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The trucking industry might offer you a lot of things, but guarantees aren’t one of them. There’s plenty of “we’ll do what we can’s” and “let’s see how it pans out” type statements, but nothing is set in stone. I think “set in pudding” is closer to the mark.
As I write this post, I’m sitting 200 miles away from my house. It’s December 23 and we are due home by noon. At least that’s what we asked for. My company doesn’t guarantee home time. Furthermore, I’ve never worked for a company that has. The Evil Overlord and I delivered a load at 5 a.m. and are now eagerly awaiting word from HQ as to whether we’ll be dead-heading (running without a load) home or whether they’re going to try to cram in one more load. If they give us the nod to head home, sorry, but the rest of this post is gonna have to wait. But for now, let’s move on.
As truck drivers, Christmas is about the closest thing we get to a guarantee. Most companies that we have worked for have had policies to get all drivers home on Christmas Day. Not Thanksgiving. Not 4th of July. Not Labor Day. Only Christmas, and only Christmas Day at that. So far, they’ve been successful, but to varying degrees.
Some years, you get plenty of time before and after Christmas Day. Other times you might get enough time to eat your 10 pound quota of mom’s chocolate chip cookies, then it’s back out on the road. One year, we got to the house in the early morning hours of Christmas Day, then had to leave at 6 a.m. on the 26th in order to deliver a load on time. Heck, I didn’t even have time to, errrr, “process” my Christmas cookies. We were sooooo freakin’ tired the entire time. The upside is that now we know what a zombie Christmas would feel like, if zombies cared about anything but eating brains that is. Clearly, they don’t. Okay… that was a weird little tangent. Nothing like the birth of the Savior of the world to bring on the zombie talk. Continuing on that line…
Last year was another of those zombie Christmas’. We had about four hours to wrap a dump truck load of gifts for the nephews and get over to their house to set up before the little spitfires woke up and kamikazied down the stairs. After that, it was over to my mom’s house where we walked around in a stupor for the rest of the day. Lucky for them, we didn’t have any weird craving for brains.
This lack of guarantees doesn’t just apply to Christmas though. The same thing happened this year at Thanksgiving. We got in with enough time to grab a couple of hours of sleep before we were due at my mom’s house. A couple of months before that, we completely missed a Halloween holiday that we had been planning for over two months. There have been many similar situations over the years.
Holy baby Jesus! Is that blasphemy? Hope not. I mean, he is holy and all. Anyway, we just got told to deadhead home. The rest will have to wait. Wow! Home on time AND no load, which means that we don’t have a deadline that will cut our time short. We’ll have to see how long we can soak this thing for. Finish up later.
On second thought, I’ve decided that I’m going to give you a Christmas gift that you’ll cherish throughout the years. A gift so unique and unheard of that you’ll be telling all your friends and relatives about it for years to come. What is this special gift?
A blog post that’s less than 1000 words. Merry Christmas.