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to buy or not to buy
i'm ready for my close up mr demille
Location: Spiceland, Indiana

I bought some new sunglasses the other day. I don't really like the way they look on me, but they are very fiunctional for my purposes. They have thick plastic frames which completely incase the eyes blocking all the bright rays and polarized UV protection for my peepers. They look like the sort of thing a skier would wear. It's kinda weird because when I pass other vehicles that have polarized tint in their windshields, they have this purple haze to them, but if I lift the glasses and look at them unfiltered, they look completely normal.

I also bought a new keyboard. It's like typing on air. Probably one of the reasons my last entry was so lengthy. I was just enjoying typing on it.

I am giving considerable thought to purchasing my own truck after the first of the year. There are pros and cons to this. The obvious pros are more money and even more independence. I could decide where I want to go and how much I want to work. The cons of course are increased responsibility and liability, more paperwork and record keeping. But, trucks are cheap. You can buy half-million mile used trucks for 20-30 thousand dollars all day long. They're just getting broke-in and still have warranties on them. Stash away five or six thousand dollars really quick in case of a major breakdown. You can rebuild a motor for about 3 grand. Pay the sucker off in two years then let the money roll right in. There are lots of owner-operators out there who hit the road for two-three weeks, then take a week off. There're guys out there working 4 days a week bringing home 3 times more than I do. I just don't know if I want the headache and if the raise in pay and the perks of self-employment are worth it. Once I get under that truck payment, my fate is rather sealed and there is no turning back until it's paid for. And I'm not comfotable feeling trapped by anything. Just ask my ex-wife.

The funny thing about trucking, as a company driver, you pretty much hit the roof at entry level. There is very little room for advancement. The industry is so rife with turnover that hiring is competitive. Competitive hiring means that entry level wages and benefits are great, but they have no room for getting any better. You might be able to make a few extra hundred thousand dollars a year, but that's about it. The only way you can really advance is to cut out the middle man and go into business for yourself. There's plenty of freight to keep a person busy. I just worry about the what-ifs. What if I get sick or hurt and the truck is parked not earning it's keep? The truck payment will still come regardless. Of course I'm one of the healthiest persons you could ever meet. I get sick once about every three years and I've never missed mroe than a few days of work for these reasons.

I don't know. I'm leaning towards doing it, but as usual, I'm plagued by indecision. Oh well, at least I have a few more months to think about it.

I'm heading home for about a half day then headed onto Rhode Island and Massachusetts. The northeast seems to like me lately. I need to put in a request for a west coast run sometime. I haven't been out west since May and I miss it. I need to stay around here for the next couple of months though for some plans I've made, but maybe in November I'll start pestering my dispatcher for something west coast.

The annual UK and U of L football game is this weekend. For the past 12 years or so, whoever wins the football game loses the annual basketball game in December. It's one of the weird coincidences of college sports. I don't ordinarily believe in jinxes, but I can't help but hope that UK loses the football game on Sunday. I don't think I could stand losing to Pitino again this year. It'd be nice if the jinx could be broken and UK could win them both. Here's to hoping.

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Did you really mean to say that there's no room for advancement because you can only make an extra hundred thousand a year or so?! Or do you mean you can only get hundreds or a few thousands more? The only reason I ask is because if getting hundreds thousands more is the low advancement, sign me up! I already travel LOTS for my new teaching job. I'm on the road 3-4 hours a day. Now, I know that's peanuts to you, but I only get paid for the teaching part, not the commute! I would gladly drive more if I could make more than 15,000/year! (Isn't that below-poverty-level wage just the saddest thing?)

I wonder if I could make my own company of long-haul TEACHERS?! DUDE! That would be cool! Wanna get into business with me?

Anyway, I would say go for the truck if you're serious about your profession. You'll probably wish to do it five years from now, and just think of all the money you could have made in the meantime! If you can get the money together, I'd do it. It's an investment--sorta like building a house!

Amy, Itinerant Teacher for Hire

hah, woo what a typo eh? i think i started to type "hundred per month" then decided to go with "thousand a year" but didn't get the hundred deleted....

i think poverty level is under 12,000, but damn that's close... it sucks that educators are so poorly compensated and sadly i doubt it is something that is likely to be remedied... one of the hard truths of our society is that money follows money... if you're in a profession that doesn't generate income, the financial compensation reflects that fact... i like what dennis miller proposed a few yeara ago... at least let teachers be exempt of federal and state taxes... that would help a lot...

entry level trucking, we're talking zilch experience... a new driver can expect to make between 30-40k the first year... there aren't many careers where you can do that... it was one of the things which appealed to me when i decided to get out of restaurant hell last year for good, because i couldn't afford to start at typical entry level wages in a new field after having spent the past 10 in restaurant management....

heh, i dunno about long haul teachers... but it reminded me of something i read somewhere once about a penpal writing program called Trucker Buddy, where an elementary school class adopts a trucker as penpal... and the trucker writes to the class and tells them where he is and what he's doing... and they visit with the class whenever they roll through... i keep meaning to check into that and keep forgetting... i think that'd be kinda neat...

i kinda made a 5 year commitmenet to myself anyway when i started this, if nothing else to pay off the loan i took out for the trucking school... that part of the commitment is not what bothers me... it's more the added headache as opposed to just being another spoke in the wheel and getting my paycheck... after years being "the boss" it has been refreshing to just work for The Man a little a bit...

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