Phase 1, Day 19: Seeking Mr. Right, Pt. 2

Woke up this morning at 6, got breakfast, talked to the hotel staff. Asked if I could just stay in the room instead of checking out and having to spend the whole day doing nothing at the terminal, only to check right back in again afterwards. They said they would look into it. At 7, I called my wife, hoping we could have a nice private chat while I had the room to myself, but it was still very early and she was asleep. So I lay down to get more rest, only to be awakened at 7:50 by a call from the lobby, telling me I had to check out and go to the terminal for truck assignments. I lost my window for a nice private chat with the wife, and resigned myself to sitting around at the terminal for hours waiting on the results of everyone’s tests. I knew my wife would be disappointed, having missed our chance to talk, but we will be able to talk more in the future; I’ll just have to talk in the truck around my driving partner, or outside at truck stops around the idling trucks or in the shops. That’s one of the major drawbacks of this phase of my training: a complete lack of privacy. It’s like being back in boot camp.

So I arrived at the terminal at 8:20, then sat around and waited. And waited. And… you get the idea. At 11, the trainees had all passed their tests, but their finishing school wouldn’t start until 12:30, so we tried to get a courtesy car to get some lunch. There were none available, so we waited, hoping they’d show up before it was too late to eat. Unfortunately, by the time the vehicle arrived, it was too late for us to get food and return in time, so we had to wait.

While I waited, another couple drivers came back from driving in phase 2. They hadn’t yet completed their 40,000 miles, but one of the two decided he didn’t want to drive anymore. So he’s going home and his partner is without a co-driver.

I also heard a trainer come back after dropping off his trainee, who he said had given him trouble the whole time. He advised all other trainers to steer clear of this trainee, because he was a safety risk. He’d hopped out of the truck without setting the brakes, forcing the trainer to jump into a rolling truck and emergency stop the vehicle, and the trainee was constantly blaming other people for his own problems. Nobody wants to ride with someone like that.

Finally, around 1:45, the trainees finished their P2 upgrade classes and I found a good Phase 2 partner (not the same partner I’d been planning yesterday)… only to discover that we couldn’t get a truck until tomorrow. Meaning I could have stayed at the hotel as I’d planned, instead of wasting the day at the terminal twiddling my thumbs.

Such is life.

Finally at 2 we returned to the hotel, where we would spend another night. Another couple buffet visits, more time to use the Internet, and hopefully tomorrow we’ll hit the road.

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