Wednesday, February 20, 2013

6 lane street.  Goes through Mesa and Chandler.  Turns back into 2 lane highway on either end, going into Indian Reservation on either end.  Highway 87, otherwise known as Country Club Drive in Mesa or Arizona Avenue in Chandler.
Northbound, center lane.  Nothing in front of me, car to the right of me. A van comes flying up to the car to the right of me, what's he going to do, smash into that car?  No, the fleeting thought came to me, he's going to cut you off.
I look to my left, see the lane is clear just in time to have this jackass, who had to slow down considerably to avoid rear-ending the car in front of him, cuts directly in front of me.  If there was 5 feet between he rear bumper and my front bumper, that would be over-exaggerating the distance.  He is going 10 miles an hour slower than I am as well since he had to slam on his brakes to avoid contact with car in front of him, so now, I am forced to jack the truck over into the other lane.

This guy has the audacity to call my company and tell them I am driving aggressively, in and out of traffic, speeding, etc etc etc.  When my manager called me and told me this idiot had told our operations manager that and that the ops manager had come unglued, I blew a fuse.  I drive for the company for 7 years and all of a sudden one ass**** calls my company and they think I am doing what this idiot says I am?!!!

If I were driving like that every day, there would be a few outcomes: first it's illegal, at least in a semi.  Cops can write you up a ticket for "bobbing and weaving", as the action is coined. Second, probably get a speeding ticket and third: probably would have rear-ended someone by now.  Good thing the ops manager didn't talk to me directly about it, cause' I wouldn't have held back my ire for a company that gives me a safe driver award and then wants to question how I am driving out there.

Whatever.  That stuff happens all day long - but this one was a very close call and could have easily ended in a rear-end collision if I hadn't been prepared for it.

But I gotta say, the thing that really irritates me in all of this is the Ops Manager who instantly believes every word this idiot is speaking to him on the phone, doesn't give me a slice worth of the benefit of a doubt, comes to our branch and starts cranking to my immediate manager about it.  Doesn't even want to hear my side of the issue before making judgments and conclusions.  That's just plain bull****.  If people were calling in every day complaining about my driving then I could see it.  The last time anyone called in was a woman that claimed I had cut her off.  That alleged incident "took place" immediately before I got back to the shop and as much as I strained my head, since it had just allegedly occurred, I couldn't remember cutting anyone off or even seeing the vehicle that my manager said I had done it to.

And here's the jist of the story: a person can call a trucking company and report a truck - it's got it's name, DOT number and truck number on it - and make whatever kinds of statements they want to.  They can make up fairy tales and people often do.  I have talked to people that say they have called a trucking company and made a bogus claim about a driver just for the "fun" of it.  It's done with impunity, there is nothing I as a driver can do to "retaliate", such as in the case of this freak yesterday.  I can't call his company and complain that he almost caused an accident, was jibbering on the cellphone and gave me a s*** eating smile when I passed by him, obviously knowing what he had done and could have cared less.

So, live with it?  Perhaps the driver that made the bogus comments, yes. But not the Ops manager jumping to conclusions without even giving me a chance to say anything.  That causes me to lose all respect for that man.




7 comments:

  1. You definitely need a dash camera in your truck, Ben! They're worth their weight in gold.

    We have one in our car and as soon as it detects motion, it starts recording.

    Even we are stunned at the antics of some drivers in our neck of the woods. Those drivers should never be allowed to breed.

    Cheers

    Lynne
    Western Australia

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  2. I think Lynne has a great idea. I don't know how much they cost, but it could save you a lot of grief, and maybe even your job someday.

    S

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  3. Yes, it's a great idea and one of the first thoughts that came to mind when I was hearing about it. But if they won't foot the bill for it, I am not going to pay for it. I had thought this new system that they are installing was going to come with a camera, but it's not, unfortunately. I have had my camera on the dash in the past and once caught a woman cutting me off and then attempting to stop me in traffic because she for some reason thought that I had hit her?!!

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  4. The dash cam is for YOUR protection and benefit, not the company. They can probably replace you without cause any time they want to, and could likely find 3 more drivers before you could find one more job.

    There was a nutty Polish truck driver online awhile who had three (or maybe more) cams streaming, including ones looking back at his 4 o'clock and 8 o'clock positions as well as out the windshield.

    So, maybe you might want to rethink your position on paying for one yourself. It could make a huge difference when something like this happens again. f

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  5. Well I was resisting the idea of paying for it myself, but a look on Ebay shows them going relatively cheap. One of them has one of those suction things that attaches it directly to the windshield. I completely understand that having such is protecting myself, well actually myself AND the company if someone decides to engage in such things as intentional rear end collisions to attempt to get insurance money from the company.
    As far as replacing me, that is of course an easy enough proposition, if you can find qualified drivers (note I said qualified as in experienced, not "whatever's out there that's available"). Further, our company doesn't have just drivers, we have to know or be willing to learn warehousing, counter sales and a myriad of other things. We also have to learn all of the product and be able to identify everything on what is usually a rather large ticket for the contractors at the sites who often times want to go over everything. When considering replacing a driver in our division, that new driver would have a lot to learn and would spend a long time in learning all of it. Whatever the case, I intend on bringing up dash cameras to upper - local - management and see what kind of response I get.

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