By Robert Lake
Bonnie Lynn Christiansen of Bellingham, Wash., wasn’t just down on her luck; she had hit rock bottom. She was unemployed, eating her meals at the local soup kitchen and homeless shelters and living out of the front seat of her pickup truck. To make matters worse, she was behind on her truck payments, and the bank was considering repossessing it. All in all, it had been a long, lonely road downhill, and she wasn’t sure what the future had in store.
But she did have a CDL and a little bit of driving experience before a series of hard breaks resulted in the loss of her job. So she began visiting the local unemployment office and was directed to Worksource, an agency to help retrain and place displaced workers. There she met the truck driver who set in motion a series of fortunate events.
First, he told her about www.eTrucker.com. The Randall Publishing-owned website includes an array of services, including the complete edition of Truckers News, job information, new products and daily news about the trucking industry. He showed her how to e-mail the jobs search, and soon she was directed to trucking company websites looking for drivers.
“I sent in my application to everyone who contacted me,” she says. Then, for fun, she filled out an online application for an eTrucker.com promotional give-a-way. When she got the call a few weeks later that she had won the 2004 Harley Davidson Sportster 883 in eTrucker.com’s Promotional Partners sweepstakes, she thought it was a cruel joke. When it finally sunk in that she had really won, she was ecstatic.
“Things were so bad at the time, I couldn’t believe something this good had happened,” she says.
Because she needed the cash more than the wheels, she turned in the motorcycle and kept the money. She quickly made her truck payments, rented a storage locker for her belongings and moved into temporary housing. Once she got her feet on the ground, she got another phone call. Her luck just kept getting better.
This time it was for a full-time job hauling a reefer for BG Transport from Pasco, Wash., to California. She loves the job and the company she hauls for.
“I’m so appreciative for this second chance. All I can say is that God was watching out for me,” Christiansen says.
Truckers helping other truckers is one of the best things about this industry. The more information you have, the better trucker you can become. Congratulations to this plucky lady and best of luck to her in her driving career.