Saturday, March 12, 2011

Shame on Some Truck Drivers

I have wanted to tackle this subject quite a few times in the last year as we stay at truck stops quite frequently. Now I know this only pertains to a small percentage of truckers, but like anything else in life it only takes a few to give the entire group a bad name. The first thing that I am talking about is truck drivers being total slobs and not knowing how to use a trash can or dumpster! I have never seen so much garbage lying around when not in a Third World country as I have when we stay at truck stops. Drivers throw everything from fast food wrappers to mattresses to you name it. I have seen tires, condoms and even their piss bottles just tossed and not more than 25 feet away is a dumpster. Now don't give me the spiel that the truck stops are for only for truckers as they are for all travelers. And even if that were the case, truckers DO NOT have the right to litter and not face any consequences. It is so bad that many of the truckers I have talked to are embarrassed by it. One trucker from Michigan who we met in the Laredo Flying J (more on that later) said it is mostly the Canadians that do it but boy, watch out when you are in Canada. I don't necessarily believe that but why should you be able to piss outside next to your truck in plain view of everyone? It is not your private bathroom!

Secondly, as I have stated, most of the truck drivers I have met have been really nice people, just doing a job and trying to get some sleep like we do. We have stayed at truck stops all over the country for a year and a half and have never had a problem until we were staying for one night at the Flying J north of Laredo.

We arrived during the afternoon and took a spot near the back corner so Bill and Junior could get some rest as they were goingin that night to paint the Family Dollar parking lot. Michelle and I went across the road to the TA to do the laundry and I actually had a great conversation with three truckers about the goings on in Madison. Bill and Junior left around 8pm and everything was fine until about 10:30pm when I hear someone pounding on the RV door. I get up and see a woman outside so I ask what she wants. She starts screaming at me that I have no right to be where I am parked as I am taking up truck spots and that Flying J was "fixin" to call the police. I told her to let them call and ask if she owns the place. She screams back that I should fuck off and that she told me I had to leave NOW and pounds on the side of the rig. So I get my cell phone, go outside the rig so she can't do anything to it, and call the cops. The entire time I am waiting for the cops to show up she is in a truck next to us with a guy smoking pot, or so I thought. It turned out they were smoking meth. Anyway, the truck driver who is with her comes out from the truck stop and accuses me of spraying Raid, of all things, into his truck and he has a dog. Well, I haven't owned a bottle of Raid since I went green how many years ago and anyone who knows me knows that I wouldn't do anything to hurt a dog.

So when the cop arrives the two of them ran up to him and told their "story". He came over to talk to me and said, and I quote, "If I were here parked to getsome rest and someone came pounding on my door I would tell them to fuck off." I asked him to take down the license plates in case there was vandalism to the rig or truck. I sat in the rig with the back up camera on watching for quite some time.

When Bill got home around midnight we decided to move the rig to the front of the store just in case they would pull something and do damage to the rig or truck. We did NOT move because we felt we shouldn't be there but simply because we can't afford to pay for any damange right now. I went in to the store and reported it to the manager the next morning and she knew right away who I was talking about. Her words were "She's a piece of work" so at least I wasn't the only one harrassed by her. I also told her about the smoking meth in case she wanted to have them booted out.

I was hesitant to stay in another truck stop during this trip back to Atlanta but I had to remind myself that we have been staying in truck stops since we left Wisconsin and there have really been no incidents until now. It would be different if we were on a pleasure trip and had unlimited funds but in reality we are doing the same as the truckers -- working for a living and trying to save a little cash. The truck stops welcome RVers and I think it's time that the truckers realize this. As I stated previously, it definitely is not the majority of truckers with whom there is a problem but a very small majority. All the same, it definitely does not make us feel good about them at all.

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