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It's a shame about Jay
i'm ready for my close up mr demille
Location: Monrovia, IN

The real problem with the level of Jason's mental faculties is, I don't know where to start.  It's becoming obvious to me that he needs to rather serious lessons in fundamentals.  Tonight he was negotiating a ramp in downtown Indianapolis.  In attempt to help him with his preparation for the 40mph curve which lie ahead, I suggested he begin his downshift and braking.  He hesitated briefly but then took my adivce and began to do so.  The shift was rough but tolerable.  Then for no reason, he begins veering off into the right lane, oblivious to the semi that was passing him on the right side.

"What're you doing? "

He didn't aswer and began to straddle the dotted line.  I saw the truck take to what little shoulder there was and back off.

"You nearly forced a truck into that concrete wall over there."

He looked in the (wrong) mirror to which I said, "This side."  Then, "Why are you leaving your lane?"

He moved back over into the left lane.  He said he had become confused by "the sign or something" and thought that with the curve, he might need the extra space (or something).  I really didn't get any sort of satisfactory explanation for what had just occured.

"You don't have to leave your lane to make turns on a free way and even if you did get confused, why would you leave your lane without checking your mirrors or signaling?"

To which he didn't have an answer. 

I've also spent a good portion of the day constantly explaining what signs mean.  One time, he exited I-70 onto a state highway because the sign said "west".  I asked him, "West what?" 

Jason: "I don't know, but it said west."
Me: "There are lots of highways which go west.  The one we need is the one we were on.  We're taking I-70 all the way to Illinois, Jason."

So, like, how far down do I have to go?  I mean, I know it's my job to train, but things THIS fundamental I think is beyond my general scope of having to deal with.  I may call the training department tomorrow and pose the question anyway.  It's just that, at the moment, it seems I'm going to be having to explain EVERYTHING.

Like the difference between a "Merge" sign and a "Yield" sign which I had to do this afternoon in Columbus.  Fortunately, the 4-wheeler he cut off figured out he wasn't yielding before things got ugly.

I wrote that last night right after the incident in Indianapolis.  Today, I decided to take a fresh approach.  We got up this morning and drove for about two hours.  I had him sit in the passenger seat and observe while I explained some things to him.  We worked on lane control and shifting.  I also spent about an hour on the interstate shwoing him signs, over, and over, and over.  How they're laid out, what the different types of signs there are (blue=info, green=direction, brown=point of interest, yellow=caution, orange=construction), and how there is a method to the madness of their placement along the highway.  Every exit we came to, I would reinforce the system (green exit signs, yellow caution signs, blue info signs) and hopefully it is sinking-in.  We are stopped in Monrovia, IN at the TA here just outside Indy.  I'm meeting my very first trainee, Paul, here for breakfast.  I never wrote much about Paul because when I was training him was back during the Soopageek Blackout of 2004 when my computer died.  Paul got on the dedicated account I work for and so our paths cross from time to time, but this is the frist time we've both been able to get together for a little bit and catch-up.

When we leave here I'm going to have Jason put into practice the things he observed this morning.  We'll see how it goes. :)

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damn, i hope this is on a pass/fail basis. i don't think i want jason on my highways.

Well part ofmy job is to make him a better job or determine if he won't cut it.... at the moment, while I'm a bit frustrated, I think he's salvageable...

count your lucky stars you have people like me out here ;-)

so i had a dumb friend like this. i'm not naming names
but he was duuuuumb. like so dumb he thought the moon spread darkness. you know, like the "anti-sun"
hes really good at a lot of things that don't require cognitive process (like creative things) but man, he sucks at a lot of things (like driving on a highway) and i don't like putting my life or the lives of others in danger by suggesting that he do those things that he doesnt fully grasp.

i say recommend to him that driving a truck might not be good, you know, for the country as a whole.

I did some pretty dumbass things on my first trip, as you've read
but if you have to get this far down should this guy be allowed
on the road? from what I've read about him so far, the best he
can expect is just constantly getting lost and worst is him (and others)
ending up dead. Which leads me to a question
Do you have final say if they pass training or not?

that being said he does sound like a fun guy keep these posts coming :)

Wow. All I can say is good luck. And props to you for not dropping the guy off on the side of the road.

I'm giving it the ol' college try... but at the moment, I'm not hopeful...

I'm more worried about him getting lost in a truckstop parking lot for two hours than i am worried about me leaving him on the side of the road out of frustration at the moment

The stories are kind of funny. And, I think it's cool that (hopefully) you have found a tact that will really help this guy. But, I can't help but feel really really sad for him. He seems just.. lost. And, I can't imagine how he is going to function on his own. The questions he asks - they are the questions of a curious child.

Maybe he is someone who needs to be by himself to figure things out. And, once that happens he will be just fine.


yeah i know what you mean... it's to the point that i'm beginning to suspect so rather fundamental mental development issues, possibly some very real physical ones... i'm dumbfounded by some of the things he asks and it's inconceivable to me that someone who is 28 years old could survive and operate in the world with such a profound level of naivete... so in that respect, i'm with you and feel sorry for him on some levels... but is certainly a wealth of humorous material to write about :)

off topic, in response to your usual icon... a friend of mine directed me to a site the other day... have you seen this?

I love the stories, and also feel for him. But having to explain the basics that there are multiple highways with different numbers, what street signs mean, etc, freaks me out.

Yeah, me too! But I started today, and will also approach next week with this in mind and try to teach him these basics whilst teaching him to operate the truck. Today went ok... but he's going to be sitting in a motel room for the next three days, so Monday will be like starting from scratch I'm sure... if I don't have some major improvement by the end of next week, I'll seriously be considering whether or not he's cut out for this...

oh my...my 'teehee' muscles are sore.

I find it difficult to read some of the stuff that you say about Jason, because I wonder how someone could be so "out of the loop" when it comes to the highway. Maybe it's because I travelled with my parents on vacations all the time growing up (going cross country three times)... I dunno.
Maybe you should tell him to get some of the little map and travel games that they sell in the rest area shops for kids. Like the ones that show signs and stuff. Get him to read and memorize those. That might be another route to take (no pun intended).
Nonetheless ... GOOD LUCK!

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