Monday, October 28, 2019

Yesterday, I felt literally like hell.  Got up at 4:00 am, dragged my @$$ out of bed, dragged myself to work. By the time I was in the truck and driving to the plant to get loaded, I felt like dying.  Sitting in the driver area over there, I just slept.  I couldn't figure out how I would make it through the day feeling like that.  I guess the extra sleep at the plant did it?  I dunno, but after I finally left there, I started feeling much better.

It was Sunday, so driving down to Brownsville - especially through Houston - was much easier than normal.  Upon arrival at the yard in Brownsville, I only saw one of our trailers there and it was hooked up to one of their trucks.  I walked around it and couldn't see anything wrong with it - they had it backed up to the mechanic shop. But it was dark so who knows.  I went to the Love's and spent the night there, coming back this morning and still seeing the truck unmoved. 

However, this morning was daylight and I could see the giant orange sticker on the side of the trailer. It was a Federal DOT Out Of Service placard.  Those aren't any fun to get, I wondered if they issued the driver a citation.  It said upper coupling bolts loose.  So I got underneath there. Looking the bolts? You couldn't tell they were loose. It isn't any part of a pre trip or post trip inspection to inspect bolts by grabbing a hold of them. If we had to do that we'd spend hours doing inspections.  That's not something you expect to happen, either. 

But sure enough, those bolts twisted easily, they weren't even tight.  Now, look at the picture. These bolts hold the king pin plate to the trailer.  That plate rests on the 5th wheel while doing down the road. If that plate were to come off of there - whoosh - there goes the trailer right along with it!  I've seen the aftermath of trailers coming off of tractors while going down the road - NO THANKS.  So, I  of course got dumped with this project - there were two other drivers in the yard, but it's whatever.  I had almost 14 hours of detention pay going at that point and then? I got to start the break down pay clock. I'm getting close to 6 hours of that. They have been working on it all day long. The bolts had to be cut out of there with a disc, the bottoms of the studs were ruined from being loose and couldn't get a wrench on it to hold it while turning the nut on the top. 

It's whatever to me - I'll be getting about 1 and 3/4 days' worth of detention and breakdown pay for the waiting, I'm fine.  I won't get home tonight, but with all that extra pay, who cares?  I don't.  My dogs are fine, the boat mechanic will just have to wait an extra day, sorry, but he knows I'm a truck driver and my hours aren't like normal people's lives.  I already paid him for all the work he initially did, I only owe him another hundred bucks anyway.

So that's my excitement. 

The boy at  the other house has gotten the message, apparently.  I gave several of them to him in no uncertain terms: You will go find a job or you will be out on the streets.  He went to McDonald's, who said they would hire him, but he has to get some paperwork first. His food handler's card and a state issued ID.  I can see not having the food handler's card, but not having a state ID? He's 18 years old, for crying out loud, how do you even function without ID?  No driver's license, no motivation in life.  Well, he got motivated. Between my messages and James actually going over there and talking to him about eating out of dumpsters and living on the streets.  He claims he got his food handlers class done today - you do it online.

And then he says he is going to the bank with his mom to get money and then to the DL office to get an ID.  He won't have the full rent at the beginning of the month, he'll have half of it.  I did not agree to it unless he got moving, quick, and got a job. There are all kinds of fast food places in our town, they are all hiring.  Low paying job? Yes of course it is. You have to start out somewhere.  Part time? They all are.  Fast food doesn't hire full time excepting for management.  Even at 20 hours per week he could make the rent and have some left over.  His entire life revolves around video games, period.  He'll need money for food tho.  I don't know what to expect here, he has not work ethic whatsoever.  How long will he last at McDonald's?  Well, I'ma tell him if he quits or doesn't try to make his supervisors happy, he's gone.  Gone as in out of the house.  I'm not paying his way, thanks.  He had PLENTY of time to go look for a job and he spent all of it playing video games and sleeping.

Where the rubber meets the road is where I"m paying his portion of the house bills - no thanks. I had to "force" him to get OUT of the house and go down the road and start applying at places in person. That online stuff doesn't work with fast food, they want to see how you look, smell and act. 

Between Maria and I, well, we kind of had no choice. "Help" him along or get rid of him.  Our help turned to tough love type of stuff.  His parents are to blame for all of this, I really put all of this squarely on their feet. And then dumping him off on other people to deal with their lack of his upbringing - and lying about all of it to Maria.  I do not ever want to meet them.  If I do, I will have some choice words to give them.  They can try to explain it all away, but they taught absolutely nothing about adult life, maturing or preparing him for going it alone. NOTHING.  He knows NOTHING about running a house, cleaning, laundry, cooking, etc etc etc. 

THOSE people annoy me greatly.  I'd just rather never run into them, because if I do, it's going to get ugly in a fast hurry. 

Well, I can hear them hitting the new bolts into place, that means - hopefully - I can leave soon.  Maybe make it close to Houston at least before I have to stop for the night.  I'm ready to get out of here and start driving at least for 4 or 5 hours. However much is left on the clock. 


Decatur, Alabama. Got there last night - decided I didn't have enough hours to offload - about an hour and 15 minutes on the clock, tak...