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Raising the Standards of the Trucking Industry


trucking lifeWoman Truckers

A Day in the Life of a Lady Trucker

Oct
19,
2008
235

10/19/09     One Year Exactly from the original post of TruckerDesiree and 130 posts later!!  From that scared and frantic student contacting Allen for help, to one of the most determined and influential women in trucking today…offering advice and empathy to all who need it.

**YOU’VE COME A LONG WAY BABY!**

If you would like to read Desiree’s Journal from the beginning, please scroll ALL THE WAY DOWN to the bottom of the page. The journal begins as comments, in chronological fashion.

Click on the Blue Words “see older comments”If you don’t do this, you will miss the first few months of the journal.  Thanks,  Donna

This Journal will soon be available in book form.  We’ll let you know when it’s complete

10/19/08

Allen and I have the honor to communicate with so many people every day. Although we haven’t met the majority of them, I feel a camaraderie between us and them just the same. Trucking can be a lonely lifestyle in itself, but our websites, truthabouttrucking.com and askthetrucker.com, have introduced us to some of the finest human beings around. We receive letters, gifts, prayers, and friendship from many of our loyal subscribers.

Recently I started communicating by e-mail with a woman by the name of Desiree. Her e-mails describing her life as a truck driver were so detailed and graphic, I felt like I was living the experience right along with her.  Her stories were those of courage and integrity and Allen even used one of them in his new version of The Truth About Trucking 4th edition.

I  invited Desiree to post some of her stories here, and I hope all of you find them as intriguing, entertaining and fascinating as I did. These stories represent  similar experiences that so many other woman truck drivers have lived.

Some of her stories can definitely give you some insight on how trucking companies “value” women truckers.

When I asked her to how she would like to share some of her stories here on our blog, she answered with this reply,

“Well I’d like to start, by starting from the very beginning and navigating my way thru the trucking school scam and thru the individuals that I teamed with and was trained by, because there are already tons of funny stories… but great learning experiences. From weight management to hygiene I’ve been collecting and fine tuning this lifestyle to make it work.”

Okay, Thanks Desiree. It’s all yours now!

Donna

© 2008 – 2016, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.

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By: Allen Smith

Allen Smith is a 37 year veteran who started at an early age in a household goods family moving business. He began driving straight trucks in 1977 and moved to the big rigs in 1982. His experience within the industry includes; owner operator, company driver, operations manager, and owner of a long distance HHG moving business, taking many of the long haul moves himself when needed. Allen Smith, a truck driver advocate who is driven by the desire to help others succeed within an industry where injustice, unrewarded sacrifice, and lack of respect and recognition exists. Allen and his wife Donna are hosts of Truth About Trucking ”Live” on Blog Talk Radio. Other websites include AskTheTrucker, TruckingSocialMedia, NorthAmericanTruckingALerts, TruthAboutTrucking, and many Social Media websites. In 2011 Allen and Donna hosted the first Truck Driver Social Media Convention, designed to create unity and solutions for the trucking industry. This is now being extended through the North American Trucking Alerts network as those within the industry join forces for the betterment of the industry. Allen strongly supports other industry advocates who are also stepping up to the plate to help those who share honesty, guidance and direction. He believes that all those involved in trucking need to be accountable for their part within the industry, including drivers, carriers, brokers, shippers, receivers, etc… The list of supporters and likeminded people grow daily, networking together and sharing thoughts and ideas for the betterment of trucking. He has coined the popular phrase "Raising the standards of the trucking industry"

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235 Responses to A Day in the Life of a Lady Trucker. - Post a Comment

  1. […] are treating many of our women in trucking.  Join Allen and Donna, along with special guest, Trucker Desiree, as they blow the lid off of one of trucking’s dirty little secrets.  Other topics will […]

  2. Desiree

    Below I have posted an article about a EEOC Suit filed against CRST which in a nutshell alleges the very thing I have written this story about.

    Note that 265 females alone complained but 35 may only get some attention.

    http://gazetteonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090507/BUSINESS/705079948/1004

    Also, take note of the comments, “Didn’t report right away” and the manner the Judge, a FEMALE Judge mind you dismissess these complaints.

    It’s has come to my attention that Ron Corbett the VP of CRST is in Politics quite heavily in Iowa.

    These allegations of sexual misconduct are rampant in the Trucking Industry but what is worse is people in charge who know others are being hurt, raped, beat up and left stranded will spend money and time to hide it instead of finding a solution.

    You can read the this goole search and see Mr. Corbett’s affiliations:

    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&rlz=1T4TSHB_enUS310US312&q=crst+ron+corbett&aq=f&oq=&aqi=

    I sat this morning with an experienced woman driver who told me about registered sex offenders being put on trucks with women to team.

    Having knives pulled on her by co-drivers and everytime it gets swept under the rug.

    As I said in my comment in the CRST Article. This is an Industry wide issue and the way that displace workers are being taken advantage of by selling them a dream and throwing them on the road in an unsafe learning atmosphere is wrong.

    My story is long on purpose. I want you to be mentally drained and exhausted from reading it because this is exactly what is intended by these trucking companies so you are so drained and confused you can barely function.

    This is how student turnover is created.

    Even if you are not a trucker you must see that this is not highway safety.

    Anyone in the trucking industry who is dismissing these claims should be fully investigated because they are part and parcel to an Indentured Servitude operation in America!

    Like I said on my website, I have it good NOW but what about the others?

    Who don’t have a sweet PDA like me and access to the internet.

    The majority of students will get on their trainers truck and be disconnected from the world for a good deal of time.

    The only information they will get is from a very manipulative source to undermine their confidence.

    You are in a catch 22, you are told you will never get hired at another company if you complain.

    Who will hire a trucking student with a few months experience and a complaint on file?

    You are made to feel your record, or DAC report will be tarnished, if you complain and the truth is some people have found erroneous information that they could not have removed.

    There is a specific reason these Women waited to complain they have been set up in advance to fail and promised time and again that something was being done to keep them quiet.

    You keep hoping for the best, thinking things will change and no one else will get hurt, then you see that girl or hear from another driver that someone else got raped or beaten or stranded by their co-driver or trainer.

    That bothers me! How does it make you feel?

  3. CRST « TruckerDesiree

    […] outside the trucking community who have read my story “A Day in the Life of a Lady Trucker” and have been shocked, while people inside the trucking community can ussually add 10-15 […]

  4. Monnie Martin

    I have just finished your story and have had a BUNCH of memories come to mind. I was really one of the fortunate woman drivers out there. I only had one incident of trainer abuse. I think maybe I may have driven for the company you drive for. You referred to it as a Christian Company and when it was small it was a great one to drive for. It just got too big and all communication was lost. I was not sorry to leave.

    The last 6 OTR years I spent driving for the Refrigerated Div of Creet which was Shaffer Trucking. What a dynamite company they are. I only wish I had come to them much sooner than I did. I am now retired at age 72 and just do not have the physical capabilities to drive anymore. I sure do miss it though. You keep up the great work Desiree. you are one of the WINNERS.

  5. Desiree

    Dear Monnie:

    Thanks so much for posting your comments. I have heard from many sources that Crete and their Refrigerated Division of Shaffer is a very good company to work for.

    I also agree with you that my company appears to have gotten to big for it’s britches as have many companies where GREED got the better of their ethics.

    The CRST article will hopefully prod feet draggers in the Trucking Industry to thoughtful inventory of how they are conducting themselves in the new transparent corporate America where people are sick and tired of hearing about this sort of underhanded abuse of power.

    I must note that I was told by someone who works for CRST that they have current policies that provide emergency contacts to students who encounter situations where they must get off the truck immediately.

    A card provided to each student with emergency contacts of people WHO WILL ANSWER THE PHONE and get them off the truck and to a safe haven.

    Dispatchers need special training to understand that they are often manipulated by the predator who send qualcomm messages and delete them without the other person’s knowledge and are in effect setting up their victim by manipulation.

    I know this violence happens to male students also and I hope that by exposing some of this ugliness we can get more people to come forward.

    I know it will be very hard for some of the guys but it must be done to clean house.

    I will be resuming my story about Valerie this weekend.

    I’m grateful for your comments because I’ve had 1 woman who seems hell bent I telling me I deserve to be mistreated because I’m new to trucking.

    I say this to her:
    NO ONE DESERVES TO BE TREATED IN AN INHUMANE WAY EVER!

    Esspecially when you are learning to drive a vehicle this size on the highway with other people.

  6. The Princess

    I still want you to come on my btr show and discuss your experiences this Fall, lady trucker! Glad I had someone smart enough to tell me (after I was recruited at an employment center by Schneider, when they had a training school) ‘not to rain on your parade, but I wouldn’t take a $4500 loan’. It broke my heart, but still intend to be a trucker. So sorry to say that my harassment from male workers took place on MANY jobs, other than trucking.. and for a lot lot lot less pay! Bad enough to be put through that, but when you aren’t getting paid for it, it is much worse. That is one of the reasons we wished to get into trucking. Our stories are so similar. I , too, have traveled cross country, INCLUDING 5000 MILES ON A GREYHOUND BUS! We discuss the dispatcher relationship also on the show, and would love to have you.

    ‘Day Jobs’ Radio

  7. Mike

    Sat and read your story . It’s wrong what happened to you . Seems that there need to be better training regulations in place as that would stop a lot of these things from happenin to other noobs . I follow Donna on twitter and she recomended you to follow . i been readin your tweets and wanted to ask have you done any activism in the fight for better training regs ? Like contacting your reps and making them aware of the goings on at these companies ? Seems that would stop new drivers from being taken advantage of and give them a better chance at sucess

  8. Allen Smith

    Hi Mike,

    Thanks for posting. What’s your twitter name? I know a few “Mikes” Des I’m sure will be replying soon.

    She’s been a help and inspiration to MANY. Our kind of People…:)

    Donna

  9. Mike

    I am techtrucker on twitter .

  10. Desiree

    Hi Princess:
    I know we exchanged emails before but you can contact me directly at TruckerDesiree@gmail.com I would like to hear more about your experience.
    I was unable to look up you BTR show on my PDA, I will try again tonight not that I have a few minutes to open my laptop.
    It’s very difficult right now for everyone in trucking to stay employed. There are less students being recruited for the time being at some companies but others are in high gear.
    It’s very curious indeed.

  11. Desiree

    Hi Mike:

    Yes, there most definately needs to be better training req. My story unfortunately is not uncommon.

    Find a recent student of the trucking industry and you will get a story so insane and unsafe for public safety you will be stunned at the egregious misconduct that is occuring right now to people who are already in dire straits.

    The dispatchers are trained to act like telemarketers in a “Bolier Room”, many have no business whatsoever in customer service or handling the responsibility of logistics when human beings are relying on them as the single source of information when they are thousands of miles from home and with no money in their pocket.

    I have indeed begun to reach out for investigations becuase the the public saftey hazard of life and limb this method of running cheap freight places on the general public.

    Unfortunately, we have so many corporate scandals occuring everyday and politicians turning up with their fingers in the cookie jars it’s hard to know who is on what team anymore.

    The insurance commisioners should be examining these obvious safety shortfalls as well as the federal government who are providing the subsidies and tax credits for this “Indentured Servitude” machine they have created.

    It takes time to get people to understand I just the first in thousands of stories like mine.

    The only difference is that I started writing every word for the whole world to see.

    It’s bring others out of the shadows and thats a good thing.

    We all drive on the same highways, trucker or not.

    Tormenting student truckers male or female while they are learning to drive an 18-Wheeler is an offense against everyone on the road.

    Recruiting people who should not be behind the wheel of a truck because they are tax deductions and credits is a scandal.

  12. Mike

    It is good to hear that you are working to help change things . keep up the good work .

  13. The Princess

    Okay, men, get this already! Grow up! Women are in the workplace, and they are staying!!! You mean the workers actually SPOKE to you after you complained?! Mine refused to work with me, literally, and never spoke to me after I was ‘forced’ (just as you, following their co. policy) to file a report with ‘HR’. Of course, HR was never out in the van from hell with me, which included five to six (that’s right) harassing men all at once, daily. You think one is bad, try six, every single day. Of course it was an 8 hr day and nothing like the hell you endured (day and night). The rest of your story RIGHT DOWN TO THE GUYS BLAMING YOU, is verbatim what the ‘men’ at my co. told HR. On my second day of employment, I made it clear this was business, not their home, and that their language and sexual comments ‘do you have a boyfriend/what’s with your boyfriend’ and on and on, was not acceptable. I was told by a veteran of the company and I quote ‘There is an established culture here and you are not going to change it.’

    Not only did they stop talking to me completely
    and refuse to answer my questions, they wouldn’t sit by me in the van. The supervisor, who was the one who called me ‘hot’ and said I looked ‘pretty hot’ in the workplace! would say things like ‘you just swore right there’ when he asked me ‘what type of language did they say that you object to?’ Anything to trip up the female and get her to quit. He grabbed the co cellphone out of my hand when I was placing a call to my helper, injuring my hand. Nothing was done. They all kept their jobs.

    Our daily group activities no longer included me
    , and HR (who of course is never there and is at a satellite office 250 miles away and saw none of this!) as well as the owner of this national co. told me that the sexually explicit lyrics I objected to in the WORKPLACE could be played at full volume in the van. They tried to manipulate, even the mgr telling me he ‘figured’ I was on the phone with my help (yes I did seek others to speak for me, and they did not help either) even though he never heard our conversation, and included me having to sit, AT MY OWN WORKPLACE, WITH FOLDER ON MY LAP (they all sat at the table, goading me to say anything to their sexual remarks) FOR OUR APPT’S THAT DAY, AS THEIR ABUSIVE BEHAVIOR CONTINUED in the room (it wasn’t big enough to be an office, it was a room) AND they , according to the manager ‘ all asked not to work with me’ out of the van (ha). After I made the complaint. We really need to talk. You need to come on my radio show on BTR.


    This goes on IN SALES AND OTHER COMPANIES AS WELL
    . I EARNED my CLASS A CDL PERMIT WITH HAZMAT endorsements, and it was very difficult. Your advice here to others is spot on. IF YOU KNOW OF ANY DRIVER WILLING TO TAKE ME OUT SO THAT I CAN PASS MY ROAD TEST AFTER ALL THIS WORK , please let me know. Like you, being business- like and not wishing to discuss or tolerate talk of people’s sex lives and other inappropriate comments in the workplace led to my torture and sabotage.

    When I refused to get in a vehicle with my inebriated ‘ride’ to Schneider’s training school (they had a school then) I lost my schooling opporturnity with Scheider, after Schneider recruited ME! There was not one male (or female) driver in my area willing to take me out to learn after earning my CDL permit.

  14. Richard Moore

    Just started this is anyone receiving?

  15. Monnie Martin

    Loud and clear. I am a retired lady trucker and am interested in what you have to say. I would still be out there but at age 72 I just do not have the physical stamina to do it anymore. I miss it.

  16. Allen Smith

    Hi Monnie,

    Thanks for your comment. Bet you have a lot of stories to share with us.
    Allen@truthabouttrucking.com

    Have you checked out Desiree’s Blog?
    http://www.TruckerDesiree.com

    Also,We’re having a radio show on 6/23/09 7:30 PM EST that I have a feeling you will want to hear.

    http://www.blogtalkradio.com/TruthAboutTrucking/2009/06/23/Hostile-Training-and-Work-Environments-within-Trucking

  17. SAMc_65

    Like Deja-vu all over again, reading these women’s horror stories. I got into trucking when the Fed’s started their requirements for “Professional” truckers, end of ca1989…when the need country’s economy was in close to the same situation, as now. The Driving schools were scams, too…& the companies who’d hire the newbies, were as shiftless and shady as now…but it was a pretty new deal, then…the older drivers, some who’d neared retirement, were being required to go thru the same things as new drivers, because of the electronic/computerized engines/trans, etc…they were tearing up the equipment, trying to “signature” the gears, so they could “slip” the gears and not use the clutch (In Oregon, the demand for truckers got so that they finally let them float the gears, here…(I was in TX, when I started out)

    Anyway, 20 yrs later, and thousand’s of dollars, including w/h my tax refunds every year, and refusing to give me a statement of my a/c balance, terms, etc…I finally “settled” and put what they said I still owed, abt $6k, on a credit card, just to get it out of the Federal system…the school and the bank in TX that underwrote the school’s finances, (govm’t funding) both went out of business, never sent me my pmt schedule…etc…at least, I didn’t have to live on $125mo, while paying some sheister company off, being “held hostage” by some I had to work for at lst.


    Women aren’t the only victims
    of the greed machine, either…I heard plenty from the newbie guys, too, who ended up “jumping trucks” when left in some bf-egypt truckstop, 2k miles from their families over a holiday, they’d promised to make it home to. (I was single, but missed most holidays…”because we need to get our guys home for their families”…sometimes I think that the govm’t goes thru the same cycles every 20 yrs, just long enuff for a generation to come up to fill the same shoes and cheaper; in trade for the inexperience.

    They’ll take the “cowboy” who’s willing to drive like a maniac to get a load thru, for some dispatcher who’s logistics are as short of a load as his mental aptitude. (He learned dispatching at 7-11, like Michael Fox, learned to shoot…re: Back to the Future? However, I was run as a team, tho I was a solo driver, by the young son of the Co’s owner and my fleet mgr, said…(shhh…just do it, it’s (name)…I’ll get you turned around after this trip..)

    Well, I’d been sent, after unloading, to pick up a load in TX, for Phoenix...run night/day…then back to Atlanta, GA…non-stop….and the guys’s son got mad because I wanted a shower and reported me to that fleet mgr, who told him I wasn’t a team and was out of hours…so that really made the guy mad and he refused to dispatch me, til he sent me to pick up soup in California…a dry-box load…and I ran reefer…so that cut the load one pallet, so the soup company was mad that I wouldn’t take the pallet and even if I hadn’t had a drop of fuel in the tanks, I couldn’t have crossed the lst scale with it. There were certain trucks meant to pick up their loads…not with a sleeper and dual tanks and plus a refrigerated unit. I knew from experience that the dispatcher would want me to take it anyway and go down the road to some place, dodging the scales, and transfer the pallet to another driver, somewhere. I didn’t get paid to do anything for that company, but drive the miles…flat rate, no layover pay, no go, no pay. This isn’t a just a matter of being a woman, it’s a matter of what was mentioned abt incompetent dispatchers and corp greed, etc…which only is worse when the economy gets bad, because drivers become more and more “disposable”, the worse it gets.

    Women lst....because, like it or not, it’s still the good-ol-boy mentality and when push comes to shove, they’ll make it so hard on whoever they want to “cut from the herd”, you leave voluntarily, or with a tarnished reputation…male or female. After all I saw out there, I still can say without a doubt, that women have to pay more and harder dues than the guys do. I’m not so sure but it’s that the guys just figure it’s not worth sticking it out and head home, when women aren’t so apt to be able to find a good enough paying job, to be able to quit….and, face it, many don’t have a home to go back to, at that point…if they do, they won’t be able to afford to keep it. Guys can be in that situation, also.

    Bottom line is, their bottom line
    and when it gets to that point, white men finish lst. Usually that’s what the company owner is, and can most identify with. They can always go find cheap drivers, when the need arises again…and it will, and it does…and on it goes…I recall, 20 yrs ago, nearly, when a big trucking company in the NW went bankrupt, after the son put all the profits as well as the driver’s pensions up his nose and the company I was driving for took it over. The old drivers would come into the shop and we got two earfuls of educated experience, compliments of their “worst-case scenario”…identical to what’s going on today; only there was no internet and networking like this, to be able to give a voice to all these drivers. It would’ve been great to be able to document all the atrocities suffered out there, on a site like this one, back then.

    Thanks for putting it up…it’s a great service and
    can only do more in the near future, I believe; tho it’s
    a sad prognostication, for sure. Hills & Valleys, are all down the old road of life…and on we go, without much of a map, yet….but the Good Book. The all-time best “owner’s manual” for getting us thru these times.
    Good Luck to All….and I sincerely mean it.
    Thanks for sharing! It feels good to talk, where there are those who understand what’s being said. I see that some have had the experience of being blamed for their abuse…the more things change, the more they remain the same?. I think this site may just help!
    Keep on keepin’ on….One foot & One mile after the other…we’ll all make it to our destination. Let’s try to continue to help one another, along the way.
    Facebook’s starting a new thing, tomorrow…y’all might want to ck it out, if you haven’t….Over ‘n’ Out…

  18. Desiree

    Thanks for writing Sam, (I think that’s what your name is)

    You are correct, it’s not really about Women, it’s about Bullying in the workplace and taking advantage of someone down on their luck and desperate for work.

    If the facebook project you refer to has to do with bullying in the workplace, I have already joined.

    We have created a society of people who feel they are superior to others who simply want to work and take care of their familes.

    This chaotic atmosphere has spawned lower rung superiors who have little skill in humanities and ethics to want to impress their will and dominate everyone and everything.

    Many times it’s out of their own frustration of what they too have been unable to achieve so they pass their angst to someone who is more passive in nature, or who they percieve is weaker than them.

    Smaller does not equal Weak

    Bigger Title does not Equal Smart

    Quiet should never be interpeted as inferior.

    We all have a lot to learn about our conduct in treating other human beings who are sturrling to make ends meet right now.

    People who feel “Sucking up” will get them up the ladder, well I have news, …You are being used just like them people you have abused to get to that false pedestal.

    I’ve talked to some of these young dispatchers who feel if they do this evil bidding they will move up in the coporate structure.

    They are young, stressed out and unhappy.

    Anyone who works in the corporate structure knows, it’s dosen’t get any better.

    If you go about turning a profit with a total lack of integrity that your harm other peoples as a business model for gain.

    It will catch up to you,

    I’ will talk about this more another time but for now, there is something everyone should understand.

    As long as the lowest level workers and lower management are bickering and fighting, you just gave the corporate greed mongers a blank check off your back.

    That goes for trucking as well, put your effort into targeting the real culprits of this corrupt industry and stop name calling on the CB. Stop running around patting yourself on the back about what you coulda, woulda, shoulda done and do it now.

    The majority of drivers do not used the internet and are to busy to communicate so if you know how and your have the means, please get involved to be part of the solution, not the problem.

    I spoke to a young man who was from the Marines this weekend who was so aggravated about how my company was mistreating him and humiliatiing him.

    Of course, no story in my company is complete without “MS” going the extra mile to kick someone when they are down.

    He was told to complain about what “MS” had done to him, and guess what? They person who told him to report her no longer works for our company.

    Nice people who care about the drivers don’t have longevity in this business, that’s the bottom line.

  19. Desiree

    The end of my team with Valarie was occurring.
    I left Florida and returned to Chattanooga as second Hurricane named Ike took aim in the Gulf of Mexico.
    The ride back was not as hectic because Gustav had made landfall by the time I came back through Atlanta.
    Still, I knew I had a challenge awaiting me, Valerie had shingles or at least she said she did, which most people do not know are contagious if you have not had chicken pox.
    As team drivers, we sleep in the same bunk while the truck is in motion.
    I was incredibly stressed thinking about Valerie’s poor health, tantrums, contagious disease and whatever she was not telling me.


    When I arrive at my terminal I was told by Ace to move our stuff into a NEW TRUCK!!!
    I went to work right away moving all of my stuff and Valerie’s stuff, including her special mattress by myself.
    I avoided her phones calls because I knew she would be calling and screaming on the phone about when I’d be coming to Mississippi to get her. That was another thing I was dreading, driving into a state where NO FREIGHT would be coming out of for a very long time.
    I thought she should get a ride up to our terminal so we could get a coast to coast run, but no, she couldn’t do that.

    From the moment I arrived from my round trip bus ride to Florida I worked moving all of our things to the new truck, I thought she would at least be happy about that but when I told her she became unglued. “Why are they giving us this truck NOW?” “I Need to Roll!”! She screamed through the phone.

    Valerie proceeded to call me every few hours, “Don’t forget my picture”, “Make sure you do …” I did it all, made sure every single thing was exactly where it was in the old truck. I installed the CB, got new antennas, everything. I couldn’t understand why she wasn’t happy though about having a brand new truck?

    I was so tired after all that work, the mattress, a Serta Orthopedic was a dream to sleep on but a pain in the butt to maneuver in and out from truck to truck. I did it all completely alone.
    The constant phone calls were bothering me also, so I finally sat down to grill her. I told Valerie that taking a load into the area she lived would mean we probably would not get another load for awhile because no freight is moving from the evacuation areas. Valerie confessed, she would not be getting back on the truck, she said she was taking a medical leave of absence.


    I said “Why didn’t you tell me before I moved all this stuff?
    they won’t let me keep a brand new truck with no team partner!” She hemmed and hawed but I was angry, I was so tired of running all around to accommodate her. She confessed she was leading the company to believe I was coming to pick her up just so I would deliver her stuff to her door and she would not have to fetch it herself.
    I said, “Well, then I am going to be stuck down there with no load and I will have to route back her to find another team partner”.


    Valerie said she was tired of the pay cuts, the low miles and being away from home.
    I suspected her health was worse than what she was letting on and I was not happy that she would come back on the truck with something contagious with a disregard for me and my concerns.
    Later that night she called again and said “You understand right? then she said “but if you get a good load I’m gonna get back on the truck for awhile”.

    That night I was assigned a load and left the terminal but it was unassigned shortly after, Valerie was screaming at me on the phone, like it was in my control if a load canceled. She was so impatient for me to arrive for her stuff, she didn’t care that half of the surrounding 6 states were in emergency mode, only what she wanted right now.


    I basically just gave it to her and said I had had enough of the spoiled child routine
    . I told her she could have ridden the bus like I had to our terminal, she was only a 5 hour drive from our terminal.
    I waited for Ace to come in Monday morning and he asked me on the Qualcomm “Why isn’t Valarie on the Truck”, I told him, because our load was cancelled and she threw a fit.
    She had called and said she was taking a medical leave to another supervisor but Ace said she could not do that.

    In the end, I don’t know what transpired but I was routed into our terminal again to re_team and then deliver Valerie’s belongings to her in Mississippi.

    Either way, I was going to have to go into the Hurricane evacuation area and I knew I’d never get a load out.
    Of course, I was passed my 6 months so technically I could go solo but I’d have to move everything back to the old truck again, I was still so sore, the thought of moving it all again.
    I called Sam, and left a message that I was seeking a female co-driver.
    Just as I arrived, there was Sam who pointed a girl to me.
    Great! See, how easy is that? The solution is not only communication but to also communicating with someone who intends to assist you.

    One of the biggest problems in these big companies is that they could care less about assisting you. That’s why they put people in charge of matching teams like “MS” who only cares to reap the rewards of fraternizing with certain Students and providing them with “special favors” and deliberately harming others.


    Over the course of these six months I was aware many women were getting
    off trucks at various terminals and asking the very same question. “Is there any women to team with?”
    The question still remains to me, why do they never let you get in contact with one another? Why don’t they take control of the constant stream of women getting off of a male co-drivers truck and let them get on with the next guy with no guidance whatsoever?
    “The definition of Insanity is doing something over and over and expecting a different result ~ Albert Einstein”


    Teaming with a Woman is certainly NOT the Magic Bulle
    t but it is entirely a better environment to learn when sex & power is not the primary element controlling the truck.
    Keep in mind though that there are some aggressive females who need to tone it down also, the bottom line is that this is a job.
    You got to your job to work not to talk about your sex life or lack of it. If the company has a business model to squeeze every last penny they can out of their cheap labor force, they should spend a few extra minutes to make it crystal clear what WILL NOT be tolerated.
    They are wasting their time and money and yours because of poor leadership.

    I was glad to meet “CC” right away; she was calm, polite but soft spoken. She said she had trouble with a guy and she wanted to team with a girl. Perfect.
    CC said she had worked in logistics prior to becoming a truck driver and when her company downsized she was laid off and offered a workforce voucher to be retrained as a truck driver.
    I was glad she understood the supply chain idea and she seemed very bright.
    She stalled a bit though and was not eager. She admitted she had met a guy and hoped he would be coming into the terminal and she could see him. I told her it was cool, and gave her my number so she could call me and let me know for sure.


    This is another thing to think about when teaming;
    I’ve seen people get into arguments about it. 1 person has a “special someone” that occasionally you cross paths with, what to do?
    I’ve seen jealous outbursts between teammates when this occurs. Also, if you are all part of team trucks and you meet, where do you go? Do you ask your teammate to “take a walk?” You need to make this clear before you team up with someone. It may not be cool with another Woman like it is with 2 guys who team.
    Women are very judgmental, men generally keep it to themselves in an environment where you have to live together for a certain period of time in order to learn something, you cannot have everything your certain way you demand it in real life.


    As it turned out CC’s friend did not arrive
    but she called that evening and said she wanted to team, my trainer friend told me I should have considered her delay a red flag. He said it indicated she was not serious about her job but she told me it had been 2 months since she had seen her beau and so I didn’t mind waiting overnight.

    I was dreading the inevitable, driving a load into the evacuation area to home deliver Valarie’s belongings.
    The truck was packed with all our stuff and Valerie’s stuff that I was told to drive to her in Mississippi.
    The load we got was already late, a repower from Virginia of Hurricane Supplies for FEMA.
    We waited several hours for the truck to bring us the trailer of tarps and when it finally arrived in the middle of the night the driver I switch with told me to be advised that all 10 trucks carting tarps had incorrect bills, the weight was maxed out at over 40K but all the bills said 10K and that was part of the delay.
    Leave it to the US Government to screw up a 1 page document.
    CC never got of the bunk to help with the swapping of trailers and I thought nothing of it, we didn’t have far to drive to Valarie’s, just 5 hours so I didn’t mind that she didn’t come out of the sleeper.
    I had heard her making a few comments from the bunk though, but I didn’t pay it much mind, kind of like Back seat driving from bed is what it was.

    There was a sense of excitement in the air, we knew that Hurricane Ike was heading toward Louisiana and that was where this load of tarps was headed.
    Having to stop in Mississippi to deliver Valarie’s stuff and be sent straight into a Hurricane knowing we would have to stay there and not knowing what Ike would bring was nerve wracking.
    I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, no one did.

  20. TruckerDee

    Thank all the universe and heavens for you being a strong and determined women. What you have written has happened to me. The crazy men demanding sex, dispatchers starving me out b/c I complained about bullys in the workplace, unsafe working enviornments…..working all month 13,000 miles and only being paid $300.00…and being told that ‘that should do me for the month’……being yelled at and called HO and bitch and feminsit…all b/c I would not trade sex or a blowjob…Being kicked out of the truck b/c I would not ride/drive with a drunken teammate…..finding out my teammate rented a ‘layover’ hotel room with only one bed……..wakeing up after my sleep and finding out that not only could my partner NOT READ ENGLISH…but we were 600 miles in the opposite direction …and he would not phone dispatch…I had too!!….being told that I was a troublemaker with a big mouth b/c I complained about safety issues….

    Thank you Desiree for speaking out and thank you for NOT QUITTING!!!!

    Forever SISTER….I got your back! anytime, anywhere.

  21. Allen Smith

    Hi Dee,

    You and Desiree speak for many women AND LOUDER than the fools who would rather hide the truth from the masses. For some reason they believe that by living in denial or covering up the horrible events that women have endured, it will be “better for trucking”

    Here’s an idea: Expose and eliminate the offenders and keep the the the best drivers DRIVING…That’s what will be better for Trucking!

    Donna Smith

  22. Desiree

    Thanks Dee and Donna:

    I agree that the thing that need to be done now is to EXPOSE the offending Companies.

    I prefer http://www.ripoffreport.com because they are not part of the trucking industry.

    I am finding more recently that many umemployment vouchers for CDL School are being given and unsuspecting hopeful student truckers are being put through horrific training and not even be able to get a job later.

    This is another SCAM that needs to be exposed.

    These companies are using taxpayer dollars and those organizations who are recruiting right now are accomplices.

    These people want jobs and the trucking industry is using them to get taxpayers dollars and toss them out the back door after they have them work for peanuts for a short time.

    What kind of monster has been created here?

    • Allen Smith

      How quickly that would all change if there was a clause on all government grants and loans that stated: Money back guarantee if you graduate and we can’t find you a job within X amount of months. I wonder how many people they would take on then….KNOWING THEY WEREN’T GOING TO GET HIRED!..

      Donna

  23. Tracie Bohannon

    Please tell me about the 2 companies you mentioned. I am about to start CDL school with private instruction and I live in Georgia and this is a new career change for me.
    Thanks
    Tracie

  24. Desiree

    After the tense delivery of Valerie’s belongings, CC and I continued south to the command post for FEMA in Carville Louisiana. I had neatly packed everything for Valerie and given special care to her breakables. She didn’t speak a word to me but later did text me to say “Thanks”. She also texted to say she felt hurt because she felt she had helped me and I was going on without her.
    I texted back and said “we helped each other like two people drowning in a storm, but we swam to different islands” Valerie had 8 years driving experience, I don’t. She didn’t want to be OTR anymore, I do. I have to be OTR right now to get to the next level.

    No matter that Valerie was my friend, I was not anyone’s “property” and that is what the lesson here is with all of these team partners, Male and Female. How did we come to accept the mentality that acting in a humane, ethical manner to someone gives you the right to own them forever?
    Valerie felt she owned me now that we had teamed up and saved me from the hell I was experiencing before. Valerie was also in hell though because she couldn’t keep a team partner and she didn’t feel she was a good enough trainer, she was very unhappy.
    What does that have to do with your truck training experience? Well, a lot, because most people you will meet in the first year are ego-driven , power hungry and eager to control another human being … and that my friend…. is you.


    The problem you will encounter
    is that you are a grown up already, not a 5 year old and this behavior will catch you by surprise. You need to know this person’s expertise in trucking to get to the next level so to a certain extent, man or woman you have to play their mental games.
    They simply over hire and do not have enough suitable, qualified trainers which I think needs to be stopped. My advice to Big Trucking Companies who run these Student Training “Indentured Servitude” Operations: If you cannot produce a professional training environment then you should not be permitted to train human beings, end of problem… no government cheese.

    So anyways, when we get to Carville it’s late, the rural area is a single lane to nowhere and finally we come upon a huge white tent with a single file line of trucks waiting to get inside. There is nothing outside the gates to the tented area, no stores or bathrooms, no buildings. Just flat land, a couple sand dunes and a massive white tent behind a fence we can’t get to.
    Hours we sat in that single file line to get to the gate and by the time we did it was raining. It was very late at night, it was a weekend. In trucking that translates into ZERO Support from your company if anything happens, and it ALWAYS does happen on the weekends. In fact every above mentioned event occurred shortly after Friday after 6pm.


    The scene that night when we dropped the trailer was right out of a fake Hollywood rainstorm
    , sheets of water blowing the wrong way and some guy screaming “drop it right there”, as a procession of trucks came in beside us and dropped theirs one right after another.
    Row after to row, an ocean of other trailers. Then we were directed to park in the bobtail sections with the other hundred other bobtails. We were invited into the command center to use the facilities which included: Washers/Dryers, Bunk beds, Pool Tables, Big Screen TV’s, Couches, Showers, Toilets it was huge.
    There were lots of personnel but there was no clear order to anything. It seemed like units of people were doing things a certain way over here and then another group doing it completely different over there. I notice stuff like that, I am an observer, It seemed confusing for everyone there, no one really knew who was doing what; it was like they were making the system as they went along.

    It’s perfectly understandable; I am not bashing FEMA in anyway. I volunteered at the Red Cross Call Center during Katrina after I watched in horror the television images of the people stranded for days. There was no system at all that time. Considering what I saw this go round and knowing what I experienced from the call center, I see the intention is definitely there. It’s hard to plan for the unpredictable. You are talking about a storm that keeps changing course. Ike had not decided whether he was going to make us the ones who rescued Texas or if we would be evacuees.
    Plus, many of these people were not from Louisiana; they were from DC and Virginia so they didn’t know the area, the landscape, and the landmarks. I think that is a hindrance that should be addressed. Everyone was trying to do their very best but with no system already in place it was just a huge 24/7 operation, an enormous task.


    No advice was given from our company
    on what to do and because no one ever answers the phones on the weekend we dropped the trailer with the hundreds of others and moved to the bobtail section as we were told. I sent a QUALCOMM message asking for guidance but it was never answered, so we just got in our bunks and went to sleep inside the compound.
    The area was under curfew at this time for looters, the closest stores were several miles away and they were all closed by 6pm, 8pm No vehicles were supposed to be out on the roads. Shops, Starbucks everything in the area was under special hours of operation to allow employees to get home before curfew.

    There were no services available so we were safer on the makeshift command center awaiting word on what to do next. I figured we could sleep until morning but at about 2am someone began pounding on the door and said we did not have permission to stay on the base.
    I said, “We dropped our trailer right there”, uh-oh … the trailer was gone, all of the trailers were gone and steady streams of more loaded trucks were coming in. I told the guy we could not leave, we needed our trailer. He said everyone without the “special pass” had to go to make room for all the incoming trucks. Most everyone had the “special pass”, we did not.

    Under curfew and with no trailer I hesitated to comply. I sent more QUALCOMM messages and called my company to tell them and the “KID” dispatcher said, “Well, then leave then.”
    At least I had it on the Qualcomm which is always your objective; get it on there for your own evidence. What I’ve learned since is to photograph it because you cannot trust anyone enough to know it’s in there. Everyone is trying to shift blame because basically many of these dispatchers have less experience than someone who operates the French fry vat at McDonalds and those are the Monday thru Friday staff. Weekends and Nights, forget it, you’d get more assistance from calling Miss Cleo or Dial-a prayer.
    I bobtailed out in the rain to the great unknown, we had no idea where the storm was and we had no advice from our company of what to do. The wind gusts came occasionally with rain squalls; we didn’t have any communication with anyone. Just 2 people in an upright can with wheels.

    In the morning, our Qualcomm beeped, “Where’s your Trailer?” why did you drop your trailer?” I wrote back and told them what transpired, the reply “you need to go find that trailer” I said, “Why didn’t you advise us when we were on the base? Why couldn’t anyone tell us what to do while we were there? All those trailers have been dispatched to small parishes now to give emergency supplies to residents; do you not realize they are under Marshall Law down here?”
    The response “You need to find that trailer.” So, I drove back to Carville and waited in another single file line for hours to get inside the gates, they didn’t want to let me in because now I had now I had no trailer, so I had no reason to come inside. I told some cockamamie story and they believed me so I finally got in and went to his, boss, her boss, their boss to get half an answer. As it turned out my trailer was long gone as I suspected just five minutes after we dropped it to be taken to where it was needed, there was no way to get it and no one knew how to find it. No one knew where it was dispatched.


    There were hundreds of trailers being brought in with supplies
    of food, tarps, ice, water and MRE’s… basically, as soon as then trailers arrived, shuttle trucks took them to affected parishes, to churches and community center parking lots, even alongside the road and residents came in a steady procession with their car trunks open and drove through these makeshift depots.

    The National Guardsman opened the back of the loaded trailers and heaved one of everything to each person’s vehicle, these steady lines continued for days and weeks. When the trailer was empty another was dispatched and brought from Carville.
    The problem was no one knew whatever happened to all those empty trailers? See, that’s a problem…absolutely zero freight, was leaving the entire gulf region. You have an enormous amount of trailers coming in, getting empty then poof… where are all the trailers?
    It was part of the FEMA plan than was not planned on, well not with my company anyways and here is why from what I gathered.
    This was a big payday contract to get on these FEMA loads, $100.00 a day! For a Student Trucker that is like hitting the lottery! Come to find out that the Owner-Operators sitting down there were getting $2500.00 a day, shoot; even US Express Drivers were getting $300.00 a day.
    As it turned out, only “special assigned” teams got the FEMA pay and the CORRECT information on what to do in the event the trailer was taken. CC and I were not “specially assigned”, we were just sent into the Mosquito Coast as a favor for Valerie.
    There was no plan, No Plan during a multi-state evacuation during the second arrival of a hurricane that was still reeling from Gustav which had just hit there!

    Ok, so inside the gates, there are actually lots of drivers looking for their trailers, it was kind of like that game where everybody throws their shoes in a pile and then you have to find yours except the pile was the entire state.
    Still, there was a lot of good spirits, especially when CC and I turned out to be the only Women present amongst several hundred truckers. When we pulled inside guys came up on our running boards and it kind of freaked me out at first. I felt like Rhett Butler trying to get the last horse out of Atlanta, beating them down so we could inch our way through the crowd.

    This one guy came up to me so eager about CC, he said “he really NEEDED to have HER on his truck and he could TEACH her because he was a trainer” … (UM yeah… ok. we already heard all that Jack so move it, she’s with me, but thanks)
    Oh boy, we got job offers from this one and that one. Here’s a tip girls, every Tom, Dick and Harry will offer to “Teach” you everything they know. You will get a zillion and one offers but BEWARE! DO NOT let your ego get the best of you. These guys don’t really want to make the long-term commitment to teach you they just want to get you on their truck. They want you to be in a dependent situation with them and there is NO Guarantee you will learn anything about driving the truck.


    I saw many girls meet someone like this and then snub everyone and say “Oh, he is going to teach me,
    I’m leaving here for a better gig” then guess what? The gig is the guy wants an on board sex slave and you just quit your job. Now you don’t have enough experience to get back into a company. You also just burned your bridge with your training company, now you are done.
    CC was flattered, I was flattered but we kept our wits about us. Inside the command center we were advised to take a case of MRE’s and a case of water. We should have taken two. There was no one who had a clue about the missing trailers but they told us to sit and wait.
    By this time I had contacted the person in my company actually was assigned to the FEMA detail and she told me that the weekend shift had strict orders to call her on her cell phone should a situation arise like what had happened to us. Communication breakdown perhaps? I don’t know, I just drive a truck.
    She was doing the best she could do under the circumstances but my dispatcher kept sending the same annoying message “Did you get the trailer?” “Where the Trailer?” it was so crazy that I was talking to this lady at my company who seemed to have her act together and getting these dumb messages from Ace at the same time, like doesn’t he watch CNN?

    It was in this chaos a utility vehicle pulled up to all the bobtails who were sitting waiting on word about what to next, we were given a paper, actually an order, to go retrieve an empty trailer. I called my company, Ace said “NO, you have to find your empty trailer”, it was at this time I had to pull rank on ACE and clue him in on what a Military order means, he didn’t get it.


    The storm was changing course
    and we were told it was coming straight for us. We had just a few hours to get to the small parish and retrieve the trailer. Ace kept telling me to cease driving and find the other specific trailer. I finally stopped and called the other lady, I read her what the paper said, she told me to go inside the closest merchant I could find and tell them it was a matter of Homeland Security or something like that that I need to use their fax, and I did. Five minutes later I was advised I need to go retrieve whatever trailer I could as ordered by, whoever ordered me to do it. I said, “Can you tell Ace that please?”
    We drove into the outer banks of Louisiana to areas where telephone poles were down and the electricity had been out for some time. The area where we drove had water breaching either side of the narrow highway. We had to cross a railroad track where the arms were malfunctioning, going up and down, the lights flashing and the bells ringing. It was the only way to get to the small town called Pierre Part, Louisiana to get the trailer.
    I sat at the edge of the tracks waiting for the right time as the arms swung up and down over and over zoomed through before it touched the roof, we made it! I had no idea these low lying flat communities existed, with a storm surge they would surely be submerged in water.
    We arrived into the small village just before they locked the trailers for the day. I spied one that had my company name on it, I was so excited! I went running up to the Commanding officer and told him I needed THAT trailer. I explained that although I was sent to retrieve empties, I really really really needed that particular one with my company name.

    There were two owner-operators helping unload the heavy tarps with the National Guardsmen, they usually left at this time but because of my predicament they agreed to stay and unload that particular trailer so I could have it. I just can’t tell you how damn happy I was to see that trailer. It was sitting about one foot from sea level and with the Hurricane scheduled to make land fall by morning, that trailer would be long gone if I did not get it right now.
    While they finished unloading it I went and spoke to the “Dude in Charge” from FEMA and asked him how I could find one particular trailer. Even though I felt I had a victory but retrieving one of the many missing company trailers from my company, I still wanted to located mine in particular. He said they did have transponders on them that can be tracked. He apologized about what had happened but it was understandable, everyone was doing their best under the circumstances. He was really cool and good looking too!

    The trailer was lodged in a small church parking lot with barely enough room to budge, the guys offered to help me get it out but I said “No thanks, I can do it”, they all looked worried, because it truly was a small parking lot with a pole in the center, but I did it. As I made the corner and got my tractor and trailer straight I looked at the FEMA guy and saw he had a big smile on his face.
    I hung my head out the window and said “I’m really not a truck driver; I just slept at a Holiday Inn Express last night.” He laughed.

    I was in heaven over this stupid trailer, I couldn’t wait to call Ace and tell him I rescued a company trailer from a Hurricane’s path! As we drove back to Carville we could see IKE approaching land. Of course we were still very far into an area where most people had evacuated. An empty trailer is like an umbrella in the wind, but being bobtail isn’t much better.

    Again, as we had before
    , we sat in that single file line to get in the gates at Carville, this time though we sat there for 10 hours! Yes, 10 hours in a single file line of trucks, no bathrooms, nothing. A golf cart came around to give us water and MRE’s, we had Pot Roast in those self heating bags, it was pretty good actually. We had to go hike out to the sand dunes to go potty.

    For 10 hours we sat, no way to get out of the line, gates shut in front of us. The word was they were trying to formulate a massive evacuation of the entire command center.
    CC had for the most part stayed in the bunk, mumbling every now and again. We had no phone service. Just a case of water and MRE’s But we had a trailer.

  25. M Ellen Dempsey

    Desiree, Good gravy, you make me want to get down and kiss the ground. I didn’t realize how many horrible hassles I side stepped when I trained to become a truck driver. Yes, I am well aware most male drivers hope a women driver, especially a good lookin one like yourself, will turn out to be a “lot lizard on wheels” but like you I never even gave that a consideration. Maybe because I never went through a bona fide “trucking school” I didn’t end up dealing with the low class men you and other women got stuck with…Praise the Lord for small favors!

    Your stories would do well in a book form, they are what people are wanting to hear, all the dirt and bad behavior from “those guys.” My book deals more with my experiences of handling the truck, following strange directions, backing into “oh my god” spaces and driving in inclement weather. You tell your story well, it needs editing but take that comment not as a criticism but as an observation from someone who reads excessively. M Ellen

  26. Desiree

    A Tractor without a Trailer is like having a new car with no tires, you can’t go anywhere. You will not get another load without a trailer.
    When we were permitted inside the gates the next morning we saw trucks from many different companies pulling our company trailers. Like us, they had been given orders to retrieve any empties scattered about regardless of what company the belonged to.

    I saw some of our tractors also pulling the trailers of other companies even though we had strict orders not to pull equipment that was not ours. Because the storm’s arrival was only hours away I thought we would certainly be permitted to leave quickly now that we had a trailer.


    I took the initiative to ask drivers
    who were pulling our equipment to switch with our other drivers who had empties that did not belong to us so we could all get out of there as soon as we got word from our dispatchers.
    I ran around convincing drivers to let us have our company equipment at the same time the commander of the Carville Post was ordering us to park in a storm pattern which made it impossible for anyone to move once parked.
    Rows upon rows we formed, packed like sardines, our trucks parked side by side and end to end with barely enough space to fit through for walking or opening the door. Then the sirens began blaring, an emergency evacuation meeting was called.


    Our Truck was tucked
    snuggly in the front row and we walked inside to hear what the evacuation plan would be. We were told no one would be permitted to leave unless they were pulling something to help get everything out of Carville. The first plan was that everyone would go to a Wal-Mart Parking lot in a nearby town and recreate the storm parking pattern. One trucker protested because he said it was an abandoned store that was patrolled by the National Guard in a very bad neighborhood. The location did not have bathroom facilities so it was nixed.
    I thought it was weird that the Commander did not know this seeing how they just had an evacuation from Hurricane Gustav. He postponed his orders and spoke with several truckers to get a better grasp on where a suitable evacuation site would be.
    I saw that there was a lot of value for him to consult with these professional drivers who know the areas and where they can drive.

    After about 40 minutes another more suitable Wal-Mart was selected, we were then ordered to begin moving out in a convoy to this location. Being that we were in the front row, we were one of the first trucks instructed to move out BUT NOT without a final command.
    Tempers were flaring, we had been up all night in that single file line and many drivers had been up for days. Log Rules were thrown out the window, many of these drivers had been working 24/7 in this operation and they were at their wits end from all the waiting.
    One senior driver started screaming at me to move out but other drivers said I could not without the command of the FEMA personnel. That driver took it out on me because I am a Woman so he began screaming at me because I was in the front row.
    I ignored him at first but when he got out of control I snapped at him and he shut up. Some guys on the CB also took up for me which helped to get him under control.

    As we began to pull up into two rows,
    a girl came running up screaming “That’s my Trailer, I need that trailer”.
    She was another student team who had the same problem as we had but she had not done anything to remedy her situation. She had been sitting idle at the corner for the past 24 hours, she did none of the work we had all done to locate trailers and she demanded ours.
    She screamed and yelled like I stole the trailer, she began screaming a CC who was about to punch her in the face. She called her dispatcher and my Qualcomm beeped, “Give Truck ***** the trailer you retrieved”.
    I was so mad! Here we had worked our butts off and helped everyone else who had no trailer get one and one phone call and ours was taken away, there was no “I’m sorry but…” nothing. Then another beep, “Where’s the trailer you brought down there?” “You need to find that trailer”
    I explained we were being evacuated or I’d love to sit and tell them the entire story for the 15th time, the reply was. “You’re not being evacuated; we don’t have any sort of information like that. You have to stay there and find that trailer”.
    These are the kinds of morons who are dispatchers; these are the kinds of people who will be in charge of your life when you are in a blizzard, a hurricane or a tornado. They don’t answer the phone, they can’t look at the TV hanging over their desk that is tuned to “The Weather Channel” and decipher what state they are in , let alone what state you are in that is covered with a big multicolored circle different from everything else on the map.
    So, we gave up the trailer to the screaming girl and her mealy mouth boyfriend who quietly apologized to us. I continued to get messages over the Qualcomm, “Where’s your trailer?” “You need to get that trailer” … I’d had it, I took the Bills of Lading(BOL) from the missing trailer and looked at all the Phone numbers in Washington D.C.

    I typed back to my company, “Why don’t you call Washington DC with the ESN number on this BOL and ask for yourself? What’s the point of having a satellite tracking device on the trailer if you don’t know how to track it?” They ignored me, figures.
    I called and said “You want me to call Washington D.C? , I will call them myself” The voice on the other end protested, “No, No, don’t do that” , but I’d had enough of these inept do-nothings, I called and within 15 minutes I had satellite coordinates with an aerial photograph of that trailer with it coordinates. The Woman from I spoke to with Homeland Security emailed me the photo with information on the spot and I forwarded to Ace. “There’s the trailer!” I told him, it was also still loaded and unable to be moved from its location.
    You think my company was happy? You think they said “Good Job”? NO! My dispatcher Ace called in a sullen voice and said to me. ‘You take too much initiative”! Apparently that’s bad in trucking.

    I was very hurt when Ace said this to me. I had been up for days, CC had done nothing the entire time but borrow my phone to call her boyfriend who was a driver on another truck. I had not slept but a few hours since I had returned on the Greyhound round trip to Florida to get the Haz mat endorsement, moved into the new truck with all Valerie’s stuff. I was so exhausted.
    This was a huge slap in my face to be told I took too much initiative, I was truly stunned yet again that I was being encouraged to do a bad job.
    Under the circumstances, we were permitted to leave without any trailer and go to the designated Wal-Mart where the truck evacuation was being staged. CC drove and it was clear that she was nervous, she was upset about the bugs on the windshield, she wanted to see her boyfriend, she didn’t understand that we were in an evacuation for a natural disaster, she just wanted her boyfriend.


    She ignored the parking orders
    and parked the bobtail as if we were just coming for shopping. By this time the winds were gusting hard. I did not want to step on her toes because I knew she was edgy but shopping carts kept zooming by our brand new truck.
    I lived in Hawaii during “Iniki” and in Key West for 11 years, I am well aware of how something small can become a rocket in a hurricane. I wondered if CC would get the hint when 5 shopping carts went rolling by very fast and slammed into a car denting it. She did not; she just sat in the driver’s seat and stared into space.
    I told her I thought we should move closer to the other trucks to shield us, especially now that we didn’t even have a trailer to hold us down. She barked back “It’s doesn’t make any difference where we park, those shopping carts won’t do any damage”.
    I wasn’t going to argue with her, if the truck got damaged I knew we would be charged, I was in no fighting mood. Ace had burst my bubble, so I didn’t even bother consulting with him. I left her in the truck and went to the massaging chair for a pedicure.


    I was so glad to see civilization after being stuck at Carvill
    e, even if there was a run on the store going on. It was a madhouse. People were scrambling to buy every last crumb of food and water, pandemonium & Hysteria leading the way. I grabbed the latest people magazine & went to that Wal-Mart Nail Salon for a French pedicure. Who knows how long we would be trapped, I’d at least like my feet to look nice on my corpse.

    When I got back to the truck there was a QUALCOMM message that said “You are being evacuated, you must got to xyz Wal-Mart location and await further directions”. This was the Wal-Mart location that was earlier nixed because the lack of facilities, here it was several hours later and we were being told to pull out of a secure area and go to an unsecure area. We weren’t being asked either.

    Oh yes we told them it was in an area that had looters and was under watch of the National Guard who were armed. We also told them there was no toilet; it was just a condemned building with Humvees blocking the driveways with armed men. Did that make a difference? No, it did not.

    So off we went to this place that was every bit as worse as it was described. A neighborhood devastated by crime and poverty and ravaged by hurricanes’ past. Six trucks, six humvees with 4 armed soldiers blocking each driveway. Pallets strewn around were meant to make some sort of blockade. Cases of bottled water lay in the center of the parking lot, our complimentary “supplies” and a filthy outhouse sat at the far corner of the lot. Probably would not be drinking any of that water, I thought to myself.
    We were there about thirty minutes until CC came unglued. I let her go crazy with the dispatchers, I was done trying to explain to them & the more I asked for assistance the less I got it.
    CC got some action; we go an empty move north to Mississippi to another Wal-Mart, just out of the storm’s path. We sat unmoved for several days, no word, nothing.
    We didn’t even know what happened, did the storm ever come? We didn’t know. CC had a meltdown, she wanted to see her boyfriend, he was on his way to our home terminal and she was chomping at the bit to see him.

    Here is what was going on. CC hoped her boyfriend would have missed her enough that he would want to team with her He was encouraging her to find a reason to have our truck routed back to the terminal.
    Remember we had been an entire week now in the same place; we had no miles under our belts, no paychecks coming in at all. We were also informed we would not even get the $100 per day FEMA pay because we weren’t on the “Special Assigned” teams. We were only doing a favor for Valerie to deliver her stuff. We also did not get any “layover” pay because they moved out truck just before we would have qualified to get any. This is another common trick these truck training companies pull.
    They say they will pay you if you are sitting with no load for a certain number of hours. In my company it’s the 49th hour then you get $50 layover pay. A very common practice is that you are ordered to go pick up a trailer 15 miles away or something stupid to make you move the truck, then you don’t qualify for this pay.
    I’ve heard this happen constantly to some drivers. These are all tactics to make you get frustrated and quit. Remember, your success is not important to these companies, your cheap labor is. At your 5 or 6th month they are trying to “squeeze you out’ or “starve you out” as Allen Smith so aptly puts it.

  27. Desiree

    The weekend Hurricane Ike made landfall. We stayed in a Wal-Mart parking lot just out of the storm’s path.
    CC started sending messages on the Qualcomm that “she needed to get off the truck”, as she wanted them to route us back to our terminal immediately. I knew it was because of her Boyfriend who kept pressuring her but she was putting it in the Qualcomm as though it was because of me.
    A reply came back asking her what “I” was doing to “her”.

    I had not shared my past experiences with CC, I just wanted them to go away, but I knew the same feeble in-house structure of my company would try to find a reason to make it seem like I was the problem.
    When I saw what CC was doing I confronted her, I told her that if she wanted to go back to see her boyfriend to be honest & don’t try to make a drama where there isn’t one because I had been to hell and back with these people.
    At first, CC said she didn’t like that I talked to Ace so much , then she confessed that she wasn’t trying to do too much work, even though she could, it wasn’t her intention. She felt she needed to be on a truck with a man so they could do the work. Also, she didn’t like the bugs on the windshield.
    YEAH!!! That’s what she said! Bugs on the Windshield were more than she could bear! I’m thinking to myself this girl needs to return to Career corner if she did not consult with her Workforce Professional that this job requires sitting in front of glass all day that moves at 62 mph? Not a good choice for someone with bugaphobia!

    At least CC was big enough to respond on the Qualcomm that in fact, it was HER not me that was the problem. We sat about 3 days in that parking lot; the only time she talked was when I offered to cook up some MRE’s we had left over from Carville. Like Lily before her, CC always perked up when I catered to her whims.


    On Monday, we finally got an order to move the truck
    . It was an empty move to get an empty trailer. An empty move to get an empty trailer from Mississippi to Missouri. YES!!! Let me say that again. After sitting a week looking for a specific empty trailer in a Hurricane Evacuation Area that turned out to be still loaded and no possible way to take it anyways, then left sitting for another 3 days after that was determined, we were given an empty move several states away to get an empty trailer. Does that make cost efficient sense to anyone? I hope not because then I would really be scared.
    CC was ecstatic because we were going to Joplin from S. Mississippi away from the bugs and then once we got the empty we would get a load back to our terminal so she team up with her dream man that she met in just 2 months as a trucker, Magic!

    In order to accommodate her further I agreed to get those nasty devils off the grill and put some extra elbow grease into scrubbing the windshield. CC supervised by hopping up and down at the Pilot Travel Center and screaming out loud when I pulled a deceased but unusually large flying insect from the wiper blade. Keeping the sanity in an insane spectacle was my goal.

    We arrived to Joplin, Missouri at about 1am, drove around, around and around the shipping facility but did not see anything recognizable belonging to our company, then we asked, then we sent a QUALCOMM, nothing.
    Nothing as in, we just drove from Mississippi to Missouri to get an empty Trailer that was gone. It would have been quicker to route us straight back to Chattanooga so Romeo and Juliet could be together but no, that would be to boring.
    It’s just too ridiculous to revisit really, but at least we were out of the south, we actually had a chance now to get something.
    By some strange stroke of luck, we got an assignment that sent us from Joplin to “Re-power” a refrigerated unit for a driver who need to take his tractor to the shop. So off we went in the wee hours we traveled south into Oklahoma to help a fellow driver. We had a trailer with a real load! Our first since we got the tarps to take to Louisiana over a week ago.
    I can’t even remember where that load was going but in any case we made it back to our terminal but CC was acting different AGAIN. I sensed her sweetheart was giving her the “brush off”. Technically, I didn’t need a teammate anymore, but she did. It was looking to me like she gambled and lost.
    I had heard her making phone calls during the final stretch into the terminal. It didn’t sound too good. She was still going to see her dude but he wasn’t intending to team with her, she was trying to rustle up someone else, other guys she had met during her orientation.
    I got the feeling that CC realized she had shot herself in the foot by running back to this guy, but still she seemed very naïve about the fact that she was fresh meat.

    When we parked at the terminal, she was very slow about packing her stuff. I opened the curtain and said “CC, if this does not work out with your boyfriend I want you to know that you did not burn your bridge with me. You are welcome to come back.” CC seemed relieved.
    Our company was having a safety event that week; I went to Ace who wanted to know what CC’s problem was. He was pretty upset that she had duped him into thinking it was urgent she get off the truck and made him route us back for a booty call.
    He told me to tell CC she needed to attend the Safety Event at least, I did but she simply stopped by with her Beau, signed in and left out the back door.
    She spent a couple days with him but he wasn’t going to break up his team with his friend and take her. He got what he wanted and she had the company, me and Ace accommodate and facilitate it.
    After the safety event, CC got back on the truck with me and we left. Now we could work, I think?
    It was actually time for me to take home time in California. CC knew this was part of the deal to stay with me; she would have to ride to California and wait for me to have my break.
    Ace put us on a High Security Load from North Carolina to California, we were not to stop. I had only one other like this and I understood clearly the security risk these loads carry. CC said she had done many of these loads and she went about being the authority on how and when we would stop.
    By New Mexico, CC had developed an “attitude” of superiority and advised me that we could stop because she knew we were only being tracked by satellite the first 200 miles and no one would care. Seeing how she was “all-knowing” now that she had 2.5 months under her belt I did not protest.
    CC went about telling me how she knew about this and that. Boy oh Boy she seemed like she knew it all! Then our Qualcomm went BEEP>”why are you stopping?” Answer: Ah because CC said we could, she’s real smart.
    Actually, I did not say that but I did ask CC to respond being that she was more qualified and all.
    As it turned out we were being tracked by an outside satellite tracking company who then called our company to ask them why we stopped. We had many eyes on those smokes. Which leads me to wonder how some trailers just vanish? Or do they?
    It was a teachable moment, I hope for CC anyways. I should have said something but then I would be a bitch so you are always in this lose-lose situation. Especially when you have no back up support from your employer. Many of these Truck training companies put more effort into provoking you to lose your temper than they do to give you logistics support in the field.

    I was so glad to get to California and take my first real home time where I could relax. It had been one year since I started CDL School in Miami. I was done with the required 6 months of teaming but with the collapse of the economy, going to another company was not a good choice.
    CC was happy to be at our California terminal also, she had friends there and I sensed she would meet someone and take off with them while I was on my Home time. She did just that.
    I was very lucky; I had my Hazardous Materials Endorsement and enough time to be considered for another division.
    My first choice was to stay on a California to Arizona account but I was told the Female dispatcher did not like Women Drivers so even if I did get hired she would make sure I got fired shortly after. NOT COOL!
    This has been something I’ve seen in the Trucking Industry that really bothers me; Women treat each other like crap. Not all of them but many who are in some supervisory position.
    Since I began this story I learned that 70% of Women experience bullying from other Women in the Workplace.
    I also learned that the best thing that has happened to help Women overcome Sexual Harassment in the Workplace has been Men raising the standards because had Daughters they did not want to see mistreated.
    I learned that what is happening in trucking is not just Sexual Harassment but also harassment with regards to “starving out”, charging to idle, and regular psychological games played on both genders to make you get frustrated and quit which can place you in a catch 22 situation.
    I learned about Cheap Freight and that Student Trucking Fleets are killing the American Trucker in the U.S.A., one of the last “Mom & Pop” Businesses our country has.
    I learned that “Non-Profit Organization’s” are a sham and advocate for nothing to help those who are suffering unless it will benefit their ego.
    I did learn to drive the truck!
    My advice for incoming Student Truckers is to document everything & DON’T QUIT! They want you to quit, that makes room for more students. Don’t do it! A reputable company wants MORE than 6 months of accident-free experience, so don’t company jump even if the ads are promising something better.
    I unraveled a lot of ugliness about this industry and the people making money of the cheap labor of student truckers this year.
    I love the job but I’m sad to say none of the supposed “leaders” are doing much more than finding a way to make money of your cheap labor.
    All at the expense of Highway Safety.
    My next Installment will be my last; it is about my first Hazardous Materials Load…I hope we will all learn something from it. I know I did.

  28. CJ Marley

    It was extremely interesting reading ur story Desiree. I too am a female new to the trucking industry. I got very lucky in that my trainers were mostly pretty decent (although I had issues with one who would yell @ me when I was trying to back the truck). I was very fortunate with my first trainer who was a real gentleman and very knowledgeable. He still continues to help me learn as we stay in touch via cell. But I know there r true horror stories out there of females being accosted by their male trainers. I’ve heard of rapes that have occurred by trainers in the company I’m with and little was done. It’s a very sad thing that so many male drives have difficulty viewing us as equals on the road. I’ve been verbally abused on the CB by some jerk who felt that women “should not be behind the wheel of an 80,000 lb bullet.” Ha! I could drive and back circles around my last trainer (at least he was a nice guy and never tried anything on me). Yesterday I had the pleasure of making the acquaintance of a driver at the TA I was at who is a 34 yr veteran of driving. Now here’s this guy from the old school and he had more respect for women drivers than from our “modern” male drivers.

    Unfortunately I am one of those cheap labor students as it was the only way I could break into this industry. I look forward to the day when I can move over to a better company, but for now I have to stick it out with this one to get the experience on the road and hope that they will start giving me enough miles to actually get a pay settlement soon. I’ve only been on my own solo without a trainer for a little over 3 weeks now. It’s hard to not be impatient about moving on to a better driving position, but seeing as how no one else will hire me yet anyway I have no choice. I’ll just keep on rolling these wheels in the meantime and do the best I can.

  29. Desiree

    Dear CJ:

    Thanks for posting and introducing yourself to me on Twitter. It’s very valuable for us to stay in touch via internet to help each other out.

    There have been times I had a question and by reaching out through Twitter I could get immediate assistance and support from everything to my Sprint Issues to looking at my failing A/C when I could not get support from my company.

    In my final installment I will finalize the freedom I fely going solo and my opinion of having even conscientious student trucker pulling Hazardous Materials which as you know being this fresh of your trainers truck there is still some much to grasp daily about what you are doing out here with regards to the log book, directions and managing your time effectively.
    Once I complete this Student Trucker story I will continue to write about what happened when I joined “Women in Trucking” and other Organizations in hopes that their Mission would be for the purpose to assist drivers to overcome the many many obstacles in their path.( As they suggest in their mission statements) I am sorry to say, I did not have that experience and was very DISAPPOINTED. Because of the eye opening revelation, I realized that:
    NO Organizations are needed because there truly are plenty of GOOD People more than willing to help you be successful in your trucking because they actually CARE.
    Allen & Donna Smith are the ONLY advocates for Student Trucker I have found. Male or Female.
    Sorting out the haters, the Ego Driven and phoneys takes quite a bit of time, money and patience and I intend to share all of these experiences.
    I am just approaching my 2 years of driving and I still work for peanuts .27 cents per mile which when you do the math comes out on an average of $10.00 per hour to live in a truck.
    I cannot afford a car or a place to live on that pay right now so I stay out as much a 3 months at a time and stay with a friend for 1 week ( my off time does not accumulate) to go to the dentist, doctor and take Karma to the Vet.
    That leaves little time to try to have any sort of life or time with friends or family.
    It is a sacrifice I was willing to make to do this job and other entering this line of work should clearly understand that this is what it takes.
    Let’s keep in touch on Twitter…
    Desiree

  30. […] with our Blog readers and Newsletter subscribers.  She said yes she would and thus “ A Day in the Life of a Lady Trucker” and TruckerDesiree was born, and the trucking industry would never be quite  the […]

  31. Marty Leake

    I’m approaching retirement and looking to drive next year. I have done lot of researche over the past ten months and I would hope you provide me with your thoughts and experiences as you began through your current position.
    I’m currently employed, empty nester with lots of time on my hands as I approache my retirement date. I have dreamed and I have a passion for wanting to drive OTR.
    I plan on attending a college base CDL course in the spring of 2010. I have looked at the following truck companies, Werner, Prime, Roehl, Knight’s Squire Program, and Stevents.
    Tell me your thoughts on those companies.

  32. greg

    Well I do hope you did get permission from the company you work for to allow Dan Rather in the truck and to allow the camera to film you while were driving cuz any company that is a blantant violation of company policy

  33. Desiree

    Dear Greg:

    There are a number of truckers who have their own cameras inside their trucks an are quite popular on you tube. They film themselves with their own camera equipment.

    I appreciate your concern for me.

    It appears my company does and did know I was being followed for some time be more than one film crew.

    No rider was ever on my truck, except my new dog and she has permission … and rabies shots.

    Most truckers these days do have video equipment and electronics in their truck, I guess I decided in my downtime I’d rather write than play XBOX , watch Movies or make practical Joke videos to put on You Tube … By the Way, the Dan Rather Producers have contacted me today to let me know that the segment will be put up on You Tube so that everyone can view it for free.

    This story is not about me, It’s just that I decided to spend every spare moment I have had for the past year writing to the outside world hoping someone outside the industry would read and listen and give their opinion.

    Obviously, those inside the industry don’t want that to happen.

  34. cc

    I’m very happy for you Desiree… Your accounts of these events are a little over the top but that’s ok… There are a lot of good lessons here and I hope you ladies get what you need. You should really write a book girl because you have a great imagination. I thought I’d be upset about what was reported to me but if it’s not the truth how could it hurt. It’s too funny absolutely funny… One more thing you should really take something called self evaluation. You are too much… wish you the best girl, keep on trucking and stay safe.

  35. cherie

    I would like to why you only tell what others have done to wrong you & not allowed them to defend themselves. Why have you blocked fellow co-workers from following on twitter and not telling your followers what it was that you may have done wrong while in training and on all your team trucks. Why haven’t any of your followers asked you what you may have done wrong, because it is clear that you are only allowing your side of the stories to be read! I will say that I am in contact with your former trainers and co-drivers to get their sides of these stories and will be postn this info soon.

  36. cherie

    I also would like to add this so your readers will know who I am! I am a Master Trainer at Covenant Transport, has a BA in political science, paralegal studies, & history, on the Jan. 2007 cover of Through The Gears, 2008 TN Truck Driving Championship, Covenant Transport Safety video on pre-trip procedures. I will say I do not know you personally but has seen you on several occassions & I’m not discrediting your accounts as to your experiences to date here at Covenant, nor speaking on Covenants behalf. If everything you say is true then wrong is wrong, but I will say your statement about trainers getting priority miles, not caring/ being qualified to train/teach, & can’t get along to team with others & these are the one’s who are the MAJORITY of the trainers is a false statement! I also would like to know what made you feel that you were qualified enough to become a trainer when you have less than 2yrs of exprience? I do realize Covenant allows people w/ 6 months experience to become trainers & personally I do not feel that’s enough experience! If you like you can talk to me personally, just have your dispatcher send me a message or ask someone for my number. I look forward to talking to you & hopefully try to help you be a successful driver here at Covenant Transport.

  37. Mick

    I think the big picture is getting clouded. A persons experiences are what they will relay. If a broad stroke is used then that is the way they see and experienced it. Yes, there are many good trainers, as well as good companies that can and should be taken as a given. However there is the other side as well, and this is what needs to be looked at\reviewed. Can positive change and should positive change take place, I think the answer should be yes, in every circumstance. If something helps someone in someway to avoid the mistakes or to make different decisions that will benefit them and help them then that is what we all should be looking for. It starts with we, not you and not me. And I think and I have been wrong plenty of times before that, that really was the point. Lastly I respect and applaud all the you have brought to the table. I’m Out.

  38. Desiree

    Dear Cherie:

    Everything in these posts was handwritten and I still have all copies and documentation, photos, reports and emails.

    I have had so many conferences in person I cannot count them all.

    I do not want to be a trainer but at the time I was with Valerie in my story she thought I should and I was ready so we routed in.

    I also do not think anyone should train with that little amount of experience but at that time I knew people were becoming trainers with just 3 months experience… and they were Great Trainers.

    I know “Tony” was becoming a trainer, “Lily” was trying to become a trainer. The First guy that told me he was becoming a trainer to “Git a Female on his Truck” was made a trainer right after the incident with me.

    I know he had a complaint shortly afterwards and was no longer a trainer, someone stopped me to tell me what he had done and I was sickened because I wrote 33 pages by hand about what his intent was and nothing was done.

    The Woman who was in the Million Mile Club ended up with “lily” on her truck and if you could hear our two stories you would be pretty dissapointed in what familiar names covered up what was going on.

    I was curious to see what would be said to me if i attempted to become a trainer and it was a rather stunning display when the HR Lady took a shuttle right over to sit down next to me and play her lame cat and mouse game with me.

    There were observers who noted it and that is all I will say.

    I am successful , I have almost 2 years now accident free miles, I am on a dedicated account with a great dispatcher who I never speak to.

    I get my assignments, I do my job and he does his … It’s a beautiful thing….

    When I started in 2007 it was a 3 ring circus…. it is very quiet and peaceful around the halls today.

    I started writing this 1 year ago about what happen the year before.

    Many upper management have know about this story for close to a year, including our former VP of Operations who resigned suddenly.

    There is much you do not know….

    There are a few girls I helped into the division I am in now and we are all doing well.

    Some say they must have “Done Something” to get on this account… we did, we stuck together and helped each other out, we call each other and answer questions and most importantly…
    We do not judge, try to dominate or belittle each other.

    There were other women I met I did not try to help, they were gossips, they had questionable driving skills and I wpold not stick my neck out for them.

    The girls I helped could drive and just wanted to work and do a good job like me… we keep to ourselves, we just want to work.
    we aren’t there to socialize, we are all happy in our fleet and with our dispatcher.

    My friend who was in the million Mile Club unfortunately was terminated in a snowstorm and she participated in the interview but it did not make it in.

    Many people would be shocked by how this woman was treated after her longterm employment.

    I spoke to her today and she is going to get to a computer and post in the next day or so, she does not have immediate access.

    I would LOVE to sit in a room with all of these characters and let you hear what they have to say with the eyewitnesses.

    The biggest complaint I had from everyone of my co-drivers was ….. My PDA … they absolutley were crazy that it did so many things.

    I tried to teach Tony to use it but he would have a fir because he couldn’t see well, Lily came to rely on it so much she became insensed even in an HR Meeting that she did not have 24 hour access to it yet did not want to spend the money for her own.

    Bill liked me and was truly upset when I got off the truck, he got mad I wouldn’t listen to him but I didn’t because he was “Impaired” in his judgement and I knew I was going to have an accident with him.

    I’m pretty sure you could go ask “Sam” about “Mag” and find out what a piece of crap he was.

    I think you know who that is.

    There are lots of people upstairs who know and have known about all of this for a very longtime… I just never went and told other drivers.
    This is MY story , This is what happen to me, This is what I saw…
    There is actually much more that I didn’t even have time to write and the end installmet is already 2000 words, I haven’t finished.

    I have had peace since I went solo except that I have been writing and on Twitter.

    I have blocked only a handful of people, 5 stalkers who became crazed that I was getting attention and not them.

    I site that had porno on it and in the past few days I blocked one person because Twitter is complex.

    People who come on and just follow me get confused rather quickly.

    It takes well over a month to understand what is happening.

    I’ve had many people become confused and agitated because they come on Twitter and only follow me so thay have no idea that I’m talking to over 4000 people with an influence than can potentially spread to 100,000

    No one can see them, they are sitting in a room alone complaining, they get more and more agitated like not understanding they are invisible to this entire group of people who are all talking at once.

    It’s better to learn twitter and then follow me so you can understand what is happening better.

    Not until you get 500 to 1000 followers can you fully appracaite the activity that is occuring and the speed at which it is happening.

    I have coached many people on Twitter and some have more followers than me.

    It takes work and commitment to be relevant.

    If someone want to learn Twitter they can email me TruckerDesiree@gmail.com but if they just come to stalk me and argue I’m not wasting my time.

    I’m enjoying 4000 friends who are laughing and sharing their ideas, with the whole world.

    It’s not like a forum with a couple trolls who just nag everyone

  39. Desiree

    Here is a post I made about CRST some months back on my wordpress.
    Understand that A Day in the Life of a Lady Trucker is MY Experience. BUT There are many other people who have an experience they would like the public to know also, they just do not have anyone who will listen to them.
    Please read the comments…. People are reaching out to speak. They have been intimidated to remain quiet for a very longtime and now the interrnet & Twitter is making it possible for people to connect.
    It’s really as simple as that.
    http://truckerdesiree.com/2009/05/25/crst/

  40. […] about “Queen of the Road” with comments section. Remember that not even a smidgen of my Student Trucker Story was told on this show because of the time constraints, so before the speculators start speculating […]

  41. CHERIE

    Desiree, you may want to watch what you say to people! It has been mention that now you are going around making claims that a female was gang raped, you represent all female drivers, and a few other things. Please make sure you have your facts on issue of that nature before you go mentioning them, for it can get you in trouble. Also as a female driver, you do not represent me nor can you represent me as a driver in this industry. You can only speak on issues that have affected you and only you! I do not know what point you are trying to make or if you really know what you are doing being that you only have less than 2yrs in this industry. You still have a lot to learn and will continue to learn new things on a daily basis. There is no 1 expert in this industry, because we all learn new things every day out here. It takes all of us to make this industry better for all of us (male & females)! Remember make sure you have your facts before making claims/statements you may not know the whole story about!

    • Allen Smith

      Desiree has not claimed to represent all females. This is absurd, and it’s how things get twisted. In the future, for the benefit of your credibility, please reference these allegations. Thanks, Donna

  42. Desiree

    Dear Cherie:
    This is exactly how the rumor mills about “Well I heard this & I heard that” begin.
    I just spoke to a girl who knows you, Dated “Tony” from my story & knows a Woman I think we all know who was the lady who called safety about my trainer.
    This girl asked me lots of questions about Rumors She Heard & tried to defend many things she felt were misstatements but confessed she has not personally read everything in its entirety.
    Also she & I discussed a Number of recent items & She Said “Oh Yes at Hutchins” But there is more to the story…… YES there is….There always is in every single story…
    The fact that I just got back in my truck & you posted is incredible that the actual conversation was “tweaked a bit.”
    I do know some of the people who were present at the time of the occurrence & this forum is most certainly not the place to discuss it.
    I am involved with a Rape Group in Dallas Texas & have written about some Texas Rape Legislation in which I testified for the passage of the law.
    Rumors are part of the problem when people want to insert themselves into an already chaotic situation.
    The Article by Allen The Truck Drivers Worst Enemy” is in order to be cited here.
    This is MY Story… MINE

  43. CHERIE

    1st: To Donna
    I DO NOT need to reference any allegations bc one I’m not the one talking to the tv shows or to others in the tv industry, but if I was I would certsinly have all my I’ dotted and T’s crossed! Further more my credibility is not the 1 on the line with the public nor with the company that I work for! I do belive Ms. Wood knows what I’m refering to for she has responded to my comment. Like everyone else at our company we want to make sure she has her facts about certain issues so it doesn’t twist the issues any more than what they already are! Thank!

    2nd To Desiree: Yes I was contacted about the said conversation you had this morning! As you can see I also did not mention the facts to that conversation, just highlighted some points that were addressed. Yes rumors do get started like that, but I can say it won’t be me to start because I will address whatever is said and back it! Also it’s understood that this is your story, which some find very interesting & a bit entertaining to read. Yes there are several of us that have read all your stuff and told people where they can read it. The main concern is that your facts are correct and we are all giving you the benifit of the doubt to be telling the correct info. As for the issue in Texas, I did not mention where it took place and nor should you have mentioned the location.

  44. Allen Smith

    Perhaps you should contact Dan Rather Reports if you feel you have information that will help the investigation, especially if you can “untwist” facts. I’ve written you a private email. Donna

  45. Greg

    Well I do hope ALL the facts eventually come to light

  46. Allen Smith

    Yes, we all do. It will be the best thing for all of us in the trucking industry.

  47. Greg

    So Since most of us male trainers are just looking for a “lot lizard on wheels” then I guess most women who enter trucking are just looking for a guy to take care of all that dirty work RIGHT

  48. greg

    When did you testify in Texas Rape Legislation I couldnt find any reference to you in anyway I am courious to read your testimony

  49. Graembo

    Hey. I wasn’t the only female at my CDL mill, but I was one of three, and very few of the men in the class were enlightened enough to take us seriously. As a result, when the other two females discovered a difference (hmm… wonder what?), they were quick to ostracize me in order to raise themselves into higher esteem with their male colleagues. Did something similar ever happen to you?

  50. Christie

    I can not believe we are still lumping all the good people with all the bad people! How on earth can you use words like “most” or “majority” and say the kind of things the that have been said about trainers first and now the attacks have turned to men. I have seen that happen out of men and women BOTH!! But let’s put it to the flip side. Why aren’t we talking about the students (again men and women both) who think that they will get on their trainers truck and “sleep” their way through the training process? NOW if a trainer is low enough to take this offer, then he or she is no higher then pond scum!! Please when making statements, be it here or any other forum, remember, that truck drivers are not the only ones who read these things, and not ALL MEN, WOMEN or TRAINERS are bad people!!

    • Allen Smith

      Christie, I don’t see any ” lumping all the good people with all the bad people”…but you seem to be. This would be like being mugged by a green martian and then saying “all green martians are awful” People are not this stupid. donna

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