Just arrived an hour ago. So nice to be home and done with that orientation business. Don't get me wrong. The trainers and other personnel were all very nice and professional. It's just that I didn't much care to go through it, and worse, to do so away from home and family. It's tough having to do what one has to do sometimes, but that's life.
Lot's to learn about trucking and how this company wants their people to do it. Rules and procedures galore and much testing to ensure knowledge thereof. Passed everything and am now officially an employee, though for the next two weeks or so (less if I do well enough, and I plan to do as well as possible), I'll have to work with a trainer over-the-road and impress upon him that I can do the job. Then I'll get my own truck and assignment and I'll be on my own. As I understand it, this phase is basically a guy doing a standard run with a trainee in the cab doing most of the work, with the trainer evaluating all. Finally, there is one more test at the very end of it before I get my own truck.
Once I'm on the road, with only myself to guide me (help is a phone call away), THEN I'll get to understand if I just made a huge career mistake.
Of course, I'm looking to get just enough experience to satisfy a company offering a local opportunity. Being home every night is the goal. Aside from merely being home with the family, which is where my heart is, I also have my own hobbies and interests, some of which I just can't any longer enjoy as an OTR trucker. I'm sure I'll enjoy aspects of the job, but I'll never enjoy not bowling, for instance. And I'll damn well never enjoy missing dinner with my wife and daughter.
So I'll be counting the assignments until three, then six months pass and every couple of weeks after, as I seek out that opportunity that matches my needs and desires best. Best case scenario would have the opportunity arising from within this same company, as I really don't care to switch employers at my age.
What sucks most is the fact that clowns run Washington right now. Some say we're beginning to emerge from the recession and the econmy is beginning to rebound. Of course the Obama people are taking credit. No surprise there. But the fact is that they were in the way. Still are. They need to back off and let the market take care of itself. The economy would rebound no matter what because that's how it works. Washington can only get in the way and slow or disrupt. The idea that we were on the brink was ludicrous. Yeah, it might have been rough, but rougher than now? How would the average guy notice the difference? The only action Washington should have taken and should be taking is to back off on those things it did to get in the way. Like lowering the corporate tax.
So if there's actual opportunity in the next three to six months, I'll try as I can to find a local run. Then life will truly be good, relative to my current situation. In the meantime, I'll be blogging as time allows via laptop, once I get one. Knowing I'll still get to mix it up some and also continue to show Feodor why all his education hasn't made him wise will make the road smoother.
Special Thanks to both Tugboat Captain and Geoffrey for comments and insights regarding life on the road. I appreciate it greatly.