In case some of you missed it, I’ve returned to trucking for a career. Not only that, but I’m an Independent Contractor, having my own LLC and the first tractor in what I plan to be a fleet of tractors. I’m also a trainer. I take students who just got their CDLs and no experience and I teach them on the job, giving them a modicum of experience before they eventually head out on their own. To borrow a truism from the movies, training is like a box of chocolates: you never know what sort of student you’re going to get. Hoo boy, did I get a doozy recently. An out-and-out flaming Leftist. She didn’t last a week on my truck, but not because she was a Leftist, rather because– well, maybe it was because she was a Leftist. You’ll see soon.
So, as is my practice (to maximize my revenues and profits), I dropped off a student and picked one up immediately afterward. (Sometimes, one is trying to get his or her luggage into my truck while the other is still packing to leave.) This new student, let’s call her Sheila, enters my truck with – I kid you not – at least 250 pounds of luggage for a 30-day stay. I can roll with that because new drivers don’t know what they need. But I called her around 2PM to tell her I’d pick her up around 2AM, so she went out to Wal-Mart and rented a movie! She got on my truck telling me we had to stop at a Wal-Mart later that new day so she could drop the movie off. That’s what her boss had to do, my student demanded of me. I told her I knew of a few Wal-Marts I can take a truck to, but none on this route, besides which, the job was more important than a trip to Wallyworld.
After a couple hours driving, I pulled off and we both slept a while. Then was her turn to drive while I tried to teach her how to shift(!), how to pull out of an easy parking space without hitting anything, and whatever else a CDL-A holder should already know before getting on a real, working truck for the first time. Then her 11-hour shift ended and my abbreviated shift began (I had been awake her entire shift after getting 4 hours sleep). After about 3 or 4 hours of my driving, she declared she thought we were going to stop at Wallyworld so she could return her movie. I explained to her that I hadn’t said anything of the sort, but had rather strongly suggested the opposite. But to Sheila’s entitled little 50-year-old teen-aged mind, I had to stop because she demanded she needed to. Didn’t happen. What a shame the job came before her desires.
Then came a doozy. Sheila turned to me and said “Now don’t take this personally or as an attack, but you know how smokers never smoke in their homes? Well, I thought smokers never smoked in their trucks.” Smokers never smoke in their homes? Really? The vast majority of smokers do smoke in their homes. And why would the school give students a choice of smoker or non-smoker for a trainer if smokers didn’t smoke in their trucks? Not thinking logically, this Sheila, this wacko Leftist. She spent the next 4 days trying to get me to smoke e-cigarettes. Repeatedly. Continuously. Incessantly. She even went the relationship route in her attempts. Yeah, like that would ever fly. “You know we could be a couple if… I know you like your quiet. If you could just smoke e-cigarettes…” And I immediately cut her off. I declared “Never going to happen.” And that quiet thing? Heh. She never stopped talking. To herself, to me, to her toothbrush, to her glasses, to the truck, in her sleep, when I’m trying to get a 1-hour nap. Never stopped talking.
Then came the Loves card and the Pilot card, which give you points for every gallon of fuel purchased. Those points can be used like cash. Each point will reduce the cost of whatever you buy by a penny. They also give shower credits when enough fuel is purchased. And you can get a team shower, which is 2 people, 2 showers, 1 shower credit used. Sheila got mad because I wouldn’t let her use her cards to pump fuel into my truck and get points for herself. When I told her I paid for all the fuel going into my truck, and that those points were earned using my money, she was still mad. She was mad that the company charged my company for the fuel my truck ran (how unfair!) when she drove my truck and she was mad she still couldn’t get the points for spending my money.
We stopped at a Pilot and I handed her my Pilot card so she could get a shower (I was too tired after having too little sleep, then being awake for her driving shift and mine both.) and she came back from her shower declaring she would need my card again so she could get free internet! I told her it didn’t work that way since the truckstops have to pay for the internet. They only provide internet as a way of making a profit, not as a charity to people who work and earn a decent living. Sheila’s teen-aged 50-year-old entitled little mind couldn’t comprehend such a thing. It wasn’t fair.
We were parked and we had a little disagreement. I don’t remember what it was about. Job related, truck related, or my personal property related, one of the three. She told me, her boss and trainer, “Don’t worry about it!” to which I responded “Don’t tell me what not to worry about!” Under her breath, but forcefully, she declared “worrying is a sin.” And bathing in the blood of 55 million dead babies by voting for abortion advocates, including an infanticide advocate (Barack Obama) over Pro-Life supporters every time isn’t a sin? Constantly expecting/demanding freebies at someone else’s expense — and feeling entitled to them — isn’t a sin? Constantly violating Providence’s Tenth Commandment in thought, attitude, and deed isn’t a sin? (The rich pay less in taxes than the middle class. Upon seeing a country house in PA with more than one garage, demanding “how many garages do you need?”. And much more.)
She asked me a 7-word question and I almost immediately forgot what she asked because she spent the next 20 minutes (I kid you not) why it was not meant to offend, attack, accuse me of anything and it wasn’t personal. It was second nature for her to spend an inordinate amount of time proving she wasn’t trying to offend someone, most likely as I suggested and she admitted, because all her Leftist friends get offended at the drop of a hat. She would have gone longer in protesting her innocence had I not cut her off. And I don’t know what the question was.
It was a day or two after the shower brouhaha that I tried to explain how the shower credits work, and that I normally have to work the showers into my driving schedule since I normally don’t have all that free time. I explained all the free time was due to my need to sleep while the truck was stopped instead of my normal sleeping while the truck was moving. She needed my help more than my other students did. Sheila, like her Leftist friends, immediately took it personally and immediately commenced defending herself from a perceived attack. I tried explaining to her it was my job and I expect some of that from time to time. I tried explaining to her that I was only explaining how we had so much of that “my free time” as she called it instead of having to work showers into a tight schedule. But she couldn’t hear what I was saying. She was too busy defending herself for having taken a shower on “my free time, not your time”.
After 3 days, she had had enough. She called the training placement coordinator and explained she didn’t know smokers smoke where smokers smoke. We would be routed to the nearest school so she could wait in line for a new, non-smoking trainer. Sheila told me she wouldn’t let my Dispatch Manager know until after we got where we were going, thinking she was saving me some face or some rot. But I immediately messaged my DM about the plans and contacted another placement coordinator so I could line up a new student. Guess what Sheila thought? That’s right. She said “you’re in that much of a hurry to get rid of me? You’re that happy to see me off your truck?” Always personal with those Leftist types. Never once did it occur to her that my revenues and profits are maximized with students on my truck.
On the 4th day in the truck, she left. But not without more Leftist stupidity. Once again, Sheila fueled my truck. And once again, Sheila declared how unfair it was that she couldn’t get the points on her card for spending my money on my truck. She drove to Indianapolis, and around the outer belt. She saw a sign that said:
and declared “The world said I would never go to Fort Wayne, but here I am!” (Honey, there are 7,000,000,000 people in this world, and 6,999,999,000 of them don’t even know you exist. The other thousand? They don’t care enough to attack you like that, and with that nonsense.) I told her we weren’t in Ft Wayne and she said “Who’s raining on my parade? This guy!” What? Then she declared we were only 1 mile away, and I had to explain that, being in Indianapolis, we weren’t even close. The sign said I-69 going to Ft Wayne was 1 mile away. “Who’s raining on my parade? This guy!” Again, what?
As we approached the place where she’d be leaving my truck, she declared she wanted to take my cooler with her. I told her she could go to a truckstop and buy her own for 100 dollars. No, she declared, she didn’t want to buy her own. She wanted mine. Never going to happen. But she kept arguing the case, until I got fed up and raised my voice at her. Then she told me that was her way of saying she appreciated my letting her use it. By demanding that she get another freebie at someone else’s expense!?
So it could’ve been her flaming Leftism that made her leave my truck, but it was none of my doing. All on her.