15 January 2011

The Road Scholar - Day 15

Haubstadt, IN to Henderson, KY, temperature is... blah, blah, blah... I know, I start off the same, so I'll try something different...
In the dark, vast reaches of the space time continuum...
... Ok, maybe not THAT different!
So I'm here in Strafford, MO, a small town just a few miles east of Springfield, which, by the way, should suburban sprawl continue to overtake that city, then this small town may become a part of Springfield itself. I'm grateful I arrived here when I did (at 1930... 7:30 p.m. non-military folk), as I was able to acquisition one of the last 6 parking spots available, unlike last night when I conveyed the surplus of available locations. Although I had debated about pushing on until Joplin, but two things directed me here: a) 3G service, which would also have been available in Joplin, and b) the previously stated parking space, which may NOT have been available in Joplin. As a truck driver - and many of you may not be aware of this - we have a stricter set of regulations imposed upon us that require us to do such things as maintain a logbook, for the purpose of documenting the number of hours we drive within a given day, as well as the hours we've driven in the previous 7 days and... well, I won't bore you with trivial drivel (even I find such things boring).
Many things that most take for granted, are what we refer to as our livelihood. In that I mean, truck drivers are the backbone of the commerce system; whatever is purchased in ANY place of business (i.e. grocery store, hardware store, restaurant, etc.), is there due to the truck driver - we haul it all, from produce to lumber to steel... you get the picture. But just like society in general, we all have differing viewpoints and just as many opinions (insert your favorite opinion/reared analogy here). For many years I have heard a plethora of suggestions that, "truck drivers should get together and go on strike." This will never, and I say again NEVER happen, simply because, 1) let's face it, you can't get 10 drivers in any one truck stop to agree on anything (except to lament that dispatchers are idiots, in which I disagree - see what I mean?); 2) if they, just by some strange freak of nature (or a rift in the above mentioned space-time continuum), DO agree and coordinate an industry wide strike, only about 2.3% (even that figure is shooting high) would actually go through with it. Which leads to 3) should a trucker strike actually take place, those involved would find themselves incarcerated under stiff charges, as such a strike (under the ever-so watchful eye of the "intellectual" pompous, self-serving morons known as the government) is seen as an act of terrorism (because it affects the flow of commerce).
That having been said, I will defend the minority of the trucking industry - the PROFESSIONAL truck driver. Just because you have a CDL (Commercial Driver's License) in your pocket, does not make you a professional. The image most people have of a truck driver is: rude, fat, smelly ignoramuses that show less courtesy on the road than what the social norm permits in many third world countries. Then there's the PROFESSIONAL truck driver: extends courtesy at customer facilities (and places where they themselves are doing business), actually dresses decently (casual wear), clean (even wearing cologne), etc., etc.,
So you see, there are differences in truck drivers... but it's up to us - the driver - which image we wish to present. As for me... I choose the latter.

No comments: