and the details of it have disappeared hahaha.
Well whatever, I'm not going to stress too much, it's more of this thing that I quit an almost
12 year job.  I distinctly remember the CEO of this company saying I live in a good area, I can
get home most nights. He didn't guarantee every night, true, but the idea was that this was a
dedicated run. I am not sure where this is going, I will ask a lot more questions tomorrow.  I don't mind just getting right back on a bus and heading home, to be honest.

I take that back, not good on your resume too much time in between jobs.  I'm kinda stuck here.  For now.

Interesting day. Up early - 4:00, jolted out of deep sleep by the ridiculous phone alarm - annoying as all get out but that's the inten...