Friday, September 21, 2018

Apparently I forgot to publish the last post before leaving.
Mapleton was a plain old trip. I got up there, they unloaded it, I drove back, got back into town earlier this afternoon.  In fact, when I got up to the plant, they told me they had run out of ethylene a few hours earlier and I was just in time.  Oh, well if y'all had called me I could have been here sooner.  No, the guy replies, we had other stuff we needed to get done, no big deal. We stood there and discussed everything on the earth I think for 2 hours before the thing was unloaded and I got out of there.

I was determined to get up early this morning because I figured that I would only have today to relax at home before getting sent back out tomorrow.  I was right and wrong about that deduction.

When I was at the yard, my manager was on the phone, but said don't leave yet!  She's a really nice lady, she doesn't "yell" at people in anger or anything, it was just a please stay a moment type of thing.  It turns out every single driver has complained about the changes that have come with this new company and several drivers have threatened to quit.  One was on the phone with her and she had it on speakerphone and he was informing her about the changes to Qualcomm (logging device) and that he wasn't going to drive for a week and just wait for his truck (he's an owner operator that was using a company truck) to get out of the shop.

Other drivers with same sentiments. It's like this company is working against it's own drivers to make the job as difficult as possible.  I was very glad to hear I was not the only person that is extremely unhappy about all the bs going on with this change.  Very happy indeed.  I only asked to switch to a different division - it would still be the same bs with this new Qualcomm crap, but at least I would be home every day.  Whole different set up delivering gasoline. 

Anyway, she wanted to see what I was talking about this noise making stuff. She thought it was the Qualcomm, I said no, it's this radar unit. If you get into heavy traffic, you can kiss your peace goodbye because this thing is going to beep and beep LOUDLY.  She had spent half the day telling these people that know everything about all the sentiments against this new setup.  Hey, there's only 20 of us in this division and this stuff doesn't deliver  like anything else in the rest of their divisions. Enough people quit?  Same as my last company, you are kissing your experience goodbye and good luck.  I'm sure this company wouldn't care about that, tho, seeing their attitudes but it's always nice to give them a dose of their own sundry medicines. 

After all this time - I've been there 10 months now - they finally got a driver that was given the "driver training" promotion. That guy has been there a long time, he knows his stuff, he's definitely qualified to train others.  I don't need training, they deemed that from the beginning. I figured most of this nonsense out on my own through force of being there and doing that without anyone's help.  Ridiculous. 

Anyway, she said she was sending me out tomorrow. I said great and left.  Might as well fly home, get the dogs and relax for a few hours anyway.  I got to the other house and found 2 cop cars and an animal control truck out in front.  My heart sank immediately.  What is going on here?  I didn't see my dogs so I was wondering if they had them in the truck?  I started freaking out - not saying anything but definitely going haywire on the inside because all of those people were inside the house and one of them came out with one of those noose things they use to capture stray dogs. 

Rene was sitting there. ???  Your dogs are fine, it's Donny's dog.  Dang.  What happened?  My friend from church came over yesterday, I opened the door Helga (his dog) ran out and viciously bit the man on the leg. This dog has been biting people since the first day I met it, when it bit my twice and I ended up kicking the damned thing half way across the yard.  It started in on Addler, who finally had enough and bit the s*** out of that dog.  It then went after Aspyn who also tore into it after it kept going at her and wouldn't stop. It's bitten all kinds of people, in the house, with owner present.

Lack of training, obviously.  So, they hauled the dog off and are doing a 10 day hold of it.  I don't know what they expect to do or find out, but apparently Donny can get the dog back after that.  No clue on that one.

I got home, got out a beer - yep it was have a few beers time - and then my manager called.  Oh, wait, she had called earlier and said I had my choice. Pennsylvania, Corpus Christi or Pasadena.  I'll take Pasadena thanks. PA is a 7 day trip.  Corpus Christi is the new plant and a 2 day trip, Pasadena is in theory a 1 day trip - it can be done but everything has to go right.

When she called again, she said she had "manuevered" some things around and was sending me to Pasadena on Sunday.  Meaning a full day off tomorrow! Yay!

Well Taylor is home so I'm going to go visit with her and the kids.

Well. I'm going up to Mapleton, IL tomorrow. That place almost always causes some form of detention pay.  But now, detention pay is up in the air.  Are we getting paid for it or not?  Why was my paycheck cut to 13.5 hours of it after what i believe was 36 hours if I recall correctly?  What are the parameters?

I'm not sitting around for free, I can assure them of that.  If I have to sit for a day waiting on a plant to unload or a trailer in Brownsville, I want paid for it. If they are changing that, I want the damn policy in writing.  Why aren't they paying it and if I even want anything further to do with this.  There are plenty of trucking companies that will not pay detention pay even tho they say they will, if this is one of them they can go stick it where the sun doesn't shine. I sure as hell am not going to sit up in Mapleton for a day or two and have them think that I'm doing it for free or that they can somehow just randomly subtract hours because they say so.

I'm basing this on the conversation with the other driver yesterday who said that they are taking out 10 hours every day for motel stay that the company pays for. I didn't have the company pay for a hotel, the policy is or was that if you don't, you are paid the entire time for waiting.  I am waiting for a reply, I contacted my manager again awhile ago and she hadn't even asked about it yet.  But, if they are going to take out 10 hours whether you use them to pay for a motel or not, then I'll take the company paid motel and meanwhile start looking for a job.  Who knows, maybe I'll get lucky and the plant will unload the product then and there when I arrive and I can immediately turn around and head back.

Cause' right now? I have questions with no answers.  If this new company has different policies, I want all of it in writing.  I'm not going to work for a company in the dark  concerning specific policy that addresses drivers.  I'm going to Mapleton. Only one time I have gone up there that I didn't have to wait, the rest of it was a nice generous amount of detention pay and I was happy.

Okay, that was irritating.

More irritations: the kitchen sink is clogged again. I called a plumber out this time, this happens too frequently and takes too much time to try to figure out what's going on.  I want a plumber with a guarantee to come out, find out why this drain is always clogging up, fix it, let us know how to deal with it and be done with this problem.  Very much tired of it.  I didn't ask my friends, I just called them. My friends can't afford a plumber but we can't clean dishes or run the dishwasher at the moment.  As it stands, they are getting into a contract for a new washer and dryer set. I just know their finances aren't too great and they are having trouble dealing with all of this.  But you have to have your plumbing working and I have no idea why this drain keeps backing up.

We don't dump grease into it, but we also don't have a garbage disposal. I'm wondering if the food going down in there is doing it.  It's an old house, I just think there is something maybe going on down there we don't know about.  The rest of the plumbing in the house is working fine, I'm doing laundry while writing this.

That's the other thing. The washing machines is leaking water and it's making a lot of noises.  It's dying. They went and bought a new set on payments but it won't be here til next friday.  The place they got it from has to order those specific machines. They are giving them the financing to get them, so my friends were willing to wait.  But if this set continues to fall apart, I'll be spending quality time at a laundromat.

And that is my day. Cleaning my room, tried to clean the kitchen but kinda difficult without the sink working.  And now that I know I have to get up at 3 am, my motivation just ran clean out of my bones.  I know what tomorrow is going to be like, I might as well enjoy the rest of my day.  Cause I don't see tomorrow as being any barrel of fun. Up at 3, out the door at 3:30, at the plant at 5:00, get out of there by around 7, on the road.  It's about 560 miles to the area I normally stop in, another 40 if I go to the Flying J I made it to last time.  Depends on how I sleep.  I'll probably just stop at the gravel parking lot I've stayed at before - the truck stops in that area fill up and there's no room to park at them.  The Flying J has spots, but I have to be able to make it there.  It's better to get to the Flying J because that is most of the way around Saint Louis and avoiding rush hour traffic in the morning.

Well, I was going to take the dogs out to Caddo Lake today, but this early rise thing nixed that.  I might take them for a short walk but that's about it.  They'll end up over at the crack house tomorrow.  Okay, it's not a lab or anything, just that "dude" living there going on his crack binges. If Rene didn't love my dogs so much, I wouldn't even think of taking them over there.

Long interruption and life.
I was given another trip to the place in Illinois that is notorious for sending you off to a hotel.  I want answers to detention pay. If they hold me up, I want to know what is being pad and what is not. Pretty reasonable request?

Meanwhile, I have a dumb bell with enough weight to not overload me while driving but still keep me busy at times to do some bicep work.  There is no reason I can see why I can't work out with one hand while driving down the highway on open road with little traffic.  I've done mock versions of it without anything, I can do an effect bicep work out with both hands while driving, just the left hand limited to one kind of workout.  I'm not sure it's so great to have biceps bigger on one side than the other, but I'm not interested in losing any more muscle definition because I'm not doing anything to keep it up.

Interesting day. Up early - 4:00, jolted out of deep sleep by the ridiculous phone alarm - annoying as all get out but that's the inten...