Camaraderie - Where is it?

by Karen
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I remember hearing truck driver's talk about the camaraderie among themselves. It seems like years ago. Oh yeah, it was! How they used to wave when passing by. Some still do, but the young "bucks" (newbies) haven't gotten the teachings from the "old timers" that have been around the block a few times.

Camaraderie among drivers is a sacred thing. There's a trust and a bond between them while on the road and I believe that it should not die off. But what I'm seeing, since there's so many new drivers now (only in it for the money – LOL), is that "dying off" is what's happening.

They used to make cordial conversation on the CB's, but since I've been with Earl, when we turn up the CB up all I hear is silence. Sometimes we can hear some jackass bitching about one thing or another, or some youngster wanting to blast the radio into it. That happened the other night while we were traveling through New Mexico. Let me tell you, if I wanted to listen to that crap, I'd have it on the radio in our truck or I'd be in your truck with you.

It seems to me that each company driver (doesn't matter which company you choose to talk about) is only out on the road now to just go from one place to another without socializing. Take this for instance; Earl and I stopped at a Pilot in Jamestown, NM. I was walking into the place and was almost slammed by the door being opened by a driver that was coming out, who happened to be in a very angry mood for some reason. There's was no "excuse me" as he stormed out of the building and while he was in a rush he dropped something from his bag. I picked it up and handed it back to him. He almost took my hand off grabbing it out of my hand and again not a "thank you", "excuse me"; nothing. So with that I politely called him a not-so-nice name.What the hell? You men weren't raised with respect, or courtesy, to even acknowledge someone doing something nice for you? Damn! Earl explained to me that the camaraderie dying out among some drivers has been a long time coming. He's seeing it even more within the same company he drives for. There's cliques (groups) of drivers that only associate with a select few and won't give others the time of day, let alone a nod or a smile in acknowledgement, as well as the fact that it's takes an "act of Congress" for some drivers to acknowledge my presence in the room if Earl is talking with them. He explained to me it's because some truck drivers don't think women should be working in what used to be a man's world. Well, buck up good buddies, because we're here and we're staying, like it or not.

Even though I'm not a truck driver, I've observed women drivers being treated sh**y by male drivers. Well get used to it, dudes! Women aren't just to keep barefoot and pregnant, cooking meals, and cleaning house anymore. If you guys can place your butts behind a desk and do the "secretary thing", then women can handle a steering wheel and a gear shift. Earl tells me that there are a lot of great women truck drivers out there and from what I've observed, some of the women can put some of the men to shame.

I will be the first to admit that there are some truckers out there (men and women) that shouldn't even have a license, but I guess that's what "drive defensively" means - LOL! Also, to touch on the "waving" thing - What the hell is up with flashing gang signs as a wave to say hello while passing by? Man, have times changed or I'm just getting really old at the age of 52? Gang signs, and not dressing properly for your job with your pants hanging down around the crack of your butt or to your knees (yes I've seen young drivers with this kind of dress attire). Whatever happened to wearing the correct size clothing or maybe a belt? And how about some suspenders for those of you who think they need to wear small pants when their a large size man? I don't like looking at the "butt crack of dawn", and I know that some others out there don't either - it's gross, to say the least. If I wanted to see your underwear, I'd be doing your laundry.Get the hint? Pull your pants up! This is mainly directed at the young drivers. But the "old timers" need to step in and teach them a thing or two regarding camaraderie. This is a bond that shouldn't be broken, because all of you out there on the road only have each other to depend on for certain things.

If I've offended any one of you, then I must have touched on a nerve, because I know from experience that if someone was to tell me the God's Honest Truth where I'm concerned, and I get pissed off, it's because it is the truth and I need to look at what's wrong and change it. That's what my responsibility is for how I act or react in a world that is slowly falling apart where general connection, communication, or just plain camaraderie is concerned.

Now that I've made some of you look at something that is very much needed, and quite necessary - teaching and learning from each other - enjoy your career of choice, drive safely, and God Bless you all. My prayers are with each of you.

Sincerely, Karen Smith

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