Sunday, March 7, 2010

Well, Here We Go!

Hi, I'm Dan, and I'm a recovering software developer.

No, seriously.  18 years of my life, and they were pretty good ones career-wise.  But last summer one morning, I woke up to go to work and said "I think I'm gonna be done with this soon."  And so began the planning for a new career...which I thought would be teaching.  I'm two semesters into an online 5-semester teacher-preparation master's program for special education.  And I'm really doing pretty well.

The problem came after I quit my regular job and took a contract so I would have more time to work on my studies.  That worked great for a semester and a half...and then the day came when my client took me into his office and said he had to end the contract.  Bummer.

Several years ago I had moved to outstate Minnesota.  I took a huge pay cut, but it was the lifestyle I was after.  I grew up out here, and the Twin Cities wore on me after well over a decade.  The people aren't actual people there.  I could count the number of people I knew in my town on my fingers after living there 10 years.  I met more people in my new town in my first few days.  Anyway, suffice it to say that while the life is great, there aren't a lot of software development jobs out here.

So what to do?  I need to find money to get back to school.  I have a wife and daughter to support.  I'm not afraid of working hard, or working long hours.  I'm not afraid of changing my lifestyle pretty radically for awhile if it will see us through this rough spot.  The economy here, while not as different from normal as, say, Vegas or Detroit, is still pretty depressed.  Let's check out the want ads.

Hmmm.  Nursing home?  Nope.  Food server?  I'd really rather not.  Greeter at Walmart?  Heh.  Janitor,  backup mail man, government drone?  Nope, nope and nope, in that order.  Trucker?  Don't have a CDL.  But still...I do like to drive.  I've known truckers.  It pays decent for out here in the boonies with no experience if you can GET the CDL.  More research suggested that it would take a month of driving school and a period of crappy wages during orientation and training at the company, but after that at least we'd still have health insurance and be able to pay the mortgage.

What the heck, I'm in.

And that, dear reader, is where you find me now.  On Tuesday I start what I believe will be a 3-week truck driver training program.  I've been pre-hired by two trucking companies, and I think I know which one I want to go with.  All that's left is to learn what I've got to learn, do what I've got to do, and hit the road.

It occurred to me that in the next little while I'm going to be seeing some very interesting things.  My whole life is going to change.  I'm going to be homesick.  I'm going to be sitting in truck stops or by docks waiting for loads and I'll need something to do.  I love to write.  There might be people who would be interested in what I'm doing.  I already have several blogs devoted to other subjects, but haven't written much lately.

See where I'm going with this?

So couple your trailer to my tractor and let's hit the road to see what there is to be seen.

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