In 30 years in this industry, I have met a lot of people who drive trucks over the road, Local, and Regional, And in every case, there’s always something different about each individual. Some carry themselves with respect, not just for themselves, but for their companies, in representing the industry, and in properly representing themselves, because they take Pride in what they do.
Others, on the other hand, seem to act haphazardly in almost everything they do. Like they have a care less attitude about how they go about doing things, how they dress or keep themselves, how they drive around other traffic, or even on a lot, whether it is a truck stop lot, a company lot, or a customer lot. Then, you have the types that act all beside themselves, like they are the King of the block. How many of them have I seen fail, and in doing so, misrepresent the industry and drivers altogether. It’s sad.
Well, a big part of this article is what the last is all about. I.e., How YOU represent both yourself, and the trucking industry as a whole. If you act as a complete professional, then you will earn the respect of a lot of people, and businesses. Many times, you could end up finding yourself being called by your dispatcher telling you that they have a load for you to haul, and that that particular customer has asked for You, By Name, to haul the load. That only comes by doing your utmost to make sure that customer is well pleased with the work you do, and how you present yourself, from the time you arrive, to the time you have the load secured and leave their property,…. And make delivery.
On the other hand, you might show up late, with a poor attitude, don’t help with making sure the load is properly placed and secured, or walk around with a big chip on your shoulder. How you talk to others, especially other drivers, will make a difference in how you are seen as well.
Over the years, I’ve seen plenty of men, and even some women, (but very few in this particular case) who acted as if the world rested on their shoulders, and that they deserved priority in getting loaded or unloaded first, or getting the next dispatch, having service or repairs done on their truck, or even being waited on in the restaurant, which turns Everybody off.
Just today, I arrived at a regular customer to find a completely different situation taking place that came out of a situation that took place a few short weeks ago. Instead of being able to step inside to present my pickup information, I had to go around the building to another window and speak through a very small hole to give my pickup information, then I had to turn my head and almost place my ear to the hole to hear what the individual inside was saying to, or asking me. Respectfully, I asked what had happened to have this sudden change in procedures. And guess what?
It turns out that Two Grown Men (more like, Child-men) got into a dispute outside the building, and one of those … men… tried to beat the other, With His Load Bar??? Well, you can just guess what transpired from there. THAT man likely ended up in cuffs, with “assault with a deadly weapon” charge placed against him. Both were discharged from the facility, and who knows, maybe Both are now without jobs.
TWO Grown Men!?!?! I’ve heard it before on the CB, men arguing over NON-sense, and threatening to do harm to one another. Even challenging one another to pull to the side of the road to settle it with fists. With one stopping and pulling out a bar, of a hammer of some other object, to do the other guy serious injury??? seriously??,….if you are so infantile that you feel you have to resort to such measures, then you Surely do Not belong behind the wheel of an 80,000 pound vehicle! Or any Other vehicle for that matter!
If you want to be in this profession, then I strongly suggest that you take a deep breath, pull up your pants, (wear suspenders if you have to!) and tell yourself, “I Am A Professional, and I will Act like one, No matter What. If someone does, or says something that would normally affect me negatively, I’m going to shrug my shoulders, brush it off, and walk the other way, instead of getting myself into something I Do Not intend to be a part of.”
Professionalism in this industry comes from the heart, not from your attitude. As some say today,….. Stand up and put your Man-Pants on! Now show the world that you’ve come to Earn respect.