There is this photo and corresponding story of a truck that ventured onto the Boardwalk in Atlantic City. It is embarrassing and expensive for the driver, and the trucking company. It was a little embarrassing for me, as non driveng friends pointed it out. It happens - rarely. A while back a driver drove his truck onto a bike path in Milwaukee. Both of these drivers claim that they were following a GPS. Drivers make mistakes. These mistakes get noticed. Sometimes they go viral.
In the meantime, about 3,000,000 drivers work up to 14 hours a day and 70 hours per week and no one notices when we do our job well. Driver appreciation week is nice. Last year one of my customers (Anheuser-Busch) gave me a Budweiser hat and it was nice. Mostly as one Facebook post put it (and I am paraphrasing) Driver appreciation week is when trucking companies have barbecues at the offices where the office workers eat the barbecue, I appreciate the gesture.
Every morning, I go to my office with the intention of doing my job professionally. My office is not in some building. My office is a 2018 new Freightliner Cascadia. Mine stands out, not only because it is new, but my graphics are unique. People notice it. Freightliner's name is on my truck. Paper Transport's name is on my truck. I don't want people to notice my truck and think of the companies that I work with in a bad light. My name, the one my parents gave me, is on the door of my truck. I take pride in that name.
There are times when I do everything right and still get noticed - and not in a good way. Every once in a while I get flipped off. It isn't always easy, but I try to let it go. Last week I got called a name over the CB by a fellow trucker. Travelling 64 MPH in the right lane, I got passed by another truck. A third truck was coming up an on ramp. There was no one immediately behind me. There was a car passing me along my ICC bumper. It was a long ramp and by my estimation, I would pass the entering truck long before the end of the ramp, and I was right. The driver called me a bad name. I let it go and did my job professionally.
It is frustrating that we really try to be professional and not get noticed. Yes, sometimes drivers do stupid things and the pictures go viral. Everyone has a camera. Sometimes we do everything right and people get mad at us. It is part of the job. No one notices when we do everything right. Everyday, roughly 3,000,000 professionals do our job and don't get noticed. I am OK with not getting noticed. When I don't get noticed, I kow that it was a good day.
SO - TO ALL OF THE PROFESSIONAL DRIVERS WHO WON'T GET NOTICED TODAY -I WANT TO SAY WELL DONE DRIVER-WELL DONE!