This company discharged me for what they failed to do and what they entered a contract with me to do. And that was to train me to drive a truck. As a first time driver of a tractor/trailer, I was completely intimidated by the size and operation of this vehicle. But because of my desire and determination, I con- tinued to learn. The classroom procedure and size was so overwhelming and expedient that learning was jeopardized. The lack of organization of this com- pany and some of its trainers provided this end result.
The training on the company yard was such that with only two available trucks, two instructors and 3 hours of instruction for 20 trainees. The backup instruction and the behind the wheel training was severely compromised. The 2nd part of phase one was 30 days of OTR training with a trainer. For the following reasons this trainer displayed an enormous lack of professionalism and patience. For 30 days this trainer never took the opportunity to instruct me on how to back-up a trailer. This trainer displayed such a temper that any mistakes was met by yelling, screaming and throwing things in the truck.
However this trainer found the time to stop at adult stores to pick up adult videos and go to roadside casinos and bars. With all the deliveries and pickups, he never took the time to do one back-up instruction, even though I asked him to let me try backing up to a dock.
The last thing I wanted to do was cause this trainer to get upset and cause reprisals by telling my training coordinator. Especially after being warned that
the trainer could put me out of the truck, or take me to a drop-off point with-out me having any way of getting home. This was something that did happen to another trainee on this truck. This trainer at mid-point of the month picked up a second trainee. The trainer's temper became even more hostile and he utilized his position to intimidate the trainees on this 5x5 tractor.
For 14 days three people lived on this truck utilizing bottles for between rest-room stops. Sleeping on the top bunk, even though it was illegal and against company policy when the vehicle was moving.
The trainer after driving for long periods of time would get tired and park on an off ramp, instead of parking at a truck stop. The truck stop would of given us the opportunity to take care of our personal hygiene in the mornings. In-stead, we would wake up and continue driving. There were mornings when we would have to beg the trainer to let us brush our teeth and wash our face.
There were days when the truck would not stop for showers or personal hy-giene. This trainer would drive for an illegal amount of hours and would be angry if he was awaken by one of the trainees with questions or just grinding the gears to downshift. At this point the trainer would snatch the gear shift and demonstrate by slamming the gear shift into gear. The trainer would in a mad fit of rage, would snatch down curtains or covers from the windows. He even broke the drivers side window when throwing his cell phone.The trainer's lack of organization was such that after receiving bills of lading, he would misplace them and get upset with the trainees when he could not find them. With two trainees on the truck, this trainer still failed to do back-up instruction and he utilized the trainees logs to hide his illegal driving time.
The tension between the 2nd trainee and the trainer was such that when the trainee called his training coordinator to complain about his treatment and lack of training. The coordinator ordered him to be put off the truck at the next yard which was Mira Loma. The trainer attempted to fight the trainee for what he told the coordinator. The trainer before the tension between him and that trainee had escalated, took this trainee to his home in Westmoreland, TN., to watch the championship football game on T.V. This was done without deliveries or pickups in the area or state. After returning back to Mira Loma, I notified my training coordinator that I had not been trained to backup. While at this yard I was terminated after failing the back-up test.
After filing for unemployment, this company refused to pay unemployment. Upon filing for denial, the company said its reason was that my work was unsatisfactory. The Employment Developement Department told England that this
was not reason enough to not pay unemployment. England stated on my DAC Report that my work history was satisfactory. This company has again filed for an appeal, stating my inability to back-up was my fault.
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