Monday, September 27, 2021

Broken Down in Middle of Freeway

 Back to having no friends again! Nobody to talk to. Poor me! Someone give #TruckerBrook a hug! Oh, wait, don't, we're in a pandemic! One of the things my ex-husband, Calvin brought up when I vented to him about them giving me a filthy truck to move into. He was like, you know that's borderline illegal, right? They shouldn't have just gotten your truck cleaned, they should've had it sanitized. Out for the week that I do my run for before going back to the terminal for my two days off, and boom! Truck died on the I-5 freeway! It just died! So, I was able to pull off only onto the shoulder, but like, right along the line, so too close to the road still. The sun was right above me and there was barely any cell signal. I know I mention this signal thing a lot but it's true. I have never had this problem living in a Third world country and Second world,ie, South Africa and Georgia respectively. But hello First world America! Hello Trucking! You get to be in the grey areas where cell network companies don't see it necessary to place a tower. And of course, that's where I'm going to get into a ditch or get stuck on a bridge,  get run over by a serial killer truck driver, or, in this latest case, die.

I sent message to new manager. That's jut to let her know, otherwise, what's she gonna do? She couldn't authorize me to get curtains for a truck, how's she gonna help me when the whole truck dies? I was there for hours. You're not getting paid extra or anything like that, being stuck here by the way. If you're out there for more than a certain amount of time, your clock will reset and you will be 'able' to start working as soon as your truck's ready.In which case, you will have spent your sleeping time on the side of the 5 freeway, trying to call for help. These things happen more often than you can imagine. Some people still take their break, but I'd like to think more drivers, just consider that their break and get on the road after, with very little rest. I was outside on the dirt, walking around with the phone on speaker, waving it up in the sky to pick up signal. Roadside assistance would finally pick up. I'd give them my details, then they wouldn't be able to hear me. I'd move a hair and the call would disconnect. They would call me right away and go straight to voicemail, or and blah blah blah. Same story, over and over for a while. Eventually, I got hold of them. They sent someone  from not far away. The person they were going to send didn't have the part they suspected I would need, so they had to go far away to buy it and then come back. I think it would've been better to dispatch someone from afar,and have them head straight for my location. But what do I know? I'm just a female with common sense. 

Guy finally arrived. At this point, I had found the sweet spot of cell signal inside the truck. I guess it works best being inside than out, cos the truck is taller than me trying to wave a cellphone. I kept the phone plugged in and situated on that very spot. I only took the calls on speaker. I don't generally receive phone calls. Most of the people I communicate with text me. Well, they message me on Whatsapp. They're overseas. The guy worked on my truck for a bit and then, uhm, it was time for him to go home, haha! You can't make this sh*t up! He also needed another part for the truck. They had someone else come relieve him. Said person would also bring the new part. The new guy was also friendlier, so we chatted a bit. he was fast. Done within an hour. The problem was a break line that had a leak. The truck uses air breaks. All the air was leaking out, truck switched off as a safety measure. It was night by the time the guy was done. In fact, I think I was out there for about 8 hours. On the side of the freeway from noon until 8! Imagine that! Nobody stops to find out if you're ok, even though you have the orange cones out. Also, they don't know how long you've been there for, if you know how to fix, are you male or female, blah blah blah. It could also be a set up. Maybe you're a killer or blah.

I don't do night driving and because everything I did on the account was within California, I could afford to go rest somewhere, and still make my appointments after picking up the next load. I found a place with a ginormous dirt lot more than an hour away. I save the places I part at, so I am able to look at my map app and see where what is in time of need. The dirt lot place has a super expensive restaurant with great reviews. I am not a restaurant out eater when I am working, so, that was whatever. They also have no showers but restrooms for us. So that's always good. 

When I was off, the truck needed to go into the shop. I had a list of things that I wanted them to have a look at as long as they had the truck in there. They told me that they needed to send it to Volvo. It was within some warranty. I had to move my stuff out into a temporary truck. So far, I was having a great time on this account. They moved me into another unsanitized account. I cleaned it myself. It wasn't filthy, it just wasn't cleaned since the  driver before me used it. I didn't want to complain. I used it for the week I was going to be out and hoped that mine was going to be ready when I got back. It was. You know what that means: moving again. CArrying fridges, microwaves, and other heavy stuff. I cook in my truck, so it's always fun to move the whole kitchen. 

There was a mattress (wow, is that how you spell matrass?), so I didn't have to move that. But I worry about bed bugs and stuff. I do take my fitted shit and hope it will keep everything buried under it. Whew! I literally just took a giant breath, at the thought of these silly challenges of this job. It's not just your job, it's also your home life. I had used an older Freight liner while my Volvo was in the shop. I'm familiar with a Freightliner, so it wasn't a train smash. 

Felt good to be back in my Volvo again. Not for any reason other than, it was MY truck.

@BabalwaBrook on all social

Sunday, September 26, 2021

No Love Lost

Another “weekend” came by. “” because, the two days off can fall on any day. I had worked more than two years over there road. The pay scale and other things are all different from how they run things on the dedicated account I had just signed with. I was still going to get paid mike but they were going to pay me for additional stops as well. I did two and three stops per delivery, that means, one extra stop and two, respectively. OTR (over the road) you wanna finish early and can get the load off you if you contact customer or ask manager to have it dropped at the yard. All that doesn’t apply here. You be at Costco at the scheduled time, however you get there. Some deliveries were 200 miles away from shipper. I’d stop close to Costco and relax in the truck. I enjoyed those long afternoons of rest before my appointment the following day. You don't want too many of these because you’re not on vacation. You get paid when sitting behind the wheel not chillin in the sleeper berth. 
More of Derrick’s cooking. I bought him those Adidas slides. I also got myself a pair

Saturday, September 25, 2021

Friends with NO benefits

Awesome! They have a gay safety and security manager! I thought to myself as he met me outside the training room. He ushered me in, dressed in nice fun colors. You could tell this was someone who cared about his appearance. In typical me fashion, we exchanged some personal stories; more me asking about himself, than sharing about mine. We’ll save my stories for the blog. I found out in our conversation ahem, safety training, that he used to be a truck driver as well. At some point, He said something about his wife. Stop the presses! I confessed that I was hoping that he was gay. I was like, I feel like I’m gonna like this guy. It’ll be nice to have a gay guy around here. He was like: really? I’m like, yeah, who doesn’t like a gay guy? I asked. He replied, without thinking twice: my mother! 

I’m not the Gaydar of the world, it was just a vibe I picked up before the guy even really talked to me. And then my mind stayed there throughout the conversation until I was told otherwise. Something about him telling me that his mom, who’s from the South, would have a problem with him being gay, made me really believe that he probably was gay. It also made me sad for him, if in fact he was. The guys is around 60 in age. To think that someone had to hide who is he all his life, would be such a tragedy. I saw him again the following day. First thought on my mind was: aw, there’s my new gay friend! Then I had to correct myself. That day, he gave me a t shirt and asked me to pose for photos with other drivers for company pictures. We posed next to company trucks with him as the director of photography. It was nice to do something so unusual. I did that back in the day when I worked for a weight loss company in South Africa. I worked in head office and as the only person who had reached my goal weight in that location, they always included me in things. I also got to tell my success story during events etc. Great fun! I since regained that weight and relost it! 

 All in all, Nice guy, I saw him every once in a while ever since. He would always ask how I was doing. 

I never heard back from my manager about the fridge. I wasn’t going to check back with her, because I already had the vibes she wasn't into helping me out. I did have to consult with her for another concern, however. I didn't like that I was starting off with these folks with so many demands but the situation they put me in with a truck that wasn't up to par, made me have to make all these requests. I also didn't want to make the impression that I was a pushover. No, mam, Sir! The truck I was getting didn't have curtains on the windshield. Those are the ones I prefer to use at night when I go to sleep. That way, you can walk around dressed however or not at all. But if you only have the ones right by the sleeper berth (sleeping area, if I need to go use the microwave in the driving area, I would have to dress appropriately because you never know who might be looking inside your truck. Some of these drivers carry binoculars. Some make a note of trucks with females, I have grown to experience

The T~Shirt from photoshoot & my new Volvo

The curtains in the sleeping area were torn, so they didn't do a good job of giving me privacy either. Girl! It was a shit show! I contacted manager and asked for curtains or something. I was hoping that the shop kept spares of these kinds of supplies, considering it's a trucking company, and all? (FYI, I later heard that they do). Manager told me, with a very pissed off expression on her face, that the company doesn't provide such supplies for drivers. It's up to us to get curtains for our trucks or not. Hilarious! The truck did come with curtains, but they were no longer there. So I call bullshit! She just wasn't in the mood for my basic necessity demands. I already knew that that was not going to be home for me, so to speak. How do you give me a condo without a  door and tell me, you're sorry you don't supply such? Are you fcking kidding me? There were three women ( I can't get myself to call any of them ladies) in the new department: one was my direct manager, the planner and their manager. Any of them would randomly call, they all sounded alike, had the same physique and pretty much shared the same brain. In my humble opinion. 

My job was to pick up a load in southern California and deliver it to Costcos across central and Northern California. I would do two or three deliveries every 2 days. After delivery 3, I would head back to base to reset my clock, so to speak. I got two days off every 8 days. It wasn't too shabby of a gig. I love being based in California. I love going to costco. They're so organized. The staff is great. I get to meet them and wait in the warehouse as someone is unloading my truck. Protocol. I didn't realize how many costcos there are in just California alone! I counted up to about 30 something different ones. Those are just the ones I went to.

First time off or so, I would hang out with Derrick. We're still not doing the deed. My choice. We were talking a lot. I am just not someone who can... uhm, how do I put this? I don't wanna say  I can't move on from things, cos that sounds bad. Put it this way, I could never be the woman who stays with their man after he cheated. I would never be able to forget that that happened. That guy would be so disgusting to me after that! Have I been in this situation before? Oh yeah! I come from a culture of polygamy and other things I don't consider cute. It's more abnormal for a guy to stay loyal to one woman than it is the other way. This is my opinion of dating in South Africa when I lived there. I left the country almost a decade ago. I had my own self esteem then, and would settle for certain situation that I wouldn't at this point in my life.  Granted, Derrick didn't cheat on me. My other reason for not wanting to be intimate with him now, is that what are we? We're not even together? I'm not trying to be friends with benefits with nobody! 

Please can I go to bed? I feel tired. I worked some and went grocery shopping. 

Chat soon, thanks for reading. #TruckerBrook on Insta


Friday, September 24, 2021

Who Moved My Cheese?

Because I was switching from one account to another, I had to move trucks. I mentioned in the previous blog that I told my driver manager what time I would be at the location to do the swap. When I arrived at the location, being dropped off by Derek, because I happened to have spent yet another night in his place. I get there and I cannot find my old truck anywhere! I’m telling you I was looking underneath other  trucks and trailers for that thing. My whole life was in that truck!

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

I got the New Trucking Job!

 I just posted a new blog about how I lost 130 lbs / 60kg. The views are already through the roof. Thank you! I hope you will be able to take something away from that post that you can incorporate into your life. Before that blog, we left off where I was at my ex, Derrick's place. He answered most of the questions I had. He told me how he met the new girl he saw after our split. Unlike me, they met in person. He seemed different to me in more ways than one, race, marital status, the whole nine. That whole deal ended dramatically, according to D.

Carbivore BBQ in my honor!

How I lost 130 lbs / 60kg of weight!

Before and now