Jim's first week in the truck has been a breeze. I have a little work to do with his mirror/turning awareness but that'll come with time. My biggest concern at the moment is that he doesn't get the truck into an appropriate gear in preparation for turns and highway exits. He comes into them way too hot and them fumbles for the gear he should've already been in after it's too late. It's just the first week, though. I usually let the new guys fumble around a bit and make their mistakes. After a week of getting a little frustrated then I show them what they're doing wrong and ways to correct it and it typically sticks with them better than if I harp on it from the get-go. I will only have Jim for one more week, though, then he's going to take his Paid Time Off. Trainees are given the option midway through their training to take a week off at home with pay, rather than stay out here for the entire two months. If they choose to do the entire training period straight, however, they receieve a $500 bonus at the completion. Considering Jim has been shuffled through three trainers already and it's taken him five weeks to reach the midway portion of his training, I don't blame him for wanting to take the PTO.
I have made plans with Welfy to visit her in Dorksville next week, taking advantage of the holiday weekend. I also have made plans to visit her two weekends after that on her birthday. With working so late in the week and the prospect of having to be in Connecticut on Monday morning, the thought of going home for the weekend seemed silly, so I decided to just head for Dorksville this weekend as well, since it was in route. I've been getting to see a lot more of her than I anticipated at the start of this long distance affair and I'm not complaining. I just hope we don't end-up spoiling ourselves with all the time together if and when some of the longer times apart occur. I'm thinking that with as much time as I spend on the east coast these days that regular visits with Welf might remain a reality. So far, compared to the lives of most truck drivers who have girlfriends/SO's, I have been afforded the opportunity to see her more often than most. The loved ones of most truck drivers are lucky to see them once every three weeks, for 2-3 days and then the cycle repeats.
For the past few years I've colored myself "not boyfriend material" simply due to the realities of my lifestyle. I've always thought my constant absence would be too big of an obstacle to even making me worthy of consideration as a romantic interest. This isn't even taking into account how hard it is for me to meet people in social circles to begin with. Couple this with my natural inclination toward introversion and it's a case study on "How To Not Meet Girls", much less new friends that are little more than mere acquaintances. The fact that I'm "involved" in a romance nearly 3 months running is mind-blowing for me, and probably one of the reasons I go on about it so. This is, of course, is in addition to the whole being nuts about Welf and all. The whole thing is crazy and I wouldn't have it any other way.