George & Wendy Show

Wendy Parker

So you want to be treated like a professional …

| January 03, 2017

professional-drivers-002Definition of attitude:
1: the arrangement of the parts of a body or figure: posture
2: a position assumed for a specific purpose
3: a ballet position similar to the arabesque in which the raised leg is bent at the knee
4a: a mental position with regard to a fact or state
b: a feeling or emotion toward a fact or state
5: the position of an aircraft or spacecraft determined by the relationship between its axes and a reference datum (as the horizon or a particular star)
6: an organismic state of readiness to respond in a characteristic way to a stimulus (as an object, concept, or situation)
7a: a negative or hostile state of mind b: a cool, cocky, defiant, or arrogant manner

 

I’m just going to leave this right here, before we start talking about being professionals, and I’m going to note that I learned “attitude” is a ballet position when I looked it up. Of course, I also had to go on and look up “organismic,” because in my head I’m a nine-year-old boy, and it looked like something interesting.

Now for the serious stuff.

There are no doubt hundreds, thousands, maybe even millions of “professional” truck drivers on the road today. There are a lot more men and women out here who take the job seriously enough to train for it properly, dress properly, carry themselves properly and show enough respect for themselves and others to be considered professionals than the press or general public give credit to. I’ve seen them with my own eyes. I know they exist.

That being said, there are still a lot out here who really believe a CDL gives them the right to act like jerks, and that fantasy is being fed every day by the Chicken Littles over at the Potato farm who scream there are 11 truck drivers available on the entire planet, and seventy-million jobs that need filling.

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Stop it. Both of you, just stop it.

I had a long conversation with a friend I would consider an expert in the trucking industry. This individual, who will remain anonymous at her request, started trucking in 1978, and in addition to now being a recruiter for a three-hundred-truck fleet, she still spends three to six months a year on the road, driving. She’s hauled everything, she’s been everywhere, she’s worked on both sides of the desk, and she has a message she’s asked me to give to people seeking jobs in the industry:

If you want to be treated like a professional, act like one.

Here’s a direct quote: “All these drivers who want to be considered professionals should stop shooting themselves in the foot by doing things that aren’t professional.”

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Case in point: They don’t show up for orientation, after having airplane or bus tickets bought, hotels booked, and a spot in class reserved for them.

Apparently, this happens more often than you’d think and it’s a real problem for recruiters and companies alike. There’s money invested in the new hire, and the new hire doesn’t show up. More often than not, they’ve gotten a better offer and instead of calling to tell the recruiter they got a better offer, they just don’t show.

That’s just silly. It’s also denying yourself the opportunity to bargain into a better position with the original offer. True professionals know this, and they at least make the effort to place a phone call, or send an e-mail saying so.

New CDL school graduates are inundated with offers, they are chased from the very onset of class, and a lot of them develop the aforementioned bad attitude of “Let them chase me if they need me,” instead of “I’m going to do some research, find the company I want to work for, and chase them.”

It bears to be mentioned here that some of the larger fleets are noting “no-shows” on DAC reports. When you’ve never driven a professionally paid mile and you have a “no-show” on your DAC, it’s a huge red flag that you’re not acting in a professional manner. When you’ve driven thousands of miles and have years of experience and pull a no-show, it’s just purely stupid.

The last quote from my friend is probably the simplest.

“Finish what you started.”

Good stuff. Easy stuff. Do it.

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5 comments
stockerlw
stockerlw

too many days I am at a shipping and receiving desk with other drivers waiting for dock assignments. Surrounded by "professional drivers", who don't bathe, shave or change clothes and smell. No excuse. Then they don't bring in any paperwork to the desk and expect dispatch to know everything about their loads?


Everyone has a "tough guy look" on their faces. why not smile, say HI to your fellow drivers. Have some fun, meet some new people, be personable.

bigrphillips
bigrphillips

Wait...so can i or can i not wear flip flops at the fuel pump? Or wear slppers and a doo ragg and walk in to shipping and receiving with my pants hanging below my buttcheeks? Yeah i said it! Come on young bruthas tighten up your game! You've only got one time to make a first impression. Stay sturdy✌

DavidJesse1
DavidJesse1

Not being prepared to go to orientation , divorce papers , child support stuff, checking account accounts and deposit slips , you should have two totally separate bank accounts so in case they cut your debit card off you have money , plus the second one is your emergency fund in case truck breaks diwn and you need a room or taxi up front , I have a list of over 50 questions to ask a recruiter .also bein a pofessinal on the road , not playing turtle races , using the smith system , waving to your fellow truck drivers , talking to them on the fuel island just a simple hello ! Keeping the truck neat and orderly , making sure your trailer is clean , swept out , and road ready for the next driver , if you run a refrigerator , wash it out after each load , when that person on the dock sees your empty trailer is clean and not a cesspool that's pride , when you walk into your customer your polite , well mannered and don't smell like curry and garlic ! When your in there facility don't create cluster messes, be patient , use your four ways when backing up , use the Circleof safety . When you go home take a quick view of the house and laundry room, do your own laundry , and help her to catch up !make dinner fir her and the kids ! Use the grocery store apps and order your food before going home and pick them up on the way home ! If you live in the north have you prepared her vehicle , fill it with gas and check the fluids , put below zero washer fluid in ! Do youhave somebody to plow the driveway so she can get out , leave her money on the refrigerator fir snow plowing etc . When your in a truckstop early and not a lot of traffic , take the hard backing spots so others when tired won't have a difficult time ! Use your four ways when backing up ! When your parking on a ramp and your the first one , don't park in the middle of the ramp , pull down as far as your comfortable so others can come in behind you ! The last is wipe your lights and tail ights and reflective stripes on the back so there's can see you! If you drive a Volvo and your headlights are dull do the plastic being cloudy exchange them for a rebuilt pair ! On per diem have you counted up your days out so your ready when the tax statement comes in ? If your on e logs have you been sending your e logs to your email and then put them on a Zip drive ? If run your own business do have all your business on a encrptyecd flash drive ? If case your phone goes diwn there goes the business fiancuals !if your run business do have profit and lost statements in case you get into a accident and the other insurance wants to pay you lost of use and you don't know , there going to screw you ! These are just some of the professional traits !

truckingops
truckingops

@DavidJesse1 Thumbs the freak up Mr. Jesse! Except for the new electronics mentioned, it was like looking at standard procedures from the 80's and 90's. Among a million other things about courtesy to others worth mentioning are to just run parking lights when trying to find that parking spot at night in truckstops, if pulling to the side of the road leave your right turn signal on (barring heavy traffic), if an emergency use your 4-ways as this helps identify a planned stop or an emergency, look ahead look ahead look ahead and merge over when you see a truck coming down the on-ramp or slow if unable to to allow the merge if possible, don't try to pass on a two-lane interstate to gain .5 to 1 mph (if you see this as necessary, may want to find a new employer), and finally take time for yourself at whatever puts a smile on your face, as long as its legal. I would sometimes take a day or 2 detailing my truck top to bottom when an unplanned delay or wait occurred. That is where my pride showed in the profession. Before the days of fiberglass fenders, modded hoods and Ozzy cuts, there were those of us that had full fenders, straights, texas bumpers and always armor all on the tires. Every time I stopped I would wipe off the bugs from the front end. I am not bragging or saying everyone should do this, this is simply what I did to put a smile back on my face and make a bad time good again. Self medication so to speak... Find what works for you and make an effort to do it when things turn south. It helps! ANd may make you a bit more professional at the same time...

bigrphillips
bigrphillips

Ok i was writing down what you were saying. I got up to divorce papers and now repeat the rest for me! Lol...you said a mouth full but dog gonnit you spoke the truth! Thank you👍