It's been a while since I've up-dated my blog, so here it goes. Mostly I've been sending up-dates to www.twitter.com/stephen_fosdick and www.facebook.com/stephen_fosdick, so check those out if you want the most current news about where I'm at and what I'm doing.
I was back in Sisters, working at the ACE Hardware Store when I was offered a job with a trucking company in Des Moines, Iowa. Since I wanted to have my bicycle with me, I set out with my bike and trailer for Iowa in late October. On the way, though, I received an e-mail from CR England in Salt Lake City. They seemed to have a pretty good thing going, so in route to Des Moines, I stopped in Salt Lake City to check them out.
They offered me a 2-week paid training, both in the classroom and out in a truck with a trainer. The 4 days in the class went very well, and they even provided dorm style housing at no cost! Then I got matched up with a trainer named John Fenty from New York City. He was a good trainer, except he was on his cell phone all the time. I had a difficult time hearing him because he spoke very soft, he has a New York accent, and the truck makes a lot of noise (from the road). Often, I thought he was talking to me or asking me a question when actually he was on his phone talking to one of his friends or to his wife back home.
For the most part, I thought I was doing OK. I still have a difficult time with the shifting (It's a 8-speed). Once on a slight downgrade, I had it in 7th gear when I should have had it in 8th gear. I tried to shift into 8th, but because of the turck's governor set at 62 mph, and my speed at the time was about 68 mph, I wasn't able to shift into 8th gear until I slowed back down. This is called "coasting," and you have less control of your vehicle when it is not in gear. John got really upset with me for coasting.
Later, while we were driving in Chicago at night, I missed a turn. I was trying to follow the instructions from the GPS, making sure I was shifting properly, and making sure I wasn't running over a curb or another vehicle. John flew off the handle at me and said that I wasn't paying attention, yet he was on his cell phone rather than helping me with the turn-by-turn directions.
At that point, he asked me to pull over and he took over driving. He also just stopped talking to me. I didn't feel very safe being in his truck any more, being he wasn't talking to me, so the next morning while we were in Iowa headed for Colorado, I decided to get out of the truck and find my own way home.
John was really up-set at me now! But in the end, the experience showed me what this company was like, and I didn't want any part of it. I'm SO GLAD that I hadn't signed a 6-month lease for a truck like they wanted me to.
Now I had to find a way to get my bike and duffel bag back to Salt Lake City, and I need to find a job somewhere ... stay tuned!