Anthony Up The Ante

Anthony called me again yesterday about that driving job. Now he’s offering insurance, saying he’ll go about 60-70% on Blue Cross-Blue Shield. I felt more positive about it yesterday, as did Mara, and I was really leaning toward giving him a final “yes” and jumping ship from U.S. Xpress. Now I’m not so sure. Mara keeps asking me what I feel in my gut. Yesterday I told her I wasn’t sure, because I didn’t trust myself. Today I got up full of doubt. But I can’t decide if I’m just afraid to take the leap or if something feels wrong to me. Changing jobs right now constitutes a considerable risk for us. With Mara out of work we’re barely scraping by as it is, and I’m not sure we’ll make it on what I’m making with U.S. Xpress. What will happen if I jump ship and then find out that I’ve been lied to like so many other times before? What if I don’t make the money that I expect? What if the job turns out to be such a farce that I have to leave? That’s one thing that’s hanging over me. This is just bad timing.
Of course, there are other things to consider. For one thing, I have that speeding ticket hanging over me. I’m still under probation with U.S. Xpress. Since we couldn’t afford a lawyer and simply paid that ticket, it’s possible that U.S. Xpress will soon tell me to take a hike. We just don’t know how that ticket will affect things where U.S. Xpress is concerned. So with that in mind, this job offer might have come at a very good time. I suppose my biggest reluctance is that I’m going to be working for a guy who doesn’t seem to have a business, but sounds like he’s cutting deals out of his living room or something. Now, everyone has to start somewhere, but it just doesn’t seem like a brick and mortar organization. I’m 39 years old, and taking a deep breath and jumping is just not an option anymore. I can’t afford to take these kinds of risks.
But do I really have a choice? I keep telling myself that this could be a great opportunity. Experience has also taught me that this could be a terrible mistake. I haven’t forgotten Mr. Bill, and I haven’t forgotten R&L Trucking. Whatever my complaints with U.S. Xpress, they’ve never really hurt us. Mr. Bill looked us in the eye, shook our hands, and fucked us anyway, and still owes us about $1,800. R&L couldn’t get us any miles and then treated us like we were lazy, and then held our last couple of paychecks for almost two months before paying up, at a time right after Loretta died and we were in desperate financial straights. So we haven’t had great experiences with small companies.
I just don’t know. I told Anthony I would call him about 18:00. I needed to talk to Mara yesterday about his insurance offer. Mike Engle called again this morning. So far whenever Anthony has wanted to get in touch with me Mike has called me, and when I’ve called back Mike has said “Hey, man. Anthony needs to talk to you,” and has handed the phone over to him. So I’m not inclined to call Mike back. I’ll call Anthony tonight like I said I would. The only thing is that at this point I really don’t know what I’ll tell him.
In the end, he might not want to deal with me. I have at least of couple of problems that he’ll have to work around. For one thing, I won’t be able to get home until the end of the week. I’m in U.S. Xpress’ truck and I’m on the road, and I’m pretty much at their mercy when it comes to hometime. For another, I intend to take next week off. Mara’s birthday is on the 20th, Monday, and I’m going to be there. Then there’s going to be the need to take U.S. Xpress’ truck back to Tunnel Hill. USX is not going to have a reason to put on my DAC report that I abandoned a truck. No job is worth getting that on your record. So, essentially, I’m expecting to leave the Monday following Mara’s birthday. I’d be will to leave earlier than that, like toward the end of the week, if that suited the company’s plans, but that would be the earliest I would go out. I’m sure that might be a problem for them, but that’s my deal. Take it or leave it. As much as I’ve been thinking about leaving USX lately, jumping into the seat of some small, independent trucking company wasn’t what I had in mind. I had thought about getting a local job at one of the large regional carriers like Con-Way, Estes, etc. Basically put, I was not really looking for a job, and I don’t care if this one comes to me or not. If it works out, it works out.
Right now I need to decide, once and for all, what I’m going to do. At the moment I have no idea.

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