By: Paul S. Cilwa Viewed: 2/28/2020
Occurred: 7/23/2002
Topics/Keywords: #18-Wheeler #BigRigs #Schneider #TruckDriver #TruckDriving Page Views: 267
Trucking is not considered an upscale career, so why was I expecting an upscale breakfast?

Tuesday, July 23, 2002

I was up last night until 11:00 pm doing homework, so was not ready for the alarm at 5 am…but got up, anyway. I must already have gotten used to my roommate's sleep apnea; this time it mostly didn't wake me up each time he stopped breathing. That helped, but I was still groggy.

Schneider had promised to provide two meals a day, breakfast and lunch. Breakfast was "supplied" by virtue of the fact that the Days Inn in which we were bivouacked serves all its guests breakfast. Of course, as we'd been warned, it was a "continental breakfast"; but they hadn't detailed to which continent they referred. Yesterday it was reconstituted eggs and undercooked sausage; today it wasn't as good…just a cup of Honey Nut Cheerios. No fruit, no juice, no Danish; not even coffee for the latecomers. They made two pots of coffee for about a hundred truckers. No wonder the desk clerk sits behind bullet-proof glass.

Morning class was also a disappointment. Chuck, the instructor, is very good…when he's there. However, from 7 am to 11 am, we only had about two hours of class. He didn't get there until 7:30; immediately sent us on break; started again, got a call on his cell phone; talked for a half hour and sent us on another break; got another call, and so on. He then had the nerve to complain when I asked a question, saying that we were "seriously behind!"

Lunch is at the Schneider OC (Operating Center) cafeteria, which serves a wide variety of food, we were told. Here's the variety: Enchiladas with chicken or beef; burritos with chicken or beef; cheeseburgers. That's it. Today's special was the "Terminator Burger", a cheeseburger with pastrami added—apparently, it would "be back." I went for the regular cheeseburger, which was okay.

This afternoon, class was much better. Wayne and I were back in the truck, and we both did much better than yesterday. Shifting was a lot smoother and the ride was, too, since we were carrying a trailer. After four hours in which Wayne and I each drove two, it was my turn to drive back to the school. I didn't hit anyone or anything, so I have to consider the trip a success.