I’m not online much this week, but I just popped by briefly to send an email and thought to write this..
Folks who pop by this blog know of this blogs hindrance and help Gabsatrucker.
If you’ve followed any of her exploits on her BLOG or even followed her on Twitter then you won’t be surprised at the news that she’s hanging up her keys.
If you didn’t know, Gabby (all 2ft 1 inch of her), someone I often berate on twitter as a ”Fk’in Leprechaun” ;-) is both a full and half marathon runner, mountain biker, a total geek, a discerning footwear addict and Big Rig trucker..
But for two years solid, she’s been through the ringer with her company, no – nothing she’s done. Basically it’s down to company operations.
She has been hit persistently with mechanical breakdowns, stranded for days in the middle of nowhere, endured temps over 105 f for days on end without a working AC unit, had her personal life totally screwed up, been diverted from her normal dedicated route and sent all over the USA without time to return home for anything and then, besides the grosse daily barrage of sexism, sexual harassment, innuendo and sometimes even fear for her own safety - she was hit with a 20% pay cut…
Yet throughout all this, she has remained professional, courteous and has taken pride in getting her job done and on time. Often to be left on the Mexican border for days waiting for a return load with nothing to do but be left sitting a sauna of a truck and her only security – her small dog Elsie.
Now just to explain to our Brit drivers; as you know, by law we are paid by the hour – a rule that came in with the Tachograph and now Digital Tachograph. The reason being is that to pay someone by the mile increases the likelihood of speeding and rule breaking. Well over in the US, they haven’t quite worked that out yet as they bring in what is widely termed as “E-Logs”.
As such, if you ain’t rolling – you ain’t getting paid…
Yeah, I know – that would cause out right rebellion here… but it’s the way they do things at the moment and that’s that.
So, while suffering the southern Texas heat with a persistently broken, repaired, broken air conditioning and having to simply sit in a truck and wait – it’s not rocket science that this has been detrimental to both her will, health and her stress level (not what you want truckers suffering really). Furthermore, it’s a situation that has been getting much, much worse.
New Dispatchers have made things worse too, trying to talk her out of medical appointments, races, time off – all to get their little (I go home at 5) work done.
Then add the loss of her father and various other personal actions these last few months and you get the picture.
Finally, she found the straw that would break the camels back, and instead of her much needed weekend at home last week, she found herself in sub-zero temps, in snow storms in Rochdale, NY… on the Canadian border – where they have a “No Idle” law… so she wasn’t allowed to heat her truck up to stay warm.
When given the job down in the Laredo, she finally handed in her notice… They still sent her on the run and as this is written, Gabby is sitting on the Mexican border with a return load to home – but has to sit there one final time for 35 hours… as her working hours have run out.
After over 10 years loyal service to her company… this is their final note
It is however fair to say, that most trucking companies (no matter which country you’re in) are backward in standards that are seen as normal in any other industry – this is especially in treatment, support and duty of care to staff and Drivers… They most certainly never realise the people who make them look good.
As for Gabby’s future? Well, retraining and study in Business Management or E-Commerce Consultancy are well and truly on the cards. Whether she takes the certification route or a MBA degree route is to be seen… But she tells me she’d like to study this in the UK, failing this Austin or Toronto are high on the list.
Living proof that most drivers (contrary to popular belief) are a fairly bright bunch. Heck, with friends like Dr. Sue Black who is listed as the 5th most influential woman in the world of technology… I think she’ll do just fine. That said, the support for her actions across the net has been staggering, as too, the huge amount of people who follow her on twitter – whom by all accounts are a rock solid bunch of people!!
So in three days time, the Fat Lady, will most certainly be singing :-)
I would have contemplated a trip over to have a pint down the pub with my newly labelled “bloody lay-about” buddy – but I don’t think they have pubs :-( Yer see, shoulda stayed British :p