By: Paul S. Cilwa Viewed: 2/28/2020
Occurred: 7/28/2002
Topics/Keywords: #18-Wheeler #BigRigs #Schneider #TruckDriver #TruckDriving Page Views: 274
We all need someone we can be ourselves with.

Sunday, July 28, 2002

Yes, it's Sunday but that's no day of rest for the weary truck drivin' trainees.

Today we watched a slide show on how to avoid fatigue, for which I could hardly keep my eyes open, and another one on how to lift correctly. That last one could have been deadly dull, but was actually quite interesting. The rule is no longer "lift with the knees"; in fact, that is now discouraged. "Keep it close, and keep the curve (in the spine)" is the rule.

We also (finally) covered employee benefits…and what do I find, but that "same sex spouses" are not considered family as far as benefits are concerned. (I had previously asked the HR person I spoke with on the phone whether Schneider had "domestic partner benefits" and she answered, "I don't know"…making no further effort to find out.) In fact, that exact phrase is used in the benefits package for specific exclusion, in such a way that would override the laws of any state that might legalize same-sex marriage, or even if the Federal government did so.

I have been out of the closet for years…and have been working hard to not say too much about my private life to my roommate or driver training partner, even though I like them and feel bad to hold back when we are sharing our stories. I am careful not to lie, but it still feels like lying. I always use the word "spouse" to describe my husband, but they still hear "wife".

Nevertheless, I felt badly about not being honest with Wayne, my driving partner. He and I have had a lot of time for conversation, and he's shared a lot about his life. So, tonight, we ate dinner together and I "came out" to him. As I expected, he thanked me for my respect for him, mentioned that he isn't gay (which I already knew; no one can fake that much enthusiasm whenever any female comes into sight!), and we proceeded to have our usual conversation about hopes, dreams, and how trucking fits into them. It feels good to have one friend here with whom I can be completely open.