George & Wendy Show

Wendy Parker

Communication breakdown

| September 13, 2017

Gather round’ kids, Aunt Wendy’s going to spin a tale about how spinning tales can get you kicked in the tail. (We have a multitude of nieces and nephews, some blood relations, some not, but all of them will tell you Aunt Wendy and Uncle George let you do things like play with fireworks and shoot guns when you go spend the night at their house, and sometimes, Aunt Wendy’s dumb stories are even a little bit cool, mostly because she cusses a lot.)

Stories were invented to pass information from tribe to tribe, Alien warlord to ancient human, modern person to modern person, and all that jazz, before the interwebs was invented. (We skipped a bunch of stuff in between Alien warlords and the interwebs, but I only have 600 words to keep you with, so time is short and we can’t go into the Mayan/Alien wars and where the interwebs really came from.)

The Bible is a perfect example of stories told to keep people from acting ugly. You act ugly in the Bible, you wake up with a horse head in your bed. No wait, that’s another story, but the Bible has some pretty fierce consequences for jerks involving vermin and plague that are equally as unpleasant.

“One time, in New York City, a cop told me he’d give me a ticket if I didn’t hit a car.”

The point is, people have been telling stories to one another since they could articulate enough grunts to describe terror, because evoking emotion is the best part of a story, and scaring the bejeejees out of someone generally makes a lasting impression. And that’s fine and well when you’re a caveman and don’t understand the sun isn’t a giant, fiery bird that eats the moon on a regular cycle, but when you know the information you’re giving people isn’t true, and you understand things about your sun they don’t, it’s not OK.

This has been a very long and somewhat involved way to ask that people please stop promoting information about the ELD mandate to the general public that is frightening, because it’s completely untrue. Honestly, there are plenty of real facts you can promote that are equally as terrifying, because it involves a mandate that will become law based wholly on inaccurate information. That’s pretty dang scary, if you ask me, and it’s exactly the same thing you’re doing when you tell people who know absolutely nothing about trucking that the ELD mandate will force drivers to drive tired. That is inaccurate information.

The public doesn’t know jack-all about the hours of service, or anything else that has to do with trucking, besides the fact that trucks are big, they make a lot of noise and they get in the way on the highway a lot. They don’t know, because they don’t care. And you’re not going to make them care, you’re going to instill fear and even more hatred in them by insinuating in any way publicly that anything can force a professional driver drive a damn truck when they don’t think they should be driving.

You tell Jane and Jim Doe that in December, there will be a piece of equipment in the truck, mandated by the gubmint, that will force drivers to drive tired and to be cautious of big trucks, here’s what they hear, “Big trucks and the people who drive them are dangerous.” The part about the gubmint mandate will be ignored, they don’t care, they have their own problems with the gubmint, we all do.

Whether or not you’re pro-ELD, or are never planning on getting into a truck again if the mandate goes into effect, it is imperative to impart to the public that the driver is in control of that vehicle at all times, and nothing else is going to be beneficial to any stance you have about trucking. It’s absolutely ridiculous to talk about a shut down, and the power that would have, out of one side of your mouth, while saying a clock is going to force someone to drive tired. That’s silly. It doesn’t make sense. Either you have the power to start and stop that truck when you want to — or you don’t. Plain and simple.

How about instead of telling people trucks are dangerous, tell them they may not enjoy the quickness of Amazon Prime overnight service. Tell them it may take more than (gasp) 24 hours to have their organic rose-scented roach spray from Guatemala. I can assure you, in this day and age, that is just as terrifying to modern day humans as the moon being eaten was to the cavemen. Try it.

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