In Brownsville, at the America's Best Value Inn. I really like this place for the price. Granite top tables and counters, tile flooring, nice comfortable beds, nice clean lazy chairs, good internet. I wasn't going to do this today, I was certain - just because of what's been happening down here recently with 2 and 3 and even 4 empty trailers waiting to be picked up - that I would just spend the night in my truck and take off in the morning.
Au Contraire.. When I got the truck loaded this morning and back to the scale house - which is on the property as well - I saw the new driver's truck sitting there. Didn't really think it strange, tho. He was the first load and waiting for certification on the product that we have to take with us on all trips unless they tell us at the plant they will email it ahead of us. It's an analysis that the chemists do there on every single load to make sure it fits within parameters of quality and purity.
Anyway, he came out as i was getting out of the truck to go in and get my paperwork on the load. I didn't know where he was going and thought nothing of it. In fact, I was worried I wasn't going to get out of the plant in time to get down to Brownsville and get it done in one day. My objective was to get there, spend the night and get back up to Longview tomorrow and spend a Friday night with my friends and probably at least Saturday.
So, I drove almost 8 straight hours without stopping. When I did stop, I checked the elog and saw that I had plenty of time to get down there, even with fueling time and the mandatory 30 minute break. I didn't rest easy tho, lol, I got out of that truck stop as fast as the clock would let me. Lo and behold, while pulling out, I see this other drive passing by. What the hey? This dude should have been way further down the road since he left loooong before I did.
That was strange seeing him passing by like that. I mean, he should have almost been to Brownsville by my calculations and 2 hours ahead of me on time. Whatever. His truck goes way faster than mine, I'll say that. He's an owner operator but I doubt he'll get away with driving for this company for long at speeds over 65 mph. Not my concern tho, if he gets away with it, all I can say is, I would like to too! Anyway, I took my normal - fastest - route to the yard down here. He apparently did not. I'm guessing he didn't want to pay the tolls. So I actually was driving down one side street and him another and met up at the exact same time at the yard.
He should have beaten me by hours. Well, I got unhooked before he did even tho I waited for him to back into a space and I was behind him. I pulled out from under the loaded trailer and went driving out back - to find one trailer back there. Hey, HE was in the yard first. And as an owner operator, he will not get detention pay, that's for company drivers only. I backed up out of his way and let him get under that trailer. The yard people were leaving, I waved them down. "When do you expect another trailer here?". "Tomorrow morning" "Do you know what time?". He didn't know, and I said thank you and instantly decided to drive to the hotel
On my way over, I checked all the hotel site - Priceline, Expedia, Hotels, etc. The prices for this place were high! I didn't want to pay that much even tho I am getting an hourly pay to stay here. So I just walked in and the dude said, I'll give you a special price. His special price was the normal price I've been paying of which I instantly said yes and thank you!
I figure at least 12 hours of detention pay, 2-1/2 of it will pay for this room,, the rest is money in my pocket. And, if the dude is correct and a trailer shows up sometime in the morning, I'll be able to make it home tomorrow evening or night depending on what time it shows up. I figure to leave out of here at 8am and see if anything is over there. It's only a mile away, I'll leave my stuff in here and if there isn't, just come back and relax for another couple hours and then check out, get over there and wait. Very happy this turned out the way it did. In reality, that trailer could not show up for another day and I'd have no problem with that. But they are usually right when they say it's going to show up at some general time.
Well, it's kinda getting late. Not that bad, almost 10:00 pm. I was going to watch the news but the sound cut out on that channel for unknown reasons. There isn't much on TV I want to watch, I just wanted to see the news really.
Thoughts running through my head. Winter will come, the northeast will get cold and then they will want drivers to go up there for however long and drive in hellish conditions in shit trucks and not even making that much money compared to what I am making here. I"m certain I don't want to do that again. But what if they force the issue? Force it back. Fine, if you want to make me go up there, you had better make sure they have a good working truck with everything in working condition. You''d best make sure they don't give me a trailer that has lost it's vacuum seal (and hence, it's insulation, to keep this 395 below zero stuff cold). I won't be forced into this s*** again without verification that the equipment is good and if I get there and it isn't, I'm going to tell them adios, Im going back to Texas.
They can force this on me because I opted for higher pay when I signed on in trade for agreeing to be sent off wherever for a week at a time - tho that's quite unrealistic - if work gets slow here. I will not drive a truck again where I am driving at night and can't see anything because the headlight bulbs are bad to the point you have to look at the lines on the road to be able to see where you're going. And a HOST of other issues.
On another note, my son is moving from one apartment complex to another in August. Their lease is up and they found a better place with an extra bedroom for less money. "We'll have an extra bedroom in case you're in the area". That's his way of saying if you come to Phoenix please come stay with us. I've given considerable thought to his upbringing and thought: I could have done better and done some things differently. I dunno, sometimes I struggle with that. I think I did the best I could but I see things I could have done better. I was kinda short with him on various occasions when I probably have been a bit more tempered. No one can say, however, that I was absent in his life. I won't say that because I know it's not true, even tho the ex - at one point long ago in a court - was agreeing with this judge that "you raised him by yourself". I"ll never forget the internal outrage I had against that judge making a totally unfounded statement like that without even asking me my take on it.
I'll also never forget getting in that judge's face and giving her a taste of her own medicine, threat of jail be damned.
Whatever the case, I think I'll end this one.
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