Thursday, July 11, 2019

Well that was fun.
100 miles into yesterday's trip, I realized I had forgotten my wallet. Driver's license, truck fuel card, debit card - everything I need.  No way was I turning around and going back to get it after having driven that far, I just decided to go ahead and finish the drive up to Barnsdall, drop and hook and then ask for a T-Check to be electronically sent to the Love's in Okmulgee, OK.

Well, that was the "old" way of doing things, apparently, before our company got consumed by another, much larger company.  The "new" way of doing things? Nothing.  I was informed to call the card issuer and cancel the card.  Ok, well that didn't work.  Then I was informed to call an 800 number and get a T check. That didn't work. Then they called both those places, still didn't work.

Finally, T-check said just have Love's manually input the info.  Yup, that didn't work either When they got to my driver's license number, it wouldn't accept it.  Yes I had the right number, they tried several times and I finally said screw this and dumped $85 of my own money into the fuel tank to at least get me down the road, possibly even make it all they way back to Longview.

Well, this morning I tried another Love's that's on the way - Paris, Texas - same results. DL number was't accepted.  So this fill in manager tells me that I don't need to give them a DL number. Sorry, but the system is requiring it, it won't allow them past it. Then this lovely person took it upon herself to get salty with me and start saying I shouldn't have forgotten the fuel card and this wouldn't be an issue. Instead of attempting to figure out how to deal with this problem, she just shoved it back on me.

This is their truck, not mine.  I asked her if I was just supposed to sit there and do nothing? She came back with more s*** , which is when I ended that "conversation".  I texted her "have a wonderful day!!" and that was it. I decided to drive it out and see if I make it. If not, well, they'll have to send a truck with fuel and get it running :)

I basically made it back to the yard running on fumes.  Not the optimal thing you want with a tractor trailer rig, but I did, indeed make it back and decided that I wasn't going to do my physical until tomorrow.  I need a day off from this nonsense.  Imagine a trucking company that doesn't have a contingency plan for if a driver loses the fuel card, or if the card stops working, or in my case, just plain forgot it?  I've never even heard of such a thing, much less had to personally experience it.

I was quite annoyed with that manager, but I bit my tongue.

Another driver at the yard stared at me in disbelief when I told him the story.  And even more people are talking about quitting now.  This "new" company totally sucks.  They are interested in numbers, not people.  Drivers are just numbers on a screen to them.  There is no sense of belonging and the right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing.  The communication is terrible.

_________________

Thursday.

Sitting in the kitchen last night, I heard thunder. Everyone said no, it's not supposed to rain, that's the motorcycle next door.  Ohhhh, I replied, sure sounded like thunder. A few minutes later, another one. And then, a REALLY loud one! KaBLAAAAAAM! Like it was in the friggin' living room.  And then, 10 minutes later? Another loud one and yes, the power went out.  For almost 7 hours, the power went out.  I hung out at the cop house next door for hours since there was nothing else to do and chatted about all kinds of different things.

About 10:23 pm, I decided to go home and try to sleep.  Meaning no AC, no fan, nothing. Took a while but I eventually drifted off to sleep - on the hard floor.  The bed was too hot.  At 2:30 AM, wake up call! Lights came on, window AC unit came on, back in business. 

Then, this lovely  manager giving me all the shit about fuel yesterday calls me about 20 minutes ago. I was thinking about getting out of bed anyway, but my load isn't until 2:30 this afternoon.  I'm going to Houston.  It used to be a day run, now they have you preload and you don't deliver until 8:00 am the next morning.  It's a really messed up load because it isn't worth anything - but - it used to only take one day.  Wasting 2 days on a worthless load isn't my idea of fun.

But, the manager says that Preacher - his permanent nickname, another driver - called her at 2:30 am and said her daughter had some sort of medical emergency and had to take her to the hospital, can you switch loads with him?  I said no immediately, because I have to get my medical exam for my med card done this morning.  I mean, it's not like I haven't said anything about this to them - like half a dozen times on separate occasions now spread out over more than a month.

I dunno what's going on, but I guess we got busted @$$ busy all of a sudden in the last few weeks because I've been running like crazy.  But I thought about this.  Houston or Cheniere? They are both equally worthless.  The only advantage to Cheniere is it's a bit further for more miles and you don't have to drive anywhere near Houston. Because my plan today? Do the pre-load and drive straight down there, avoid the heavy Houston early morning rush hour traffic and stay at a truck stop about 5 miles away from the plant. It's really kind of hard to just change your plans like that for these runs.  Especially when they're calling you only a few hours before the proposed change has to occur.

But, I decided to switch, told her I would do my med card tomorrow when I get back. Basically I saved her ass, she didn't have anyone else to do it and you can't just not do a load, the loading plant says fine, we'll use another carrier and walaah. There goes more work.  However, some other company has been doing the Cheniere.  I would rather not work than go to that stinking place to be honest.  They don't care how long you have to spend there, I guess that's a plus for detention pay - but I want to get in and out of there.  It's hot and muggy down there and there are these giant biting flies.  This is 2 crappy loads in a row, I best be getting a decent run next or, I'll just open my mouth and say something again. 

Meanwhile.....I was looking at my settlement sheets for my pay yesterday.  I finally got on their email list to get them sent out.  The information does not show up on your paycheck.  Anyway, an entire trip worth at least $1,200 was missing.  This is happening far too often.  That's a healthy chunk of change, I was expecting at least a $2,500 net paycheck this week. So I contacted this lady that continues to screw up the payroll 90% of the time.  I didn't get pissy with her, I just said the Union Carbide/Charleston, WV run is missing on my paycheck. Amazingly, she not only got back to me right away, she admitted her mistake and promised to have that money deposited separately into my banking account tomorrow! 

It's kind of easy to think about starting to get pissy with a person that can't get their job right.  She does this with everyone, not just me.  If you have any detention pay due on any given run, you best be writing it down somewhere to record it so you can match it with what she gives you, cause' honey, there is an almost 100% chance she's going to either miss  it altogether and not give it to you at all, or, she will give you less than what you should be getting.  I scour my settlement sheets for errors.  I shouldn't have to, but to get the pay I deserve, it has to be done.  But, kudos to her for owning it and immediately dealing with it.

So, anyway, here we go.  I'm getting a little nervous about this medical card.  If you don't have it renewed before the expiration date, TEX DOT downgrades your commercial license to a regular license and then, you have to go through the written AND the driving test all over again!  But, I just looked at the notice, I have more time than I thought.  It doesn't expire until the 18th.  So getting it done tomorrow will be fine.  Just have to get it into them ontime for them to process it and get it added to your license info.

Welp, off to the races. 















































Alright, bound and determined to get this stuff done, I went to the courthouse today, presented them with all the paperwork and - got busy. ...