Short fuses at the fuel island
My family is amazed at my patience. And now I can officially be the President, because that’s the biggest lie ever told. I seem to have a little bit of a short fuse when it comes to patience. I’m reminded of a comedian I heard doing a bit about how an automated world has made us all impatient. He said he stood in line behind a very agitated woman at the bank, who verbally assaulted a teller after waiting nine seconds in line. It’s true. We’re a very instant-gratification kind of society, we really don’t wait for much.
Except when it comes to the fuel isle, or getting unloaded, or getting out of a traffic jam, or just about everything that has to do with trucking.
I’ve gotten a lot better. My first few weeks out I spent with my hair standing on end most of the time. The first time we waited 45 minutes for the fuel isle, I nearly stroked out. For some reason, that’s the one that gets me the most. I get pissed sitting at receivers, I’m annoyed by traffic jams, but for some reason, the fuel isle thing makes me murderously angry. I think it’s mostly because it’s such an avoidable annoyance. First, because people should know better than to disassemble their freaking truck at the pump, and go over every single wire and hose while six other trucks wait to fuel. Don’t be an asshole, pull forward or park to do your monthly maintenance. And secondly, how hard would it be for the big three to have pump attendants, who are there strictly for asshole patrol, since we can’t depend on society to self-monitor and just know inherently not to be one? They have people scheduled to maintain the snack bar — why couldn’t they schedule someone to maintain the fuel-isle flow? I would gladly give up a rolling rack of butt rockets for a fuel island attendant.
George is a really even-tempered person, and extremely patient, but the fuel island gets him, too. He will eventually get out of the truck and go inside to ask politely what the hell the problem is, while my idea of settling the situation is to run inside and fire five rounds into the ceiling while screaming, “Who the HELL left their truck parked in the fuel isle and came inside to take a shower!?!!!!!”
So yeah, sometimes the patience thing is a disadvantage for me when I’m on the truck. George knows when I’ve lost all tolerance for the situation, mostly because my eye gets little, but also because he knows me well. (My left eye gets little because I had Bell’s Palsy when I was pregnant with our son, kind of a mini-stroke thing, and my left eye droops according to how high my blood pressure is, or how drunk I am. What makes it even more awesome is that my other eye will bulge accordingly, and I begin to look like a one-eyed Ernest Borgnine. It’s truly the ugliest thing ever. “She’s got a little eye,” is a whispered phrase in our home, it’s so cruel.)
Anyway, I’m lucky to be riding with someone who tempers my pinging off the walls with quiet patience. He will listen to me rant and rave, and agree with all my proclamations of what kinds of torture should be inflicted upon those who go inside to get chicken while their truck is parked at the pump. He pats my hand and feeds me blood-pressure meds, and I really appreciate that he usually doesn’t remark about my Ernest Borgnine eye. The headlines should read, “George Parker Saves Lives at the Fuel Pump.”
Bless the patient people. There should be more of them. More importantly, bless the impatient. They need it a lot more, and while we’re at it, bless the people with a little eye, because it totally sucks.