EDITOR’S NOTE: She Says is a personal commentary by women truck drivers. This week’s is by Maggie Stone Riessen, an independent owner-operator since 1992. She hauls livestock, (pigs and cattle) for her company, MissFit Trucking. Riessen is also the 2014 Overdrive’s Most Beautiful winner.
In this industry, things change over the years and some of us find it hard to adapt or understand the new people and the new ways of thinking. Here are five things that bug me and I just can’t understand why people do them.
- People who flash their bright lights to motion me to come over. Yes, it’s a nice gesture but, it doesn’t work! Flashing lights at me blinds me. If you can shut your lights off for a second, then I would rather you not do it all.
- People who park on the fuel island who are not getting fuel. Umm, hello? I shouldn’t have to ask for help finding the trucker hogging the fuel island so I can get my fuel and get out. Remember, try to practice kindness and be thoughtful toward others. Park at the fuel island to get fuel; not to shower, shop for food and flirt with the girls. There are some of us that have to get going. Go park in a parking place.
- Rude people. I don’t tolerate rude people and I am not rude to others. Try some manners such as holding doors, saying please and thank you to your servers and to the fuel desk attendants. Even if they are being rude, it’s no excuse! I am not from the ALL ABOUT ME generation. I like to help others. I donate my time to a charity that helps needy truckers during the Christmas holidays.
- Thieves. I had a guy walk up and try and steal my toolbox while I was under my truck putting in rear end oil. I will not tolerate this! I know they think that I am a girl and I shouldn’t have a toolbox full of tools that can rebuild my truck. However, I need my tools! Needless to say, he didn’t get far with my box.
- Last, but not least, I hate trucking stereotypes. I hate the fact that people outside the industry think truckers are the scum of the earth. I grew up in a trucking family. My family always dressed nice, kept their trucks maintained and washed and were always courteous and helpful to others. I haul livestock and yes, I get dirty. And yet, I still take care of myself, and my truck. I have people look around my truck and ask, “Where is the driver?” When I say, “It’s me,” they can’t believe it. They smile and ask, “How does a lil’ thing like you, drive that big truck?” “Very carefully,” I say with a laugh. I know there are still a few of you out there that take pride in yourself and take pride in your truck. I know we are away from our families and we live in a tiny 10 foot box, but you know what? We are the kings and queens of the highways. We move America. So, I say, take pride in that!
Have a great day and keep the sunny side up!
Use the comments below to tell us your pet peeves.