Driving a truck professionally can be a tormented vocation. Truck driving schools enjoy manipulating new students in believing that over the road truck driving is an easy, laid-back lifestyle. At times, perhaps it can be, but for the most part it is a stressful, aggravating way of life. There are hundreds of thousands of pick-ups and deliveries made every day by our truckers and if you ask them which shipper and receiver is usually the worst to deal with, the answer will nearly always be the Grocery Warehouses.
I have never understood the management team of the grocery warehouses. You would think that management, lower to upper, would comprehend the main principle of business management . . . take care of the customer. Dealing with a grocery warehouse, primarily delivering, is most often the truck driver’s worst nightmare. They purposely make you sit and wait for hours on end, and most often make you, the driver, perform the unloading.
Grocery warehouses are known for their over-powering, disrespectful and hateful attitudes. Many of them will treat the professional driver as something less than a dog. All you have to do is ask a driver that has been at it for a while . . . grocery warehouses are the worst! These little managers that run the operation enjoy the feeling of power over the driver. This is the only reason I can imagine . . . what other reason would cause a “manager” to treat truck drivers this way?
Thus, this is where the management of these grocery warehouses are making their biggest mistake in managing. They may have the title of “management,” but they are not true, professional managers. What is the #1 mistake enacted by these shippers and receivers? They see these men and women truck drivers as nothing but “lower-class.” They treat them unfairly and many times with hostility. They abuse their management “powers” by making them sit and wait for hours on end, will take seven hours to unload a one hour shipment, and on and on.
This is where these so called “managers” are making their #1 mistake. These men and women of trucking may just be “truck drivers,” but they are also something else . . . they are CUSTOMERS! If every truck driver who has been treated badly by these grocery warehouses would stop shopping at the particular store, and their spouse stopped, along with their “two” kids, that would be a loss of four CUSTOMERS. Multiply this by 200 other drivers, spouses and “two” kids, customer loss would run up to 800! If each of these told a friend to stop buying from these hateful shippers and receivers, they would witness a customer loss of 1600! And . . . well, you get the picture.
A true, professional manager understands that the sole priority of a business is to make a profit. To do this, takes the customer. Without customers, a business fails. Is the customer always right? No . . . but when a company or corporation employs “managers” who fail to understand that even the lowly “truck driver” is a customer, they are no manager at all.
© 2008, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.