"Moving In A New Direction"

Another day at home. I sent my dispatcher an e-mail yesterday afternoon because I hadn’t been able to get hold of her all day. She said to call her this morning, that USX was “moving in a new direction” and they would like to see if we could work out some arrangement to keep me in the fold. Well, so far I haven’t been able to get anyone on the phone. Hehe.
I don’t think there’s anything they could say that will change my mind. Sure, not getting paid was the final straw, but it’s not the only issue. Miles are certainly an issue. I’ve only had one good week since I went solo. But a large part of the reason I want to come home is various problems at home. I simply need to be home more often.
That sounds like I’m just unhappy. Well, that’s true. I’m not happy being gone for weeks at a time, working for a company that doesn’t seem to give a damn whether I’m making enough to money to eat. But a lot of my unhappiness comes from home. Every time I walk in that door I feel like I’m walking into some crack den, because no one here seems to care that we live in a trash heap.
Mara gets mad at me whenever I bring this stuff up, but she is certainly part of the problem. She refuses to admit it, but she never lifts a finger to do anything around the house. I’m not just saying that she’s a bad housekeeper. Mara seems to have no desire whatsoever to even pick up after herself. As I told her one night, if it wasn’t for the simple fact that without washing dishes she and Mama wouldn’t have anything to eat on, they’d never wash dishes.
I love Mara, but this is beyond the pale. Mama washes clothes but can’t put them in our dresser in our bedroom because she literally cannot get to it for the junk in the floor. Beside our bed there is a pile of about twenty books that Mara has taken to bed with her, and simply dumped in the floor when she’s through with them. The entire house has become a junk-pile, and Mara doesn’t seem to be willing to lift a finger to do anything about it. We had better win the lottery soon so that we can afford to hire someone to come in and clean up after Mara.
Mama doesn’t do much, either, but she does more than Mara. Mama washes clothes and tries to keep the kitchen cleaned up. But she doesn’t do much more than that. I think Mama has an excuse, however. She’s 72 years old and shouldn’t be expected to keep behind Mara trying to keep the piles from growing too high. Mara should bear some resonsibility for that. But whenever anything is said about it, she crawls up on her cross and starts with the persecution complex. Apparently by expecting her to do something around the house I am asking her to change something fundamental about who and what she is as a person, and she feels that this is unfair.
I bear some blame, as well, for the shape of the house. I’ve certainly had opportunities when I’ve been home to swoop in and clean up a bit. I haven’t done that. Most of the hometime I’ve had has been spent playing Everquest. This is one reason I’m hoping to find a driving job that gets me home every weekend. At least then I will be home on occasion and will have no excuse if I don’t step up and do what needs to be done. Usually when I only come in every three or four weeks I just don’t want to do anything for a few days. I won’t have that excuse if I’m home every weekend.
Long story short, if we’re going to dig ourselves out of this trash heap that we’re in, it’s going to have to be me doing the digging. Mama isn’t capable of cleaning it all up, and Mara isn’t willing.
I need to move quickly on this. At this point, there’s no way Mara and I can get my truck back to USX before this weekend. I’ve thought about it, and I really don’t care what “new direction” they’re going in. I’m done with U.S. Xpress. This is a company that shuffles things up just to be able to tell themselves that they’re a dynamic company. The kind of company that would spend four million dollars on a driver outreach campaign to convince its drivers that the company cares, instead of actually trying to care. I’ve been hearing variations of this “new direction” routine for six years now, and it’s just as much bullshit now as it was in 1999.
So we’ll see. I need to figure out where to hang my hat and get on with it. I really do feel like my life was put on hold the minute I got in truck #7700 back in 1999. I didn’t mind it the first couple of years, because I genuinely thought that the sacrifice was worth it, and that good things waited on the other side. Mara threw all that away when she decided to come home, bills and obligations be damned.
Now we have to try something new. I need a new direction. I need to feel like I have a life, and I’m not just wasting away in my big red box. A part of that means being home long enough to beat back the creeping decay.

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