I’ve had enough. Certainly I’ve had enough of the Company, so a few weeks ago I talked to some folks in Nebraska who seemed very nice. Several fellow drivers had recommended them. The Nebraskans say they’ll hire me, and will give me more time off and pay me much, much better than the pestilential people do. First, though, I have to get rid of the truck I’m in.
Step one has been accomplished. Step one consisted of getting home and cleaning out the truck of all but the bare essentials. Gone is the beanbag chair and all the other little comforts that turned a broom closet into a slightly less uncomfortable but just as claustrophobia-inducing broom closet. I’m down to two not-overly-large duffels and a bike messenger bag for the laptop, ready to hop a Greyhound as soon as I can finagle step two.
Step two is getting back to the yard and handing over the keys. Unfortunately, they’ve got me headed to Schenectedy.
Just now I’m sitting in Dodge City, where I usually end up after a few days home, and as usual my load is not ready. It may, they tell me, not be ready until the 2nd. Strangely enough, that could be a good thing. Because if I don’t saddle up until the 2nd, the chances of me making on-time delivery are essentially nil. So the Company will be highly motivated to repower me along the way. Of course that could be a bad thing as well, as they could repower me in the wrong direction although nothing could be very much wronger than where I’m headed now.
It would be awfully handy to finish this rodeo in a timely fashion. So I can work for the Nebraskans, right? Almost definitely not.
A funny thing happened on the way out of this hellhole. Once I knew I could leave the Company for another OTR (over-the-road) job, I realized that I really need to get out of OTR, period.
Those local driving jobs? The ones hunted to extinction? Surely there’s one tucked away somewhere with my name on it.
And if not, I’ll figure something else out. Because the bottom line is that this OTR thing is not working out. Every endless day of driving and waiting around, waiting around and driving, is another day in which I deteriorate physically, mentally, and every other way you might care to name, on my way to joining the army of gimping wounded and who are the mainstay of OTR. And; the writing conditions are terrible. So I’ll chalk this all up to experience, and use it as background material for the ‘Parzival’ character in the new novel. And who knows? – maybe that local job will materialize after all.
Oh, yes – there is the new novel. While there hasn’t been much actual writing of late, there has been some thinking and some working out. Now that this latest foray has reminded me that there are worse things than starving, I’m ready to sink my teeth into my too-long-delayed opus.