Jerks At Truck Stops

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The Dude's Comment
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I'm not very good at backing. I'm in training and I haven't backed nearly as much as I wish I would have yet. While I'm happy with my ability as far as all of the other aspects of driving a truck, the backing is below average at best.

So I'm at a TA today, a really tight and small one, trying to back into a truck stop hole for the third time I've ever tried to do that and I'm really struggling. My trainer is stressing me out by trying to over-instruct me instead of letting me feel it out, there's trucks waiting to get by as I'm blocking the aisle, there's guys sitting in their cabs laughing at me... all of the normal things that add to the stress level in that situation.

But then I notice something more. There's a guy in a Trans Am truck directly in front of me recording me on his phone while laughing. I am now mad as a snake. I finally do get into the hole and I get out of my truck and go over to his and lose my mind.

I know that wasn't the right reaction and actually a very dangerous one and if I took five minutes to cool down I probably would have reacted differently.

Video taping someone who is clearly new to backing as they struggle trying to back though? Seriously? You have to be quite an inconsiderate jerkoff to do that. But it's not just that guy, it's all of the other guys sitting there laughing at me too. Watching someone who is new to something go through the very frustrating struggles as they try to learn is apparently entertainment. I wonder what could be so wrong in someone's life that another person's demise makes them happy.

Enough ranting, but for anyone who likes to laugh at new drivers while they're practicing, just remember they're trying their best, you're not helping, and you're probably bringing bad karma your way.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
Best Answer!

I have a different take on this than most and it comes from my dad. I agree with Frank wholeheartedly:

Dude, when I read the post the first thing that popped into my mind was: going into the middle of the lane (after finally getting in the hole) and taking a huge, very demonstrative, bow. Thus saluting all the onlookers and acknowledging that I am well above their level by being able to laugh at myself...and that I succeeded without any of there "ass"istance.

That's exactly the kind of thing I would have done...cracking up laughing the entire time too. Here's why....

Now my dad (and all of my elders) were blue collar guys all the way. My dad worked in a steel mill for 18 years. Almost everyone in my extended family was in the auto factories, steel mills, laying bricks, or some other form of tough blue collar labor. Now my dad was the kindest person you'll ever meet in your life. But one thing he always taught us growing up was never let someone know if something bothers you. Otherwise you're in for a world of hurt.

My dad would tease you to tears if he knew something bothered you. He was relentless. But that's just how blue collar guys have always been. They're ruffians! They want to see if you're tough enough to hang with them or if you'll go crying to your mom if someone calls you a name. Athletes are the same way. I grew up in sports and whether you're talking little league, high school, or the NFL (I'm told) you're going to catch holy h*ll if you let the guys in the locker room know something bothers you.

So the solution was always simple....laugh along with em! I mean, hey....if you're brand new at something and you look like an idiot doing it then that's going to be funny to people who are good at it, right? If you jackknife your trailer trying to do a straight-line back, people are gonna crack up laughing! If you spend 20 minutes going in various directions, none of which are getting you any closer to the spot you're trying to back into, that's going to be funny!

But why is it funny? Because the people laughing remember quite well how it feels to be that guy and they're sooooo delighted it's your turn to take the relentless teasing now. They've handed off the "rookie ball" to you and now it's your turn to run with it and you're going to take a beating. That's life. That's how it goes.

No one is more endearing than someone who can laugh at themselves. Why is that? Because if a person is able to understand that sometimes we all look silly and they're willing to tolerate their own flaws then they'll likely tolerate ours too without going berserk. Not only that, but the confidence you display by being secure with your own fatal flaws is also comforting. It's hard to be confident in someone who isn't confident in themselves.

So I say if you've done something to make people laugh then enjoy the fact that you've made their day better. Also enjoy the fact that you have the courage to take on difficult challenges and the character to take the heat for it when you look silly. I was taught you have to "man up" (and that goes for the ladies too) and take a little ribbing when you deserve it. Sometimes they might just strike a nerve and it's incredibly embarrassing. But for the love of God and all that is holy do not let people know that. Just let out a big hearty laugh and enjoy your status as a fatally flawed human being right along with em.

Oh....and one last thing. No one is less endearing than someone who can dish it out but can't take it. If you're that type you're going to catch holy h*ll when people figure that out, and it won't be long. Because as fun as it is to tease someone who can take it, it's 10 times funnier teasing someone who can't, and 1000 times funnier teasing someone who will dish it out but can't take it.

So play your cards wisely. You're going to look like an idiot sometimes. We all do. How you handle it is going to tell people a lot about your character.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

David D.'s Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

I'm not very good at backing. I'm in training and I haven't backed nearly as much as I wish I would have yet. While I'm happy with my ability as far as all of the other aspects of driving a truck, the backing is below average at best.

So I'm at a TA today, a really tight and small one, trying to back into a truck stop hole for the third time I've ever tried to do that and I'm really struggling. My trainer is stressing me out by trying to over-instruct me instead of letting me feel it out, there's trucks waiting to get by as I'm blocking the aisle, there's guys sitting in their cabs laughing at me... all of the normal things that add to the stress level in that situation.

But then I notice something more. There's a guy in a Trans Am truck directly in front of me recording me on his phone while laughing. I am now mad as a snake. I finally do get into the hole and I get out of my truck and go over to his and lose my mind.

I know that wasn't the right reaction and actually a very dangerous one and if I took five minutes to cool down I probably would have reacted differently.

Video taping someone who is clearly new to backing as they struggle trying to back though? Seriously? You have to be quite an inconsiderate jerkoff to do that. But it's not just that guy, it's all of the other guys sitting there laughing at me too. Watching someone who is new to something go through the very frustrating struggles as they try to learn is apparently entertainment. I wonder what could be so wrong in someone's life that another person's demise makes them happy.

Enough ranting, but for anyone who likes to laugh at new drivers while they're practicing, just remember they're trying their best, you're not helping, and you're probably bringing bad karma your way.

Speaking as someone who has been laughed at, ridiculed, mocked, and criticized most of my life, let me just point out that we all are entering a fraternity of brothers and sisters that has very low entrance requirements but once we get in, we have to pay our dues. Not just to the companies that don't pay us as wel as the experienced guys, but to the brothers themselves who are bound to see us in a nostalgic and funny way, remembering their early days. I think it is fair to expect a little hazing. It really helps to develop an attitude that can look at your troubles from another perspective. Don't take yourself so seriously. You will last a lot longer and be happier if you can see the humor in your own foibles. Thicken up your skin, suck it up and learn some humility. It's hard not to be prideful but, face it, you barely know your ass from a 10-oz steak at this point. You are funny to watch sometimes! Laugh along with them. I think the dramatic bow suggested by somebody else here would have given that guy's video an nice finishing touch. You might have even ended up a little famous! Best wishes and good luck to you. It only gets easier from here!

Old School's Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

Backing the truck is one of the hardest things for the rookies. My trainer used to tell me that he thought he could teach a monkey to drive a truck down the interstate , but it takes a talented human being to back the truck in to a tight spot. I watched a rookie last night in Florence, KY having a heck of a time getting his truck into a wide open spot - four open spots together, and he was still having trouble getting it in there where he wanted it, even with his trainer outside showing him which way to turn the wheel.

I agree with you guys about sometimes it is just better for the trainer to leave you alone and let you figure it out - that way the lesson starts to take shape in your mind and muscles so that you actually realize what is happening to the trailer as you do certain things at the wheel. We've all heard that saying that boys will be boys - and well, I guess truck drivers will be truck drivers - many of them are cruel to new drivers, but you just have to get past it and try to be a more helpful driver once you've gotten the hang of things.

I'll tell you another thing about backing - few ever master it. Once you've gotten really good at it, you will humble yourself one night without being able to get the crazy trailer to do anything like what you are wanting it to do.

Brett wrote a comical article about backing one time where he referred to it as Clown Soup For The Soul.

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Justin N.'s Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

You are going to make dumb looking mistakes for years and years to come every now and then, and someone is always going to be watching when you do so you got to make the best of it. I still look dumb backing sometimes and that is after a year of practice backing into places ten times a day sometimes.

At a receiver one time the gate guard told me to back up to the parking lot until he was ready to let me in. I was still in training so what should have been a simple maneuver I instead had to get out and contemplate for a few minutes before trying. During that time the guard gets out and starts throwing his hands up in frustration at me with a wtf look on his face. I just went and explained to him I was still new and if he did not want to lose his fence around the parking lot he was going to have to wait.

He started laughing and said Okay No Problem Then. Afterwards though when I was finally heading for the dock unload all the yard workers were gathered around to watch the show. It took me a couple tries but I finally got it pretty good and they all started clapping.

If you show them you can keep cool while they are laughing then they will give you a lot of respect as a rookie. If you lose it then that is just going to encourage them to laugh even more.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!
Bullies won't stop until people stand up to them

I meant to address that. What makes a bully stop is showing them you're unaffected by anything they say. Now I'm not talking about physical threats. In a schoolyard you may not have that opportunity if they're coming at you with fists in the air. But we're talking about words here only, not physical threats. In that case the very best defense against verbal bullies is to laugh along with them and try to enjoy it. Heck, encourage em with more opportunities! Point out things they forgot to tease you about and laugh along with it!

If teasing you doesn't bother you it takes almost all of the fun out of it. And that's why they're doing it - to laugh at you when you get mad over nothing.

In general, the best way to disarm someone is to remain unaffected by their attempts to manipulate you, or take it a step further and make sure they get the opposite of what they're gunning for. If they want sympathy, give them apathy. If they want to instill fear in you, show them courage. If they're trying to make you mad, laugh along with them. Giving someone the opposite result of what they're going for is often the best way to get them to quit trying. I mean, what's the point of doing something if it's not working, right? Figure out what they're going for and give them the opposite. That's the best way to reduce or eliminate that behavior.

I even use that principle to train my dog or make the other animals easier to work with. For instance, when I first got my dog he would nose around the kitchen looking for food when he could smell it. Well I naturally wouldn't give him anything and instead I'd send him about six feet away and make him sit there quietly watching me. After a few minutes if he sat there quietly I'd give him a treat. It didn't take long for him to figure out that if he wants something from me he should come over and sit a few feet away patiently while I figure out what he's asking for and give it to him. Otherwise he gets nothing. That applies when he's hungry, when he wants to go outside, or even when he wants to play. He doesn't come over and start pushing me around or trying to take things from me. That has never worked once for him. Instead he sits quietly and responds when I say the word he's looking for which is usually "outside" or "hungry".

So what's the sense in doing something if it won't produce the results you're looking for, right? Exactly. So if teasing someone is fun because it makes them angry then make sure you laugh and enjoy it when it's aimed at you. Otherwise it's always going to be aimed at you!

smile.gif

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Lilysmomma's Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

Don't ever forget this... They were at one time in your shoes... Obviously they have forgotten.. Just write them off as a rude and useless human being... You are a good person and don't deserve treatment like that.. Just shrug it off and make this just a learning tool to help you become the best driver out there!! You go guy!! Don't get discouraged and ''Keep on Truckin'" !!! good-luck.gif

I'm not very good at backing. I'm in training and I haven't backed nearly as much as I wish I would have yet. While I'm happy with my ability as far as all of the other aspects of driving a truck, the backing is below average at best.

So I'm at a TA today, a really tight and small one, trying to back into a truck stop hole for the third time I've ever tried to do that and I'm really struggling. My trainer is stressing me out by trying to over-instruct me instead of letting me feel it out, there's trucks waiting to get by as I'm blocking the aisle, there's guys sitting in their cabs laughing at me... all of the normal things that add to the stress level in that situation.

But then I notice something more. There's a guy in a Trans Am truck directly in front of me recording me on his phone while laughing. I am now mad as a snake. I finally do get into the hole and I get out of my truck and go over to his and lose my mind.

I know that wasn't the right reaction and actually a very dangerous one and if I took five minutes to cool down I probably would have reacted differently.

Video taping someone who is clearly new to backing as they struggle trying to back though? Seriously? You have to be quite an inconsiderate jerkoff to do that. But it's not just that guy, it's all of the other guys sitting there laughing at me too. Watching someone who is new to something go through the very frustrating struggles as they try to learn is apparently entertainment. I wonder what could be so wrong in someone's life that another person's demise makes them happy.

Enough ranting, but for anyone who likes to laugh at new drivers while they're practicing, just remember they're trying their best, you're not helping, and you're probably bringing bad karma your way.

Ken C.'s Comment
member avatar

It's sad just how many *******s there are in trucking and what some of them need is a good beating so they can be reminded of what it's like to be new plus struggling with a backing maneuver....Don't let them bother you, take your time

Ken C.

David's Comment
member avatar

The way i see it, f*** em.they ain't worth it. Coming back into trucking, I can't back to fave my live, use to be I could put a trailer any place.. I constantly see drivers taking creep on the cb. Don't sweat it. Get it in safe. Don't rush because they are rushing you.

Anchorman's Comment
member avatar
My trainer is stressing me out by trying to over-instruct me instead of letting me feel it out...

I had this same issue when I first started out. My trainer realized that I did better when he let me feel it out for myself.

PanamaExpat's Comment
member avatar

Well... Did you ever consider it from this point of view? Perhaps... and I say perhaps... They were just sitting there chuckling and remembering when they were in the same shoes you are wearing now. If it were me and I was watching I would be remembering that once I was doing the exact same thing. This applies to any learned skill in life not just backing your truck.

Chiefmac's Comment
member avatar

Dude, when I read the post the first thing that popped into my mind was: going into the middle of the lane (after finally getting in the hole) and taking a huge, very demonstrative, bow. Thus saluting all the onlookers and acknowledging that I am well above their level by being able to laugh at myself...and that I succeeded without any of there "ass"istance.

My time is coming and I am going to keep this well in mind.

Stay safe and don't let anyone get to you.

My dad used to say, "it's none of my business what people think of me."
Sandman's Comment
member avatar

Well... Did you ever consider it from this point of view? Perhaps... and I say perhaps... They were just sitting there chuckling and remembering when they were in the same shoes you are wearing now. If it were me and I was watching I would be remembering that once I was doing the exact same thing. This applies to any learned skill in life not just backing your truck.

No. Its really simple they were being a d bag. There are a lot of them. Somehow as if they have so much skill... don't worry (The dude) you will see one of them morons backed into another truck. With their oh so great skills. Just take your time and back it in safe. At least you will be able to say you didn't back into somones trailer or truck.

The Dude's Comment
member avatar

Well... Did you ever consider it from this point of view? Perhaps... and I say perhaps... They were just sitting there chuckling and remembering when they were in the same shoes you are wearing now. If it were me and I was watching I would be remembering that once I was doing the exact same thing. This applies to any learned skill in life not just backing your truck.

Oh for sure, I'm sure that's exactly what some other drivers think when they see a newbie struggling. Phone recorder guy though, I think his intention was to go on YouTube tonight to post up "WATCH PRIME BACK LOL ".

Steve L.'s Comment
member avatar

Dude, when I read the post the first thing that popped into my mind was: going into the middle of the lane (after finally getting in the hole) and taking a huge, very demonstrative, bow. Thus saluting all the onlookers and acknowledging that I am well above their level by being able to laugh at myself...and that I succeeded without any of there "ass"istance.

My time is coming and I am going to keep this well in mind.

Stay safe and don't let anyone get to you.

double-quotes-start.png

My dad used to say, "it's none of my business what people think of me."

double-quotes-end.png

I agree. I was thinking I'd do the same thing. Remember; you don't get fired for holding up other truckers. Those guys don't sign your paychecks. Be like "The Dude" and shake it off. Easy for us to say. Thanks for sharing Dude, 'cause now we can keep it in mind when we're as stressed out as you were.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
PJ's Comment
member avatar

I fully agree with the others. Those d bag's can go screw themselves. NEVER let that stuff get to you. There are alot of great drivers out here, and alot of A holes. Shake it off. Congrats on getting it in safe

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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