Have a nice day? Actions speak louder than words

October 15, 2019

Wendy Parker


“Have a nice day,” he said.

The general idea of “actions speak louder than words” might stem from the fact that human beings master language slower than they perfect mimicry. Watch-and-learn is a very intrinsic part of our childhood.

Language comes along later in development to further complicate things. Specifically, between the ages of 16-25, after puberty has wrecked hormones and humans revert to feral packs of young adults who populate the check-out registers of fuel islands, grocery stores and every single 7-Eleven in Utah.

Bless ’em for having jobs. I’m in no way bashing here. I do, however, want to point out that slamming a fuel or scale receipt on the counter while growling “Have a nice day” to someone doesn’t qualify as great customer service.

Google it, Brenda.

We should also remember that mixed signals may or may not be intentional. Sometimes, weird things happen that are out of our control and we just have to wing it. Like the time a very nice gentleman walked up to George in a parking lot, made small talk for a minute, told George to “have a nice evening,” and, for lack of a better term, loudly crop-dusted the general area as if he were being propelled by his own renewable energy towards the next guy who happened to be standing in the parking lot a few spaces down.

This may or may not have been an unintentional mixed signal, but it did leave the question of whether George should warn the next person that he could be subject to gassing. He opted instead to vacate the area and let the next victim fend for himself, but couldn’t help wonder if Mr. Poot really meant it when he told him to “have a nice evening,” right before vilely desiccating the surrounding atmosphere.

Again, bless him if he had a medical condition, but you’d think if it was an accident he wouldn’t stop at the next guy and strike up the exact same conversation. It was almost diabolical, like he made a bet with his buddy that he could fart on everyone standing in the parking lot.

So yeah, social interaction is complicated sometimes.

It’s a big weird world with a lot of misdirection and questionable behavior on the whole, but a few things remain completely evident and quantifiable when it comes to the adage of “actions speak louder than words” in the trucking industry.

For example, you can’t continue screaming about a driver shortage when mega fleets are still churning at anywhere near a 90% yearly average.

(Side note for those who are unsure – **cough-ATA-cough** – “churning” is the action and “driver shortage” are the words. You cannot use one without addressing the other. It’s basic math. )

You can’t say professional drivers are more dangerous than anyone else on the road when they have statistically the safest verifiable driving records as a whole.

(Psst – there’s a congressman who stands to benefit personal financial gain by making the general public believe this. Again, basic math does not support the words with action. But it will support his pocketbook if insurance minimums are raised. Believe dat.)

You can’t claim to improve safety issues with more regulations when fatality crash rates appear to have increased with more regulation. The action of piling on restrictions and law have fully negated the words predicting “X” number of lives saved, because more people are dying.

The action of paying and respecting the professional driver speaks louder than telling them they’re needed and respected. If you want safe professionals, train them, pay them and keep them in a professional standard.

By the same turn, if you want to call yourself a professional, act like one.

Let’s not forget it goes both ways.

Have a nice day.