Funkin’ Truckin’


If you’re here looking for a happy-go-lucky attitude, perhaps you should go see if Elmo has started writing a blog over at Sesame Street. As long as he’s not doing an audio blog, you should be able to visit without causing any permanent hearing damage. What you’re going to get here is what I call a “funk.”

Everyone gets the funk. Now if you’re George Clinton or Dr. Funkenstein, that’s a good thing, but for the rest of it, it’s a funking drag. The funk happens when you think your life sucks. Perhaps your life has always sucked, but you’re just now noticing it. In my case, I don’t really know how the funk crept on me. It just hit me one day.

I know my life doesn’t truly suck. For one thing, I have a wife that I don’t want to murder every day. Now The Evil Overlord may be thinking just the opposite, but as long as she doesn’t follow through with it, I can live with that.

I also have my health. I’ve got an immune system that could fight off the Bubonic Plague or a mean case of cooties. But if I wanted to show off my six-pack abs, I’d have to commission an artist to whip out the body paint. And so what if I can’t run 1/4 mile without coughing up blood and wetting myself? While that is kinda lame, at least I can walk into a truck stop without panting, and although I’m not exactly ripped, at least I can still look down and see my light saber (that’s for my perverted 😉 Twitter buds, @Dean0806 and @raysunshine77). Those are two things many truckers can’t do.

And then there’s God, who loves me and forgives me, even when I don’t deserve it. Thoughts of eternity, world-wide suffering, hunger, and disease helps to remind me that all of my problems really don’t add up to a hill of beans. I mean really, at least I’m not getting raped in Africa right now. I’d say that’s something that I’m pretty happy about.

And then there’s my job; truck driving. It may not be the greatest job, but in this economy, I shouldn’t be complaining. There are many who would love to have my income right now.

So, if I know all of this, why am I in a funk? What could possibly happen that could cause such a funk? No one close to me is dying. No one I know personally is going through anything that they haven’t been battling for years. It’s nothing really, yet it is.

As many of you know, The Evil Overlord is attending college again. I feel her stress as she studies day and night for her Anatomy & Physiology class. It’s kicking her butt, but she’s managing a decent grade. This class is all-consuming. Which makes her other two classes harder to keep up with. She’s making it, but her heart isn’t in it. And there is the crux of the problem.

I don’t know how The Evil Overlord and I managed to hit our mid-life without having any passions. It’s depressing to think that we are both trying to attend college for careers that we aren’t passionate about. Now I’m fully expecting everyone to tell me that I shouldn’t go back to school unless it’s something that I’m really gung-ho about. That’s easier said than done.

If The Evil Overlord and I had our way, we’d probably both be freelance writers. She’d go with fiction and I’d do non-fiction. That would be all fine and dandy if we were younger, but we’re a couple of old turds who have little experience as writers. Well, I guess officially, she’d be a turdette. Anyway, when you’re young, you can take a chance on a freelance career with unsteady income.  But when you’ve been a money moron all your life, you need to find a good occupation with steady income. Something that you can do until you’re an old fart who farts with every step. You old farts know what I’m talking about.

So let’s say we both start writing for a living. Everyone knows it takes time to become a good writer, and even longer to get noticed. How do the bills get paid all that time? How do we save money for retirement? How do we afford health insurance? Even worse, what if neither of us ever gets good enough to make a living out of it? I’m not a big fan of government-run old folks homes. Too many weird smells for me. And this coming from a guy who is locked in an enclosed truck with himself all day.

So, it’s off to school to pursue careers that we can tolerate. Quite honestly, it wouldn’t take much to top trucking. Just a job where you’re home every night would do the trick. You can say “Pursue your dreams” all you want, but in the end you have to do what is practical for your future. And without any true passions…

Now back to funky subjects. The Evil Overlord and I are both in a funk due to our lack of direction. Add to that, the fact that we are apart. Add to that the fact that I haven’t had more than 42 hours off in a row. Add to that, my company is installing e-logs.

Now tack on the fact that my company has recently banned all cooking devices from our trucks. All because of a couple of drivers who are dumber than a retarded camel. We already couldn’t have inverters. Now, it’s nothing but cold foods if we want to save money by eating in the truck. Now if we want a hot meal, we’ll have to eat fast food, or spend even more money to eat in the truck stop restaurant. Neither is good for your health or your wallet.

That’s not all. They have a policy that if you are going to be out of the truck for more than four days, you have to turn your truck into a yard. It used to be five days. Recently, they changed it to three days. The problem is, I live about 7.5 hours from the nearest terminal. That means that if I ever want a vacation, I’ll have to waste 15 hours of my vacation time driving to and from the terminal. Nice. How do they expect to keep any long-term drivers? I guess they just assume that everyone will move close to a terminal.

Let me ask a favor here. From the policies and new rules I’ve described here, if you work for the same company that I do, you now know what company I work for. Please don’t say the name of the company if you know who it is. I know a driver who was fired from this company for posting this kind of information online. The difference is, that driver mentioned the company name numerous times and I haven’t. Let’s keep it that way. Thank you.

I’ve voiced my opinion to my boss about e-logs, the banning of cooking units, and turning the truck in. I even moved above my fleet manager and spoke with her boss. When I asked to speak to the Operations manager, I was told I didn’t want to talk to him. I said, “Why? What’s he going to do? Fire me for voicing an opinion?” The answer: “Maybe.” Again, nice.

This is not the company I worked for in the past. But it is the one I’m stuck with for now. With school in sight, it’s not worth quitting and finding a new company. I’m not saying anything new. This was all covered in Sucking it up a while back. Problem is, I’m not doing a very good job with that title.

I’m not through yet. Sorry. To add to the funk, I recently had a load to Miami, FL, which is a place I loathe. I got reloaded quickly, but I knew I’d be back to the shipper. 45-46,000 pound loads of sugar can’t be loaded all the way to the trailer doors. Any experienced trucker knows that. Unfortunately, the entire non-English speaking staff at the shipper couldn’t understand what I was saying. A long trip across Miami to the nearest scale proved me right.

As I was heading back to get reloaded, I got a call from my boss telling me that these people didn’t understand English and even the Spanish-speaking drivers had been having trouble with them. Luckily, when I arrived back, I began talking to another driver there and he explained that it was Spanish, but it had a Puerto Rican accent that was hard to understand. Since he was Puerto Rican, he explained the situation to the shipper and I got reloaded.

When I reexamined the load, I saw that they had only moved the freight a couple of feet forward. That wasn’t going to cut it either and I had everyone at the shipper mad at me when I refused to move from the dock until they reloaded me according to my specs. They finally did, and after another drive across town to scale, I once again proved to myself how truly cool I am. Hey, it’s my story. So 5.5 hours from the start of my day, I was under way. As I pulled out, all I could think was, “Good thing I’m not on E-logs yet.” *evil grin*

To cap this all off, I just got a call from The Evil Overlord informing me that my ticket for being on a restricted road in my truck had finally been settled in court (the signs were only visible AFTER you were on the road with no place to turn around). I didn’t get any points, but the $150 ticket ended up costing me $372 plus the $100 lawyer fee.

All the above is what put me in a funk. When the combination of crappy things pile up on you all at once, funk ensues. I’ll drag myself out of it eventually. I’m not looking for sympathy. That’s why I stayed offline for the past week or so. We’ve all been through rough patches in our lives. This is no different.

It might help if I had something to look forward to, but for now I’m just going to try to make myself feel better. Since I don’t cuss anymore, I think I’ll start my journey out of funkhood by saying, “Funk lawyers.” Well, it’s a start anyway.

*Please leave your funky comments and click the pretty “Like” button. No sympathy please. I’m giving myself enough for all of us.” 🙂

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20 Responses to “Funkin’ Truckin’”

  1. @raysunshine77 Says:

    You are my hero :). Sorry, I don’t see the pretty like button

  2. Tracy Lynn Says:

    Well Todd I’m not going to give you sympathy, like you said, you have that covered. What I will say however is this, “Funk”is a necessary evil.
    I won’t point out what’s going right in your life either because you’re aware of those things also.
    You’re going through growing pains and as bad as it feels at the time, it’s worth it in the end. Think about it. Would you rather be going through this turmoil now or when you’re 65?
    You are a young man ( from my side of the fence ) so it’s good that you’re not content with the way things are. If you just keep on going along to get along, one day you’ll blink and you’ll be 65.
    You still have the “hunger”, and I’m glad to hear it! I don’t know how things will work out for you but I do know that they will work out.
    Keep that hunger, keep wanting more. Keep striving. Don’t settle.
    That way when you are 65, you will be happy knowing that you fought even when it wasn’t easy. That my friend is an accomplishment!

    P.S- you know I had tears from laughing at your comment. LOL

    • Todd McCann Says:

      Thanks for the wise words, Tracy Lynn. Why is it so easy to dwell on the fact that I’ll be nearly 50 years old by the time I’m out of school, but forget that I’ll still have 15-20 years to work after that? I guess it’s just easy to focus on realities when they’re slapping you across the face.

      You’re right though. When I’m 65, I’ll probably look back on this on laugh. Either that, or it will be because I just farted with every step as I walked across the room. Farts are funny like that.

      As for my comment making you tear up with laughter, I’m not sure which one you meant. Just know that you guys did the impossible for me today. In the midst of a funk, I actually laughed out loud. Wow! A real LOL. Thanks.

  3. @darkstaff Says:

    This is the first I have read your blog. The things you have stated, well, it brings even more understanding to your recent “vacation” from the social networking cyber-sphere.

    Just want to let you know, you have a kindred spirit here. There is a strange dissatisfaction amongst the populace. Some deal with it, others whine, some make changes, while the rest of us (I put you and I in this group) just sit here scratching our heads going, “Wha….What happened/is happening?”

    By that, allow me to attempt an explanation.

    Tell me if you find yourself driving along, quite often thinking things along the lines of; “What am I doing?”, “Where is my life headed?”, “Is what I’m doing the right thing?”

    I do.

    I have no answers to this underlying unease we are feeling. I plan and factor constantly to change the path I’m on, to steer myself in a satisfactory direction. Alas, my rudder is broken.

    I too want a miracle to enlighten me. For that one person to come along and give me “that” opportunity. Or to finally win something in the lottery. Or just, for once, to have the stars align and have things fall into place without a Herculean effort and sacrifice on my part.

    Instead, in the name of the Phoenix, I find myself in ashes, attempting to rise into glory once again.

    I feel your funk. If it was one small thing at a time, I could handle it. But it seems it’s a tidal wave of unending origin, that constantly barrages us with multiple problems, and they add up. To a giant headache and a sense of “Why do I even bother anymore?”

    Personally, I keep going. For some reason, I feel like the universe will eventually realign itself, and things will go better. I take the steps I believe are necessary to succeed and just keep trying.

    One way or another, I will be happy. Even if it kills me.

    Keep on Truckin’ brother. Someday. either it’ll all make sense, or the lights will go out for good. Peace. And Funk the haters!

    • Todd McCann Says:

      Well said, man. Nice writing style too. Really enjoyed it.

      One difference I have from you is that I never ask myself if what I’m doing is the right thing. At least not when it comes to trucking. I know trucking isn’t where I want or need to be. It has served me well for many years, but it’s time has passed. I see nothing but crap, heartaches, and unreasonable rules in the future of the trucking industry. It’s time to bow out. I’m just biding my time.

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving such a great comment. If you’ve got a blog of your own or anything else you do, feel free to leave your information along with your comment. Hammer down, my friend.

  4. @darkstaff Says:

    “I know trucking isn’t where I want or need to be. It has served me well for many years, but it’s time has passed. I see nothing but crap, heartaches, and unreasonable rules in the future of the trucking industry. It’s time to bow out. I’m just biding my time.”

    THIS is exactly where I have found myself. The plans are in place, the money’s being saved, the car and bill-paying occupation are being researched.

    I have become a dead cog out here on the road. Where I once found awe and wonder, I now find dreariness and repetitive boredom.

    I haven’t been fishing in almost 4 years. My meditation is in making walking sticks. Again, it’s been almost 4 years since I’ve experienced the peace from carving wood.

    I’ve lost yet another marriage to the road. (Number 2, number “last”)

    I have my dog, Koko. For that, I am grateful. He’s the one keeping me human.

    For both of us, getting off the road will be of great benefit. I will regain some semblance of a life, he will have room to roam. The difficulties of him (88 lbs.) and myself living in a broom closet will be over.

    Absolutely I will have other problems. I will have new hurdles to leap. But, I will have the down time in which to gather my thoughts, and relax enough to see clearly through those problems.

    My goal is for sometime around July of next year, with no hard out, so an earlier or later date won’t be an issue.

    I love trucking. But in your words I echo “it’s time has passed”.

    To both of us, here’s to a future.

    (And thank you for your good words! I have just started a Tumblr account at darkstaff.tumblr.com, but have yet do anything serious with it. Soon……)

  5. Todd McCann Says:

    Man, trucking is hard on marriages, isn’t it? I’ve been out here for 13 years, about 3 of those years without The Evil Overlord (total on and off) and we manage to keep it together. It probably helps that she’s lived the life and knows what I deal with every day.

    Glad to hear you have a plan in place. I’ve got one too. My goal is to be out by the fall semester of next year. The finances will make the final decision on that.

    Although I do play golf to relax, it isn’t the relaxation that the road deprives me of. It’s the relationships. Sure, I’ve had The Evil Overlord with me most of the time, but I haven’t had a true, real-life friend since I started trucking. That may sound a bit sappy, but that’s what I miss the most. Hanging out with friends.

  6. ZoeToots Says:

    I’m clicking the pretty little “LIKE” button…

  7. Old Friend Says:

    You really need to teach.

  8. Heidi Says:

    All I can say is… funk happens!
    The good news is~ I think you could sell your short stories {hey, you wouldn’t have to go to school FT after all- maybe just a few classes}… have you ever submitted anywhere? You have a real niche and a gift for writing. I would not go to school if your heart isn’t in it. What’s the guarantee anyways…?? Oops, I hope I’m not piling on xtra funk here.
    p.s. say “hey” to the E.O. for me! *wink*

    • Todd McCann Says:

      I’ll be sure to say hey to The Evil Overlord for you.

      I’ve never tried to submit any of my articles. Perhaps that’s not a bad idea. Couldn’t hurt, I guess. It’s not like I’m not already used to being told “no.”

      “No, you can’t go home when you want to. No, you can’t have a full 48 hours off. No, you can’t cook in your truck. No, you can’t run paper logs.” And then there’s always, “No, I’ve got a headache.” That last one doesn’t come from my company.

  9. @DeanBishop2006 Says:

    no sympathy here, although I’m definitely glad you can still see your light saber! That’s always a good sign. I think I speak for everyone, when I say, it’s our pleasure to make you laugh. 😉 (typing on a laptop bites! I’ve gotten too used to my phone spelling everything correctly, for me)

    Short story – My wife went to school, earned a few degrees, including her Master’s in Biology. Planned on being a doctor. That’s what her Dad always wanted for her. She struggled and disliked every minute. She met me, I talked her into quitting before she wasted any more time. She did. She sent many resumes and went on many job interviews. I told her to take her time and decide on something she really wanted to do.
    After 3 years of researching and praying, she decided to become a Paralegal. (over 2 of those years, she rode with me, OTR) She looked forward to every class! It wasn’t hard for her, because she enjoyed it so much! She graduated first in her class, and with Honors. She’s currently waiting to take the CLA/CP test to get certified. (it’s only given twice a year)

    Try as she may, she couldn’t get a single job with the degree, that she didn’t even enjoy getting. Now, she gets flooded with job offers, all the time. She can choose who she works for. The point I’m trying to make is, do what you enjoy. The money will follow. 😉

    I understand the bills need to get paid. I gave her the opportunity to take her time and do it right, while I worked. We just cut out some unnecessary bills and lived below our paycheck. As soon as she gets certified and starts working, then it’s my turn. 😉

    Trucking has lost it’s luster to me. I haven’t really enjoyed it for 3-4 years now. It has become a job, whereas, it used to be an adventure.

    My opinion – figure out who should go first. One work, while the other gets set. Then switch places.

    Good luck to you and E.O. 😉

  10. Todd McCann Says:

    Thanks for the excellent comment, Dean Vader. However, I’m not sure I agree with all of your sentiments. For instance…

    I’ve said numerous times that if I could find a local truck driving job that paid a decent wage, I’d just continue to be a trucker. It’s not that I truly love it, but I don’t hate it either. Except for the OTR part of it. Unfortunately, those local jobs don’t pay squat, especially in a smaller metro area where I live. You and @irocbabe should know that. You guys have been tweeting about lousy paying local trucking jobs, and you two live in the Dallas area.

    Also, you said, “Do what you enjoy.” Again, that sounds great. You just tell me what I enjoy and I’ll be glad to do it. You see, it’s hard to discover new interests when you’re staring through a windshield for 13+ years with very little time off. I’m hoping and praying that something at school sparks my interest while I’m still taking my basic courses. I think that it’s pretty much impossible for me to develop an interest in anything while I’m cooped up in this cab. And that’s why I’m trying to get out of trucking.

    I also like your idea of taking turns at school. That was the original plan, but I soon realized I’d be well over 50 years old by the time she went through school and then I followed. That’s why I said in my post that time was an issue. If you’re a young buck, you’ve got nothing but time, but I’m an old fart, who’s only getting older and fartier. Sure, 50 isn’t ancient, but it’s a lot older than I’d like to be when I start a new career.

  11. fltruckerwife Says:

    OK first of all, you have just offended every single retarded camel known to man. Seriously, they know how to cook man.

    Second, was the other drive about 6’2″ with a scruffy dark brown and gray beard? Just curious. I know this trucker who was just down in Miami and well, he’s Puerto Rican and I’m just trying to put 2 and 2 together.

    Anywho…. Get the FUNK outta your funk. Fo realz, yo.

  12. Lisa Nowak Says:

    I took A&P a few years ago, and it is TOUGH. My sympathies to the Evil Overlord. I assume you’re out of your funk by now, but I just wanted to let you know getting into one every now and then is only human.

    At one of the many community colleges I’ve attended, they had these tests you could take that helped you determine what you’d be good at. I found them very insightful. They suggested things I never would have thought of and told me about strengths I never knew I had. You might see if you could find something similar at the community college near your home. Or do a Google search. I’m sure there’s stuff like that online.

    • Todd McCann Says:

      That’s a good suggestion. Thanks. I took one of those tests years ago. It said I should be an accountant or a forest ranger. WTH? Might try it again though. They’ve probably gotten better at it since then.

  13. trucking jobs Says:

    trucking jobs…

    […]Funkin’ Truckin’ « About Trucking Jobs Blog[…]…

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