Should I Quit Before I Get Fired?

Topic 29281 | Page 1

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Xxxswb's Comment
member avatar

So I work for one of the mega carriers and I actually started my Trucking career with them. I have been working for them for 16 months . I'm currently on probation because the camera caught me holding my cell phone. I recently had a hard stop at a red light and crossed the white line. I started applying the brake as soon as the yellow light appeared but skidded because the road was wet. I ended up about 5 feet beyond the white line when I came to a stop. Of course the camera activated and being on probation already I'm pretty certain they will fire me because they will consider it running a light. My real question is should I go ahead and quit so they won't have me as being terminated for safety reasons or just let them fire me? I don't have time to put and I notice that I'm quitting because they will get the video and the next couple of days probably. If I do quit I do plan on taking the truck to a terminal. I know they could put on my DAC report that I was insubordinate but I figure that may be better than getting terminated for safety reasons.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

DAC:

Drive-A-Check Report

A truck drivers DAC report will contain detailed information about their job history of the last 10 years as a CDL driver (as required by the DOT).

It may also contain your criminal history, drug test results, DOT infractions and accident history. The program is strictly voluntary from a company standpoint, but most of the medium-to-large carriers will participate.

Most trucking companies use DAC reports as part of their hiring and background check process. It is extremely important that drivers verify that the information contained in it is correct, and have it fixed if it's not.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

I don't see any reason for you to quit. Here's what you said...

I started applying the brake as soon as the yellow light appeared but skidded because the road was wet. I ended up about 5 feet beyond the white line when I came to a stop. Of course the camera activated and being on probation already I'm pretty certain they will fire me because they will consider it running a light.

The camera activated so they are going to see exactly when you started braking. There is nothing unsafe in what you described unless you are withholding some information from us. Were you speeding? Were you holding your cell phone again? What's the issue? You had to stop quickly on a wet road. Is it just that you are on probation that has you paranoid? I have a gut feeling there is more to this than you are sharing.

Look I've been on the road for a good many years with these crazy cameras in the trucks. They are going to catch things because there's just a lot of things that happen out here. If you can learn from the things that camera is catching then they are worth having. If you can't learn from that camera and it only induces you to quit and go elsewhere then you are really missing the point of having the camera. If you get a call from safety about this incident I would tell them that you realize you could have handled the situation better. You could have. You should have probably been moving slower in an area where there are lights and the road was wet. Have you considered that? I think you can learn something from this incident. If you do, you need to share it with the safety personnel when you talk with them.

I don't think quitting is the answer. I think you need to learn something from this incident and keep moving forward. If you want to quit this company do it after you've gotten yourself off probation and can leave with a good conscience and a good driving record. Otherwise you just carry your issues forward to your next job.

Xxxswb's Comment
member avatar

Haven't left anything out. I wasn't speeding. I just know they'll say I should have been going slower for the road conditions and they'll probably say I should of been slowing anticipating the light to change. I've heard many times that there's no way out with them. By law I really didn't do anything wrong and I know that but yea if I were a perfect driver I could have avoided the situation...maybe. A little slower and anticipating it might turn would have helped. I'm just not a perfect driver though. The truck just skidded...i let off a little untill it stopped skidding then re applied the brakes just to skid some more. I know I didn't do anything wrong but maybe could have avoided it. I just want to know if it's better to quit without a notice or get fired for safety reasons.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Steven, I just reiterate what I said. You need to learn something from this incident. Listen to yourself.

I could have avoided the situation...maybe. A little slower and anticipating it might turn would have helped. I'm just not a perfect driver though.

This is a performance based business. You have got to be a top performer out here. Everyday you want to learn from every detail. If you handle this conversation with the safety director like you did in here you will get fired. What you need to do is actually learn something from this and then share it with them. You are determined that you already know the outcome of this scenario.

I've heard many times that there's no way out with them.

I have no idea which company you are with, but I don't for a minute believe what you are convinced of. They want safe drivers. They want drivers who are willing to learn from their mistakes. I'm not convinced you learned anything. You are concerned with one thing, and it's the wrong thing.

I just want to know if it's better to quit without a notice or get fired for safety reasons.

It's better to learn from your mistakes, and then don't repeat them. It's better to stay where you are and give a two week notice when you are ready to leave. You don't need to leave in a rush thinking you are going to somehow keep your DAC clean. They can put on there whatever they want. Don't give them a reason to do that. Personally I would have been right on the phone with safety immediately following that incident with the light. I would have explained to them what happened and asked them to call me back after reviewing the video. I also would have explained in great detail what a boneheaded mistake I made, and laid it all out about the things I learned from the incident. I would never lay the blame on the fact that "I am not a perfect driver." That's just an excuse for being a little lazy with your precautions. If the road conditions were slick and wet you should have compensated for that by lowering your speed. That way you could have stopped without skidding. It doesn't require perfection to be aware of your surroundings and be cautious like that. That's just common sense in a big rig.

I know I didn't do anything wrong but maybe could have avoided it.

I certainly wouldn't say that to them either. I'd say, "I damn sure could have avoided it, and now I know the things I did wrong. Now I know what to do to make sure that doesn't happen next time." Take responsibility and learn your lesson. That is all they want to hear. That's what will help you keep this job. If you have been a good responsible driver who is easy to work with and highly productive, I don't think you will get fired.

No matter whether they fire you or not, I would be a stand up guy and try to learn some lessons from this. I'm not sure you are there yet. It seems you just want to save your own skin and avoid any consequences. That's just not the way to develop yourself into a highly respected driver.

Let us know how this all plays out if you would. I'd like to know.

DAC:

Drive-A-Check Report

A truck drivers DAC report will contain detailed information about their job history of the last 10 years as a CDL driver (as required by the DOT).

It may also contain your criminal history, drug test results, DOT infractions and accident history. The program is strictly voluntary from a company standpoint, but most of the medium-to-large carriers will participate.

Most trucking companies use DAC reports as part of their hiring and background check process. It is extremely important that drivers verify that the information contained in it is correct, and have it fixed if it's not.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Xxxswb's Comment
member avatar

They'll have their minds made up when they call. That's just how they are. It won't matter what I say but I wont be an ******* regardless. I don't think you understand. I'm not saying it couldn't be avoided, just that I don't think it's worthy of termination and ruining me. I learn from every mistake I make. I'm a he'll of a lot better than when I first started for that reason. Haven't had a camera incident in over 3 months. I guess I'll just let um do what they'll do. I did call safety and he switched me over to another guy that didn't answer. I'm guessing because it was Friday afternoon. Anyways, I let you know if I get fired.

Xxxswb's Comment
member avatar

Thing is though, like I said. They will consider it running a light. That's a safety violation to them no matter what so I'm pretty sure they'll fire me. Was just wanting to do what was best for my record because I'd like to keep driving. I've learned from my mistake but it still may cost me my career and I don't agree that it's worthy of that. We will see.

Georgia Mike's Comment
member avatar

Let them make the decision because you dont know what decision they are going to make. If they let you go ok, go to a second chance company for about 6 months to a year and move on

PJ's Comment
member avatar

I agree with everything already said whole heartedly. Every big company is hurting for drivers. What you describe with the red light will get you a discussion, but not fired. You already know what you could have done better. Your still a rookie learning. They know that.

They are looking for patterns, and as long as you demonstrate to them you are learning from your mistakes and not setting that unsafe pattern you should keep your job.

Personally the cell phone issue is a bigger deal than the red light. That was 100 percent your fault, and just fyi at my company would have caused immediate termination.

Quitting because you think they might fire you won’t head off anything. They will still say what they want and you would have to go through the dispute process, which usually does not change anything.

Old School's Comment
member avatar
I don't think you understand.

Trust me brother - I understand. I have given you the best possible advice. This is a perfect example of something we discuss fairly often here. Have you ever heard the phrase, "The Tyranny of Urgency?" That is what has taken hold of you. Urgency has gripped you because you are certain you know the outcome. That urgency is making you want to make a quick decision, and take immediate action that skirts the consequences. That does nothing for your long term career decisions. It's causing you to think in non-rational ways. You simply cannot make career decisions that way. Once again I'm going to say if you respond to safety with similar responses that you have exhibited here then you probably will be fired. They want to hear you take responsibility - no excuses - no laying of blame elsewhere. They want to hear what you learned from the experience. Give them those things. Don't cave in to all that you've heard other drivers tell you. This is not about "how they are." This is all about you. This is your chance to show them that you are worth keeping. Make your case!

It won't matter what I say

You are clearly the one that doesn't understand. Everything hinges on this. What you say is critical. You will probably mess this up because you just don't get the gravity of a phone call like this one. They are looking for a reason to keep you or cut their losses. Everything you say will determine how this unfolds. The truth has a way of coming out of most people. If you honestly learned nothing from this it will show up in the phone call and they will know. I hope you have learned some real lessons or at least can fake it good enough to make them think you have. You haven't done real well in this conversation, and that is a huge concern of mine.

Was just wanting to do what was best for my record because I'd like to keep driving.

I'm getting a little tough on you now - you need a little push. I honestly understand the pressure you are feeling. You just can't let urgency tyrannize your decision making. If you really want to do what is best for your record, you drive that rig in a way that doesn't trigger that camera. It can be done. I know you are new in here. You don't have the privilege of being familiar with me. I have repeatedly said in past posts, "That camera in my truck has made me a much better driver." That's the truth. That camera helps you know when you aren't doing what you should. It clearly demonstrated this time that you should have already made the decision to slow down in that area. You had traffic lights and wet streets. Big trucks don't stop like cars. That is stuff that you already know. The camera just reminded you of something you should have already known. Had you made the proper decision on the road you wouldn't be feeling all this pressure now. Do you see how this urgency has tyrannized your mind?

The absolute best thing we can do for our record is to produce a safe record. There's that nagging word "produce" again. We teach this all the time. Trucking is performance based. We drivers create or produce our own record. We all have to get that. Our record is just what we make it.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Xxxswb's Comment
member avatar

I'm going to take y'alls advice. I'll learn from it either way. I honestly try to be a good driver and for the most part I am. I do recognize my mistakes and I own them. I'm truly regretful that I wasn't going slower to avoid the situation. I'll let you know how it plays out. I appreciate the advice on the matter...i really do. I just hate that I've started off so poorly.

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