I'm one of the oldest, if not the oldest person in my class. Most of my classmates are in their early 20's. Most are Hispanic or from the Caribbean. A few are heavy tattoo'd.
Here I am. The banker, the insurance agent, the wanna be writer and semi-philosopher. I feel out of touch, out of place and at times lost.
I'm not doing badly, I am doing well when it comes to the day to day law, logs, paperwork. These are things that I am used to. This makes sense to me.
It's the practical part of driving that scares me somewhat. How to maneuver a large vehicle is small spaces. How to change from one loading dock to another without wrecking. Why I can't seem to remember that if I want to make that dumb trailer go to the left, that I need to turn to the right when backing up.
For these reasons and more, I decided to switch over to "automatic only" simply because I was having trouble getting the downshift procedure correct, and with only four days left of class (starting Monday), I didn't think I had enough time to truly master it and everything else that I have to make sure I know. It will result on a "limit" on my license meaning that I can only drive automatic trucks but frankly the industry is going that way anyhow and nearly all companies have automatics now.
I'm still not sure if I'm making the right choice. However I'm trying to concentrate on the positives of my choices. When I was working insurance I've had checks as low as 500 a week and up to 2,000 for a week. There was no consistency.
I'm hoping that changes.
Now that I'm getting older and facing retirement in the face, I'm planning on working till at least 70, I need a good matching 401K and a few other things. Trucking companies are one of the few that still match dollar to dollar up to 6 or 7% Frankly that's pretty much unheard of anymore in banking and insurance.
The idea of being able to take Sue with me and see the country while getting paid is a definite plus in that column.
Still though, it's the physicality of it that's surprised me. Truck drivers are often expected to put in 14 hour day. They can spend up to 11 hours of it behind the wheel, which surprised me. Of course, I know from an early job in my life that working a 14 hour day and "working" a 14 hour day are two different things.
You arrive somewhere and it takes them an hour or two to load your truck as you sit in the cab resting. Technically you are "working" but not really. Your taking a quick nap or watching video's on YouTube. I get it.
This is the last week, I have a job waiting and two more that I really, really want to try and get into. It looks like that I'll be driving over the road (OTR) for at least 6 months. Again, a lifestyle change that scares me.
It's always scary.
I'm to far in now to turn tail and run. If this is not for me, then I will find a way out of it, but I will always have the CDL license. I will always have those skills.
Let's see what happens.