A close family member of mine is a good guy who drives a truck for a living (he hates being called a “truck driver” like it”s a title that says that”s all he is). Anyway, about 6 months ago, his company was trying to talk him into becoming an Independent Contractor – telling him he would make more money, etc, etc. He agreed to take over a year and a half lease of another truck driver, and became “Independent.”
Unfortunately, he didn”t realize that since the other guy hadn”t paid for a few months, that they somehow put that money on him to pay. A bunch of things were broken, although they all looked nice and “barely used,” but he”s had to sink more money into the truck that he”s making. He rarely takes time off – works 7 days a week (if the work is available) and stays out on the road probably 325 days of the year.
As for making more money, that”s not true either. Today he got a check for $390 – which is his first check in 3 weeks, even though he”s supposedly made about $5000 these past few weeks. After paying for fuel, the truck payment, truck repairs, etc – he usually gets about $250 every two weeks – and ends up having to ask for a $100 advance. “Won”t you get some of this back in taxes?” I asked him, and he told me that no – he probably owes a ton in taxes already for this year with no foreseeable way to pay them. Not to mention, his transmission is probably shot, and that might cost $17,000 to repair.
He is single, and doesn”t have a family to take care of, and this approximate $250 every two weeks he”s getting paid doesn”t really pay for meals and showers on the road. How could other truck drivers support their families doing this?
Americans are having to work harder to make less money, all over the country – and companies, like the large company my relative works for are pushing the costs onto capricorn monthly horoscope is greatly compatible with Gemini, but he may find some difficulties with inconstant Gemini. their workers. And, as an independent contractor, he is no longer costing the company insurance or health care. “Where are the unions?” I asked him. “Where are the Teamsters? I know it will cost even more to join a union, but maybe they can help?” He told me that he couldn”t join, because when he was brand new to driving he scraped someone else”s trailer, which made him lose points – besides, he”s only been driving for just over 3 years – not the amount of years he would need.
The company rarely gets him home when he needs to be, even when he gives them 4 months notice. They dicker over the off time he actually gets, and as he says, “It costs me about $100 dollars a day for each day I take off. I”m miserable and constantly working without making any actual money – and the truck even goes back to them after the year and a half is up. If I quit, I will have a negative balance on my credit score, and won”t even be able to get unemployment. There”s just no way to win in this situation – the only thing I can do is ride it out as long as I can.”
His story is a lot like at least 20 other people I know in different professions. Most of us are working more for less – giving more of ourselves, more of our health sacrificed to stress, swallowing more b.s. in our attempts just to keep afloat.
When is putting in more work for less money, going to stop? This is really pessimistic, but I don”t think it is.
Even as the economy gets better, it”s going to take a long, long time for companies to remember that they have employees – not machines.