Thinking the Unthinkable

I’ve found myself thinking the unthinkable today. I’ve actually mulled over the idea of going back to U.S. Xpress. Egads! Am I mad?
I should explain this.
First off, spending all day yesterday in a room full of team drivers was informative. I learned, for example, that the reason there doesn’t seem to be a lot of freight for the solo drivers is that the teams are running a lot of it. They’re going to the places I used to go to, and that’s the reason I’m seeing mostly Tennessee, North Carolina and parts of southern Virginia and Kentucky. So if my company is putting my solo trips on teams (who don’t want them, btw) and leaving solo drivers like me to feed on the leftovers, why am I with this company? I don’t know the answer to that.
Look, I like this company. I like the company being based relatively close to my home. I like getting “home” every weekend. I like driving a new truck. And for the most part I like the people. And while I admit that if I wasn’t being paid per diem my paychecks for the last couple of weeks would have been anemic, the thought of going back to U.S. Xpress leaves me feeling panicked. I haven’t forgotten their crimes or the way Mara and I were treated there. So The Company would really have to screw up to get me to jump ship. But I’ve heard some things which disturb me. Sure, some of it’s probably just the inane chatter of idle truck drivers. But some of it seems not just plausible, but likely.
I guess another thing that makes me think of U.S. Xpress is that with them I would see a lot more of the country. My joke since being with my current employer has been to say that the only problem with driving for them is that for the most part they don’t go west of the Mississippi, which sucks because that’s wherd all the interesting stuff is. I knew when I went with this company that I wouldn’t be going to California, Texas or Montana. But I find myself seriously looking at my last year of driving and wanting to take one last grand tour. One more lap around the track, to reclaim all those places for my own and experience them on my own terms. I guess in some ways it would be my last great adventure before either moving on to greater things or settling into a life of quiet obscurity, working a dead-end job and just making ends meet, but being happy that I have nowhere else that I have to be tomorrow and that once again 30 miles seems like a long way to go. And if I take the grand tour, it’ll be with camera in hand.
I’m not going to do anything rash. That’s how I wound up driving a truck in the first place. It’s quite likely that my miles with this company will pick up and all this will be forgotten. But I have to admit that the idea of heading west appeals to me.

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