Fired or new truck?

2008 October 15
by Stace

It seems like nothing exciting happens to us. Well, something happened yesterday and today, that if not exciting, is at least worthy of a feeling of anticipation. It’s kind of complicated, so stay with me. Here’s what happened …

Yesterday morning when I was driving along enjoying the fall foliage, I received a message from the claims department of They Who Must Not Be Named, telling me to call them. I did so, and the fellow I spoke to asked me a vague question about whether or not, the day before, we had been driving on some state road in Ohio. I told him Hedon had been driving that evening and that I didn’t know if we were on that particular road or not. Hedon was asleep at the time of this call, so I told him that I would have her call them back when she woke up.

However, I wouldn’t let him off the phone until he fessed up as to why he wanted to know about the road in question. He told me they had received a report that a driver from the company had knocked down several telephone poles next to the road, and that they had to investigate everyone who had been in the area to try to find out who did it. I laughed and said that while I wasn’t driving, I would have known it if we had hit something, and we did not hit anything. He said okay, but that he still had to talk to Hedon.

Hours later, Hedon called them back and told them she was not driving on this particular road, and that she did not knock over any telephone poles, and that they should feel free to inspect the truck and trailer for any damage if they were suspicious of anything. The claims woman said that it was just standard procedure to interview everyone in the vicinity of an unreported accident and that they didn’t actually think we had done it. End of story. Well, not exactly.

Today, when we woke up, we noticed something odd. The load we are currently on picks up this afternoon in New York and delivers in Ohio tomorrow afternoon (a lot of time for such a short run, but that’s not what’s odd). When they assign a load to you, they also enter a PTA (projected time of availability). The PTA is always set for a few hours after the delivery of the load (which helps them plan your next load). What was strange was that our PTA had been set for Oct. 30 at 12:12. Why had they pushed out our PTA so far? What did it mean? Hmmm.

They Who Must Not Be Named has a well-known history of calling drivers into their terminals and firing them on the spot, giving them just a few hours to clean out their trucks and get off the property. Now, where we are delivering tomorrow is pretty near a company terminal. Have they pushed out our PTA so they can send us to their terminal and fire us for an unreported accident we didn’t commit? Hmmm.

So, not one to let this sort of thing just hang there, Hedon called our dispatcher and asked him why our PTA had been pushed out. He said he did it because after we deliver we are to go to our terminal and … (here’s where you should feel a sense of anticipation) … get a new truck. The PTA was pushed out to give us plenty of time to move our stuff from our current truck to the new one. Hmmm.

Hedon told him about the call from claims yesterday and when she said that she had thought we were being sent to the terminal to be fired, he laughed and said no. Hmmm.

What to believe. What to believe. It’s true that we’re overdue to get a truck with lower mileage. It’s also true that when we were in the shop in Houston, our dispatcher told us that he had been trying to find us a newer truck. So, he may well be telling us the truth about why we are being sent to the company’s terminal tomorrow.

Or, he could be lying. A lot of trucking companies are extremely paranoid about what drivers will do when they are fired, and They Who Must Not Be Named is no exception. Wouldn’t surprise me a bit if our dispatcher is lying to us as just a matter of common company policy.

So, the bottom line is this: we have to wait until tomorrow evening before we will know if we are being fired or if we are getting a newer truck. We’re actually not sure which one we hope it is. It’s a real pain in the ass to change trucks, you know. And think of all the fun to be had in protesting being unjustifiably fired; Hedon’s already talking lawyers. The anticipation is pretty exciting. Can’t wait until tomorrow.

5 Responses
  1. 2008 October 15

    Oh man, this is juicy! Nothing like a little anticipatory paranoia to fuel the mental storms. It is like the boss I used to have that loved to tell me on Friday that she wanted to meet with me on Monday to discuss “issues”. She had already suspended me with pay to investigate whether I was stealing (I wasn’t) and investigated numerous charges from another staff member that were completely fabricated. But she had to tell me on Friday at 4:00pm that we needed to talk on Monday. When the meeting happened, I called her on it and told her I didn’t appreciate her attempts to ruin my time away from work worrying about what stunt she was going to cook up next.

    My impression is that you two are going to get a new truck. The bizarro thingy about the telephone poles – well, your company management probably smokes crack as mine did and has these hallucinations… But then, Hedon, don’t you think you might not have noticed taking out a line of poles??? You two run pretty hard and I’m just sayin’. There, also.

  2. 2008 October 15

    OMG, this would be killing me. I really hate not knowing. I also tend to have a special knack of being just annoying enough to be told what the situation is. Ugh – I would bug them until they couldn’t stand me anymore. LOL

    I guess I hope you’re getting a new truck, but if by chance you are getting fired, this may be just the time to look into the O/O route.

    CAPTCHA: Cuban Communication

  3. 2008 October 15
    Belledog permalink

    Fingers crossed for a good outcome for you. Pets’ paws crossed too. They don’t want to see Maggie out on the street. We are all living vicariously through your adventures.

    Thinking Decorina is probably right — you are getting a new truck (and may it be worth the hassle of moving into it). Also think they are going to take a REAL good look at the vehicle you are driving now (unless they’ve found the culprit or concluded it was a false report or didn’t involve their company).

    Know you have already done this, but might be good to carefully photograph the truck with your digital camera — with a date stamp and picking up any serial numbers, etc. — to protect yourself down the road.

    Hey: any chance a Palin relative on the outs with the rest of them was driving said route? Maybe it’s an attempt to frame someone who was driving that stretch of road and you got caught in the net …

  4. 2008 October 15

    Ok I have to be honest… I’m not sure what I’m hoping for here. I guess I’m hoping for a new truck but since we traditionally take about three months off in between companies that makes getting fired look good, too. Especially since the trauma of getting unjustly fired would probably require an extra month to recover.

    Ok I know we haven’t run crap in the last month, but Decorina’s right about this past week — we’ve run like 6,200 miles in about 6.5 days so now I need another month off. Still… I’m pretty sure I would have noticed knocking over a line of telephone poles… I’m just saying. :)

    One thing I am sure of… Stace wanted to start “deep cleaning” the truck before we got there so we didn’t have to do it all at once but I said, “hell, no!” I mean if they are firing me and we had already cleaned the truck really good before we got there it would take forever to trash it out before we left the terminal for home…

    Oh it’s all just so exciting!

  5. 2008 October 16

    I am just so glad I don’t work for the Man anymore, or, in fact, the Woman either. I think I’d be on the phone haranguing these people to find out the truth, and probably not so politely either, which might not go down well.

    I have a habit of running my mouth when it comes to the truth. It doesn’t make me popular. Hope you guys are getting the new truck…though, hell, if you’re out on the side of the road, I’m sure you two know the drill. Even so…no one wants to be out of work come Christmas time.

    captcha: reads worcester snigger

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