468.jpgThese are certainly strange and trying times. With Shelter-in-Home orders, people self-quarantining, and public gatherings at the very least discouraged and in many places outright banned, we are dealing with many challenges that a few months ago we never imagined possible. 

It seems every day a new restriction or “guidance” is given to us. What may have been OK today may be unacceptable tomorrow. Being able to adapt to these changes is absolutely critical in not only staying healthy but also maintaining some sort of sanity. 

Being patient is key.

From not being able to sit down and eat, to not being able to pour my own coffee (that is a new one as of this writing) taking things in stride and adapting to change will help everyone. The coffee thing was a tough one for me (especially without my morning COFFEE!!!). What should have taken a minute or two turned into a 5-minute exchange, and that was before I added my creamer and Stevia. 

The girls behind the counter were friendly and just trying to do their jobs, but it was certainly a process. I smiled and joked with them as they prepared my coffee, asking if I needed room for creamer, did I want drip or fresh ground, what size, order here but pick up there, blah-di, blah-di, blah.  They were just doing what they were told to do and to be honest, I was grateful. They could just stop selling coffee, right? That would probably shut down trucking faster than anything else ever could.  Getting aggravated, as I witnessed one driver doing, isn’t going to help anyone. It won’t make the situation better and to be honest, I don’t want to tick off the person preparing my coffee, just saying.

It is funny how that bothered me a little bit, but if ordering coffee at Starbucks or Caribou Coffee, meh, I can wait. So why am I more patient there than I was this morning? Because it was different, unexpected, out of the norm. We must learn to embrace or at least tolerate these changes. More may be coming.

Ambiguity-The Word of the Day



The definition of ambiguity is a word or sentence that is not clear about the intention or meaning. An example of ambiguity is when a person answers a question in a way that indicates they are not giving all of the details. 

We sure are seeing a lot of that these days. Shelter-in-place is a good example. Some take it to mean, lock yourself in your house and don’t come out no matter what. Others take it to mean they can carry on, just don’t go to work or gather in groups. The writing of these orders can be confusing as well, with multiple interpretations possible. We must be patient with these ambiguities and realize our understanding of them may not be everyone else’s understanding of them or the intention of the orders.

When I was a desk jockey, one of the things I was reviewed on was my tolerance of ambiguity. Could I adapt to instructions that weren’t exactly clear and may have had different intentions than what I believed they had? As professional drivers, we have a ton of ambiguity we deal with as far as regulations, traffic laws, etc.. Dealing with new ambiguous regulations or instructions should be no big deal, but again, we must be patient. Getting upset helps nothing.

Patience Takes Practice

I have said this before and I am sure I will say it again, but it is true. Patience is like a muscle, it must be exercised or it will atrophy. With some experiencing long wait times at shippers/receivers, while others are finding fewer and fewer food options, and others even getting laid off due to slower freight, we must work out that patience muscle. Easier said than done, I know. I fail at the patience workout myself way more than I like to admit, but try to put yourself in others’ shoes. Remember, we are all in this together. 

And when this is in our rear-view mirrors, maybe working out that patience muscle will help moving forward.

Follow Team Run Smart Pro Clark Reed on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

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Clark W Reed

Clark Reed of Roscoe, Illinois is an OTR company driver and trainer for Nussbaum Transportation based out of Hudson, Illinois. He has been driving since 2005 and has driven van, reefer, and tanker. He currently hauls dry van to all lower 48 states. Clark is passionate about MPGs and how driver habits influence them. The lifetime average of his 2018 Cascadia is 9.75 mpg, with eyes on 10. Clark, along with Henry Albert, was one of the seven drivers in 2017's "Run on Less" by NACFE, a road show, demonstrating what fuel efficiency can be obtained with existing technologies.

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