Pardon my lack of empathy for the unaffiliated

January 2, 2019

Wendy Parker


If you’re reading this, you made it through the holiday season of 2018. First and foremost, thank you for hauling the freight it took to make the holiday season possible. We know mail haulers who haven’t been home since mid-November. And I’ve said it a million times – I don’t know why anyone still hauls grocery and reefer. Bless all of you. If the general public knew how crappy some of the food haulers were treated on a daily basis, they’d be appalled.

A lot of them were appalled – about all the things truckers live on a daily basis.

Lines at the grocery were epic, crowds forced people to acknowledge one another. All small-talk starts out the same, “Hi. How are you? Enjoying the holidays?” Inevitably conversation goes to weather, “This weather, though. Crazy isn’t it? Changes by the minute.” Depending on which circle of line-hell chosen, there may be time to grouse about parking. “Are you kidding me with this parking situation? Not a space to be found. I had to park down by the nail salon. We definitely need more parking here.”

Let me stand back and whip out the world’s tiniest violin for y’all. I’ll play you a real sad song and you can talk about your feelings while we share a bottle of Bavarian cucumber-infused rose-water that was definitely not bottled in Fairborn, Ohio. Guess how it got here?

I’ve yet to be in line long enough to give the whole sequence of events. People can’t comprehend the number of transitions freight makes before they carefully choose it in the aisles of their specialty grocery. Fret not my trucking friends. I drone on as long as I can before they slowly move their carts away and start having imaginary phone conversations.

I fully admit to taking personal satisfaction in knowing that for at least a few weeks of the year, the general public feels some of the same pains truck drivers live with every single day. It might behoove the unaffiliated to suffer a mile or two in the driver’s shoes.

Lines at the ports are epic. You’re lucky to get acknowledged in a timely manner. There’s no small-talk beyond hearing the occasional, “Why did I come here?” If (depending on paperwork and merchant ship schedules) you get your load on time and rolling across the USA, the weather changes eleventy-seven times a day. This requires decisions far beyond, “Should I leave the top down on the convertible?”

And of course, are you kidding me with this parking situation? You’ll get a wheel-boot and a court appearance if you park down by the nail salon. It’s not posted, but there’s a city ordinance you should know about, you filthy animal. Now hand over three hundred bucks to a lumper so those Peruvian avocados don’t spoil before the good people of Doodleville, Iowa, get to ’em.
They don’t care where you park, as long as it isn’t here.

And that’s why you don’t talk to strangers in grocery stores, Jimmy.

(Happy new year, trucking family. We know what you do and we appreciate it. Thank you.)