When I was in college, trying to squeeze in studies and work, I sometimes had trouble staying awake in class and in the truck.  I drank a LOT of coffee, at all times of the day and night.  One term I took 12 credit hours, drove swing shift, and then ran on-call for graveyard shift.  That was NOT a happy time in my life.  Graveyard shift calls were few and far between, but I had to get the truck back by 7 am for the day shift driver. That was cruel.  I learned to take naps efficiently on truck bench seats and on old overstuffed couches in the school halls.  Snoring was occasionally a problem on the latter.  At one point, when a new company opened up in our market and took away about 40% of our call volume, I started bringing a pillow to work to take better advantage of the longer periods of inactivity.  My boss saw me carrying the pillow from my car to the tow truck one afternoon, shook his head, and asked, "Can't you put that in the truck AFTER I go home?"

I did a lot of studying in the truck as well, or while waiting for vehicle releases to show up.  As you all know, the "real world" is the best educational system we have.  When I first started college, I majored in Psychology, and working in the impound industry, I got to "practice" a lot of what I learned.  I ended up changing majors in my sophomore year, so I know enough about Psychology to tell you why you do what you do--I just can't help you change it.  I'll tell you, impounded vehicle owners just don't appreciate a free psychological diagnosis.  They get angry when you start throwing terms like "misdirected animosity," "projecting your own incompetence," and "subconscious desire to sabotage your own life" at them.

We did a lot of impound work for Portland State University, the college I attended, which made it really fun when I ran across one of my classmates while trying to impound their car for unpaid university parking citations, or when someone recognized me in class.  "Hey,
you're that &%$#* that towed my car spring term."  One great thing was comparing my monthly commissions to the paychecks that my
professors were getting at the time.  I was making more money that many of them, which makes you smile until you think, "Uh oh, I'm going to have to take a pay cut to get into my chosen field of study."

My wife worked at AAA as a call receiver when she was in college.  She was a Phys Ed major, back when they still taught Phys Ed in this country.  To tell you how much she enjoyed her job at AAA, she quit when they weren't going to let her take a week off to go deer hunting with me.  That is SO funny to think about now.  Now, she wouldn't quit WASHING DISHES to go deer hunting.  And she's not particularly fond of washing dishes, if you catch my drift.  Ah, young love.  She spent many nights riding in the truck with me, running calls, though she tired of that quicker than deer hunting.  She probably could have hooked up a car, if she needed to, and once I was VERY tempted to have her run a second truck on a double-header accident I was trying to cover, and I would have had it not been  up on a steep road in the West Hills.

Now our daughter is in college, and my older son is in high school.  I'm sure all of you out there understand the value of a college education in today's world, and whether or not you went to college, you'd wish it for your kids and do whatever you could to promote
 college attendance and completion for all kids.  So I think you know what you need to do.  Right?  (Hint: go to www.TowPartsNow.com, and BUY some parts--help me put my
kids through school.)

Have a safe and profitable week.

Nick Kemper

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