I told you about my first set of favourite bosses, and they were really great, but they didn’t quite compare to Rudy and Claire at Westside Transport.
After I left Bill’s company, I needed work, so I went to the job search place at the unemployment office. They would let you use their resources for free, because I guess it’s cheaper than me not getting a job and going on the dole. I got the names of two companies that were hiring drivers, and I faxed them each a resume. The first one to call me was Supertrux, and they were a real piece of shit company to work for. Well, for the three days I worked for them anyhow. They are out of business now, and it’s no wonder! I got a $455 fine and a log book violation, just for driving for them! I went to court and got off, but still, it cost me a day’s pay, and I had to go to Kamloops for the trial. They told me after, that they find something to charge that company with every chance they get, because they had the worst safety rating and the shittiest fleet in British Columbia. Yes Chuck, even worse than Durango. 😉 I should actually do a post about that horrible trip, but today is for the good, not the bad, so on we go.
On my way back from the worst trip of my driving career, I got a call from Dick at Westside. He asked if I was still available to come in for an interview, and I said that I was going through Hope, and I could be there in the afternoon. He thought that it would work out, and we made an appointment. I didn’t know what to expect, but I wasn’t prepared for everyone to be so friendly. They hired me on the spot, and Rudy took me for my driving test. I guess I did alright, because he gave me the job, and asked if I could start the next day. That was January 15 1999 or 2000. I only remember because when I went in the next day, they got me to fill something out, and then they all sang happy birthday, and gave me a bunch of spankings. Well, maybe they just all said “happy birthday” and then I left with Scotty for my training run.
Scotty was sixty four years old, and one hell of a nice guy, and a great employee. The only trouble was his health. He was a diabetic, and there was a couple times when I got really worried. One was when he hit a deer and didn’t realize it, and the other was when a deer hit me, and he didn’t believe me. That was my first experience with low blood sugar and the trance people go in. When we got out to assess the damage from my deer, he was walking back with the flashlight, and getting irate with me, saying things like, “So where’s this supposed deer that you dreamed you hit?”
When I pointed into the rim and under the trailer, it was quite evident that the deer had run headlong into the rim, which had turned it’s self into a pseudo meat grinder. Not pretty at all. Scotty gagged. We got to Edmonton to deliver, and Scotty grabbed a shovel while I unstrapped the load. After we left, he told me what he was doing. It seems that the receiver there was always an asshole to him, so he put the ground venison under the seat of his car. Not bad at -18C, but as soon as it warmed up…retch. I liked Scotty, but I was worried about him. He just needed less than 60000 miles to get his million miles accident free badge. I don’t know if there is such a badge, but it was important to him, so there should be.
I guess I should get back to my amazing bosses.
I was finally on my own, and I was trekking across the US prairies. I stopped just into North Dakota, at the closed scale house, for a sleep. When I woke up in the morning, my whole body had busted out in hives. My eyes were swollen almost shut, and my hands and feet didn’t have a wrinkle in them. I couldn’t put my shoes or boots on, but it was -35C so I wrapped sweaters around my feet and hobbled into the now open scale house. The officers looked at me and remarked at how bad I looked, and asked what was wrong. I told them that I had hives really bad, and needed to get to a hospital, and they both said that they weren’t allowed to leave, and that the nearest hospital was forty five miles away. I explained that I could barely see, and they said that I should call an ambulance, but it would probably be an hour or so.
I drove. Partly because I couldn’t wait for an ambulance, but mostly because I can’t even imagine what that would cost. I phoned Rudy and told him what was going on, and I might be a bit late for my delivery. He said that it didn’t matter. Freight was freight, and there would still be more freight after this. He told me to call him for his Visa # when they took care of me, and he would pay for the bill. I didn’t call him, but that meant a lot to me that he even offered. Any other place that I had worked would have said to get back across the border. When I got to the town with the hospital, I ran into a Walmart parking lot to park, and call a cab. A guy pulled up and said I had some flat tires.
Fuck. I sure did. I had dragged an axle for forty five miles on a snow covered interstate, and burned the bottoms off. I called Rudy, and he said to call a tire shop and get them to go over and fix it while I was in the hospital. I called, and they were just around the corner. I drove there to save the $75 callout fee. The cab came and took me to the ER, and they got me fixed up, for $230US. I had two shots of epinephrine, and two Benadryl, plus a two hour nap. I wouldn’t have slept there if I knew it was going to cost $100.
I got back to the tire shop and signed the $460 bill, and they called for a Visa while I sat and wondered if I’d get fired. I got in the truck, phoned Rudy, and apologized profusely. I told him to take the money that he was out, off of my cheque, but he just said to not worry about it, and to get some more rest. I did, and there was never another word spoken about it, except for when he phoned me the next day, just to make sure I was okay. He said that he would fly down and meet me if I needed someone to help with the driving. I assured him that it was okay now, and he told me to call him at any time.
Ooops. It looks like this will be a two part, second part. Sorry.
Sundown, you better take care, if I find you’ve been creepin’ ’round my back stair,
Have you ever been ashamed of a boyfriend/girlfriend, but put up with it for sex?