Apr 18, 2013

Slow Boil

I am now to the point that I am ready to break my silence. You see, several months ago, I was informed that co-workers and upper management had started reading my blog. I was quietly cautioned to watch what I posted. I have since let several good posts slip from my fingers into oblivion because of the old saying "If you can't say something nice........."  Not every post would have been negative. Some were learning experiences, funny stories and updates on my life. But I have sincerely had no desire to share any of it because my job has taken a turn for the worst and I knew I couldn't share the good, with out the bad slipping out complete with an over abundance of expletives and exclamation points.

It's not the hauling of cars that has given me the blues. I love car-hauling!! It is the work load. Last year, I felt as if I hardly worked and was able to make a very comfortable living. I had plenty of home time and enjoyed learning as much as I could with each new load. This year.........  I am working twice as hard, but making less money. I can no longer plan my week in advance. I am suppose to follow new policies and guidelines, but in return, I can rarely get answers. If I work for a month and need several days off due to a major life event, the days are deducted from my paid vacation.  I have an extremely low damage ratio. I have a one year old piece of equipment to use with no damages to it. I have an incredible work ethic. I have desire. I have drive. And I have a dispatcher who couldn't really give a flying rat's ass if my truck is making any money. I have been receiving messages to remind me that my truck is not making money. You know, the irony is that I have not refused a single load. I have not left a single car. I do not let shit sit on my truck for days at a time. But yet, it is not the dispatchers fault, it is apparently mine...........

I had been asked a few months ago to let everyone get acclimated to the new structure. So I held my tongue and followed the protocol for the last few months. I think what really set me off is I have found out that 75% of what I am being told is bullshit. I do my best, and I played by the rules. What has it gotten me? A reduced check. No monthly bonuses. Very little home time. It has killed my desire. It has affected my focus and concentration. And, well, I seem to be pissed off at just about everything. SO......... I guess it is time for me to quit playing nice. I like to believe in a perfect world, hard workers are rewarded for their effort. Just one more fairy tale I have to let go of. I work just as hard, if not harder than others here and have enough experience to find another job should I chose to.

I made the first call this week, in order to get some changes made.... If I don't start seeing results soon, I will ask to transfer or be forced to find another job. No point in being away from home if I am going backwards in revenue.

Apr 9, 2013

Freehold, New Jersey

Do not be alarmed!  This is only a post.... Had this been an actual blog, you would have been reading new posts on a regular basis.

So, I am just going to jump right back in here like I never left......

As you can see to the left on the left of this text, I had the pleasure of meeting a local law enforcement officer in Freehold, New Jersey today. I had been given instructions to drop my present load at a holding yard rather than at a dealership and with turn by turn directions, I made my way towards my destination. "Head north and turn left at second traffic light". Now I like to be considerate of my fellow motorists and try not to pull any asinine maneuvers, so after passing the first traffic light, I begin to prepare for making a left hand turn by signaling and moving into the left lane. I also like to think of myself as attentive. So before, during, and after the lane change, I am continually scanning my mirrors. Hell, I am continually scanning my perimeters any time the truck is in motion. Within seconds of securing my left lane position, I notice the officer creeping up behind me. I have not seen a speed limit sign at this point for this particular road, so I err on the side of caution. Now Mr PoPo is peeking out to my left as if he is in a hurry, but with my left turn approaching, I figured he could be patient and pass me when I hit the turn lane. Bobbing and weaving behind me, he hits the lights and sirens. And yet, still, I hesitate before working my way to the right lane.

He follows me to the right lane, so I pull over. I have no idea what I have done....

I can see him approaching my passenger side door, so I lower the window. He yanks the lock and opens the door as I scramble to not let any gear fall out of the truck. I could see it in his face. With a smirky demeanor, he asks, "You have no idea why I pulled you over, do you?"  Now typically, I like to engage the officers in witty banter, so I replied as I looked in my mirrors, "Did I lose a car somewhere?" He takes a step back and looks at my load before he continues....

PoPo: Where are you from?

ME: Georgia

PoPo: How long have you been driving?

ME: About an hour.

PoPo: (At this point, he is losing a little patience with me) YOU KNOW VERY WELL THAT COMMERCIAL VEHICLES ARE RESTRICTED TO THE RIGHT LANE!!! You were in the left lane doing 40.

ME: What is the speed limit?

PoPo: 50!!! You are impeding traffic in the passing lane.

ME: I was going to make a left turn......   (sigh)

PoPo: (Oozing with sarcasm) On Center Street?

Center Street is about 500 feet in front of me.

Me: Yes........

PoPo: Well, you cant be riding through town impeding traffic in the left lane.

Me: I was looking for my left turn, that's why my left turn signal was on.

PoPo: Well, this is a warning! You can go.......

He then pulls out to the left lane to allow me to get into position to make my left turn. I arrive at my destination and begin to unload my cars. It wasn't more than 10 minutes later that my new friend pulls into the holding yard and circles the lot before he was off to protect and serve someone else.

You know, even though I was inconvenienced by this event and a little amused by his "I'll teach you, you dumb mother trucker" attitude, I was also feeling just a little bit giddy. Apparently, he has seen his fair share of ignorant freighthaulers who ride the left lane at a slower pace in a mind numbing stupor. And while I may have been the "sheep" he was aiming to herd, I can only hope he is successful in his efforts to teach  the big riggers the rules of the road. Oh the Joy!, to see the day when the left lane is once again used for passing, rather than a place to camp out because all those cars are scary merging in from the side roads and entrances.

And so it goes, I must stop now! I can feel a rant coming on................................