It all started about a year ago when we were told that CFI and Transport America would be merging. At that time, we were told that the only thing changing will be the name. We would eventually become CFI Dedicated around Jan 2022. I knew then, it was going to be a cluster. Shit like this is never that easy.
In August we were told they were accelerating the merger and it would now be completed by the end of September. We would also no longer be CFI dedicated, just CFI.
Last week Angie told me I got a letter from Transport America. I told her to open it as it’s usually just my quarterly Fuel Tax statement. However, it was a letter on CFI letterhead. The letter started by saying that per section 3 of my Transport America Hauling contract, it would be terminated on 29 Oct 2001. Then it went on to invite me to join the CFI Independent Contractors and listed their incentives. The second page of the letter told us where we needed to sign the contract and where to send it. It also stated we had to have it signed by 22 Oct 2021. However, there was no contract attached.
After looking at the CFI pay incentives for Independent Contractors, I quickly realized that I would be losing money. I currently make $1.03 a mile plus fuel surcharge, which is currently $.33, on all miles. That means I currently get paid $837.76 per load. I run 5 loads a week for a total of $4188.80. Under the CFI program they pay $1.04 per mile PLUS fuel surcharge on all LOADED miles and $1.04 per mile on all EMPTY miles, but NO fuel surcharge. My dispatched miles (what I’m actually paid for) is 616 per load. 308 loaded and 308 empty. So, doing some quick math we learn that I would get paid $421.96 loaded and 320.32 for a total of $742.28. Which is $95.48 LESS per load than I’m making now or $477.40 LESS per week. Side Note: it’s actually worse than that as I found out CFI fuel surcharge is only $.31 cents per mile for some reason plus I didn’t take into account the added out of pocket cost I’d have for fuel each week. That means it’s more like a $700-900 loss per week.
The next morning, Tuesday the 21st, I emailed my folks in contractor services asking questions about the letter, why there was no contract, and what would happen if I walked away from the truck since we were being forced to sign on with CFI. Well, that email sure stirred up the hornets nest because they knew nothing about the letter and also said that the new contracts were still with the lawyers and wouldn’t be done for a week or two. I was also told that if I walked away from my lease that I would lose my maintenance account and escrow account. For those that don’t know, that’s MY money that’s taken out of each weekly settlement. He also added 5 more people to his reply and said one of them may have better answers.
One person that he added replied, the Senior Director of Operations for CFI and basically said everything I was just told was correct and that we weren’t being forced to sign a contract. He then went on the say they were offering a $2,000 sign on bonus and looked forward to me joining the team. LOL, that’s cute….
I then took matters into my own hands since no one was giving me real answers and just blowing smoke up my ass. I call the bank and the Vice President of Leasing answered. I discussed the situation with her and she informed me that I would, in fact, lose the money in my maintenance account and escrow account. I asked how that made any sense as I’m not the one wanting to make this change and that I’m being forced to by a corporate decision. She then advised me to call an individual at Transport America, whose number I had, but knew it would just be more lip service. I then asked her if I was allowed to sell the truck. She responded with yes, and I can’t advise you what to do, but that’s what I would do.
It’s now Wednesday the 22nd and I stopped by Freightliner in Clear Lake, IA as that’s where I get my tuck serviced. They took pictures of the truck and sent them to their buyer and confirmed my warranty. 5 minutes after sending the pictures to the buyer he calls. I’m now on speaker phone and he asks what I want for the truck. Shit…. Wasn’t expecting that. I was expecting them to toss out a number. So, I knew what I owed and tossed out $115,000. The guy on the phone asked when do you want to do this, today, next week, a month from now? I said what? He said we want the truck for $115,000, so when do you want to do it. Well, ok, how does 1 Oct sound. He said perfect and hung up.
As I’m leaving Freightliner I called my fleet leader to let her know that I sold the truck and 29 Sept would be my final load. Then she started notifying people, which stirred up another hornets nest.
The following day, Thursday the 23rd, my Team Leader, one step above my fleet leader, called and we talked for almost 2 hrs as she tried to get me to stay. She apologized for the misinformation, but assured me absolutely NOTHING was changing, including my pay. She also asked what it would take to get me to stay. I informed her that even if they did everything I wanted, it wasn’t happening as I gave Freighliner my word that they could buy the truck. She then asked for feedback on what they could do differently, which was the bulk of the conversation.
Basically, that’s what got me to where I am today.
So now what? Well, that’s a damn good question. I honestly have no clue. I graduated in 1992 and was at Lackland, AFB a month later for basic training. In 2008 I was administratively discharged for misconduct. I then worked at Lowe’s as the Receiving Clerk for a year. In 2009 I got my CDL and have been doing that ever since basically. I did have a break in 2011-2013 but Just had odd jobs.
Angie has been working on my resume the last couple of weeks though and I’m going to hopefully finish it this weekend and start applying on Monday. The good news is, since many people don’t want to work for some reason, there’s no shortage of jobs. Damn good jobs at that.
I should probably be terrified with this whole process, but for some reason I’m not. Yes it’s scary, but if you never do things that scare you and always take the easy path, you’ll never truly figure out who you are.
Looking back on my life, I’ve been running since 2008 when I was kicked out of the Air Force. Running from life in general. I’ve always taken the easy path since then, and while that has afforded me a certain lifestyle, it’s completely unfulfilling. I’ve been fighting some serious demons since getting back from Iraq and then basically throwing my military career in the shitter because of alcohol and women. I was hurting, but was also lying to myself. I didn’t know how to deal with it, and at the time, neither did the military. So while I could bullshit myself, there are two people in this world that I’ve never been able to bullshit. Angie is one of them and Jason is the other. Both of them have always seen something in me that I never have. In fact, if it wasn’t for those two, I
probably would have been a statistic and you wouldn’t be reading this. It’s taken me all of these years to finally feel somewhat comfortable in my skin and realize that I’m not a piece of shit. But there’s still work to be done, and I’m finally going to put in that work.