Before I went into jail, I approached my current employer, chemical hauler, and was assured that my job was waiting for me when I returned home. I had a very good reputation with the company, I’d had no serious incidents and got along with everyone. But I hadn’t told anyone up to that point about my pending incarceration, aside from the company manager. The people I had developed “work” friendships didn’t know anything was going on. One day, at the end of March 2014, I just didn’t work there anymore. At one point a few days later, my dispatcher obviously unaware that I was on leave, called asking when I was ready to work. My only reply was to talk to the manager. I didn’t want to tell anyone anything.
For the seven months I was in jail, and then after being released, I just expected that I’d go back to my job and everything would be great. My “secret” was no longer a secret and my ex-workmates all knew why I’d left and that I’d been to jail, but that really didn’t matter because I was good at my job and my manager had assured me that I’d be back.
Early in the new year (2015) I called my manager direct to find out about my job. He was really happy to hear from me and extremely happy to hear that I was ready to come back. He called me back later in the day and told me that there was no problem, and set up a reorientation with me for a few days ahead. I was feeling great, I was heading back to work doing exactly what I wanted to do. I needed to get back into my routine.
A few days later however, that all changed. My manager called me back and informed me that he didn’t think it was a good idea to come back right away. There had been some discussion around the company and there were some individuals who didn’t feel comfortable with me in the company, and he even went so far as to question whether I’d be safe if I came back. We decided to part ways at that point, but he assured me that he’d give me an excellent recommendation to any company that was considering hiring me.
One hurdle in my way, but my driving record and safety record was excellent. The only issue was this criminal record on my file, but as long as I stayed in Canada, that shouldn’t be a problem. Or so I thought.
I sent out resumes to many companies headquartered in Manitoba or operating out of Manitoba. I got some responses, but when I mentioned my recent criminal record and the fact that I couldn’t travel to the USA, the response was the same, “We’ll get back to you!” This was much harder than I expected. I was wearing the criminal name like a badge and it didn’t feel good at all. I had to do something and do it quickly!
I saw an ad in the local paper looking for a driver to work Monday to Friday, a real rarity in the trucking industry, and it was a local number. I called and spoke to the owner of a truck pulling a Super-B that was leased to a nice sized grain and fertilizer company (one that I’d send my resume to), but unfortunately he had already hired someone to drive it. I’d missed my chance. I gave him my name and number and told him to call me if the other guy didn’t work out.
Imagine my surprise when the next day he called me back and told me he’d like to meet me to discuss it. He told me the other guy was fairly young and had no experience on Super-Bs, something I’d been hauling for 2 1/2 years. We arranged to meet at a local restaurant the next day. I was now in a mixed mood, one I had the possiblity of going back to work, but two I had to talk to him about my criminal record.
I went to the meeting with my resume and a copy of my (clean) driving record in hand, nervous as all heck. We sat down and talked and he basically was hiring me on the spot, BUT I still had to tell him about my jail time. I didn’t know how to broach the subject, and then he looked me in the face and told me that he knew about my criminal record and wasn’t concerned. He had talked to someone who knew me and I’d gotten a glowing recommendation from him. So he hired me, sight unseen, and the meeting was meerly a formality.
Arrangements were made to go through the orientation with the company, to pick up “my” truck, and get back to work. I was over the moon! I was hired to haul grain and fertilizer in hoppers, something I had very little experience with, but I could do it. I was also expected to be able to reverse with a Super-B, something that I certainly couldn’t do, and really couldn’t figure out how anyone could do it! It took many months and much practice, but I finally got that figured out too. I could reverse in farm yards or grain elevators, but the real test was the first time I backed into a parking spot in a truckstop being watched by professional (and very judgemental) truck drivers.
I began to drive for this independant in February 2015, but due to various reasons we parted ways in July 2017. Fortunately though by that time the company that I’d been driving for knew my abilities and attitude and I was able to continue on as a company driver. Again though I knew that I had to come clean, and before I was hired I approached the owner and told him there was a “but” and said that I’d been to jail before I started working here. His response surprised me, in that he really didn’t care as long as it didn’t affect my ability to continue to drive as I had been.
I was finally starting to put my past behind me, I was finally being more open about my past, I wasn’t as scared to let others know, and to try and prove that people can change. Our past is a learning experience for myself and others. I’m happy to say that I love my job, I like the people I work with and feel really comfortable again.
…but there’s always more to come.
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The Great Controversy Ended :
The Great Controversy gives a startling overview of the mighty conflict between Christ and Satan from its origins in heaven thousands of years ago to its conclusion on earth in the days just ahead of us. This still-timely book reveals how God will ultimately rid the universe of evil and make all things new.