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Sunday, March 18, 2012

Deciding on a Trucking Career, Part VII

Mary and me at Lambeau Field in Green Bay

(This is Part VII of a series, “Deciding on a Career”.  I would suggest reading Parts I through VI first, they were posted earlier in this blog.) Links provided below:

I Married a Truck Driver!
Through most of the 1990’s and into early 2000’s I had been travelling extensively with my job as Driver Trainer for Ryder.  Being gone so much was starting to take a toll on me and fortunately things started to slow down a bit.  Our local Director of Logistics left the company in 2003 and Ryder reorganized somewhat, and moved assigned areas to different teams.  Most of my travel stopped and I was able to focus more on our team of core drivers in Salt Lake City and Idaho. My primary boss was now a Senior Logistics Manager.

Along about March of 2002, we were looking to put a couple of drivers on to be ready for the busy summer season.  We had an ad in the paper and were taking applications.  One of the drivers we brought on board was a woman named Mary.  We went through the orientation and I rode with her quite a bit the first couple weeks for training. She was a good driver, did a great job and got along with everyone.  In the five months she was with us, I never heard anyone (drivers, customers or managers) say a bad word about her.  She was well liked and, when she announced that she had to resign after 5 months, it was a shock to everyone.  She was married at the time and her husband was not happy with the erratic work schedule she had.  Everyone was sorry to see her leave, including myself.  My marriage was falling apart in 2002, but I never considered making any advances towards her, as we both were still married.

About five years later, in September of 2007, I was sitting at my desk doing paperwork and I looked up to see Mary standing in the doorway.  I was quite surprised and after a short conversation, learned that she was looking for a job.  We had an opening for another driver, so she filled out an application and I got to work on it as soon as she left.  Our senior manager happened to be on vacation but I knew she would not hesitate to bring Mary back, if we could qualify her.  The other two managers were in favor also.  She had made a reference to being divorced somewhere on her application and that sure started me thinking.  I had gotten divorced in 2003 with the idea that I would never, ever be interested in getting married again. It turned out that she had the same feelings after her divorce!  Having been alone for five years, I was living in a nice fifth wheel trailer and was pretty comfortable.  I still think to this day that she is the only person that could possibly have changed my mind about marrying again!

So, it took a couple weeks to get her background info and all the paperwork done.  I rode with her the first week to refresh her on the procedures and paperwork.  This time, I was trying to find out a lot more about her.  This was pretty sneaky, but I remember asking one of our supervisors to make sure I was the only one to train her the first week!  The more I found out, the more I liked her and by the end of the week, I figured what the heck, I’m going to ask her out.  The worst that could happen was for her to say no.  And she did!!!  On a Friday afternoon, she said no.  That upcoming week-end was sure a miserable one that I spent alone.  She was scheduled to be turned loose to go by herself the following Monday, but at the last minute, they scheduled me to ride with her for two more days.
So, on Monday morning we met up and I apologized for putting her in a bad situation.  My intent was to ask her out after her training was done, so as not to put any pressure on her, but they scheduled us two extra days.  I think I ended up riding with her for most of the week and I left the issue alone and didn’t mention it again.  At the end of our last day together, she said words I’ll never forget.  They were, “I’ll go out with you, Dan”!  I remember, all I could say was “You will?”  lol.  So the following Saturday was the first date with Mary!
My wife and her mom
It didn't take very long after dating her and meeting her family, to realize that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with this woman.  We got married about a year later back in Wisconsin in September, 2008.  Our honeymoon was going to a Harley motorcycle rally in Tomahawk, Wisconsin.  She no longer drives professionally, the physical demands were getting to be too much for her.  I’m proud to say that she is the “love of my life” and it is never too late to find the right one! Dan

Update 2018:
Unfortunately, our marriage ended in 2016. The split was amicable and I will always miss some of the great times we had along with all of my Utah step-family who welcomed me into their lives. I am now retired, moved back to my home state of Wisconsin and enjoying the last chapter of my life. All in all, I've been a very fortunate man.

Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V, Part VI, Part VII

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