Monday, June 19, 2006

What Were They Thinkin'?

Driving around the country, I've seen some truly funky names of towns and such. Here are a couple I've come across:

Sugartit, KY. Boone County, just south of Cinncinati. Look it up.

Big Bone Lick State Park, also in Kentucky.

Toad Suck Park, AR.

And there are more. Lots more. I'll post 'em as I see 'em.

It's times like this I wish I had a laptop.....

Still Alive.

Hey all! Figured since I'm home, I should probably reassure you that I'm not dead at the side of a road somewhere.

Right now, I'm getting ready to take The Wife on a vacation. Tomorrow we're takin' the younguns to Memaw and Pawpaw's and from there, the two of us are goin' to Galveston, TX to welcome in the hurricane season.

Well, not really. We're going down to see some old friends, but frankly that just sounds boring....

Anyway, until then, I thought I might give a little update on the job.

The first couple weeks were great. My first settlement check was 3 times what I was making as a school custodian! In my first week alone, I drove 2600 miles -- not bad for a cargo van (the go-cart of the trucking industry)! I drove through Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa (which despite all the Iowa jokes out there, has really nice roads), Kansas (not as boring as I thought it'd be), Ooooklahoma (which was)....

Let's just say I drove alot; there're a lot of states people!

Everything went great, until.......


(I warned you, LittleJoe, I warned you...)

It seemed like a good run.... Almost 900 miles from Atlanta, GA to Athens, PA.... a weekend run (pickup on Friday, deliver on Monday). I like those runs, 'cause if I have freight in the back, I can't sleep in the van and my company pays for a hotel -- not a great hotel, but hey, if it's got a shower, bed, and cable, it's all good!

Now for the record, P-F-A is beautiful country: the hills, forests, the all-American small towns.

There are really only 3 things I hate about P-F-A -- it's expensive as all hell, it's difficult as all hell to get around 'cause the highway system sucks, and it's a fucking vacuum when it comes to moving freight out.

After delivering Monday morning, I was sent to Erie, P-F-A to wait for my next load.

A chill went up my spine. The last time I drove expedite and was sent to Erie, was the Easter weekend before last. I spent that whole freakin' weekend in Erie!

So I get to Erie, and check to see how many other ConWay vans are in the area. Great, I was the only one, how long could it take to get a load?

Three days later, I was still the only one in Erie.

Pissed beyond all reason, I call dispatch. It went something like this:

Me: Please tell me there'll be something moving out of this God-forsaken area soon?

Dispatcher: I'm sure something will be ready soon. It's usually such a busy area. Just be patient.

(NOTE: This is a common dispatcher lie.)

Me: (biting my tongue) I've been patient for 3 days. It's past time for me to get the hell outa here.

Dispatcher: Well, I hesitate to move you because you're number one on the Erie board [area].

Me: (losing my mind in an understandable, albeit a most unprofessional way) I'VE BEEN NUMBER ONE ON THIS FREAKIN' BOARD FOR 3 FREAKIN' DAYS!!! GET ME. THE HELL. OUT OF HERE!!!

Well, something having finally clicked with the silly bint, she decided to call the Load Planner, letting her know that a driver was about to go on a homicidal/suicidal spree, who in turn called me and, in a most soothing voice and manner, suggested that I move to Cleveland, OH.

Cool, right? Finally moving, and that's good, right?

NOT in this case, because I sat for four more days in Cleveland. That's right, one. whole. week without a single load. The owner of my van is thinking that I'm going to quit. I'm surprised she's not quitting with this company. It's not like she's making anything if I'm not rolling, either.

I'm not tankin' the job yet though. I'm sticking with it. I do enjoy it. Boss Lady says things will definatly get better, and I tend to trust her -- she hasn't tried to screw me out of anything and she didn't raise a fuss when I asked for vacation time with The Wife - we'd made those plans before I took the job, but still...

Well, I have other things I want to post about and this one's gone for quite a while. I hear the crickets warming up, so bye.