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Chey Cab

She writes about life behind the wheel.

How to clean up your driving record

Have you ever been pulled over and wondered if the officer is holding your past violations against you? Perhaps you’ve been driving like an old man now that you’ve become Super Dad, but during a traffic stop the officer doesn’t quite buy that you are now a boring, law-abiding father of three in the suburbs. Could it be that when he runs your license he learns you were a completely different person in college — Speed Racer ring a bell? Wouldn’t it be nice if your record didn’t show the skid marks of your youth?

People change and deserve a reward for that behavior.

Some of us drive for a living, and moving violations could render us uninsurable, putting us out of business. For others, those moving violations might mean that you are treated differently during a traffic stop or judged for those grievances by an insurance company. We check our credit reports to make sure things old enough are to be removed, and in fact, have been removed. We should do the same thing with our driving records.

First, we should discuss seatbelt violations. Thankfully those do not show on your driving record, but they do show when someone runs your criminal record. In some cases, they can count against you with your insurance provider. Forbes reported that in some circumstances seat belt violations can increase your insurance by three percent. It is small compared to other citations and offenses, but it can count against you. Also, when a prospective employer runs your credit, driving and criminal records, you may appear dirtier than you actually are because of seatbelt tickets cluttering your record.

It’s free to clean up your driving record, but it won’t clean up itself. Most insurance companies pull five years of history and most items older than five years can be eligible for removal. Many people are under the impression that violations older than five years come off by themselves. News flash: They don’t, you have to contact the DMV to have them manually removed.

 You can go in person to 445 Minnesota Street in St. Paul. Upon check in tell them what you are there for, and they will give you a number. The counter that does the certified driving records and clean up are never busy so you will be in and out within 10-15 minutes. Here are a few friendly reminders before you take action:

  • DWI’s and drug offenses will remain on your record for life
  • Cancellations are not eligible for removal until 15 years from the date of reinstatement
  • Serious speeding (15mph+ over the limit) remain for 10 years

CDL or commercial class drivers have a slightly different set of rules.  Following too close, careless driving or improper lane change, will remain on a person’s driving record for 55 years.

So don’t just take control of the wheel, take control of your record!

Overworked and Under Paid; The Mass Exodus

During the recession employers reduced their workforce and increased the workload of remaining employees. Being a workaholic was already socially acceptable, and employees wanting to keep their jobs stepped up and took on the additional work. I’m sure that many expected that once the economy turned around that their employer would hire again, and a more balanced work-life would resume. In most cases this hasn’t happened. Over the last six months I have seen employees walking away from long-term employment in surprising numbers. Some have other jobs lined up, many don’t, and others are opting for early retirement. It seems that many are deciding that their health and family can no longer suffer the consequences of such extreme workloads and expectations.  Despite economic rebounds in many areas I am also surprised by how many of my corporate clients, no matter their place on the ladder of success, do not feel like their jobs are secure. This lack of uncertainty is also wearing at the health of many. Some of the most surprising people have spoken to me about feeling insecure in their roles no matter how long they’ve been in them, or how essential they are.

Last May the employer of one of my regular clients died. She had worked there 18 years and got most of her work done in 2 or 3 business days per week. The rest of the time she ran the household, worked out, maintained her beauty, and enjoyed and active social and travel lifestyle with her husband. The company that came in to take over the medical practice offered her more money and promised she could keep her 3-day-a-week schedule as long as the work got done. That began in August and I went from seeing this couple once or twice per week to twice in 9 months. She’s aged ten years and has put on weight. I’ve never seen her one pound overweight—ever!  Then, last week she told me that she put in her retirement notice (at 50) and is walking away. She feels guilty leaving everyone behind that depends on her (common reservation of those walking away), but they’ve expanded the practice and need three of her. Given that cloning has yet to work…not sure how that will work, but I digress. She says she’s on call 24/7 and even worked on vacation. Like me she’s a farm girl. She doesn’t have to work because their family won a wrongful death lawsuit after a farming accident, but she likes to work so she can spend freely and because it’s a big part of her identity. But given the toll the new workload has taken on her? It doesn’t matter how much money they pay her, the personal cost outweighs the professional. Other clients of mine aren’t so lucky that they can afford to walk away. But they are walking away anyway which I find quite telling.

Take my Edina customer. She just quit her IT job of 19 years. She had nothing lined up, so I took her to the airport for a long holiday. Upon returning she will seek out a healthier work environment. She knew it was risky not to have anything lined up, but she said she felt like her employer left her no choice.

During my nearly six years as a cab and now car service driver, I've watched my clients become more and more overworked. I watched the strain on their health and homes. What is causing the sudden decision to walk away from it all?

I’m not sure.

But it’s happening with more and more frequency. The smaller employers seem to be benefiting from the exodus from the larger corporate employers as the workforce seeks out smaller healthier environments.

 Companies such as Target have been in the news for layoffs. While many of my Target people have landed safely on base, nearly all are searching for greener pastures. A large wave of talent may be positioning planned departures which could further impact Target. Across the river in the east metro, 3M has an aging workforce. One employee joked that the three M’s stand for meetings, meetings, and more meetings. When in fact I think it stands for Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing? Several 3M’ers have mentioned in passing that nearly half of the workforce will be eligible for retirement over the next 5 to 6 years.  That is a lot of talent and experience poised to walk out the door. When I look at my 3M client base I see recent hires and soon to be retirees, and not many in between.

Minneapolis-Saint Paul is known for its hardworking workforce…so much so that they are very desirable recruits on the coasts. But how long can employers get more with less before getting nothing at all?

Are we working too hard? Are our families, friends, and bodies paying too steep a price? Are our employers being short sighted? Would their bottom lines benefit if there was more of a balance and more job security? Overworked employees are saying no more, and employers should take note.