After five years with the same company, I just up and quit. I'd been planning on it for quite a while and even set the date. I chose Independence Day. Having been an over the road truck driver for over 11 years, I was ready to get out of the truck and spend more time with my family. My writing was going to enable me to do just that and become completely independent.
Since my book sales have increased over the last three months, I informed the company three weeks ago that I wanted to do local driving, starting the following Monday. They have two divisions. The over the road drivers are out a week to three weeks at a time and the local drivers are home just about every night and always on weekends. Monday came and I was dispatched on a run to upstate New York. Living in South Carolina, that didn't quite fit the bill as a local driver. I accepted the load anyway, but reminded them I wanted to be local after that and put it in writing, in the form of an email to the owner, the General Manager, the head of HR and the head of Payroll. The following week I was local, never more than 250 miles from home, but didn't get home a single night. When I finally got back to the yard on Thursday, I was told I'd need to move out of my nice, new truck, which I'd just been assigned in January, and move into a five year old truck. The reason I was given was that my truck was needed for a new, over the road driver. Word travels fast on the yard and I learned that the new driver was to be a local driver at the Richmond yard. I was being dissed.
The GM is kind of a control freak, and I realized he was using that control against me, for no other reason than he could. Ours was a mutual hate relationship. He didn't even come out to tell me to move himself, but sent someone else, the owners son. I told him that I was already planning to quit and since moving out of a truck is a pain, taking several hours, I'd go ahead and give him a weeks notice now and move out next week. He got on the phone with the GM then hung up and said I'd have to move into the older truck that day. The GM was sure I was bluffing and he had me over the proverbial barrel.
I just smiled and said, "Then tell him to consider this my one hour's notice" and started cleaning out my truck. It felt great. I was ecstatic, looking forward to this new chapter in my life, just beginning. I had a few of my books in the truck. I put one of each of the first three in an envelope and gave it to the owners son, asking him to give them to his dad. I signed each one, thanking him for the opportunity to work for him. I also gave the owners son a signed copy of my first book, Fallen Palm. Since I was no longer bound by any of the company's ridiculous regulations about side work, I carried a box full of my books into the garage and sold 8 copies to my now ex-fellow employees.
Now, I'm home and not going anywhere. I've set up a schedule to write three hours every morning and then spend three hours networking and promoting in the evening, working in the yard and in our subsistence garden in between. The next six weeks will be a little bit of a struggle. I chose Independence Day because that's when my larger royalties will start being paid, due to the publication of my third book in April. We'll get by easy enough though.
For those that say dreams don't come true, sorry, they do. I've dreamed of being a full time writer since the '80's. Life and a non-supportive ex-spouse got in the way, and I set the dream aside. My wife now, is a very supportive and motivating person. She's also my biggest fan.
I'll finish the book I'm currently working on, Fallen Out, which is a prequel to the first three, by early next month and then start to work on the next one in the series. I hope to publish at least two more before the end of the year and five next year.
Life is good.......