Jerry no longer has a job. Yeah, THAT happened.
After months of riding the emotional and psychological roller coaster of will he or won’t he keep his over the road truck driving job, he is now officially unemployed. Meaning we have zero income. So now we move over to a different emotional and psychological ride of figuring out how to get an income and keep the bills paid.
The issues Jerry was having with his job were increasing. They would have 2-3 days every week where they were stuck without a load to drive. Those in charge of logistics would give incorrect information about delivery times and resource availability. His direct supervisor switched to a third guy. Unlike the first two, this one was less communicative and less responsive, leaving Jerry and his co-driver hanging and waiting for load information. Then, Jerry was contacted by some random guy wanting to be his co-driver. He informed the guy he already had a co-driver. The next day his supervisor informed him that he’d been placed on a list of people who needed co-drivers. Due to company policy being touted as DOT regulations Jerry’s co-driver was being told he had to complete a $4,000 sleep apnea test, that the company wouldn’t pay for, in order to be able to keep his certification. They weren’t kept running consistently enough to make ends meet or afford company insurance and this was not something his family could afford, so, basically he was being pushed out of his brand new job where he still owed the company money for his training. Since Jerry has a difficult time dealing with people and finding another guy who he would be able to live and drive with in the confined spaces of a truck, the thought of going through the process of finding another driver and having to work for less money until a co-driver could be found, when what he was making was already barely meeting our family’s needs was very stressful and discouraging for Jerry.
His emotional distress over the job issues have been exacerbated by the fact that not only is 9/11 the anniversary of our nation’s most recent political and world tragedy, but it was also his dad’s birthday. The dad who died at the end of February, just before starting this job and whom Jerry hasn’t really had a chance to grieve the loss of. Worry, fear, and anger about his mom and the fact that she’s losing the house and her health is deteriorating. His lifeline and grounding is Luna and not being able to see and interact with her on a daily basis was compounding his mental and emotional distress. Factor into this his complete and total submersion into end times propaganda, complete with the vilification of Obama as the antichrist and all the different friends and family that feed into it with reports from Western Center for Journalism and Now The End Begins and now we also have fear and anger about the future of our nation and certainty that all is lost.
Which means it’s been very stressful for me, because every communication between us was strife with his frustration, fear and “righteous” anger.
The good in all of it is that I know he didn’t just abandon his job. He had promised me that he wouldn’t leave that job until he had another one lined up, and he didn’t. When he was on his home time in August, he was contacted by another trucking company that had local jobs. He stayed in touch with them to let them know when he would be home again to determine the availability of a local position. He followed through with his communications and completing the online application and forms that were requested of him. He sent follow-up emails to the recruiter to ensure the process was going well. He notified them promptly when his ETA for home time changed due to his existing job. He received regular assurances that the process was going well and everything looked good. He was told that they would fly him to a four day orientation and back and then he would start. The only thing they were waiting on was a reference from a previous employer. We left a message for the previous employer requesting they either respond to the reference request or contact Jerry.
So, after they got home and unpacked the truck, Jerry immediately notified his supervisor that he was offered a local job and wouldn’t be continuing his employment. After some inflammatory emails were exchanged back and forth and then ruffled feathers smoothed, it was arranged for Jerry to drive a solo load back down to California in order to turn in the truck to the company terminal. After four days home, he spent another four days driving and riding a Greyhound bus home, anticipating another short stay at home and trip to orientation for the new job. Only to be told his first day on the bus that he wouldn’t be getting the job.
Why? Well, because supposedly and active warrant from another state for a bad check (which had been resolved) from 1999 popped up. Something that hasn’t turned up in previous checks. So, no job for Jerry and no income for us.
Now he’s worried about applying for other jobs and that his unemployment application will be denied because he voluntarily left his last job.
So, in addition to managing Luna’s schedule with her various services (more about that in another post) I will be playing administrative assistant to Jerry to support his work search efforts: Tailoring his resumes, writing cover letters, etc.
Unemployment has been applied for, as has public assistance. Thankfully we live in public housing, so we have reported the change in income and our rent will be adjusted accordingly.
It’s just so disheartening and frustrating. Less than a week ago we were planning how to make the transition from relying on any of these things and looking forward to fully transitioning into self-sufficiency.