It’s the little things

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I think we’ve all established that being on the road isn’t the easiest life. There’s not a huge amount of respect coming from the general public – or from each other. It’s fairly evident the gubmint hates the thought of anyone actually paying truckers for the hours they work, and the FMCSA seems to think they’re all capable of magic that doesn’t exist. Some days it seems like the best option is to park it on the berm and walk off into the woods forever.

We had experienced one of those days when we pulled into the Pilot in Lincoln, Ala., last week. It had been a very trying traffic day for George, and I was just flat-out cranky. We parked, got our shower bags ready, and tromped into the truck stop for hot showers in hopes they would wash the day away in a physical and psychological sense.

Here’s where I’d like to take a second to explain to the owners/managers/employees of truck stops how small gestures can make a huge difference in our overall well-being, both mentally and physically.

Shower-scene-alabama-pilotNot only was the shower room immaculate, but on the counter there was a handwritten note, a bottle of water and some mints. That was nice enough, and my crankiness was easing off slowly, until I read the note.

“Thank you for all that you do. Have a great day. Warren.”

My crankiness evaporated completely, and I really wanted to find Warren and thank him for thanking the road-weary. It was so nice to see someone put forth the tiniest bit of extra effort, just to let their customer know they were appreciated. Not only did I have a great shower, my entire attitude was much improved by that simple little handwritten note.

Now I may bitch a lot, but I also make sure to give praise when it’s due. There’s not enough positive out here, and when I find it, I want people to know about it. I found the manager of the store, just to let him know how impressed I was with the note. I told him, “I know it seems so insignificant, but this little note made my day.”

And he told me, “I used to be a driver. I did my time on the road, and when I started managing this store, I asked my staff to make it as comfortable and inviting as they can for the people who make our jobs possible.”

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Mr. Howie, it is completely evident that you and your staff not only understand the little things, you strive to make them happen. We are so thankful for stops like this, and we appreciate you as much as you appreciate the drivers.