by Mickey D Damron
I am a OTR Driver with 10+ years experience without any accidents or tickets(knock on wood!) But in May of 2003 I made a very grave mistake and was convicted of a class D Felony.I ended up serving 3 years in the Ky state prison system.
Since being released and having completed all restrictions without problems,I have decided to go back to the industry I love,Trucking. I have put over 200 applications in online and in person. Finally the brake I had been looking for came my way from a company called PTL located in Murray,Ky.
During my phone interview I did discuss the circumstances of my conviction and was told there was no problem.During the orientation process in Murray I was interviewed about my felony conviction and again was reassured that there was no problem with my conviction.
After completing orientation I was assigned a truck with trailer and load. Off I went!! Man was I happy to be back doing what I love to do.
Two weeks went by,with me hauling 14 loads. All loads where picked up on time and delivered on time(most where delivered early!) I had no incidents what so ever. I even got DOT'd on I-71 in Ohio with no problems. My fleet manager was very pleased with the work I was doing and was eager to assign me my next load. The log department had no problems with any of my logs,and the payroll and billing department had no problems with any of my other paperwork.
Two weeks into my new job I was routed to Murray and instructed to report to the safety department. After sitting in the lounge for what seemed a eternity I was finally called back to the office. When I sat down I was informed that my services where no longer needed and that I would be put on a Greyhound and sent home.
Of course I asked why.The only reason they would give me was....The Kentucky Right to Work act and they could terminate me without cause anytime they wanted. I asked them point blank if this was due to my felony,and their answer was....The Ky Right to Work Act is all we have to tell you. My hopes and dreams had been crushed. I feel that I was terminated due to my felony conviction.
What I don't understand is why they would go through all the expense of transporting me there,interviewing me on at least 3 different occasions,and assigning me a truck. This was a very expensive proposition not only for PTL but for myself and family as well. Why go through the entire process of hiring me,and turn around and fire me without good cause??
So now I'm back to hammering out applications and being turned down everywhere I look.But I will hang in there,and I will continue to hope and pray that someone out there will give me and my family a second chance. Now I know some of you out there are saying to yourself 'well this driver must have lied on his application'. No,I did not. I was upfront about my conviction,and very open about all the circumstances. I continue to be upfront and open about my circumstances,to do other wise is a felony in itself.
Every company out there wants to hire me until they get to the part about any felony convictions. So to all of you out there trying to rebuild your life after making a mistake,beware of PTL and keep up the good fight.
We all will find a carrier to call home when God and our faith in HIM is ready for us to move on.God bless all you drivers and your families out there and be safe and keep it between the lines.