I’ve been writing/living/advocating for/loving and hating trucking for more than five years now, and I feel like I’ve aged about 25.
Ha ha, I exaggerate, it’s only 15 years – truckers age three years for every one they spend on the road. Yes they do. You can tell by counting the rings in their trunk. It’s true. I heard it at the Counter of Knowledge, where everything may or may not be a filthy lie but is asserted as bible truth.
I’ve also met some of the finest people of my life, and that’s not a filthy lie. It’s worth the wear and tear to experience the things George and I have had the opportunity to do, and would not have done, had we not been trucking.
And then there are “Things that still make my eye twitch, for a thousand, Alex.”
I remember the first time I ever heard a shipper tell George, “It’s not our problem if you’re out of hours, you should have done better trip planning,” which may have had the slightest chance of being an appropriate statement had we not just spent six and a half hours locked in their dock, waiting for them to get their Cheerios in a snack bag and get the trailer loaded.
As a matter of fact, the only reason I heard this exchange is because we had been there so long, I had to go inside to use the bathroom – which is something I rarely do anyway, but George told me we’d be sleeping on their lot or on the road outside of it, and either way, I wasn’t going to have a bathroom all night.
He took me into the office – it was one of those set-ups where the shipping clerk is behind glass, with a little breathing-hole-sized window she was sneering at George out of when I exited the bathroom. Apparently he had asked if we could park on the lot for his 10, and well, you know the rest of the story, because it’s a frequent and woeful tale.
“It’s not out problem if you’re out of hours, this is a private lot. You should have done better trip planning.”
And while I was completely ready to counter her nastiness by pointing out my thoughts that had she planned better she might not have ended up working in a people-sized reptile aquarium, and would probably appear a lot less like a dangerous pet and more like a human employee, I kept the remarks to myself. I could not, however, control the flagrant eye-twitch her comments induced, and to this day I feel deep and lasting effects from the miniature landmine explosion inside my head.
Dangerous reptile lady came to mind today, when I was reading an article about shippers falling all to pieces because they’re having a hard time getting freight covered during the post-ELD adjustment period.
I can’t help but think they should have planned better.