We left off in the first part of part two with me costing Rudy a bunch of grief and money, but it was a medical thing that I couldn’t help, so he didn’t get ticked, and offered to pay for it. That made me think that I was working for a pretty good guy. Over the year that I worked there, I found several other reasons that he was not only a great boss, but an amazing person.
One of the things that I loved, was that he called me Sparky, and said that I always brightened up the place when I came to work. That kind of makes a guy enjoy going in, and do as good of a job as you possibly can.
He also paid me quite well. Other than the oilfield work, it was the best paying job I’ve had. We received a percentage of what the truck made, and because we were mostly hauling oversized loads to the States, we made out quite well on that front.
Another thing was that no matter what you screwed up, he wouldn’t get really mad at you. He may have been fuming inside, but he never showed it. Even when I inadvertently gave up what we were getting for a load to a subcontractor. I say inadvertently, because I had to do a run with this guy, and we were going to Albuquerque NM with some air conditioning units for Intel, and he was bitching about having to haul the big load, because the pilot trucks were slowing us down. I said that I didn’t mind going a bit slower because I was going to make $1200 in four days. I didn’t think much of it, and the next day, he asked if we got paid by the mile, and I said that we got a percentage, plus a tarping fee. I guess they subbed the job out for a little more than I was getting paid, so he told his boss, and his boss phoned my boss wanting more money. The dispatchers were pretty pissed with me, but Rudy just looked disapprovingly at me, and walked out with me. I said that I was really sorry about it, and I was almost crying, because I was that upset. Not because they yelled at me, but because I thought that I had disappointed this man that I had come to admire so much. He just looked at me, smiled, and said “I know you are. You’re not going to do that again, are you?” I said that I wouldn’t, and that was that.
It’s funny how some people affect you more than others. I’ve had bosses that I couldn’t care less if they liked me on a personal level, or thought I was a decent human being, but guys like Rudy, or old Bill, that you want to go that extra mile for, because you know they would do it for you. Those are the people that I like working for.
You might wonder how I know they would go the extra mile for their employees, so I’m going to tell you a story about an employer that went above and beyond for an employee. You remember Scotty from the first part, right? Well, he had some health problems, but was still trying to get his million accident free miles in, so he was plugging away down near Vegas, when he had a heart attack while driving. They rushed him to the hospital, and told him that he couldn’t go anywhere until he had a quadruple bypass. They phoned Rudy, and he put the surgery on his Visa, and hopped a flight down to Vegas, and sat with Scotty until he was okay to travel. He then drove him back to Vancouver, and got him home.
That’s pretty impressive, I think. I can honestly say that I’ve never had a boss like that before, or maybe I had, but they didn’t get a chance to prove it. Either way, I had a tear in my eye when I heard that. I was even more impressed when I found out that he had gone to Scotty’s doctor and asked him to reinstate his license to allow him to get his last few thousand miles in to get his million. He promised the doctor that he would do the driving, and just credit Scotty with it, but he let the old fella drive the truck himself. I thought that was pretty cool.
I don’t think Scotty made the million before he died, but it sure as hell wasn’t from lack of trying. Between him and Rudy, I think they should have gotten some sort of award. For perseverance if for nothing else.
I’ve completely forsaken Claire in all of this story, so I really should touch on that. Claire was a cancer survivor, and a hell of a nice lady. I say lady, because that’s what she was. She looked after the books and office side of the business, and she did a damn good job of it. There was never a problem with paycheques, and even when I lost everything I had in a Reno truckstop and casino, she went to my bank and put an advance in for me, so I could eat for the rest of the trip. I’m not saying that she was approving of what I had done, but she didn’t let me starve, and for that, I’ll be forever thankful. That was a pretty low point in my life, and I will probably have to write a post about how I quit gambling all the time, because of it, but that will have to wait for later.
On a side note, I worked with Cory at Westside too, and he was such a cool, easy going guy, that I thought I should mention him in here. The last time I took a run out there, I parked in Rudy’s new yard (he sold Westside years earlier), and hung out with him for a couple of days. I also got to go and have dinner with Cory, Jody, and their kids, and it was fabulous. It was spaghetti with moose meat sauce, and other than the severe squirts after it, it was delicious.
I seem to come into contact with such phenomenal people wherever I go, and I don’t want to ever take that for granted. I guess that’s another good thing about this blog; I’ll be able to go through here some day when I have Alzheimer’s, and figure out what the hell I did before I was living in the old folk’s home.
Old age and treachery, always overcomes youth and skill,
P.S. I just found Rudy on Facebook, so I sent a friend request. I’ll let you know how it goes.