Saturday, February 23, 2019

Just got back from another Oklahoma trip.
This morning, I did my pretrip inspection and found the tail lights out on the tractor.  Odd.  No other lights out on the entire truck or trailer.  I tried finding the relevant fuse for it.  A huge fuse box, I carefully looked at all of them. Only one of them came close to referring to it, so I took it out - and it fell into the engine compartment somewhere and I couldn't find it. Which caused turn signals to stop working.  Gag.
Had to leave it til the next truckstop - 25 miles away - to get a new fuse. 

While driving to that truckstop, I got a notification on my screen that one of the low beams had stopped working.  What on earth.  That many lights don't just happenstance go out at the same time. 

Then, after replacing the fuse and filling up the tanks at the truck stop, the fuel gauge needle started popping back and forth between empty and full.  Now I am 100% sure there is an electrical problem and there is no way I am going to diagnose that s***.  These "modern" trucks are loaded with electronics and wires.  I don't know how they even begin to try and figure out a problem like that.  Codes come up on their computer when hooking it up to the truck, but they aren't going to pinpoint the problem. It will come up with a bunch of different "possibles". 

Anyway, I texted my manager.  All this stuff.......I hear back from her half an hour later.  Then I got into it.  That ABS light on that trailer has been reported 3 times in the last two weeks and I told the mechanic specifically to his face what was wrong with. "Well that's because he's come down with pneumonia". NO, I replied, he got sick LONG after he knew about this problem.  Then she disappears again and comes back with "well he doesn't have the computer stuff to diagnose the problem." By this time, we weren't texting, we were on the phone.  Well while y'all aren't doing your jobs, that light is on and if  trooper sees it, he can pull me over and write me up for it, it goes onto MY record and points against me. 

Meanwhile, one of the drivers popped up a group text message - separate from the one I had been having personally with manager - he texts: "There are 4 trucks in the yard with expired IFTA stickers!"  I immediately texted, "Yeat, one of them is mine".  Then, my manager gets on there and says "that's part of your pre-trip inspection"  "Yes", I replied, "reported that a long time ago, nothing was done about it".  My manager conveniently disappeared out of the conversation which went on well after that with other drivers chiming in. 

THEN< this safety officer - useless, absolutely useless person that does nothing - sends me and one of the other drivers with old IFTA a message: "grace period ends next week".  I'm like, what on earth is he talking about? Is this some sort of veiled threat? So I asked him What are you talking about? 

IFTA - next week the grace period expires. Great, I replied, y'all do nothing about this stuff and dump this s*** on me?  No thanks.  This is YOUR responsibility, it's already been brought to your attention, y'all did nothing about it, I relieve myself of any responsibility.  This guy gets offended easily, but at this point I was pissed with all of it.  I went into all kinds of safety related issues that he couldn't defend. 

This went on for hours with my manager and the safety dude.  I wasn't backing down. There are not going to shut me up and the safety officer was obviously not liking the idea of me contacting the President and giving him a lengthy report of why drivers are not staying in the company.  They had a high ranking management person out this week asking drivers about that and all of them are always talking about driver retention - but the steps they list do nothing to address problems.  I saw this guy pull into the yard when I was leaving the yard for my last trip. I didn't know who he was but even if I did, I had no time to talk. 

Then, my manager told me that our account with National - a local truck repair shop - had been reinstated, take the truck and trailer there.  Well I already knew National was either closed or would be closing soon and told her that. She said she would call them.  I get a text half an hour later to take the truck and trailer over there.  So I get into the truck, text her I'm rehooking to the trailer and then 30 seconds later get a text that National is no longer open on the weekends.  Well what the hell?  She told me she was calling over there and then apparently just decided to tell me to go there without verifying it - and then - obviously called and found out they aren't open? 

Anyway, the end of the story - is nothing.  Nothing was resolved, I won't be able to take the assigned load to Barnsdall on Monday because - the lights. I will not drive a commercial vehicle with lights out on it.  I did this morning but only because there was no way to get it fixed where it was at.  After getting it back to the yard, that's where it's going to sit.  I told my manager I was going to look in to purchasing a truck through the company program and if that doesn't pan out, I'll be looking for a new job.  I will not waste any more time with this company with this bs, especially since paychecks are getting pretty slim. Money is always the bottom line, if that's missing, bye!  I'm on track to making 25 grand less this year than I made last year.....

Yup, after writing this post, I'm going to write a first draft to the President.  I'll cover everything I can think of and then let it go for a while, come back, read it and then more will pop into my mind.  There is a lot going on here, I know I'll forget some of it on the first round, I'll edit it, add to it, proof read it make sure I'm not getting into "out of line" speech/insubordination, remain respectful but still make quite clear my facts and points.  I'll let it go again - a day or two, I dunno - maybe just a few hours - but then I'll come back to it for a third read and then send it off. Do nothing rash here - and no, telling my manager I'd be looking for another job isn't being rash. I've given that considerable thought, it was time to come out and say that without any ambiguity.  It's time.  I did this with Ferguson, waited too long, but that was pay.  A bad manager, yes, but pay was the biggest issue.  Pay going down here? That's the line. 

Anyway, I'm home, the weather is finally nice for once!  It's been raining here forever.  Today? No rain here. It was misting all the way back from Oklahoma.  I got lucky I never saw a state trooper in either state.  I took a chance but I didn't really have a choice. The best I could do getting pulled over would be explain truthfully that this stuff all just happened.  They could still write you up.  But, if you're respectful you can sometimes get away with stuff. 

Any my Daffodils! They survived the cold after sprouting early and now they are in full bloom! They are beautiful!  I have no plans for today besides working on the letter.  I need to wind down after this nonsense earlier.  No more texts, I got off of it because I was starting to get angry with their replies. Not worth it.  Let it go, go well up the chain of command, get past all these people that are obviously sugar coating what is going on in the rank and file and let the main man hear directly from a driver whether he wants to or not. My future with this company is irrelevant to me at this point, if they no longer want my help, that's fine.  I've learned from my past, time to move on. 

So, I have all this stuff revolving around in my mind, I need to get it written out.  G'day.

Well I get a day off. Whether I go back out tomorrow remains to be seen. Right now? I/d be happy for a couple of days off, even if it means ...