So this is the second time that I’m in this familiar position. Taking a flight back home to Buffalo after going off to gain, only to come back empty handed. The first time was when I moved to to NYC (Brooklyn to be exact) to purse a career in art. Well it didn’t work out and I have to take a long humiliating flight back home with my tail between my legs.I told myself that it wouldn’t happen again, but it did. This time I thought I had it all figured out. After enduring a rough 2 years since NYC I was able to pick myself up off of the ground and get my Class-A CDL license. Only to my dismay, I’m back where I started.
This time I thought I had it in the bag. I have my license and was recruited by a major trucking company that is supposedly in dire need for drivers. I graduated from tractor trailer school with a 82.3 avg out of 100, and even won a perfect attendance award. I went to an accredited school and it was a 4 and a half month program. I thought for sure that I had this in the bag. I didn’t come to Allentown Pa with a idealistic vision of something that was barely obtainable like I did in NYC. My trip here was legit, it made sense this time. I was ready to come . . . get trained and work. I was ready to make the money that I needed to move down south and finally get my LONG awaited tattoo apprenticeship.
I got the bus ticket to come down to Allentown Pa via email. I had to catch 5 buses to get there because the company that I went to got the cheapest tickets they could find. That was red flag #1. The Greyhound wasn’t that bad but the ticket they got made it a long and uncomfortable ride. The Greyhound ride was interesting because I got to see so many upstate NY cities like Rochester NY, Geneva NY, Binghamton NY, Ithaca NY, Scranton PA. They all look like Buffalo Jr’s but had their own style if that makes sense.
Then I finally got to the hotel that I had to stay in. I got a single room of course because I’m introverted and value my privacy. Plus who wants to live with some random stranger? The total came to $38 a night and I had to pay that out of my own pocket. The company had a corporate account so that I could get a discounted rate. It still adds up especially since I was getting training pay.
I went to training the next day and it was the usually corporate bullshit. The we are a “family” talk. They made us get a physical. After being looked at like a piece of meat by a doctor with god knows what type of thoughts in his head, I had to complete a bunch of e-learning courses that were a minimum of 30 mins each mostly. The videos can’t be skipped and some test require you to get a 100% score to pass. You have to take over any that you don’t pass the first time.
from the beginning. Some people failed the infamous Sexual Harassment video multiple times. That video was a beast. I think it was around 45 mins long and you have to take a 20 something question test and get a 100 score or you’ll have to take it multiple times.
I digress. So after the orientation presentation and your “free” lunch from some mediocre middle of nowhere Whitehall Pa fast food joint, you have to wait for a trainer. The problem is, Werner strings you along. It’s obvious they don’t have enough trainers to fulfill the enormous amount of students that come in. They factor in that many will get frustrated and leave so they recruit heavily.
After I finished my e-training courses… I waited patiently for my trainer and of course they gave me the run around and told me to work on a new set of e-training to buy some time for themselves. It was busy work. Werner is great at buying time by dangling the illusionary carrot attached to a string. They’ll give you more and more e-learning and make you sit in a small hotel room w/ you and your roommate going crazy probably ready to kill each other.
I only received $300 after taxes. I came on a Thursday so I’m not sure if that’s why it seemed so low. I had to pay $38 a night for my solo room so the pay wasn’t enough to cover my expenses. I had to buy my own food. This Ramada was out in the middle of no where so your food options will be limited. They have a indoor restaurant called “shooters”,Burger King, KFC and Friendly’s. I’ll admit that the fast food and service was the best that I’ve ever experienced.
I ended up paying WAY more than I intended to. My plane ticket was close to $400 because I had to make a last min flight.
This experience was another one of my life lessons. I know what I have to do. I mean, I always knew for a long time but I really know now. I gotta regain my patience and become sharper than I was before. I should’ve avoided this company since Im so inexperienced at driving but I’m super ambitious and like to jump in head first. This time I’ll go slow and start off local and build myself back up.