Randy's Phase 1 CDL Training - Part 2

by rbradyjohnsen

30%20bus%20girl%2011-4-09.JPGIf you're going to take a bus somewhere, you're not going to get a lot of quiet time. Here's one of Randy's "traveling companions" during his bus trip.

Yesterday I forgot to say all the states Randy's been in, just since the beginning of the week: Utah, Wyoming, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, South Carolina and North Carolina. Before he went to school, he'd only been in 2 of those states. I know this is super-exciting for him so far!

I am totally loving the website that allows me to see where Randy is. I'm busy here, so I only check it a few times a day, but I know when he is likely driving. I watched him clip the Ozarks today before I spent over 10 hours packing and organizing. I knew he was really looking forward to seeing the St. Louis Gateway Arch, because he slept through it last time. I later found out he hit some nasty rush-hour traffic and had a little mishap with the GPS, but otherwise he's still doing great! :)

He told me he's almost out of hours and will be back at the school (briefly) by later tomorrow. It will be nice to talk to him while he's not in motion.

BTW, I think there are some people here who are getting the wrong idea about us. We have had a crazy life, much of it due to alcoholism, and we've both joked about it to help us get through it. For anyone who thinks I've been "running him down", please pay attention to this:

Randy has been super-successful (at times) owning his own business, which mostly allowed me to stay home and raise 2 beautiful and accomplished children. He's smart, talented, funny, skillful, hard-working, and I think he's friggin' adorable! Why, he's even incredibly handsome and sexy on his Utah driver's license that just came in the mail! Is he perfect? Nope. Is anybody perfect? Nope.

I love him more than anything in the world, and I would crawl on my hands and knees to Utah if I thought it would help him right now! But it wouldn't help so, instead, I am limping and wobbling along on my treadmill to see if I can gain enough strength to drive to Des Moines. That way, I can pick him up when he's done with Phase 1 so he won't have to ride that horrible bus home! And it hurts more than you can even imagine! But he asked me if I could make it there, so I'm trying my best. And he's DARNED lucky to have me!

If I thought he was a loser, that would make me a loser squared. ;) So when I kid around about stuff, please don't take it seriously, k? If you see a winky face ;), I am just trying to be funny. I'm sorry if that offends anyone, but life can't be serious ALL the time. :)

P.S. I'm keeping about 98.5%+ of what Randy tells me private, like it should be.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Mr. Trainer, who I found out speaks 4 languages, drove 700 miles while Randy was sleeping. That's pretty fast, but he sounds like a smart guy. They have become very comfortable with each other already, which is a relief for everyone. I'm sure this week was a little nerve-wrecking for the trainer and his wife too. I can't even imagine letting a virtual stranger drive your truck, especially while you try to sleep. And he's told Randy some very interesting stories about previous trainees.

While Randy was sleeping, some water splashed on his phone and killed it :( ,which is not the first time, but Mrs. Trainer has a son who works at an ATandT store. How lucky is that? Hopefully, he'll be able to get a replacement tomorrow. Too bad there's no warranty...whatever, he NEEDS a phone.

Meanwhile, Mr. and Mrs. Trainer went out and Randy is babysitting their little dogs. And he showered, did his laundry, ate lots of free food, and they told him he could order Pay-Per-View on their giant t.v. if he wants. They're very hospitable, and he's staying there until they head for South Carolina again tomorrow night. Plus they left him one of their Blackberries and we talked for hours, until we nearly killed the battery. I'm starting to really like those people. :)

It sounds like Randy is learning a lot, even if they don't do things quite "by the book". This first week out with the trainer was extra-stressful, just like the first week at school. But Randy sounds very positive and is even talking about possibly moving us to Salt Lake City. It feels like another milestone has been passed, even though there's still a long way to go.

P.S. Passing along a message from Randy: It reduces his stress level to hear about the people who have been nice and helped me out on here, because he has enough to worry about.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Phew! Randy has a phone again. And, that's right, I [b]really[/b] haven't called him since August 31...I am the MODEL of self-control about that. I think I've only called him once or twice since he left over 4 weeks ago, but it's not because I don't want to! To me, having his phone die was the worst thing that could happen short of having him crash the truck! Thank heaven's Mr. and Mrs. Trainer ran him around to an ATM and 2 different ATandT stores. They have been so helpful, they're treating him like family and I'm totally grateful to them. I almost had a meltdown when the first store wanted to charge him over $170 for the cheapest phone. But I disengaged from control-freak mode (which I'm getting really good at), called in to change our account so he has equal access to it, and he wisely went to a different store and got a nice phone for only around $60. He's so smart, but why can't things go wrong on a weekday when it would be more convenient? ;)

I am now Facebook friends with Mrs. Trainer. I found out that we really do have a lot in common with them. For one, she's sensitive and cries easily, just like me. :) But she's still a tough truck driver. I like that. And Mr. Trainer has duct tape on the fridge and cabinets in his truck, just like Randy does at home! That's too funny! Now, if he drops his phone in some water, they'll practically be like twins! As long as they drive safely, I don't care if he wraps Randy AND his phone in duct tape! ;)

I was surrounded by people all weekend, but it still felt lonely because none of them was Randy. We've been talking about how it wouldn't be so bad if it was just a week or 2, but a couple of months is just waaaayyy too long. And we keep wondering if the economy will ever let him be a solo driver so I can come with him sometimes? He was even talking about, if I got really weak, how he would carry me around and lift me up into the truck. Hopefully it won't come to that, but I thought it was sweet anyway.

No driving today, but they'll be leaving again sometime after midnight.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
by Brett Aquila

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