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Shannon
I'm a slightly mad pagan trucker with an unhealthy obsession with yarn.
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Thursday, April 30, 2009

More Blog Fodder Inspired by @TruckerDesiree

Ooooo! I’m on a roll this week….two, count ‘em two, @TruckerDesiree inspired posts & in two days no less. *grin* If she’s good for nothing else, she does give me great fodder for my blog.

This one dealing with the hauling of hazardous materials & ‘lack of’ safe parking.

I’m sure most people pay no attention to the various little placards that go on the sides of trailers marking it as a hazmat load. But those on point squares can tell you a lot about what is in that trailer. Sometimes it’s something as common as household cleaners & bleach. While these particular items can cause an environmental hazard are fairly innocuous in the grand scheme of things once packaged for consumer use. Now in tanker trucks you get everything from gasoline to sulphuric acid. Which would have significant environmental impact if spilled. Box trailers also haul these bulk chemicals but just in smaller containers.

But it seems as though Desiree’s problem is who should or should not haul these items. Which after 9/11 the rules on this changed. It used to be anyone that held a CDL could get a hazardous materials endorsement. Ohhh the horrors in that thought. *insert large amount of sarcasm* But in these enlightened times if one wishes to haul these items you have to have your fingerprints taken & a background check run. You can find out more about it here. There is also company training that one must take as well. This does vary from company to company & whether or not you are pulling a tanker or certain kinds of items…ex. Dynamite. (oh yeah, even dynamite is moved by truck) But there are certain people convicted of certain crimes that are not eligible to haul these items.

Desiree would like to add to this list student drivers. I’m not sure how much experience she thinks one should have before hauling such things. Actually to a point I agree with her. I would take little comfort in knowing that there was a student driver fresh out of school hauling 44,000 lbs. of dynamite across the Hoover Dam coming at me (which you can no longer take a truck over the Hoover Dam, thank you Mr. Bin Laden, but you get my point). But the stuff she & most of the drivers at the company where she works do not haul these ‘more’ hazardous items. So with training in proper loading & load securing these items shouldn’t present much of a challenge. But to listen to her tell it, it’s nothing short of being mentally tortured to haul a HazMat load.

Now onto the ‘lack of’ safe parking. I have been trying to figure out what exactly is ‘safe’ parking?? Is it a pay to park lot?? Which by the way are a complete joke. If you look at the little ticket they give you it says they are not responsible for your safety or the safety of your vehicle. Then what’s the point of having a ‘secure’ lot? A well lighted lot??

But if you look at where most truck stops are located, they are in the worst areas of town. So where exactly are ‘safe’ places for Desiree to park?? How about at where she delivers?? Oh right, she’s on Wal-Mart dedicated & they don’t allow truck parking at their distribution centers. Even the ones that deliver there. (Only one of the myriad of reasons not to shop at Wal-Mart)

Does she think that bad things don’t happen in safe areas?? If so then she is sadly mistaken. Bad things happen everywhere. And if a driver is ‘forced’ into parking somewhere ’unsafe’, then that is no ones fault but their own. A little thing called trip planning is a drivers best friend. They even have these nifty truck stop guides that let you know where even the smallest of truck stops are located. Even the ones in the middle of BFE. I do agree that in certain areas of the country there are less available parking areas, the north east being one. But once again with a little trip planning this can be remedied.

I know what I’m saying may not be the ‘popular’ thing to say but I really don’t care. One of her tweets stated that any publicity was good publicity & I hate to be the one to burst her bubble, but it’s really not. So hopefully she comes to her senses one day, but until then I won’t hold my breath.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Women in Trucking

Another Twitter inspired post. This time my inspiration is @TruckerDesiree. I know I may get some flak from her supporters over this but I don’t give a fat rats ass. She gives feminists & women truckers both a bad name.

Let me start out by saying I love my job. It’s just the numerous whiners & complainers & people that don’t have the slightest clue that make rethink career choices. Some of those people that don’t have a clue, sad to say, are supposedly smart, intelligent women.

I understood that trucking is part of the ‘old boys club’, as far as professions go when I started 10 years ago. I also understood that I might not be accepted at places & subjected to some crappy, chauvinistic behavior. And I must say as far as that goes I’ve been treated very well for the most part. Actually most of the crap that I have gotten over the years wasn’t necessarily from the older drivers but ones that were in my age range. Yet I have managed to garner their respect, for the most part (some are just total assholes that can’t be dealt with on any level), by standing up for myself. If someone gets in my face, I give it right back. I have also busted my ass working twice as hard as most of the guys out here just to prove that I could do the job & to be taken seriously.

Over the last 10 years I have heard horror stories about what some women have had to go through during training & the way these complaints were dealt with by their respective companies. I have tales of how women were treated by their trainers & the unsafe things that their co-drivers have done. I’ve come to the conclusion that a lot of these women are part of the problem. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying anyone deserves to be treated the way any of these drivers have, but it’s obvious that complaining to the companies doesn’t work. Some women don’t even bother reporting these unsafe actions of other drivers. But yet these women continue to work for the same company that treated them so horribly. It’s as though the only empowerment these women get is through their victim status. If you won’t stand up for yourself, no one else will.

If things are so horrible where you’re working, why are you still there? There are thousands of other companies out there at which you could choose to work. But wait, if you did that you’d lose your victim status wouldn’t you?

Do you honestly think posting your “story” on a blog & saying that “nice” people would like to work in the industry but “nice” people won’t play the games required, is going to help your cause? Does calling drivers predators & equating the company you work for to terrorists, really help?

As far as students not being prepared for what to expect from the industry, as far as work hours & things expected from them that is nobodies fault but there own. Granted I had a bit of an advantage before I decided to jump into driving because my ex boyfriend was a driver. All they have to do is go to the closest truck stop & chat up a few drivers. Ask them about what they do & the hours they work. Because even though some people like to portray us as such we are not all psycho predators & will gladly answer a few questions. Never once have I been laughed at or made to feel stupid by asking another driver for advice or help.

So crawl out from under your blankie, put on your big girl panties & be part of the solution & not part of the problem.
Sunday, April 12, 2009

Go Home & Have Babies Ya Dumb Broad!

LOLOMGWTFBBQ!! Who said that?? I said & I meant it.

Actually after a twitter post by @
vincereardon asking why women who tell other women to go home & have babies don't follow their own advice. And linking an article about Dr. Laura. Which I at first didn't see the link but answered him that a lot women without children are sick of mothers as using their child as an excuse for everything. (ie.....little Jimmy's sick, little Jimmy needs to go to the doctor, schools closed & I couldn't get a babysitter) You wanna have kids & a job?? Fine, but don't expect me to do your work & mine too because you decided to go forth & procreate. And we all know little Jimmy is just gonna grow into an obnoxious teenager that walks all over you because you're to busy trying to be his friend instead of his parent now. And why is it acceptable for all these moms to bring in crap that their kids are selling?? I'm sorry when I was a kid (and it hasn't been that long ago) that if you were selling something you went door to door. I know not everyone lives in a small town like I do. But what about going around the neighborhood or people you go to church with.

And I swear if I hear one more mom bitch about how she doesn't know how she's gonna find time to take little Susie to soccer practice, or little Mary to piano & dance, & fix dinner & get groceries & go to work, I may not resist the urge to smack them upside the head & say you should have thought of that before you had kids.

I also responded to @
vincereardon with, "Some women are incapable of doing the job they have chosen & the only thing they are good for are spewing out obnoxious little bastard children". I didn't really fit all of that into my tweet but that was the gist of it. And I think that pisses me off even more. As a woman truck driver I have had to bust my ass twice as hard as any guy out here just to prove that I can do the job & to be taken remotely seriously. Then some dingy, goofball, hosebag that only became a truck driver to sleep her way across the country or to find herself a man comes along & makes me want to punch her in the face. And throws all my 'work' out the window. So if you can't do the job GO HOME!!! And fix your old man some dinner while you're at it.

OK, now that I have offended all 3 of my readers so I guess I'll just go back to my crochet & twiddle my thumbs now.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Babble

Just a few random things.........


Not smoking update - almost 1.5 months and still going strong. Although some days I still have the urge to put make fake cigarette out in someones eye or knock someone down & steal their cigarettes. But so far I have been able to suppress these urges. Some days its been a close call though. Actually I had urges to put my cigarette out in peoples eyes & knock them down before I stopped smoking so maybe it's just my personality.

Lessons in knitting - I have made a sufficient amount of dishcloths that my mother won't have to buy any for at least 5 years. And she has know enlisted me to make her a scarf & hat. I finally bought a set of interchangeable circs yesterday so the hat making can commence. I also have bacon yarn that is just screaming to be made into a hat. Because who can resist a hat that looks like bacon?? I have also find a neato blog post that explains how to make a hat that fits. Crazy Aunt Purl's roll brim hat.

Crochet update - I am currently working on my own Seraphina's shawl. I am using a yummy variegated purple wool from Universal Yarn.