Sunday, May 15, 2011

Assumed understanding

As I mentioned earlier, we have to revisit my past – so you can understand how I got here. You all ready know – I drove a cab and I’m currently a Software Consultant… but I have also worked in the transportation industry (not just as a cab driver). I have been a Data Analyst, Shipping Supervisor, and Night Operations Manager in a distribution environment.  I’m not coming into the Trucker in Training program completely green.

Plus, I’m an inquiring mind – I ask a lot of questions. I used to go to work with my Dad. He drove a truck for Coca-Cola from the time I was 8 years old - literally till the day he passed away. I would ask things about “Why can’t you drive on the Southern State?” and “Why don’t you use the clutch when you get out of 1st gear?” Plus, I’d get to change the gears, lift or latch up the tailgate and roll CO2 tanks into fast food joints. My Dad also used to drive a tow-truck on the weekends, part-time and I would get to sit on his lap to help him back it up to a car and get to work the levers and crawl under the car to help hook up the “J-Hooks”. My grandfather owned a land clearing business in Bay Shore. I used to ride with Daddy when he’d take the bulldozer out or drove one of Pop Pop’s dump trucks, too. I told you – I was the only son my father raised.

Not only do I ask questions – I listen. When the drivers that I used to supervise would walk in telling their “war stories”, I would pay attention. I tend to learn a lot of things the hard way – but I am a true believer in paying attention to other’s trials as to not reinvent the wheel when deemed unnecessary.

I know what a 5th wheel is, landing gear and the difference between a van (53 foot trailer) and a pup (24 foot trailer). I know the difference between pallet loaded and floor loaded. I can read a log book. I know a parkway is for cars and an expressway is truck friendly.  So, some of this stuff will be review for me.  I’m studying now to understand air brakes and weight regulations.  Most of my studying is just a brush-up though.

 Aboy is not the most patient teacher.  I am probably an annoying student. It makes for some pretty colorful dialogue when I’m asking 20 questions and he’s trying to concentrate on the task at hand.  If he was a little more forthcoming about what he was doing – prior to doing it, I could watch and learn. But, for some reason – he feels the need to keep things a surprise and I have the need to aggravate the shit out of him until he tells me what he’s trying to accomplish.

Me: “Why don’t you pull up and do a U-turn?”
Aboy: “Shut it up Boo, all right?”

Me: “Why don’t you back it in – wouldn’t it be easier to get it out?”
Aboy: “Shut it up Boo, all right?”

Me: “I think you should put another strap on there – it looks like it’s going to shift while we’re driving.”
Aboy: “Shut it up Boo, all right?”

So as you can see, the educational exchange is not conducive to learning. I’m probably going to have to back into some shit before he tells me the right way to do things. Call me psychic – but that’s my prediction.

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