America: Never Bite the Hand that Feeds You!

It’s 3 AM EST and while you are asleep in your comfortable bed, my husband and millions of other truck drivers are moving freight. Ensuring the comfort and the productivity of America! I had to write this article due to the occurrence of events hours earlier. Let me take you back!

Jimmy and I along with maybe a hundred other truck drivers were at Flying J (#634) truck stop in Temple, Georgia. Well, for those of you who don’t know the process, you scan your Pilot card at a kiosk to utilize a shower credit if you have any or you pay $12. We fuel with them so much that we have credits to use, so we did. That particular truck stop has 10- 12 showers at that time there were no showers available for use. So we grabbed a seat in the drivers lounge to wait patiently. During our 45 minute wait we watched drivers exit the shower area but no attendant in sight. Jimmy checked to see if the attendant was held up in a shower room cleaning, no one was available. Meanwhile, another truck driver stormed off in frustration stating… “this is ridiculous”. Jimmy came from the shower area and went to the fuel desk to complain as well. He had to pass the disgruntled truck driver on his way because he returned worse off than he was when he left and threw down his bag and himself into a chair. I knew then this was not going to end well. A couple of minutes later here comes my mild-mannered husband who is not easily angered looking just as pissed as the other driver. We wait for another 10 minutes and we all are antsy. Totally aggravated, I hurry out to the truck to get the cellphone in attempt to call Flying J corporate. I thought! I kindly asked the two lazy managers at the fuel desk for a comment card or their corporate number and they immediately give me a little soft shoe. They are all out of comment cards and they don’t know the corporate number but they can handle all complaints in store. Yeah right!!!

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How dare you inconvenience me!!!

I’m the kind of person gives people the chance to right their wrong. The teacher in me, felt the need make them aware of the six drivers waiting for showers. As if in a Broadway musical they continued their song and dance with a look of inconvenience. Karen(manager), gave me a look that read “how dare you and the other drivers want or even ask us for a shower!” Remaining calm, cool and collected, I walked off. Ten minutes later our shower number was called. The attendant was the same guy we noticed in a golf cart hauling trash off the fuel line. He was very apologetic and stated he is working alone. His duties include emptying all outside trash cans. Cleaning the men and women’s bathrooms and all showers with no assistance. Yet, at the front counter stands two managers and a cashier. This man is definitely being overworked, my vow to him, Jimmy and another veteran truck driver was that I would complain.

Your complaint will fall on death ears. Nobody cares!

Heart broken and drawn to tears almost inconsolable. The veteran driver had many more years in the business than Jimmy. He said the disrespect and maltreatment of drivers has been going on for years. It’s not going to change! How dare American citizens bite the hands that keep their families clothed and fed? supermarket-665049_640

Not only is it insanity but it is downright “Un American”. These men and women are constantly rolling. There is not a moment of the day that a truck is not hauling freight. Transporting the goods that you as citizens need and want to survive. Look around you! There is nothing that you can set eyes on that is not available due to the efforts of a driver. Whether it be the cars you drive and the fuel it holds, the materials that built your home and all of its amenities, the clothes on the backs of you and your loved ones. The place in which you work every day stands due to a truck driver bringing the supplies to build that establishment. The nerve to look down your nose at these men and women is sickening. They chose to leave behind families to serve their country and for some this is continued service after exiting the military. We put our keys into the doors of our homes 2 maybe four days a month. Child’s first steps are missed, birthdays, anniversaries, proms and graduations. We don’t sit at Starbucks and chew the fat with friends. Drivers are too busy making sure your local Starbucks has cups, coffee and all the other supplies they need to serve you.

Count Your Blessings. Thank a truck driver!!!

While you go throughout your day running errands. Take a minute to think about if the shelves of your local Wal-Mart or Target were bare. How would you feel if you went to the pharmacy and there was no medicine for you or your child? The hospital had no supplies to treat patients. That would mean drivers are no longer hauling freight and its’ partly due to the disrespect and lack of appreciation shown by American citizens. What do you do then? No matter what you do a truck driver cannot and will not be replaced. They are the heartbeat of America and the master-key to your survival.

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A Truly Professional Truck Driver

“Appearance matters a great deal because you can often tell a lot about people by looking at how they present themselves.”

When you think about a professional truck driver, the first thing that comes to mind is someone who drives trucks for a living. If I then asked you to describe a truck driver, some would use the following adjectives…. loud, rude, dirty, smelly, unkempt, etc. These words would be a true description for many but not for all.

I have encountered truck drivers besides my Jimmy (TruckersLife09), who care about their appearance and are very intelligent. You would be surprised to know that countless truck drivers are military veterans. Like ourselves they are continuing to serve their country. It is embedded in the mind of a veteran to be presentable and inspection ready at all times. We take pride in that! Proud american truckerI’m not saying veterans are the only presentable truck drivers. There are those who look like something the cat coughed up!!! Your local trash collector looks, smells, and can articulate better. if given the opportunity you would rather deal with him.

I remember a day when Jimmy delivering a load to a Walmart Distribution Center. Presentable as always with his short sleeved polo shirt, a white thermal underneath to protect his arms from the cold. His jeans were crisply pressed and clean Nike sneakers. Jimmy is a clean shaven type of guy he sports a goatee and bald head and wears Polo Blue Cologne. I could understand why he received so many compliments from the ladies in the shipping and receiving offices of his many customers. Continuing to survey the other drivers coming and going I saw why people have such a bad perception of truck drivers. Disgusted by the parade of men and women wearing filthy clothes, tank tops and half buttoned shirts, pants hanging low beneath buttocks, pajama bottoms and flip- flops. They all looked as if they had not showered in months.

Suddenly, a sparkling clean red and chrome PeterBilt truck pulled up on the passenger’s side. Of course, being the type of woman that loves old muscle cars, bikes (not crotch rockets) and trucks. I had to examine this beautiful machine! My expectation was for a dirty, unkempt guy to descend from this beautiful rig. This handsome gentleman with clean brown cowboy boots, wranglers with a shiny truck belt buckle, red flannel shirt and a brown cowboy hat stepped down. He descended from the rig as if dismounting the most beautiful stallion you have ever seen. The smell of Old Stetson wafted in the window, the elixir mesmerized me further into a trance. The anonymous cowboy looked up at me high on my perch, tipped his hat with a smile and moseyed on. Needless to say I blushed and giggled like a shy little school girl.cowboy

Jimmy and his fellow driver are living examples of how a professional driver should look. It’s not difficult to maintain a presentable appearance while over the road. Companies like Averitt and Walmart have resorted to requiring their drivers to wear uniforms. I’m sure there are countless drivers who would not like the idea of converting to uniforms. It’s imperative that drivers influence one another to pull up their pants, wash their clothes and conduct business with a fresh clean appearance. Maintaining respect for yourself demands respect from those you come in contact with, not only for you but for your company as well.

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