Thursday, November 30, 2017

So, I got stuck in another ex-smoker's truck.  Unbelievable.  I mean, this is worse than the last truck.  The bed mattress is filthy and it has cigarette burns in it! Lots of them.  This rental company didn't bother to clean the thing out, they just turned it around and let us have it.  I would have waited for them to clean the unit out, regardless of how long it took.  Seriously, I would have. How could they send it back out with a mattress looking like that?  I can tell ya: they didn't bother to look.

Anyway.  I called Ann - my manager - this morning asking several questions.  We got into a discussion about the fuel card - that the company could never get working.  She said that they told her today that they had fixed the problem. Turns out all 3 of us new drivers had the exact same problem - fuel card not working, eventually had to have an electronic check sent to the truckstop to put fuel in the trucks. 

She tells me she has loads for me to take out, but wants to make sure that the fuel card works before anything else happens. Agreed.  So, I drove in today on my own dime.  Took the truck to a local fuel station, card worked!  Got back to the shop, showed her all the paperwork. Is this right? And this?  A couple of things I didn't have right, not bad in my mind considering the volume of paperwork for each trip. 

After that, out to ask the mechanic about one of those brand new mattresses sitting there.  I'll have to call the rental company first before you can take one of those, he replied.  Back to the office, dealing with more paperwork, back out to the mechanic, did you get a reply? He went straight to his office, called them. They'll order one but it won't be today.  Okay, you can take one of those then until they bring one.  I dragged that mattress out of that truck and once in fresh air, figured out why that truck stinks so badly and why the truck in last company stunk so bad: the mattress literally smelled like an ashtray.  I was very happy to get a brand new mattress in there. I left the truck with the windows wide open and the vents open. \

However, while i was in the shop getting a mattress, the 2cd most tenured driver walked through the shop.  Hey, I have a question for you. I was asking since this guy is on the list of people I can call if I need help.  Do you weigh the axles somewhere other than that scale at the plant?  He explains in very muddy terms that I didn't understand.  I understood fully after his second explanation and him shaking his head at me, as if I'm new to trucking altogether: YOU don't get it. I have been doing this for so long, I KNOW when it's right or not.

Shrugged it off. Don't figure to call him with questions, I thought.  Well, after I got the new mattress in the truck, I remembered something else I needed to ask the manager.  I walked in on him bitching at her about us new people getting paid more than he is even though he's been there for umpteen years.  I listened to this for 45 minutes, waiting my turn in a room away from them but the door was open and I could hear everything they were saying. 

He may have had a valid complaint, but the way he was going about it proved he's just an ass.  He's pissed because he didn't get the safety position.  But I heard him going off a few times back that i was there.  He doesn't do the internet, he didn't know it was available for openings because he doesn't want to do that "shit".  Whatever dude.  Grumpy old man. Retire, go find something fun to do. If you've been doing this job that long, you should have some money saved up. In a perfect world anyway.  Oh yeah, I listen.  I listen to people a lot.  They may not even know I'm listening. By his own words, he is 4 to 5 years off from retiring. 

Anyway.  I have another run to the same place I was at 1st run. This is a gravy run - sans the fuel card fiasco - sans means without btw.

Oh, yes, I also volunteered for Canada runs. She wasn't asking, she just said something about Canada.  Oh yea? I have a passport, love to put it to use some day.  Turns out this company goes all over the US, including California.  I wouldn't mind an occasional run long distance.  Great money, see some sights I haven't seen in decades, getting more used to the road, something I didn't think would ever happen after working local all those years.  No, I don't want to be on the road all the time, I need home time, but the negative aspects are becoming a bit less of a fuss for me.

Oh, and this rental trucks? Beautiful Peterbilt, 2015 model, thought it was 2016 at first. It's got 300k miles on it,  but the exterior is in perfect condition.  I'll have to take a few pics of it. Just the interior that has been abused.  I don't get truck drivers not take caring of the inside of a vehicle that they spend so much time in. If I actually get a brand new truck as they say I am getting - versus a more tenured driver taking one - it will be the first time in my life.  I always get old trucks. But, old in this fleet means a few years, more than good enough for me if it comes to someone else getting a new truck and me going into their "old" one.

It got colder here, so upon arriving home, I built a fire in the pit.  Lovely new red oak burns great.  Sat out there for several hours. 

Tomorrow's mission: get some sheets for the truck. I bought same sized sheets for the previous truck, but when I quit, I couldn't take them. I had my suitcase stuffed  I also left behind my pillows. They were cheap, very cheap.  I didn't know if I was going to stay there at the time and I'm glad I didn't dump a bunch of money into stuff that I couldn't take back with me. 

Anyway, that's enough for now. 

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...