This blog is a chronicle what it is like to work for Werner Enterprises. Now I am not looking to do a hatchet blog on Werner in particular, keep in mind that the good and the bad could happen at any of the big 'training' companies. Werner is not the only game in town but it is one of the biggest and as such has the typical big company problems, mostly communication. You will see that some of the issues that I have would not have happened at a small company but the small trucking companies do not hire new drivers fresh out of school. This is a company to get experience in and then move on.
This blog is called Tinker's Travels because Tinker has been my companion for the last 10 years. We have not been able to deal with a real dog due to space, time and the wife's allergies. Tinker doesn't bark, doesn't bite, doesn't need walkies or food and doesn't complain, much. I have brought him with me just for comic relief and sometimes to take over the driving when I am out of hours.
A little background on me; I am 49 years old and have never really grown up. 18 years ago I worked for GM as a test driver and enjoyed doing that, mostly because I didn't have a boss breathing down my neck. Unfortunately that job went away as GM announced the closure of the Mesa, AZ proving grounds. I then went back to college and earned an associates degree in Automotive technology, a mechanic. It turns out that I am not as mechanically inclined as I thought and I have a problem with the industry requirement of cheating people. The second issue made me unemployable in the automotive repair world. While I was trying to work my way up as a pump jockey making $7.50 per hour I went down to apply at Macy's for a customer service call center job, a job my wife (fiancee at the time) was currently doing on the other side of town. We both applied but for some reason they only hired me. Since it started at $8.50 per hour and meant that I would no longer have to stand for 8 ½ hours straight (yes including lunch) I took it. Ten years later I was working my 5th call center job and was burned out. I had a hard time dragging my carcass to work everyday and whenever the company would allow me to go home early I took it. I finally decided that I should get back to something that I would want to do that I could actually get paid for.
I decided to go to one of the numerous trucking schools around, AIT. Why did I choose this particular school? The only real reason was probably that I had checked them out 10 years prior with my wife and they were still around. They guaranteed job placement and it didn't matter that they were an hour away, there were no closer schools. I was afraid that they were a little to quick to take me on, after all they didn't require a physical until after you signed up. Since I have a disability (that has not interfered with my ability to drive), I went down and got my own DOT physical, only to make sure that I could pass it. Now this blog is not about how AIT was, they did their job and I got my CDL, anything else was gravy. This blog is about working at a training company.
I am the kind of person that enjoys long hours of solitude. My favorite part of this job has been the long drives. For anyone getting into this field that needs constant companionship and only thinks the money will be so good, don't.
Next time – First day