When I was a kid, I told my grandparents I wanted to be a truck driver when I grew up. They told me I didn’t want to do that. Then I said I wanted to be a teacher. They’re both retired teachers, and told me I didn’t want to do that either.
Guess what I’d kind of like to do when I grow up and stop driving?
I didn’t really set out after college to become a truck driver. I’d gone to a four year, technical college in Oregon, and while I didn’t graduate with a bachelor’s degree, I did at least graduate with a pair of associate’s degrees. Then I moved to northern Idaho. Lovely place, but a bad place for someone with a computer engineering background to move.
Have you ever seen those National Guard commercials, w here the attractive young 20 somethings go “Need experience to get the career you want? But, no one will hire you without experience?” That was me. Not only did I lack an official bachelor’s degree, but I also was a crap computer engineer, and didn’t have any experience. So, even if north Idaho/eastern Washington was hiring computer engineers, I wasn’t going to be interviewed.
So, for a couple years, I bummed around at a number of jobs, mostly call centers. I did 411 information for a wireless company, while working at another wireless company. I told mobile phones, did customer service for another cellular company, and was a telephone banker. I hated the call center work, being in cubicles with someone accusing me of being overseas, or blowing up and screaming profanities to me, when I couldn’t hang up.
Add to that, my grandfather had been put in hospice. He was there 11 months, and during that time, I had a lot of trouble holding down a job. No one wants to hire you when you have to suddenly take off for a few days to a few weeks because you got the call of “they don’t expect him to last much longer, you should come down.” So, I was unemployed for most of the 11 months he was in hospice.
I was also dating Pet at this time, and in a moment of rare exasperation, I finally said, “Fuck it, I’m going to go drive truck if I can get the money to go to school.” Pet, who was having the same luck at finding a tolerable job, decided to come along, provided we could both get funding. So, we tried to get funding. We couldn’t get the loans on our own, so when Pet’s grandma offered to co-sign, it made it that much easier.
Bappa died in the summer of 2007. I stayed with Nonny for several weeks after the funeral, well Pet and I did. During that time, I told her I wanted to drive truck. She thought I was nuts, but before I left to go back to Idaho, we worked out a deal; she’d finance school, and when I could, I’d pay her back.
Had I known all the zany things I’d get involved in while driving truck, I might have found another profession. But, if I had gone to be something else, I wouldn’t have nutty stories, like the Nazi knife guy, getting robbed at gunpoint, getting towed after 3 days of new truck, and porno vending machines.