Ms. Manners: Attitude, It’s Up To You

Attitude Its Up To You

By A. H. Bosley

10% of what happens to you in a day is something you have to deal with in the course of doing business, and the other 90% is how YOU handle it. This is what dictates your day and your attitude. It is really up to you whether you have a good day or bad day.

Our lives out on the road can get a bit aggravating with all the little things that occur to a trucker on a day-to-day basis. We have the traffic show-downs and slow-downs, then the back-ups eating up our clocks, those pesky little cars cutting us off at every turn, the flow of traffic slowing down due to “the passing race” between two trucks with one going a half-mile an hour faster than the one he/she is trying to pass, and not having the sense to give it up. The other going a half mile an hour faster, watching the other struggle, and not giving in and letting him pass. Meanwhile, 4 to 10 other drivers just have to be inconvenienced and lose their time, fuel, and power.

– Not to mention the shipper’s and cosignee’s bad attitudes toward truckers, and the never ending rules that allow cars to do whatever they wish.

Then there are the trucks who are leashed and restrained to specific lanes and slower speeds. We have People flashing their bright lights in our face when we’re looking in the rear-view west coast mirror, and putting up with unfriendly wait staff in our restaurants, diners and truck stops.

The list is just too long.

Most of us are out here feeling like we are alone most days. We carry all this on our shoulders and then, we as truckers, seem to take it out on each other. With that being said, I know there are a lot of bad drivers out here. They are, at no fault of their own, un-trained. They assume it’s like getting their drivers license for a car. Go forward, stay in my lanes, back up, good to go. – WRONG!

Then we have a lot of people driving trucks who are from other countries with different rules of driving etiquette than we were (hopefully) taught as new drivers and young adults. We become impatient and start to believe that everyone but ourselves can’t drive, everyone is an idiot, and they are all in the way.

We think out loud to ourselves: “What in the world is he doing, and how long is this going to take?” – or we shake our head saying, “This guy simply can’t back for nothing.” We never figure in that he has had a bad day, heard some bad news from home, or is sick. – We just figure he is just another dumb driver.

I’m here to tell you that while you think A) is an idiot, B) thinks you’re one, and then C) can’t believe what he sees from either one of ya. So take a breath, and have some patience. Big pots boil slow and little pots boil fast. Let the other guy get all ruffled and let his blood pressure rise. It is his right to be rude, hateful and hostile like a child who has not yet learned to control himself. It is your choice to stay calm, cool and in control. I’m not saying it is easy. Being mean and nasty is a very easy thing but being in control, keeping an even keel, and giving a guy the benefit is a lot harder for sure.

It is something I wrestle with each and every day. But on those days that I keep myself in check, I do feel better and actually enjoy my job. You know the old saying, “It’s just water off a duck’s back?” Be strong, stay in control of your attitude and your day.

I know it’s hard. If it were easy, we would all be humming a tune and letting everyone go first and waving hello.

We would never meet a stranger. It takes character and is a strength not a weakness.

Have a great day!

Trucking is not just a profession, it’s a way of life.