Wednesday, August 21, 2019

InTent

As I was leaving work today, a young man darted across the hall in front of me. He waved in a friendly way and kept on going.

I thought, "Gees...do I KNOW him from somewhere?" but the more I thought about it, the more sure I was that I didn't. I decided he was just a friendly fellow. 

I walked across the parking lot to my car and then headed towards the highway. I saw that same young man walking the way that I was headed.

It was a hot and humid day and the skies looked as if they might open up any minute, so I pulled alongside and rolled down the window. "Hey, do you need a ride? It's a miserable day for walking."  He replied, "It's not as bad today as it was yesterday. Yesterday was AWFUL."

He asked where I was going, and I asked him where HE was headed. He said "Irvine," a little map dot probably a mile down the road. 

I told him I would take him home.

He hopped in and lord, but he was a talker. He'd gotten himself into a financial jam. He went to truck driving school, got a job driving truck for a company. They offered him a deal to buy a semi and take the payments out of his check. He took that deal. 

Long story short, he worked for them for 8 months. He paid them $13,000 during that time. He made a total of $109. He ended up losing the truck when they cut his workload and he couldn't make the payments. They took the truck back. 

I listened. I'm old enough to know that you can't believe everything you hear. If it was true, the company got a truck driver for 8 months paying him virtually nothing. 

He said that the company had done that to enough people that there was a class action lawsuit. He was hoping to get something out it, but until then, he had to do something, so he took a job where I work. He'd been there two weeks. 

He was cheerful and talkative and we covered quite a bit of verbal territory. His family comes from the same area as Tim's family, so he recognized my name. I recognized his.

Suddenly, he said, "Right here's good. Just pull over here. That's my tent."

The guy is living in a tent at the side of the road. 

"Thanks for the ride!" he said, grinning broadly and sticking out his hand. I shook it and told him good luck. 




5 comments:

Bob said...

Wow that’s quite a story. Is there any type of subsidized housing he might qualify for? He has income so surely he can get into something that’s not a tent. He wouldn’t be able to withstand a winter up there that way, would he?

Debby said...

No he wouldn't. I know that there is a waiting list for housing. I know that poverty is a big problem here. I'll be keeping an eye on things. I hope that there are others to point him in the right direction.

Ed said...

I had a neighbor who got into trucking that same way and talked about the lean years of paying off the truck through payroll deductions before he got on top of the situation. So there may be some truth but $109 in eight months seems to crazy to believe.

Side story:

My truck driving neighbor ended up dying a few years back in a big dust storm collision on an interstate that made national news leaving pretty much a depreciated semi and a farm to his two daughters as inheritance. My mom bought the farm from them while undergoing chemotherapy and we refer to it as her farm now. The daughter kept the house and a few acres but about a month ago decided to see that to us too. I am heading down to the lawyers office next week to do the paperwork.

Ed said...

I missed a word. It would have said "a depreciated wrecked semi"

Debby said...

Sad that people can work all their lives and have so little to show for it.