Long Weekend: Job Or No Job?

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mountain girl's Comment
member avatar

I did all my testing yesterday from about 8:00 am until about 3:00 pm. I was tested on the hostler pre-trip and brake test, hostler skills course, parking pups up to docks between 2 53' trailers, blind-side alley docks, serpentine parallel parking, tractor pre-trip and brake test, hooking doubles sets within 20 minutes, unhooking doubles, tractor-trailer pre-trip, tractor-trailer skills hooking, tractor-trailer driving skills course, giving a detailed tour of the entire yard while driving through in the tractor-trailer, tractor-trailer road test. I'd never done alley docks with the hostler, but it was part of the test. I'd never hooked up doubles using the hostler, but I had the option of hooking a set with that or the tractor. I chose the hostler. I bombed the hostler skills course test - 7 out or 8, pass or fail, and I got 6. I bombed the tractor-trailer skills course 7 out of 8, pass or fail, and I got 6, probably came close to maxing the pre-trips, drove decently on the road test. I was doing all my skills on the course well, the day before. Couldn't pull it together again for testing day.

When all was said and done, tractor, trailers, all put away, my lead instructor told me to come in to work on Tuesday morning at 8:00 am and I would find out then, if I still had a job or not. No answer on how I did on the test. No nada. I was "close" to passing the test but he wasn't sure, he said. "It could go either way," he said. I begged him to tally it all up before going home and to tell me then but he said he had to "add up all the numbers" and honestly, I don't believe him. He either knew whether or not I passed or failed but my guess is that the status of my employment will be decided by committee, sometime between 6:00 and 8:00 am before I arrive and that it's not entirely objective. This could be a good or a bad thing. If they don't want me to stay on with them, they have the perfect out: I bombed the skills course. If they want me to stay on with Con-way, they could take my skills score into consideration but still allow me to work for them. I was told I could ask for an extra week of training if I thought I needed it, but when I asked, my request was denied. I have been told so many things that turned out to be different from reality or different because someone changed their mind to fit what was convenient for them that I don't know who to believe. Actually, my new policy will be to believe nothing and speak to no one.

So I get to pine all weekend and wonder whether or not they'll hire me for good. I spoke to the office administrator and told her I'd work as hard they needed me to, just to stay on with them. I told her I'd do whatever they needed. She said I had had a great attitude for the whole session and that she would put in a good word for me on Tuesday. (It still sounds like there will be a decision made by committee)

My skills might not be up to par right now, but I could still do the job, do it safely, and represent the company extremely well. For what it was worth, I told the office supervisor I really, really wanted this job.

I made so many errors, so many mistakes, made myself look bad in a few ways that I'm not proud of a lot of it. That's not half the story (they put me through so much bs it's not even funny) but that's the most important highlight of the weekend, for me

Waiting.

-mountain girl

embarrassed.gif

P.S. Suggestions, comments, anyone?

Doubles:

Refers to pulling two trailers at the same time, otherwise known as "pups" or "pup trailers" because they're only about 28 feet long. However there are some states that allow doubles that are each 48 feet in length.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
mountain girl's Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

I don't know about trucking. I do know from experience, don't eat yourself up the whole weekend. It's out of your control now and worrying about it won't change things. You've done your best , you've done all you could do. Now you have to wait, and that's hard to do I know.

-HetzelMr.

Thanks, HM.

Thanks for the encouragement. I did my best but ma-an. Some things were really ugly. I was told by the admin supervisor a week before school started that I only needed my hazmat investigation started. I sent her a copy of my receipt from TSA that proved I'd started that process. She knew that even if I had taken my hazmat test before this training started, my background investigation would not have been finished in time for me to actually have my hazmat by then. A week and a half into the course, I got into trouble for not having my hazmat yet, was told to leave school and go take my test, and then got written up for being absent from class. I was absent for 2 hours that afternoon and a couple the next morning because it took 2 trips to the DMV to get things done. Luckily, by the time they did send me in, my background investigation had come back to the DMV (not to my home address like it was supposed to), completed but because she told me it only needed to be started, not completed by school, I'm the one who took the hit for 2 absences. Without notice, I was told to work an extra 6 hours on the dock the next day. Not a huge problem, but it cost me an extra $60 to send pizza to my kids for dinner. They're large animals. LOL.

The next week, after having my butt chewed for not having my logbook up-to-the-minute, I kept a good logbook, with available hours and that Sat morning, I was to practice in the yard with the 12-week students for 4 hours with only 2 available hours left. There's a reason for "available hours." After 68 hours in the past 8 days, I was exhausted. On the way to Con-way, I was seeing things that were not on the road, and almost drove off an embankment. I notified my trainer that I couldn't drive up there and that I was even too tired to drive home and had to pull over. Which I did. I slept in the car for 2 hrs before attempting to drive home. I got written up for that too. The following weekend, I took home a folder that had all my student information in it. I showed up 7 minutes late for class, and got another half point against me (if they add up to 12 in a year, you're automatically fired) for that and got written up for it. My bad. But when I was sent to the supervisor's office to get chewed out for that, he said I had 5 or 6 infractions and that I was over 12 minutes late. He asked if I had an excuse. I offered none. (In the military, you offer no excuse 'cause any excuse is lame, so just own up to your mistake and move on) This actually ****ed him off and he questioned me as to why I had no excuse. Holy crud! Would a lame excuse like my alarm clock not going off (what actually happened) make it any better?! I have no problem owning up to my own stuff, but I don't appreciate the exaggerations. I went back into his office later and asked if he could at least check on the number of attendance issues. Was it 5 or 6, or was it really 3 or 4. This ****ed him off even further and he and one of my trainers had a discussion over whether or not he could actually fire me then.

Next thing I know, the next day, I was pulled into another manager's office for taking home a folder I thought was mine (it had my name on it and sat out in the open, on a table in the back of the classroom for all to read) to study the requirements for the final week but according to them, I took company property off the premises. I was put on notice and told to not come in to work the next day while they investigated the incident.

Sorry peeps. I left the building crying. No more tough-girl for the day. She was gone. I asked them, if they were so serious about "company property," could they at least, clearly lay out the standard, so one didn't have to learn about it this way.

Talk about struggling to keep my tail out of the dog-house. Sheesh. Old lady commercial: "I'm falling and I can't get up."

The day I was to not come in was supposed to be an all-day practice before my day of testing. I stayed home. And actually, I slept the entire day. The terminal manager called me and asked me if I wanted to come in to work at 6:00am the following day. I said, "Yes, please." I explained that I had no idea that what I did was against policy, I really, truly cared about how I did my job and that I cared about doing it well. We met, he explained he had to handle every single incident exactly the same, in order to keep everything fair, we made amends, he sort-of said, "If you want to come aboard and play by the rules, I'm inviting you to join us." I so appreciated his invitation, accepted, we shook hands, and moved on. I did my best yesterday, after a full day of practice that he granted me, on Thursday. Fair enough. I did my very best, although my skills weren't up to par.

So, I'm in deep kimchee.

I never did any damage, I was alwaaays safe, I tried my best, I even had to deal with one emergency involving one of my kids during this period, I drove well on the road, I came close to max-ing my pre-trips, I could still do my job well, safely, and if they gave me the chance, I could improve my skills.

Aaand I'm job hunting, ugh. Just in case.

-mountain girl

Logbook:

A written or electronic record of a driver's duty status which must be maintained at all times. The driver records the amount of time spent driving, on-duty not driving, in the sleeper berth, or off duty. The enforcement of the Hours Of Service Rules (HOS) are based upon the entries put in a driver's logbook.

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

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.

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.

DMV:

Department of Motor Vehicles, Bureau of Motor Vehicles

The state agency that handles everything related to your driver's licences, including testing, issuance, transfers, and revocation.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

guyjax(Guy Hodges)'s Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

MG I won't try to make ya feel better cause the other guys did a good job of that. What I will tell you is keep you mind occupied. Let's hope everything works out for the best for you Tuesday. I sure hope it does cause you have worked hard up to this point but sometimes working hard is not enough. Luck can play a part in it.

Now here is something to do. Unless your going to truly relax and throw back a few beers and put it out of your mind, which I doubt you will do since you want to drive a truck so bad, here is what you do.

Tuesday will take care of itself one way or another. If it goes in your favor that is great but if it does not let's get prepared a head of time. Start going back through your list of companies that you had when you first finished school. Start looking at and read up on them. Maybe you won't need them come Tuesday and it's a little work to fill your time but just in case be ready to fire off applications on the computer and make phone calls first chance you get.

Now is not the time to take a chance of nothing happening. You finished school and had some training so you don't want to let to much time pass between it and actually driving a truck again......

Point is stay busy this holiday weekend and be ready to hit the road running Tuesday morning come what may. I really am pulling for ya but I am also a realist and better to be prepared for the "What if".

Good luck Tuesday.

Old School's Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

Hey Mountain Girl, I know you are really wanting this to work out. I know exactly how you feel. When I first started this journey I thought the only place to work for me was TMC. I tried like crazy to get on there too. Twice they sent me home and then offered to let me come back a third time. Then when it came time to get my third bus ticket from them it seemed someone in management had made the decision to not waste any more money or time on getting me in their program. That was after I spent around thirteen thousand dollars out of pocket for hernia surgery just so I could go back up there and try it again the third time. There was not a thing I could do, I had to move forward. Then the next company I tried to get on with decided after I had taken the thirty hour bus ride to their location, that due to my surgery and recovery time plus the time I had already wasted at two TMC orientations, I had been out of a truck for too long a time period from my schooling for them to hire me. I was beginning to throw up my hands and wonder if I would ever be able to get this second career of mine under way.

Sometimes it is just brutal getting your trucking career off to a start. Do you remember how badly you were wanting to work for that tanker company? It didn't work out and then the next thing you know you had a shot at Conway. Be careful and don't let yourself despair, you have done a bang up job over there proving yourself. If for some reason beyond your control they don't let you stay, there will be another great opportunity arise, but I've got a feeling we will be hearing back from a very happy Mountain Girl come next week.

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.

Mike H.'s Comment
member avatar

I don't know about trucking. I do know from experience, don't eat yourself up the whole weekend. It's out of your control now and worrying about it won't change things. You've done your best , you've done all you could do. Now you have to wait, and that's hard to do I know.

MRC's Comment
member avatar

Mountain girl, keep it together and focus on the positive. It sounds like you just went through hell week at SEAL Camp in one day. Don't doubt yourself, you have asked for extra help, you have tried your best, you have shown and spoke, that you are willing to go the extra mile. I hope that they come back to you Tues. and give you the keys to a truck, just know that we are pulling for you, don't freak out and give up!! good-luck.gifgood-luck-2.gif

Jolie R.'s Comment
member avatar

Oh MG I so feel for you right now! I know you have worked your tail off these past few weeks. I will be keeping you in my thoughts that all turns out positive for you!

David's Comment
member avatar

Don't fret over it, you'll just put yourself down more and more. Just relax and keep thinking positive.. Good luck to you.

Deb R.'s Comment
member avatar

Man, that's rough. Why does something like that have to happen just before a long weekend?

I don't know about trucking. I do know from experience, don't eat yourself up the whole weekend.

HetzelMr. has good advice. It's out of your hands for now, try to enjoy a few of the last beautiful summer days in the mountains. I hope that things will work well out for you on Tuesday.

Tarren W.'s Comment
member avatar

Keep your chin up MG. We're all pulling for you. As it was said: relax and enjoy the weekend, come what may. I'll be sure to keep you in my thoughts and prayers. Just remember, there is a "driver shortage", if this job doesn't work out. There are other companies you can apply to. You're doing your best. They have to know that & that nerves may have played a part. Everything happens for a reason. You shouldn't beat yourself up. Trust me, it doesn't help.

Take care,

Tarren

Rolling Thunder's Comment
member avatar

Dang Mountain Girl, that was a brutal day! Like what was already said, you absolutely did everything you could for them these past weeks and if they choose to release you, their loss. You can and will be picked up by another company, and, from what you say about their questionable integrity regarding how they went back on some statements, this may be a blessing in disguise of a disappointment. I feel after reading you posts, you have a bright future in a big truck ahead of you.

Good luck and keep your head up!

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

mountain girl's Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

I don't know about trucking. I do know from experience, don't eat yourself up the whole weekend. It's out of your control now and worrying about it won't change things. You've done your best , you've done all you could do. Now you have to wait, and that's hard to do I know.

-HetzelMr.

Thanks, HM.

Thanks for the encouragement. I did my best but ma-an. Some things were really ugly. I was told by the admin supervisor a week before school started that I only needed my hazmat investigation started. I sent her a copy of my receipt from TSA that proved I'd started that process. She knew that even if I had taken my hazmat test before this training started, my background investigation would not have been finished in time for me to actually have my hazmat by then. A week and a half into the course, I got into trouble for not having my hazmat yet, was told to leave school and go take my test, and then got written up for being absent from class. I was absent for 2 hours that afternoon and a couple the next morning because it took 2 trips to the DMV to get things done. Luckily, by the time they did send me in, my background investigation had come back to the DMV (not to my home address like it was supposed to), completed but because she told me it only needed to be started, not completed by school, I'm the one who took the hit for 2 absences. Without notice, I was told to work an extra 6 hours on the dock the next day. Not a huge problem, but it cost me an extra $60 to send pizza to my kids for dinner. They're large animals. LOL.

The next week, after having my butt chewed for not having my logbook up-to-the-minute, I kept a good logbook, with available hours and that Sat morning, I was to practice in the yard with the 12-week students for 4 hours with only 2 available hours left. There's a reason for "available hours." After 68 hours in the past 8 days, I was exhausted. On the way to Con-way, I was seeing things that were not on the road, and almost drove off an embankment. I notified my trainer that I couldn't drive up there and that I was even too tired to drive home and had to pull over. Which I did. I slept in the car for 2 hrs before attempting to drive home. I got written up for that too. The following weekend, I took home a folder that had all my student information in it. I showed up 7 minutes late for class, and got another half point against me (if they add up to 12 in a year, you're automatically fired) for that and got written up for it. My bad. But when I was sent to the supervisor's office to get chewed out for that, he said I had 5 or 6 infractions and that I was over 12 minutes late. He asked if I had an excuse. I offered none. (In the military, you offer no excuse 'cause any excuse is lame, so just own up to your mistake and move on) This actually ****ed him off and he questioned me as to why I had no excuse. Holy crud! Would a lame excuse like my alarm clock not going off (what actually happened) make it any better?! I have no problem owning up to my own stuff, but I don't appreciate the exaggerations. I went back into his office later and asked if he could at least check on the number of attendance issues. Was it 5 or 6, or was it really 3 or 4. This ****ed him off even further and he and one of my trainers had a discussion over whether or not he could actually fire me then.

Next thing I know, the next day, I was pulled into another manager's office for taking home a folder I thought was mine (it had my name on it and sat out in the open, on a table in the back of the classroom for all to read) to study the requirements for the final week but according to them, I took company property off the premises. I was put on notice and told to not come in to work the next day while they investigated the incident.

Sorry peeps. I left the building crying. No more tough-girl for the day. She was gone. I asked them, if they were so serious about "company property," could they at least, clearly lay out the standard, so one didn't have to learn about it this way.

Talk about struggling to keep my tail out of the dog-house. Sheesh. Old lady commercial: "I'm falling and I can't get up."

The day I was to not come in was supposed to be an all-day practice before my day of testing. I stayed home. And actually, I slept the entire day. The terminal manager called me and asked me if I wanted to come in to work at 6:00am the following day. I said, "Yes, please." I explained that I had no idea that what I did was against policy, I really, truly cared about how I did my job and that I cared about doing it well. We met, he explained he had to handle every single incident exactly the same, in order to keep everything fair, we made amends, he sort-of said, "If you want to come aboard and play by the rules, I'm inviting you to join us." I so appreciated his invitation, accepted, we shook hands, and moved on. I did my best yesterday, after a full day of practice that he granted me, on Thursday. Fair enough. I did my very best, although my skills weren't up to par.

So, I'm in deep kimchee.

I never did any damage, I was alwaaays safe, I tried my best, I even had to deal with one emergency involving one of my kids during this period, I drove well on the road, I came close to max-ing my pre-trips, I could still do my job well, safely, and if they gave me the chance, I could improve my skills.

Aaand I'm job hunting, ugh. Just in case.

-mountain girl

Logbook:

A written or electronic record of a driver's duty status which must be maintained at all times. The driver records the amount of time spent driving, on-duty not driving, in the sleeper berth, or off duty. The enforcement of the Hours Of Service Rules (HOS) are based upon the entries put in a driver's logbook.

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

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.

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.

DMV:

Department of Motor Vehicles, Bureau of Motor Vehicles

The state agency that handles everything related to your driver's licences, including testing, issuance, transfers, and revocation.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

guyjax(Guy Hodges)'s Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

MG I won't try to make ya feel better cause the other guys did a good job of that. What I will tell you is keep you mind occupied. Let's hope everything works out for the best for you Tuesday. I sure hope it does cause you have worked hard up to this point but sometimes working hard is not enough. Luck can play a part in it.

Now here is something to do. Unless your going to truly relax and throw back a few beers and put it out of your mind, which I doubt you will do since you want to drive a truck so bad, here is what you do.

Tuesday will take care of itself one way or another. If it goes in your favor that is great but if it does not let's get prepared a head of time. Start going back through your list of companies that you had when you first finished school. Start looking at and read up on them. Maybe you won't need them come Tuesday and it's a little work to fill your time but just in case be ready to fire off applications on the computer and make phone calls first chance you get.

Now is not the time to take a chance of nothing happening. You finished school and had some training so you don't want to let to much time pass between it and actually driving a truck again......

Point is stay busy this holiday weekend and be ready to hit the road running Tuesday morning come what may. I really am pulling for ya but I am also a realist and better to be prepared for the "What if".

Good luck Tuesday.

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