There’s a fly in the cab. It’s not just any fly, it’s the freaking mastodon of flies, one of those giant blue-bottle poop flies. Gross. Also, when it flies around, it sounds like a small Cessna, because I’m trying to be quiet and let George sleep. He spent his last hours of service searching for an address that didn’t exist in one of those quests for a delivery dock that seem to be neverending. After waiting at an unmanned, deserted gate for thirty minutes, trying to get someone inside to answer the phone, a security guard finally came over and talked to him like he was an idiot and everyone figured out the CSR who had taken the delivery information neglected to note there was a new warehouse across town. Then it started raining, making his navigation of the crowded, snaky, unfamiliar route to the finale that much more fun. He not only got the load there on time, he got us unhooked and parked and he did it legal. This all happened after he had driven a 500+ mile day through cities and mountains and stupid four-wheelers. Some days, I’m totally in awe of what truckers actually do.
I hate to gush, but not only did he do all this in one day, while he was doing it, he was professional, and courteous and safe. He never raised his voice to anyone, he said please and thank you and he was actually in a pretty good mood until the very end, when it started raining. The rain kind of put a damper on his mood (ha-ha), but he never acted ugly. He did it right. That’s why he’s the driver and I’m the resident whiner. I’m cranky after driving ten miles to the grocery store, and don’t even think about asking me to drive you to Ikea. If I had wrestled 74,580 pounds for 518 miles and a surly, acne-pocked, infant security guard had talked to me like that kid talked to him at the gate, I’d have most definitely popped off. George takes it in stride, because he’s used to it, and that’s sad. You have to admit, a great majority of the people truckers deal with aren’t the friendliest people in the world. It makes me furious when receivers act like we’re bothering them when he shows up (on time – never a service failure) with the stuff they ordered. People act like we just found this junk somewhere and want to dump it on them. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched him take enormous amounts of crap from gate guards and warehouse workers, and every time he’s mannerly and usually gets what he wants by charming the pants off someone who’s enamored of his awesome beard. He does it right.
There are a lot of people out here doing it right. There are a lot who aren’t, but that’s true with any profession. For the ones who are striving to do it like you should, thank you. I have a profound respect for your sacrifice, self-restraint, and awesome abilities behind the wheel of a lethal machine. This is the beginning of Trucker Appreciation Week, but I’ve developed a Trucker Appreciation Life. You make our lives as we know it possible, and very few people give you the credit you deserve.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go explain to George why I just whacked a bottle of aspirin off the bunk side table into his face. Why is it when there’s a fly in the cab, we immediately believe we’re Chuck Norris, and have the ability to slap a fly dead? That may be a little off subject.
Be safe out there, and know there are people who truly appreciate what you do.
South Carolina truck operator Arnold Williams has been sentenced to time ...