Back in June I started working for a local trucking company, as a dispatcher. Most work days were 7:30-5. Basically I was learning to bid on government loads, which were mostly hazmat flatbed loads and – because they were government operations – the most lucrative for the company. After winning the bid, the load would be assigned to one of the company trucks to haul. Though I was hired as a dispatcher, the owner of the place was aware that I still have my class-A CDL license and he suggested that I get my hazmat endorsement and renew my DOT medical card. The day I did so fell nearly four weeks after my start date. I was tidying up my work station and preparing to leave when one of the three other dispatchers informed me that I was supposed to drive four loads into the State Port that evening.
“Are you joking?” I said.
“No,” he answered.
“But how can that be?” I said. “I haven’t done any training with any of your drivers. I’ve never done flatbed loads and don’t know how to even confirm whether the load is secure. I don’t have personal protective equipment.” I turned to a different dispatcher: “Miss Ginny, are they joking with me? Razzing the new guy?”
“No,” she said.
“What time would I even get done?” I asked.
“About 2 or 3 in the morning,” said one of them.
“No,” I said. “I’m not doing that. I haven’t been trained, I don’t have the equipment, the boss hasn’t said anything to me about it, and then there’s the law.”
“What do you mean?” said one.
“It’s against the federal hours-of-service laws for me to be driving past 14 hours of work,” I said. “My day started at 7:30. Even if I agreed to do run these loads I’d have to be done and back here by 9:30.”
A few minutes later the owner called my line. “I don’t understand what’s going on here,” he blustered. “I thought you understood you were running freight tonight.”
“No I didn’t understand that,” I answered, “because neither you nor anyone else told me that until five minutes ago.”
He was very flustered and got angry when I tried to explain the law to him. All I said was that if I got in an accident or got pulled over, the fines and consequences would fall on me – the driver – and not to him. Finally he said, “I’ll give you a thousand dollars to run these loads tonight.”
“I’m sorry,” I said. “I can’t do that. I’d be happy to do so with notice in the future. But I can’t knowingly break the law even if you offer me ten thousand dollars.” At that, he hung up. I asked one of the other dispatchers to have him call me after he calmed down, so we could have a conversation and communicate clearly about my role at the company. Then I left.
I called Sikki and explained what happened, and said I wasn’t sure whether I had a job now. She just said, “The Lord knows.” The owner of the business never returned my calls or email.
I spent about two weeks feeling sort of shocked and depressed. I didn’t get much done at home, not even with looking for jobs online. Every time I’d muster up the energy to scope out the job scene, this sort of weariness would wash over me as I realized there just wasn’t much out there that would be a good fit for me. After two weeks went by, I started applying for more jobs in earnest – even for jobs I knew I’d hate. I made sure I was qualified for everything I applied for, and I even had years of experience with most of them.
Nothing. Not a single phone call. Just computer generated rejection emails, every morning. I felt like I was wasting my time. Then one Saturday, I was taking a break from working on a Bible rebind in the garage when I checked indeed.com and found an outside sales rep job for the Wilmington area. It had been posted an hour ago. I applied immediately. About three hours went by and I received an email I knew was from a human, requesting a phone interview. At 9 A.M. Monday morning, the call came and the guy’s first words were, “So, you were a Pepsi guy?” I told him I worked for Pepsi for ten years. He said, “I worked there for 20. So I know you aren’t a guy who f**ks around.” He said he knew I would hussle and be accountable.
Long story short, he asked me to come to Raleigh and meet with him and some of the other team members, and offered me the job right there. It comes with a company vehicle, phone, tablet, laptop, and 100% health insurance. Report from home. But the thing that kicked me was that it was the Pepsi connection that opened the door. There is no way he had time to consider any other candidates.
So God is faithful. Sikki’s words were true, “The Lord knows.” Getting let go from the other job (or quitting – I’m still not sure how I would classify that madness) felt like a real blow, but if I had bent to Mammon at the moment of testing it would have never ended. It was one of those times when I really knew I was suffering because I’d done the right thing — because of integrity. With that knowledge, I didn’t get flooded with anxiety and go crazy with worry. I just sought my Father’s will. I am a son of God. Sons do not have to beg and plead when they are seeking the kingdom: His government in their lives. Begging is for orphans, and I am not an orphan.