Time For The Weekly Whine

Another Tuesday. It’s time for the weekly whine about leaving. I get tired of hearing myself sometimes. You’d think that if we were both miserable enough that we needed to whine about leaving every week, that we’d just quit our jobs and hope for the best. But we can’t do that.
I just used our KingsMountain.US domain to trace the weather on our route to Waukegan. It looks like it’s going to be rain/snow all the way up. Joy, joy, joy. Ray won’t be happy if we’re delayed, but we really couldn’t care. I’m a little disturbed by the fact that we’re both developing certain anti-Ray tendencies. He’s not a bad guy, but in some ways he’s the stereo-typical uncaring dispatcher. I think if we had gotten the food poisoning last week and then nothing else had happened for a while, Ray would have been fine. But then we followed that bad week with a fucked up transmission and sitting for 2 days in Hammond, Indiana. In Ray’s world, I wonder if he thinks we somehow did something to the transmission?
I know that a lot went wrong with our little team last week. Ours wasn’t the only truck with issues. But it got old very quickly to talk to Ray and have him act like we were being lazy, like there was something that we could do to expedite the process and we just weren’t cooperating.
For example, we had to decide Saturday whether or not we were going to renew the hotel room or sit at Freightliner all day. So when we got up, we called Freightliner to ask if the part had come in (they said it would be in on Saturday morning). It hadn’t come in. So then they were saying that it would be in that afternoon, and expected the truck to be finished that evening.
Well, we’ve had pretty extensive experience with truck mechanics and the double-talk. To my mind, if they got in the part when they thought they would, and if they finished it when they thought they would, we would still have to spend most of the day sitting in uncomfortable recliner chairs in Freightliner’s drivers lounge. Have I mentioned that I have arthritis in my neck?
Anyway, I thought that perhaps we should not assume the best in regard to Freightliner’s promises (based upon 4+ years of experience with shops) and that we should renew the room. Which we did. Good thing, too. They didn’t finish the truck until around 03:00 Sunday morning.
Okay, so I got a little off-track. During the whole process, Ray seemed irritated with us, and was of the opinion that we just needed to “put a little pressure on them.” I was greatly irritated by his demeanor during the whole thing, which generally seemed to be that we were being lazy truck drivers who were using the fact that our transmission was sitting on the floor beside our truck to secure a two day vacation in the lovely environs of the snow-covered hamlet of Hammond, Indiana (Freightliner was in Gary, but the hotel was in Hammond). Whether or not he meant it like that, or actually thought anything so stupid, that’s the attitude he came at us with.
Hopefully this week will go much better. I don’t think Ray understands much of anything about what it’s like to drive a truck. I suspect his entire perception regarding his job and ours is simply that he has a series of loads that need to be run, and that once a truck is assigned to a load then that problem is solved. He expects that things will go the way the way he expects them to, and if they do not then part of his tactic for dealing with it is to pout. Unfortunately, I think he pouts at his drivers over things that are beyond their control. That’s getting old.
Mara disagrees, but I wonder sometimes if in the back of Ray’s mind he wonders if we’re getting ready to quit our run. After all, we had downtime for 2 days last week because we claim to have had food poisoning. And then this week we had downtime for 2 days because of our clutch. If Ray really knows as little as I suspect about our job, this bizarre notion may have occurred to him. If so, my opinion of Ray would degrade even further. Luckily we have no way of knowing (unless he was to say something in that manner).
All in all, we feel a little put-out in that we have a dispatcher who doesn’t really want to hear from us, and doesn’t seem to be able to deal with any problems other than his own (in regard to the dedicated route, I mean). He has literally told us that it’s pretty much up to us to negotiate for a new truck with Ken Haynes down in Tunnel Hill, Georgia. I’m not convinced that Ray can’t get anywhere with him, but suspect that he’s just not willing to put forth the effort. Or, as Mara would say, he’s not willing to go to bat for us.
We like this run, and we like the money that we make here. So more than likely we’ll just drive this truck until they retire, and then base our future plans on whether or not they try to put us in another Freightliner Columbia. Ray certainly isn’t going to get us anything before then. In other words, we’re probably not going to make a big deal out of this. We’ll keep our mouths shut and run our loads and get paid every week, hoping that something will work out in our favor later. What else can we do?

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