Wednesday, January 15, 2014

School Days

Well, I just finished my third day of classes toward getting my CDL. The people at the school seem nice enough, but the owner appears to be a little overly “frugal.” His lot is in dire need of some gravel, but I haven’t heard the subject mentioned, yet. The “equal lib” restroom is a portable toilet about 30 feet from the mobile home-style building that contains both the office and the classroom. The owner is being paid $4000 a head by the state to teach us what we need to know, yet we get neither our textbook nor a trucker’s highway safety manual. They have only “classroom copies.” The study manual that the state gives folks for free, we are allowed to take home, but we’re to turn it in when the schooling is over with. It turns out that schools are supposed to order them, while the state GIVES them to individuals. Individuals are going to use them either way, but leave it up to the government to try to make some money on the deal (and the school owner to be too tight to buy them.) ;-)

Also, Friday, We all have to drive to the state capitol to take our CDL “learner’s permit” test. We have a brand-new DMV office here in town, but NO, the state won’t let us take the test HERE. I’m sure that it’s because they want that $90 fee to stay in the capitol rather than get side-lined here. The driving part, we can do here and then take the papers they mail us to the local office to get our new license. I’m sure the reason they allow that is because NO MONEY CHANGES HANDS during that part of the process.

I had originally hoped to get my passenger endorsement, but that would take an extra week and cost me $1000, so I won’t. Considering that the school has a bus that they use for the use of those who are getting a passenger endorsements on their CDL, it would be nice if they’d drive us all down to Charleston to take our tests, but they aren’t planning on doing that. So, here we folks who aren’t currently working have to take a day off school and burn the gas to take a two-hour drive to the capitol. Some of them are car-pooling, so I guess that will help.
I did something stupid today. I locked my keys in the truck when I was on break. SO, I had to call my wife and she had to drive about 15 miles to unlock the truck with her “zapper.” She wasn’t too pleased; it was a cold day! She made good on the trip and got her hair done, though, so it worked out well for her. Plus, the car hadn’t been run for weeks and needed limbered up a bit.

I did get one good piece of news, from when we went across the river to get our DOT physicals Monday. Since my current poverty has caused me to back off on eating out and eating so much junk food, I’ve lost 12 pounds. I guess even poverty can have its good points, if it doesn’t get TOO severe! © 2013


Sunnybrook Farm said...

Sounds kind of like something that would take place south of the border. Play the game and get your license as you already know how to drive, you just need the permit. Getting any snow over there, we are on the edge of it here so they say.

Gorges Smythe said...

SF, it's been cold, breezy and spitting snow off and on all day. They say it's 28 and no wind chill at the moment, but they must be measuring that windchill in the middle of the local mall, 'cause we sure as heck have windchill up here on Tick Ridge!

buddeshepherd said...

I would recommend getting your passenger endorsement. Driving a shortbus is a lot better than a tractor trailer. There are jobs with nursing homes, schools, you could drive Amish people around (if you have them in your part of the state and so on. I did not get the passenger endorsement and I've regretted it. However, I did it all years ago when all I had to do was take a written test. But then again, $1,000 sounds like a lot of money.
The schools sound like a scam but they really help with the inspection and driving parts of the test.
Good luck!

buddeshepherd said...

Also, another story from my truck driving experiences. I drove truck hauling sweet corn for my neighbor. The truck had a five speed with a four speed auxiliary transmission.
This is a little more complicated from the modern transmissions as there is a point where you have to shift both transmissions at the same time.
Also, you start hauling sweet corn when the picker starts and you stop when the field is done. In this case it took 20 plus hours.
I missed my shift on an overpass with a full load of sweet corn in rush hour traffic and had to stop in the middle of downtown to let the gears in the transmission slow down enough to stop grinding. A couple people honked at me.
I started up the overpass again and missed the shift. I retreated back to the low gear and climbed the overpass at 10 mph. A few more people honked and some even waved at me.
I think it was because they like sweet corn.
I doubt they will cover shifting a 5 & 4 in truck driving school.

Chickenmom said...

Do what you have to do, Gorges to get that license. All the driving schools are a scam, but you DO get the license. That's all you need to get a job - doesn't have to be OTR.
Hubby drove a school bus for 10 years after his job moved down South after 35 years. With that CDL you are way ahead of the game!

deborah harvey said...

hi. ever since husband locked keys in the car with the engine running i have required all hands to carry two sets of keys--on separate keychains-- at all times. we lived close and i was over 30 years younger then so i ran all the way downtown with my own keys. be prepared.
love, deb h.

Gorges Smythe said...

No, Budd, I've heard no mention of a 5 & 4,....yet.

That's what I figure, Cm, put up with the foolishness, due to the advantages.

Pumice said...

Maybe you could write a book on your new diet.

I tried to access a post you wrote three days ago and it said it didn't exist. Are you being censored by the government or am I being blocked because I am not mature enough for the content?

Grace and peace.

Abraham Lincoln said...

Sounds like it was just one of those days.

Brenda said...

This is a coincidence that while I read your post, my husband is on the phone trying to get rid of his CDL. He no longer needs them since he is retired. Good luck with yours

Gorges Smythe said...

I've been deleting a lot of incidental stuff and links, Pumice; maybe you got one of those.

I have those days sometimes, Mr. Lincoln, so you you're probably right.

Thanks, Brenda.