Monday, January 8, 2018

I just posted last post.  I had left it as a draft and wasn't able to get back to it.  Figured post that, even tho not finished, and start fresh.

Well first, I left my power cord for my computer in the motel room.  I could kick myself.  I scoured through that room this morning making sure I wasn't leaving anything behind, but, I left something behind lol.  I called them, they have it, I'm going to stop in there tomorrow morning and pick it up.  Of course, that means I have limited time on my laptop tonight, which is fine, I can do my writing, put up the post and shut it down, use my Iphone for everything else.

So, today, I wanted to verify my going home this weekend.  I sent my manager a text, I need to go home this weekend. I'm willing to work through Saturday, etc.  Hours went by and then just now, I get a message: I'm going to be off until Monday.  Etc etc etc.  This is a text she sent out to everyone.  But I tried to contact her well before the work day was over.  I'm not staying another week.  I'm just not doing it. Or, if they try to force me to, they will be putting me up in a hotel every single night after the first 2 weeks are over, which will be Saturday.

I just can't believe she just decided to ignore it.  That doesn't give me a good feeling. Like they are going to try to pull a fast on on me and try to keep me up here longer.  I agreed to two weeks, it's in writing.  Well, anyway, I'm going to wait until about Thursday and then I'm going to talk to the manager up here about it.  He can get the same thing done she can, but she is my direct manager and takes responsibility for paying for hotels and airfare and such.  We'll see what happens. I"m a bit anxious about that because I really want to go home. I really do not want to stay up here another week after this one.   I'm getting home sick.  I've already been gone 10 days.  It's just too much for me to think of staying up here another week. 

Anyway, I think about Thursday is a good day to start talking with the manager up here about it, maybe even Wednesday.  I told him from the get-go that I was here for 2 weeks.  That discussion was brought up the first night I arrived. I wanted to make sure he knew that this was not an indefinite assignment.  I'm doing them a favor, thanks.

So, venting that out of my system.  I needed to get that off my chest.  The lady driver that came up after I did is also not liking it up here, at all.  She's got a bit better situation tho. She is in a day cab (tractor that does not have a sleeper) so they are getting her a hotel every single night.  I would be much happier if that were my situation, instead of being dumped in this old truck with all kinds of problems with it.  I can deal with it, I guess, but not indefinitely.  I'm just going to have to stand my ground on this one.  If they "beg" me to stay, I might agree to it, but with the string attached that I am staying in hotels, not this piece of s***. 

Right now? I'm sitting at a travel plaza off a toll road.  I had thought these places have truck parking. Sure, like enough for 10 trucks, maybe.  I pulled in here running out of hours.  I will have to take a pic of where I'm parked. I sat in the front of the truck for an hour to see if anyone would come out and object to where I"m at.  There are trucks parked all over. I would have stopped 30 miles back at a truck stop if I had known this. I wanted to get as far as I could up here so I wouldn't use up a lot of hours. I'm stuck here for like 15 hours. 

Oh and that's the other reason I don't like being up here: not enough miles.  I did over 500 today, not bad but not great.  Other days have been less than 500 and that's not good at all.  Sure, we get stop pay and detention pay up here, but you still have to rack up the miles to get a decent paycheck. 

And the final thing that really gets to me: eating out all the time.  It just makes you fat.  There aren't a lot of "healthy" choices at a McDonald's, the only thing at this travel plaza.  I don't have time to stop and eat along the road, you lose too much time.  It's a rat race in the trucking world. You have to keep moving as much as possible. The only time you stop is to load, deliver, fuel or take mandatory 30 minute break. Other than that, you are going going going trying to get the most out of your 11 hours driving/14 hours of on duty service every day.  The faster you get done, ,the faster you are off the clock and saving those hours for the rest of the week. Hence the idea of getting further up the road today. I can only hope and pray that they don't come out here knocking on my door telling me to move. There is nowhere to move to except on down the road. 

Alright, well at least I was able to get my clothes and my bed sheets washed before coming back out here.  That's a plus. 

I'm trying to decide whether I want to go into anything else.  I'll tell ya what got me going on getting home: Rene (lady roommate) sent me about a 5 minute video of Addler today.  She said: "Where's daddy" and he started romping around all over the place and going to the side of the house to look at the street and see if daddy is home. Of course, daddy is 1300 miles away in a strange, foreign place that daddy doesn't want to be in.

I mean, it's hard to really think about the things I want to do when I'm sitting in the sleeper of a truck that far from home.

Okay, well the other fresh bit of news is that Taylor and James (my friends, who own the house I'm living in) are contemplating moving back in August.  I don't know what happens in August, but he is thinking about getting his CDL license and going OTR. ATT is not really doing him any favors. They lay people off in that company frequently. They reassign them to different regions - or lose your job.  Meaning, get up, move the entire family and there ya go. 

But OTR? With a wife and 2 young children?  That doesn't really sound like a great plan to me.  Sure, he can make money, but at what cost? At least I'm not married and my son is out of the house.  I could live in a truck if I wanted to - I don't haha - it really wouldn't affect too many people. But his kids are very young - 8 month old and a 3 year old - who turned 3 today.  I dunno. I kept my mouth shut about that plan.  They have to be free to live their lives the way they want to. For some reason, he wants to go OTR. 

OTR has none of the allure it once did.  Trucking used to be lightly regulated.  You could drive, drive, drive and no one to tell you you couldn't.  You could get off the Interstates and check out the back country.  There are a lot of things that are different now, but the over-regulation is the biggest part of the problem with trucking today. Big Brother government wants to control you.  Granted there are a bunch of idiots that have no business driving trucks that are getting into the profession. But why do we all have to suffer over a few that make stupid mistakes or plain out doing stuff on purpose? 

I'm done with this one.  My mind is just cluttered with thoughts that have no useful purpose I need to kick back, refocus and get myself motivated. 

Well checking the trailer the pressure had risen more than I expected.  Had to blow off 8 pounds - which doesn't sound like much until you think of a tank that holds 10,000 gallons.  I'm going to have to go out yet again and check it again before going to bed.  I'm pretty much a bit on the overload side when it comes to safety with this stuff.  Any of it, it's all cryogenics and it's all highly flammable.   Anyway, I'll be checking that through the weekend.  I have until Monday morning, basically What time Monday morning I don't know, I'm guessing I'll be given an early slot to get loaded which will mean getting up really early  Pay for this time off, I suppose, but I'll take it however I can get it.

That was around 8 pm last night.  3:30 am, I had to get up and go check it again. I might have just let it wait until later in the morning when I got out of bed, but this trailer seems to be having problems. And sure enough, up to 31, blow it down to 20 again and then, at around 9 am, blow it down from 29 to 20 yet again.  I contacted the manager up here - is this normal?  No, we'll have to check it out when we this all slows down.  Just keep doing what you're doing and it will be find.

Okay.  I fully expect to have to blow the thing down at least 3 more time before I leave out of here tomorrow morning.  It wouldn't be such a big deal, but a check of the temp a while ago pegged it at 12 below zero.  Since then, the temp has come up to 3 degrees. In my world, that is still bitter cold, especially with wind chill taking it down to well below zero.

And, attempting to stay in this room another day, I was informed that I would have to change rooms.  Well, turns out the change was for the better.  I ended up at the back of the hotel on the first floor instead of the front of the hotel on the second floor. Well where I'm at now is close to where the truck is.  And, someone wasn't having a good morning.  I was out there releasing pressure and watched a brand new looking GMC pickup back up into a late model Toyota.  That ordeal cost them a couple of hours, it appeared.

Well other than that I'm starting to consider getting into a much newer - and nicer - vehicle.  I'm not the biggest fan of car payments, but if my paychecks stay anywhere even remotely close to what I got this week, affording the payments and higher insurance rate won't even be an issue.  Something like a 12k pickup and try to get a 3 year loan on it.  I'm not going to do that right away, I still have to make sure I pass their 90 day probation period which is a bit over another month off and I want to see a few more checks before I make a decision.  In fact, tho, if I get enough checks like that one, I won't need a car loan.  I'll have enough cash to just buy one outright.


Another lapse. I took Uber to Chili's. I'm now finding out that Lyft is cheaper. From now on I'll compare the prices on any given trip. On Uber, the price can change every time you click on it.

Short trip, got that over with. I no more than got back to the yard and left for home when I got a text from yet the newest version of a di...