Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Today was hellish for me.
For some reason, I could not sleep last night.  I went to bed at 9 pm, woke up at midnight and that was it for sleep for me.  I did every trick I know to get back to sleep - I was getting up at 3am to get to a delivery appointment in Oklahoma City by 9am.  No dice.  I fell back asleep right near the end, fell into a deep sleep at that, which is when one of my tenants came and knocked on the door - time to get up!
I had told him I needed to leave at 3 am.  It was 2:40 am, he thought I mean be AT the truckstop by 3. Doesn't matter, 20 minutes wasn't going to change anything.  But I felt like HELL on feet.  My head was banging and I was exhausted.  I didn't have time to take a shower or anything. I spend a couple of minutes with Adler - he hates when I leave - and got my stuff going and got out of there.

But this was bad the way I was feeling.  Like no way I am going to driving anything anywhere in this condition.  So, my tenant left - very nice of him to take me, btw, in the middle of the night, I didn't complain to him at all lol - I got in the truck and yes, I crawled in the sleeper. I didn't care if I made the appointment late.  The dispatcher is giving me these deliveries to unload after a weekend at a time schedule I don't want to keep. I don't want to get up at 3 am, or last Sunday, 2 am or the Sunday before that, 12am! to be at a delivery by an appointed time. If it has to be there that early, give it to someone that lives over there.  

I laid in that sleeper for 2 hours and still felt like crap when I forced myself up and got behind the steering wheel.  I was really just wanting daylight. When I am that tired, the only thing that really helps enough to keep me awake is sunlight.  Whatever.  I got to the drop place in Oklahoma City 2-1/2 hours late and I simply didn't care.  The truck has all kinds of issues, I'm not a freaking robot, I'm going to get my sleep and still, I will get up early, but not THAT early. Screw this stuff.  I felt bad most of the day. I had to stop twice on the way to Ok City and take short naps.  That's how bad it was. If they don't like my performance, so beit.  It's no sweat off my back, I am back to fully looking for another job.

And btw. That job I applied for right after I got on with this company? Called me today.  I was too grumpy and too tired and too exhausted to take anyone's calls, I let it go through to voicemail. But, this guy left a message: Hi ben, this is so and so from Saia and I am looking to set up an interview with your for the job you applied for. Heck ya! And no, I didn't call him back today. I want to be on point for any communications with any potential company, today was the Monday from hell, I just wasn't going to risk a potential job offer because my mind is sluggish and not thinking crisply.

I freely admit that this OTR junk is not for me.  But, this wasn't supposed to be an OTR gig, they just didn't tell the truth and that is that.  Here is the recruiter's reply to my email over the weekend, well part of his reply anyway: "Hey Ben, I had an emergence issue on Friday which required me to be admitted in the hospital.  Ben I’m sorry for any confusion on the home time! We try to get everyone home for weekend and any truck issue’s you have it’s to be reported to Jay or Marcus." 

At this point, I  apologize for the cussing in advance.  Confusion my ass.   His statement to me was, "We'll make our best effort to get you home frequently" after bringing up the conversation I had had with the owner of the company, because I would have just continued looking for a new job.  This guy is full of shit.  I'm not going to stay with this company, I am at least 90% convinced of that.  Between this bs and the issues of the truck.  \
Heck, I didn't even get to the issues with the truck yet.  The freaking thing started leaking two fold more air pressure out the bottom of the air bags than what it was doing on Friday.  I'm in OK city, responding to emails from the director of the maintenance department - who had been forwarded my email to the recruiter.  This thing, if inspected, would get this truck put out of service, I would be issued a ticket and have to pay a fine, was my response to him and my response over the weekend to all of them.  This guy was, please get the truck back to the shop ASAP so we can fix it.

What the HELL kind of trucking company wants their trucks driving down the road with air dumping out of the system at a rate that that truck's air compressor is having a hard time keeping up with it? To save them money my ASS.  No reputable company does that.  They find the nearest service place and you go there, they pay them and it's done, over with.

So whatever.  If Saia wants me, they'll have me. It's a very decent hourly wage to start an
 home every night and NO weekend work. If not, the other place definitely wants me. It's100k per year but it's a life on the road.  The drivers, though, are quite happy there and that is a big plus.  They say it isn't living on the road all the time, I understand that all the trucks have to come back there after every trip, but still, you are on the road quite a bit.  I could, tho, invest in a lot of mind stimulating stuff for the road if I got a job like that. Well, I could and would do that now with this job but I don't feel like I'm going to be spending too much time with this company.
I'm already making waves. I make no apologies.  If something isn't right, speak up about it. Don't sit in silence and expect the world is going to see what is going on with you.  They won't, and the company won't. As I said when I got hired on here, I'm not married to this company.  This is, in reality, regional work.  It's actually OTR with home on the weekends.  I don't give a shit about this place now, they have fully reneged on their statements, they don't care about operating equipment that is - dangerous in some respects to use, tho I am keeping my eyes on the air gauges now the entire time I am driving - and they figure you are what?  Nothing. This is the way trucking companies operate.  Much of nothing changes. The place in Longview, from what I have witnessed in their operations with other drivers, is a class act. Well it should be if the stuff you are hauling can take out a city block in an explosion!

Okay, I am admittedly doing nothing to help me get to sleepy mode. But it's only 8:45 and I need not get up until 5:30 am.  Really, if i was to do this forever? yes, I want a truck that has Direct TV and a flat screen tv mounted into it.  I want a double bunker so I can at least try taking my dog with me once.

That was yesterday. Today, I got up, got a cup of coffee at the truckstop I was at, got in the truck and drove for 6-1/2 hours without stopping. I got the truck unloaded at 2 stops, the first one was unbelievable.  This was a newspaper in downtown Jackson, MS - on a 2 lane street with a loading dock inside the building.  I got her in there, but the leaking air bags - leaking from over-pressurization because the levelor was faulty - was making life difficult.  Anyway, I went STRAIGHT to the yard after that.  Dropped the trailer in the yard, and pulled that tractor right on up to the shop.  Sat there for several minutes doing paperwork - every stop = paperwork. Not that much, but I wanted to record everything I was doing at that particular point, so I was inputting stuff on several fronts. 
Anyway, this dude that wanted me to drive over 600 miles with air literally dumping out came up and asked me to turn the truck off. I almost gave him a piece of my mind, but I was already hopping out of the truck anyway, paperwork done, I wanted to go find him and have a discussion.  Instead, he completely disappeared.  He gave me a look and left for the day. 

Well, they had already ordered all the parts to fix the thing, which I didn't know until I got into a discussion with the other mechanics there, apparently they took my word for what was wrong with it and there ya go.  But, they had problems, of course.  The leveler valve they ordered was not a Mack OEM part, they had a Chinese built POS delivered instead.  That was the culprit that ate up the rest of my driving hours for the day.  Hours and hours, 5 hours for that s***. 

I spent several hours in the office of the recruiter.  He's a nice guy, but he obviously has no qualms telling people whatever to get them into the company.  The owner of the company, tho, I would have thought maybe different story.  I told him all of my complaints - but nicely.  He isn't going to do anything and I just gave up on it.  Between the lies of the home time and this s*** with the mechanics of the truck, that is enough for me already.  I called Saia back today, but the guy was busy.  The other place I will call tomorrow.

Meanwhile, instead of "home most night", I'm "home" in Jackson, MS tonight in the sleeper (with my laptop, at least, tethered to my Iphone) and tomorrow night, I will be somewhere well on the way back up to Ohio.  They have runs galore going to Lufkin, but that doesn't work for them, I guess.  My lifelong problem - seriously - is that I just give my all to anything I"m doing and I have been taken advantage of in the past for that trait.  On numerous occasions in various venues.  In this case, it's not like I"m doing it for free, I"m getting miles and money - excepting for losing half a day to a broken, old, pile of junk truck. 

I don't even know what to think now.  Just, what? How did I end up in this nonsense? Home most nights my @$$. Home whatever nights they want me home, which is the weekends and that's that. 

See? My thinking is, beyond all this mechanical stuff and running quite unsafely, I won't do it again - is if I'm going to be out on the road all the time, why not go with that other company that will get me a minimum 20 to 30 grand more in my pocket at the end of each year?  I can't work forever, shouldn't I just take advantage of the best paying job that comes along?  My retirement is far from being anywhere even remotely near enough to retire on. 

Whatever.  After talking with the recruiter - the peeves I have with the company went on for a while, but we ended talking about things like Jason Bourne - a movie series he had never heard of yet he loves those kinds of movies - and other things.  I then ended up talking to the Safety Officer.  Not by choice, I wasn't seeking him out.  If they want to run this company like that - running with huge air leaks that is - that is their choice.  I showed him a video of the air leaking out. Yup, I took one today, which supersedes the one I posted on Facebook, the air is just gushing out of the bottom of an airbag.  He was like, well if I had known about it, I would have had the thing fixed right then and there.  Tell your mechanic that is running your truck repair division about it then. He was shocked that the guy wanted me to drive the thing all the way back in.

Well, he must have had a good reason for it. I'm thinking, what reason? I said: I have never heard of a trucking company in recent times that wants their machinery driven in that condition.  No, he said, I definitely would have said to get it fixed.  Well then, what the hell reason could there be for wanting the damned thing driven that far back into town? To save money, that's all it is. To show the presence of an in house shop is warranted.  To preserve their jobs.  Nothing more than that.  I flatly told him  I wouldn't do it again. If that truck has a problem that needs fixed, I will park it, call y'all and if you don't fix it, that truck is going to sit there. Thanks.  I don't give two s**** what happens to my job there at this point.  I could care less - other than it wouldn't look good on my employment record - if I even got fired. 

That's it for now. Just thinking about that other job hauling that chemical all over the nation.  It doesn't have any weekends guaranteed home.  It's just 3 days on 1 off, but the 1 off may also be done away with if they have a load that needs to be hauled somewhere. In other words, come back, get the tanker refilled and head off somewhere. 

Decatur, Alabama. Got there last night - decided I didn't have enough hours to offload - about an hour and 15 minutes on the clock, tak...