Bewildered by all of this - Printable Version
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Bewildered by all of this - semisweet - 05-04-2010 09:04 AM
I have been a truck driver for 12 years (not all with the same co). My last job I was there close to two years. From the beginning with these guys, they seemed very disinterested in getting me home for time off when I requested. 2-3 weeks on the road is enough for me, then I want to be at home for awhile. They're pretty stingy with home time too. I live in CA.
I took vacation 7 months ago for my daughter's wedding. I wanted to be off the entire week prior to the wedding. But they got me home late, again, although it wasn't 2 to 3 weeks late like they do sometimes. It was during the week of.. But the very next day, while I was on vacation, they called me back to work to go deliver a load!! I was furious! They wouldn't take No for an answer, so I had to do it.
During a work period, the dispatchers push the drivers hard, right up against the legal limit for commercial drivers, and even beyond. When I started with these guys, I could keep up pretty well. But the upside down scheduling of pickups and deliveries... one day you're driving in the wee hours of the morning, the next you're driving late into the night and delivering a load at 3 am.... the scheduling really screwed up my sleep patterns.
On top of that, they don't want phone calls when there are issues to be discussed. They want to do everything on the QC (QualComm: the satellite tracked vehicle tracking and communication device). But dispatchers are slower than frozen molassas responding.. if they do at all. Sometimes, they will ask a driver to wait a couple hours for their response. Of course, this is cutting into sleep time.
I got insomnia and high blood pressure from all of this. I had been having a variety of intermittent symptoms as well some of which that I hadn't had before either. Carpal tunnel syndrome was diagnosed about 4 yrs ago, but with rest, it went away. It's back again. I also have P.A.D. peripheral artery disease, I have C.O.P.D. chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, I have depression, back pain from I don't know what. The seats in the truck? The uncomfortable bunk? Jumping out of trailers?
On the last day I worked, my fleet manager (on the QC, it's documented, but I have no access to it) suggested that I fudge my logbook to show that I had been in the bunk - presumably sleeping - so that I could drive all night to make a delivery, and look like legal. My BP skyrocketed to the highest it's ever been.
I reported the BP and insomnia. They sent me to go find a doctor (in the midwest, where I was, not at home). I did and they sent me home the next day via public transportation. I carried with me everything that I possibly could, but I had to leave behind all of my tools, most of my clothes, nearly all my personal belongings, everything. They told me they would either hold it for me, when I returned to work, or ship it to me if it was going to be more than a month or so.
I didn't have enough of my wardrobe at home and was uncomfortable leaving my stuff behind. I asked that it be shipped, but I specifically asked for them to let me know how much the shipping would be in advance. They packed up my stuff (man! I hate having strangers maul through my stuff!) and sent it without telling me the cost. I didn't have the $ at the door and refused it. What else could I do? So then the fleet manager got mad at me, saying I had cost them a bundle of money. Well, they should have called me first. Personally, my opinion is that they should have paid the shipping anyways. I wasn't in the central US on vacation; I was doing their business.
Next they told me to make a list of what I wanted and didn't want shipped. So I did. Then they said they would pack up THAT stuff, and ship it, and they would let me know beforehand the cost. But no repacking. So I'm sitting over here in the dark about how much it's going to cost, again, with no recourse if it's too much. I said forget it. Don't ship anything. They threw out half my stuff. I got mad at them and said I never said I didn't WANT it, only that I didn't want it SHIPPED. This is all just typical of the way they do drivers, and adds to my stress. I feel like my life and dignity has been shredded.
They have not given me short term disability, as promised, and WC has been denied. They say its not job related. I'd like to know what it IS related to if not the job, since I spent 99.9% of my time in that truck! The Dr. says it's stress. He never actually treated the insomnia, or checked for sleep apnea, which I know I have as well. The Dr. gave me Happy Pills and BP pills and that's pretty much it. I object to the Happy Pills because there IS a reason for the depression. It's not just me and some chemical imbalance. I feel like the proverbial frog in the pot - yeah, you're gonna cook, but you can at least be happy about it.
Do I have a case here? What do you all think?
RE: Bewildered by all of this - jayne - 05-04-2010 09:52 AM
Geez you must have driven for England.....we had a friend that drove for them and they treated her like that....go go go all the time.....talk to a lawyer they would know if you have a case or not
RE: Bewildered by all of this - Bad Boy Bad Boy - 05-04-2010 10:57 AM
Allowing your self is to be over worked is who's fault?
Just because your asked to do it, doesn't mean you have too.
If you alter your Books to show you had been sleeping so you could drive through, is who's Fault?
Just because your asked to do it, doesn't mean you have too.
Any of the illegal things (issues) you said here, is who's fault if it gets done?
Employer will say they didn't tell you to do it, and you must of done on your own.
I don't think anyone forced your hand to stay with such employer as long as you did. Am I correct? Didn't you have options to ask other drivers if their company was hiring, and could you not make phone calls to seek out who was hiring? You knew what was taking place, yet you stayed there, why?
I do think you have an issue of work comp, but, I also think as a Person holding a CDL such as I do, can make proper choices for themselves also. I value my License, without it I couldn't work am I correct? So, we protect that License no matter what is at stack, correct? We don't violate to loose, that license because we are told too, we stand up, be man about it, and say sorry, not loosing my license because you want me to violate the Law, it just isn't happening. Correct? So, did you do any of that no? Did you cause some of your own problems then Yes? I do put some blame on the employer, and I put some on you, for not being a stand up person to protect their License, and your rights. Money isn't everything...
RE: Bewildered by all of this - jayne - 05-04-2010 11:17 AM
BBBB I consider my honey a stand up guy.....many tmes he went agaisnt what was right to keep his job.......he had a family to feed and jobs are not so easy to find with the benefits he had....when you are told you do this or you are fired you do it if you can for the good of his family......it isnt always the top sending these orders....sometimes its a ocksucker just a rung below the boss sending down this crap.......after Bill got hurt I contacted the head of pepsi they had no idea and several heads rolled......now it wasnt driving long hours but lifting more than was proper with faulty equipment......the new guys have the proper equipment and a new safety officer
RE: Bewildered by all of this - Bad Boy Bad Boy - 05-04-2010 12:33 PM
Jayne, I understand what your saying, and there are limits to how far a person goes when there is a need to protest then protect the most valuable thing they have and that is their CDL License, and without it, they wont have to look for work then. I too worked for Coke, the Railroad, even Spotted for trains for the railroad to load trailers on the trains. My friends were road drivers, and would never do anything to even try and get a violation, and never lost their jobs.
I do wonder though if it is a work comp issue, since there isn't an injury listed. If it is work comp then that is good too. I wish then\m luck.
RE: Bewildered by all of this - semisweet - 05-05-2010 01:02 AM
Bad Boy Bad Boy Wrote:Allowing your self is to be over worked is who's fault?
Oh, believe me, I have refused loads plenty of times because I didn't have legal hours to do them. I have never lied or cheated on my log book, even though I have been asked to do so. The dialogue on the qual comm shows my response to the fleet manager's suggestion. I told her, "Sure, I COULD do that, but I'd still be driving sleepy.." and I turned down the load. Nevertheless, whenever I have taken a stand for what is legal, safe or prudent, I have felt the displeasure of my superiors.
And FYI, I have worked for enough companies to know that changing companies doesn't mean you're getting a better job. Of course I knew I could ask around, change jobs, but do you honestly think there's even one company out there that doesn't treat drivers like doggie-do?
You do NOT know me, and you do NOT know what kind of person I am. You make assumptions about me that aren't true. I am first in line at the Safety First business, and it's cost me plenty. I am dissed by other drivers and the office personnel for it. But I've never had a chargeable accident. I have received only a single [bogus] ticket in my whole lifetime. The drivers who get rewarded are the ones who take insane risks. I know, I used to be the g/friend of one driver who did this and was named driver of the month/quarter or year over and over. I told him it will catch up to him sooner or later. So far, it hasn't. But one day, he will make that fatal mistake. Maybe he won't see the car trying to pass him in a snowstorm, maybe he'll be driving too fast for conditions... something like that, and it will be terrible. I refuse to do those things. I don't think I like the idea of spending possibly years behind bars in another state, and not seeing my family anymore. I don't like the idea that I could, by a turn of the steering wheel, wipe out a whole family.
Don't judge where you don't have facts to back it up, my friend.
Did I not mention high blood pressure, insomnia? I also have depression and nightmares and all of this the dr thinks is caused by STRESS. I have carpal tunnel syndrome and bad circulation too.
RE: Bewildered by all of this - Lilly - 05-05-2010 09:09 AM
Welcome semisweet !
Please contact a cert.WC lawyer and tell him your story. It sounds to me like you may have a case. You may also want to contact the EEOC and report the shenanigans of your present company..
Badboy was not trying to offend you...he is straight forward & blunt...so don't take offence or take him wrong, ok?
Good luck to you, and good for you to not go along with the companies' illegal and dangerous suggestions on the road!!
PS...don't fool around with HBP! I have a 10" scar on my chest to prove it!
Take care, Lilly
RE: Bewildered by all of this - Bad Boy Bad Boy - 05-05-2010 09:36 AM
Semisweet, for 1 I didn't judge. I write like that sometimes just so I can see were the persons veiws are. And it works, just like it did here.
I'm proud to see you did stand up and not violate. That is wonderful.
Now, please, you need to know this. Your going to have most likely a rough time getting a work comp claim started. Since I did say that. It would be my very best opinion to you, to please seek out some work comp attorney's. What I suggest is find about 10, then write all their names and numbers down on paper. Call each one, scrath of the ones you may not like, or don't feel comfortable with, and just keep going till you narrow the list. Then make a decission. All these calls are free no charge, as work comp attorney's don't get paid till you settle. Then hire one on, and let them do all this work. They have a way better chance then you would going it alone.