Last Day At Home

I’m tinkering. Today is my last day home. It sounds so strange to say that. I expected to be gone last week. But the truck had other ideas. I suppose I could have driven it and hoped for the best, but as I told Mara, I would have been terrified to turn off the truck the last time I was out if I had known that USX hadn’t repaired the charging system.
Anyway, the truck is ready at Volvo. I took Mara to work this morning. Mama is in Georgia for this week, so Mara and I are having to work out something about getting the truck back from Volvo. Mara’s going to get off work early so that we can run to Hickory and pick up the truck. I’ll probably set my PTA for tomorrow morning, and head out then. USX won’t be happy, but who really cares at this point?
The phone rang within a few moments of my return home. “Unknown name, unknown number.” We just don’t answer those. No one calls with the ID blocked but bill collectors. And quite frankly, they’re all assholes. We’ve worked out an arrangement with some of our bill collectors, and still had them harassing us the next day. So we’ve just stopped answering the phone when it’s someone we don’t know.
USX has probably been calling me, too. The caller ID used to say “U.S. Xpress,” when they called but the company has since changed it to say “unknown name, unknown number.” What kind of company do I work for, that it has to hide its identity from its own employees?
I put my phone in the van to charge. I don’t know USX’s number right off hand, and I’ll need to get it off of my cellphone. I’m not looking forward to talking to them. Everything will be fine if they just set my PTA for in the morning and no one tries to jerk me around. But if someone comes at me like my dispatcher did last week, with “you’ve been assigned a load anyway,” meaning they’ll try to get me to leave tonight, all bets are off. Mainly because I got up early to take Mara to work, I’m going to stay up and clean up the house, and by the time we get the truck back to the house early this evening, I’ll be in no shape to drive out.
I don’t know what I’d do if they fired me, but at this point I really don’t care. I’m not trying to provoke anybody, but I’m not going to get behind the wheel after I’ve already had a long day. There was a time that they could intimidate me into doing whatever they wanted me do, but those days are long gone. Once I’m on the road, I’ll do whatever I have to do, and I’ll certainly drive at times when I haven’t had much sleep. I’m not going to start out like that.

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