As noted ahead of previous installments in this chronicle of longtime former owner-operator turned company driver Wes Memphis and his transition to e-logs, known for embellishment, coffee-shop philosophizing and more, Memphis is based in the Midwest. Catch Memphis’ previous piece is this series at this link. The following is the latest from his pen:
By the time week four was in the books my vacation couldn’t have come at a better time. I’ve concluded that I’ve done things so wrong for so long that to do them right may be the very death of me — like an old drunk the doctors won’t dry out any more because the DTs , at a certain point, become more risky than to let the patient just keep self-medicating.
There are times on e-logs you just have to sit in that seat for eight hours straight, regardless of how well you are dispatched. And if you’re an old man with a worn-out back and a cheap truck seat, things can get tough. In fact, any ergonomic deficit you have in that piece of equipment will become magnified tenfold.
So when I finally pulled into that wide spot where there is always a parking space no matter how late it is along that U.S. highway in that southern town that I am forsworn to never reveal because the first law of the road is that everything good and decent and beautiful must be eventually found out, hunted down and despoiled — and all it takes is one moron to get the ball rolling — I was in bad shape. My legs were in throbbing pain. My hands and toes were tingling and all I could think was there ain’t no job worth pulmonary thrombosis.
This was the second day in a row I had wound up like this, so after a good night’s rest, I let my people know what was going on. I had really begun considering leaving trucking altogether, maybe becoming a server in a restaurant in some hip town like Charleston, S.C., where they make north of fifty large a year. I know college grads who wait tables in Charleston. Problem was I was grizzled, ugly , old and slow — maybe not my best fit.
Instead, I asked for a better seat. The response came in a couple days from the big man himself — go to Kenworth and pick yourself out a seat.
As I write this today, my toes are still tingling. Maybe this all just part of getting old. It’s just that it’d never been this way before e-logs.
When I got in to the terminal, I was met by the president of the company, who asked if he could speak to me privately. “Wes, we’re giving all you guys who are on the e-logs a three-cent raise. Everything we’ve heard is telling us that you will lose about fifteen percent in revenue, so this should take some of the edge off.”
A few days later, a friend called and let me know they had just decided to turn the e-loggers’ trucks up to 71. So I decided to just go see the doctor when I got home, and try to make the best of it.
Because, like a lot of the old boys out here, this is really all I’ve got.