Red Flagged

by David
(Griffin, GA, US)

In 2009 I was a printing press operator at a paper plant in Mcdonough, GA. I monotonously performed my job for twelve hours a day and went home to relax. I was given a random drug test and then realized how stupid a mistake I had made by smoking marijuana almost every night before bed.

Needless to say I lost my job.

I decided to redeem myself by going to trucking school. I had always wanted to be a truck driver. So, after convincing my pregnant fiance to co-sign a tuition loan, I began a new career. In 3 weeks I found myself in Oklahoma City in an orientation. After praying that my name wasn't called to pack and go home for something that had been overlooked, I was given a comdata card and was hired. I was estatic.

I knew that beginning a career in this field would be difficult. But I had promised my family that I would stick it out. No matter how bad it got.

My motivation was my kids and the fact that jobs were hard to come by. I promised God that I would never smoke weed again. And I began my journey. I finished up training after a month. I was then paired up with a team driver who was an alcoholic. He would drink all the time. I wanted to alert dispatch of his behavior but then decided to quit and work for another company. Another bad decision.

I had to start training all over again, but I was back on the road. I felt peace on the road. Logging, trip planning, talking with customers, etc. became easy to me. I knew this was the job for me. I was scared by something everyday but I was happy, and proud of myself. I was backing. At one time I thought that would keep me from being a driver. The money wasn't good yet but I knew it would get better. I was routed to the terminal. Uh oh right? Uh oh indeed.

That drug test had come back to haunt me. I was fired on the spot. I don't even know how they found out. I went back to the company I started with. They offered me a dedicated route, with what I considered good pay. But little did I know I was already blackballed. They wouldn't hire me back. I found myself on a greyhound with tears in my eyes the whole way home. Between appearing to be a junkie on paper and only having 4 months of verifiable experience, trucking for me is once again only a dream.

I will get back into trucking whenever God says I can. Since then, my life has been very tough. It is definately raining on my parade as I type. But I have strong faith. My heart pumps deisel fuel now. I am a trucker. I just need an opportunity.

Good thing is that the blemish isn't reflected on my DAC. However, there are still obstacles. I have been red flagged.

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