Saturday, February 24, 2018

So. I got home yesterday afternoon, I asked for the day off today. I didn't even hear back about it - I texted my manager - until I found it she had been in an accident.  Everyone is fine, thank God, hydroplaning incident that set her pickup off the road and into a tree.

Off course here: Note to oneself: need ottoman or other such thing to kick feet up on when lounging in front of desktop.  I'm not at an office, I don't need or want to be sitting alert and upright.  This is kickback time. I got this new computer chair and it's very nice,, but my feet are still sitting on the floor. Correction to this problem coming soon : )

I didn't let loose on my manager today, but I did relieve myself a bit. She's really too nice a person to let off steam on too much, I would rather go to her manager if it ever came to that.  She's really cool, trust me, nice lady.  But, she has a job to perform and that means sending us out on endless runs.  Nice and fine,, but I have to have home time. I've been out on 4 back to back runs.  My roomies informed me of that today.  That means, come back, spend a part of a day here and night and then back out the next morning.  That's not home time, that's just coming home to sleep.  Last weekend, I was home a total of 9 hours after being out 9 days. Before that, similar and before that, similar.  \

I asked her for tomorrow off, too.  This is what happens when you bust ass and just do whatever they want you to do. Experienced this all my life.  They want to run you hard.  Endless. Unless you stand up for yourself, they will continue to do so.  Sometimes it's because the don't give a s***  about you, other times it's because they are dumped with more on their plate than they can realistically handle.  She is dictated to by corporate. I understand where she's coming from, but at the same time, I have to have a life outside of a truck.  I make my case, civilly and politely, but I never-the-less make that case.

I'm 54 years old. I still have a lot of stamina, but I see it's not as good as it used to be.  I can still drive all day, but I'm awfully tired that night.  And after a really brutal day, I have a hard time getting up the next morning.  14 hours.  That's a long time being on duty.  It happens 70% of the time, I'm guessing. More often than not, I'll definitively state.

My statement to her in texting was that I have been running for weeks now, I need more off time than this.  These 2 other new guys? Getting a lot more off time than me, I know this from having conversations with them. Not about off time, but they bring it up and I wonder how they get away with it, considering the schedule I've been dealing with.  Okay, I know: whine and complain. It's whatever, I don't like doing that with management. I've put up with a lot of bs in my lifetime, at least in this case it's putting up with bs from a nice person.  Nice, but firm, when it comes time to get the deliveries done, lol.

She left it on hold. If someone shows up by tomorrow morning, I can let you have another day off.  I just want a couple of days off in a row, not one day here and there.  Most other drivers are getting that.  Some get much more than that.  Anyway, I''m bracing myself for a run tomorrow, I"m guessing I'll get dumped with it. It's to El Dorado, I think it's 3 hours or so away, can be a one day run if the loading plant and the unloading plant get it done efficiently. A day plus a ten hour break somewhere on the road, close to home but out of reach because of HOS hours if not plus whatever drive time left.  Probably less than 50 miles.\

Welp, got called to go out. That was yesterday.  Of course it took over 6 hours for them to unload the truck.  No clue why it takes them so long.  It shouldn't take more than 2 to 2-1/2 hours at most.  They make you unhook the tractor and drive off site while they are doing it. So, I drove the 10 miles to the nearest town with a restaurant. Went into a burger joint, this place had all kinds of seafood, including fresh trout.  Uhh, yes, I'll have the trout please.  Haven't had trout in ages, it was very tasty and reasonably priced. Decided to get a cup of gumbo to go for later on.

On the drive back, my manager calls. We desperately need that trailer for tomorrow morning, are you going to be able to get it back tonight? I dunno, depends on when they are finished. Well, can you start your 10 hour break and get up early?  Didn't really like the question, I know when I get up that early, the day is fairly well ruined for me.  I just drag butt all day long because I am tired.  But, I agreed to do it. So, I got up at 3 am, drove straight back, got home, went back to bed.  I feel a little better after sleeping for 2 more hours but I know my body and mind and how it works.  I likely won't do anything today.  Unless a wave of "fresh" hits me and some energy comes rolling in.

Tomorrow will mark the 4th Sunday in a row that I have had to get up, go to work, get a truck and roll into the plant.  I didn't get my two straight days off.  I'm going to let that go and pretty much tell her that I have to have 3 days off for the move coming up at the beginning of April.  I'm not moving but I am obviously going to help move one household out and another back in.  We'll see how that turns out, but the request is going in Monday, Very well far in advance. 

Anyway, another trip to Illinois.  A different plant, but not that far away from the one I was at this week. 

I gotta say here, I don't foresee myself doing this job forever.  Maybe a couple of years, get my tanker experience with hazmat in and then find something local.  My company has local gigs, if I keep my nose clean and encounter no major self-caused problems, I should be able to transfer.  I don't mind going out for two days, but anything longer than that I just don't like it.  This next trip is 3 days minimum. The pay is awesome, that's the only thing that's kept me up until now. 

But this lie about new trucks doesn't go away. And now, my manager, who is trying really hard to keep all of us but is powerless about new trucks - she doesn't make those decisions - said there is a Mack truck in a shop somewhere, getting fixed that they are bringing up. She wants me to get in it and see if it's something I'd rather be in than this pile of junk I am currently driving. It's not new. I'm not holding my breath, but maybe it will be better than this thing.  When asked about new trucks, she deflected off that to the Mack truck. Obviously, there aren't going to be any new trucks.  This isn't the first time a trucking company has lied about new trucks - but those companies I'm not working for, either. 

I really just want a daycab, local job, home every night or day, probably home during the day and out at night since when you first start you get the night shift. 

I dunno.  Maybe over time these ridiculous time slots I'm being put in and days will be mitigated.  Like, new drivers get the crap that no one else wants.  She gives us the runs to make the money - along with the runs that don't make hardly anything such as this run I just got done doing, but she does that to everyone. The runs, that is, not the time slots and days you have to go out.  Some drivers don't care, I get that.  They live on the road, they don't have a home here near where the plant is.  But that's their choice, I don't live my life under the scope of what other people decide to do with theirs.  For now, I will eat this and get these big paychecks and force myself to be happy with it. 

And, if I stick around awhile, I will give serious thought to getting my own truck and leasing it out to the company.  There are a couple of guys doing it, one of which is very happy with the setup -  but he darn near lives in that truck.  I mean, he almost never goes home.  It works well for him because he has ladies all over the place plus his - wife at home. Note I didn't say I condone such things, that's just what he does.  He find ladies everywhere he goes.  Another driver that was stuck down in Brownsville - who claims to be a preacher - also talked long and loud about his lady liasons he has all over the place, including 2 of them he found down there. 

He is also married.  I don't get that.  I can't really get into that perspective because when I was married, I didn't even think about other women.  It's a commitment that you make to her to love her and stay monogamous.  That 6th sense that women have about such things, I don't wonder if they suspect or even know their men are out there doing such things.

Anyway, I've pretty much wasted the morning.  I am trying to get the motivation up to get over to Lowe's and see about getting a new vanity for the bedroom I will be moving into. The sink in that bathroom is absolutely disgusting.  And also some grass seed for the back yard.  I wish I would have thought of that last week, I could have thrown a big bag of that seed out and by now, it would have started up. It's been raining constantly all the way up until today. 

Looking at the forecast, tho, I could still do it.  It's going to be raining on and off this coming week, which is enough to keep grass seed wet enough to sprout.  That alone may motivate me to spend at least an hour out of here. But the rest of the day? Forget about it.  I'm toast. 

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...