Don’t Let the Little Things Bother You….Just Roll On

In the past few months that I’ve been driving, I’ve learned one major thing. Trucking can destroy you if you let it. Truck driving can make you very bitter and angry. Trucking can raise your blood pressure and be extremely stressful. Truck driving is filled with unexpected problems, rude people, a total lack of respect for what you do and sacrifice everyday just so the guy who cut you off can get his iPod at Walmart a few bucks cheaper. Truck driving can literally drive you to madness….if you let it.

Just Let It Ride

I hear some of these truck drivers screaming over the CB because somebody cut them off or some other truck driver isn’t driving “fast enough.” I see my trainer get furious when a shipper or receiver treats him like crap or part of our load gets refused. He hates being disrespected. I look at some of these drivers at truck stops who look like they’ve been pulling their hair out all day. I hear the anger in drivers voices after a long day on the road. Some of them even try to seek out a fight. It doesn’t have to be this way.

For some reason, many people are not able to let the little things roll off their backs. Now, I’ll be the first to admit that when I’m driving through, say, New Jersey, and I’ve been cut off for the 6th time in 4 miles, it gets aggravating. But in the grand scheme of things, does it really affect my life that much? Just roll on! If somebody gives me the finger because I blocked up the passing lane for a minute, does that persons opinion of me really matter? Just roll on! If a shipper or receiver seems to be bossing me around and shows a lack of respect, do I really think they will matter to me 24hrs later? Just roll on! If a tire goes flat on me, isn’t it something I expected to happen at some point? Just roll on! Well, after I get the tire replaced of course.

You can not be sensitive in this career. You can not let the little things bother you. I see so many people get so worked up over the smallest things. It makes me wonder how they’d deal with something major that happens in their life. My main rule of thumb; if it won’t affect my life tomorrow, why get worked up about it? We all have our bad days, and it’s ok to get mad when somebody does something stupid, but for the most part, just let it be! I’ve found the happiest drivers out on the road have the mentality of “whatever happens, happens.” Truck driving is a job where you must live in the moment, and quickly forget the past. Just because you’re having an enjoyable drive right now, doesn’t mean you won’t blow a tire in 5 minutes. And if you do blow a tire, you have to be ok with that. Just part of the job. It’s going to happen. There really is no way around it. So when it does happen, don’t get upset! Just breathe, calm down, and chalk it up to the adventures in truck driving. If somebody cuts you off or is driving like an idiot, you shouldn’t even let it bother you in the first place. But if you must, curse and swear at the dumb driver, then forget about it! It already happened and it’s over and done with. Just roll on!

Advice For New Drivers

For those who are thinking about entering truck driving, I’m here to tell you, if you can’t let things happen as they happen, you’ll never survive this life. You can’t really plan anything out here. You can plan ahead the best you can, but very rarely does anything in truck driving actually go to plan. There is an endless list of things that can happen, but here’s one example. Let’s say you start your trip at noon. You decide you’ll drive until 8pm then grab a much needed shower since you haven’t had one in two days and you feel like crap. After 8 hours of driving, the only thing on your mind is the great feeling of a hot shower. Your head is itchy, you feel dirty, your face feels greasy, your hands have leftover spilled deisel fuel on them, you need a change of clothes, and you just want to feel clean once again! You pull into the only truck stop within 100 miles or so, go in to grab a shower, and see the wait time is 30 minutes. Ok, no big deal. You wait, and wait, and wait for your number to be called, but it never comes. An hour later, you discover the truck stop is having a plumbing issue and nobody told you. The showers are closed. You’re not getting a shower tonight. How would you deal with this? It’s a true story and it happened to me.  continue to page 2 –>

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~ by truckermike on June 17, 2009.

2 Responses to “Don’t Let the Little Things Bother You….Just Roll On”

  1. Great advice, Mike! It’s great for someone like me who just decided in the last four or so weeks to become a truck driver and hasn’t even started my training yet to know what I can expect in the coming months and years.

    I’m one of those that likes to know what to expect, which is why I’ve spent a lot of time here reading as much as my time and slow reading ability allow me to over these weeks. It’s kind of strange, but very interesting, that just knowing that what I can expect is to not know what to expect is all I need. I guess having a mind that’s wired in a kind of twisted way means I’ve got one of the main requirements to be a truck driver, right???? LOL

    Anyway, moving right along. The advice about handling some of the unpleasant situations and people in life is great for anyone, not just truckers. As a teenager, I’d lose it often and in ways that got me in a lot of trouble, and sometimes I did things that to this day I wish to God I hadn’t and I’d give a lot to be able and go back and undo. At one point, I found myself in a place where going off on someone physically was going to get me a quick ride into a few years in the kid equivalent of prison. One of the things I learned real fast, and which is why I’m where I’m at in life now, is that 99.99999% of the time the thing that had me furious at the moment I wouldn’t even be able to remember in a year. Those few that I’d even remember weren’t going to have any impact at all on how my life was a year later though. So I started asking myself, why do something now that will result in me both remembering this in a year and having how I reacted make my life a year later worse? In the 31 years since I first started looking at it this way, there are perhaps two or three that I’ve even remembered a year later and, at best, one that may have made any difference in my life in the years since. Even that one, if I had reacted, didn’t have as much negative impact on my life as my reaction would have. I am big on having control and I learned that allowing the things other people do and say to effect me puts them in control of me and how I feel and there is no way on earth I’m going to give someone else that kind of power over me. Why let someone else have the power to cause you to develop high blood pressure, get ulcers, die younger and suffer more while you’re here?

    Okay, I just used a lot of words to say what you said in a few. Good job and thanks, Mike!

    P.S. Just remembered one of my favorite quotes…..”God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the ones I can and the wisdom to know the difference.” That was St. Francis of Assisi and some of the best words any man has ever uttered.

  2. Hi Paul,

    Thanks for such an awesome reply! I’m glad my blog is helping you and I wish you the absolute best of luck. Please, feel free to email me anytime personally if there are any questions I can answer for you. If I don’t know the answer, I’ll either try to find it or will simply tell you I don’t know. But either way, it never hurts to ask questions. It’s good that you’re doing research on this before jumping in. I’m sure glad I did. Some of these people jump right in not really knowing what they were getting into. Those are the ones who have the hardest time adjusting to this life.

    Anyway, only 6k more miles and I’m on my own! It’s been a long 3 months / 54,000 miles but I’m almost there.

    Mike

    TruckerMike@TruckingTruth.com

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