I am working a contract with a company called InterCall – they supply technology and support for companies to host conference calls. My role is to patch clients through to their correct conference, these are about 20 second interactions and they go like this:
Me: “Good Morning, may I have your conference number please?”
Last Tuesday morning this is how the client responded, oh, and it bares mentioning that it was a woman,
Client: **already frazzled “Hi, Hello, I’m a trucker – coming into some heavy traffic, I don’t know the code, but the call is for XYZ Company”
I shook my head, asked her to spell her first and last name – and before I connected her I closed with “Please, Drive Safe”
Keith asked me jokingly after I’d hung up, “Did it say ‘Drive Safe’ in your scripting?” Well, no it didn’t, but I could NOT help myself but to add it – and I’m praying for everyone on the road with her. I am certain she is neither going to get full benefit of the information presented on the call, nor be able to concentrate on her driving in traffic – wielding a truck regulated to haul loads up to 50,000 lbs.
We left Medford the next morning with a 500+ mile drive up the I-5 ahead of us. I watched every semi like a hawk. I’d eye each one in the cab as we passed by and the first one I caught swerving across the lines, oh ya – it was a woman and she was on the phone!!! I didn’t keep count, but was really amazed at the cell phone use by truckers, headsets or not – does that seem unsafe to anyone else? Have I turned into a old fuddy duddy, or is this a serious safety issue?
As we came into the thickening traffic of Seattle, I began counting how many drivers of regular vehicles were on their cell phones. No joke, 3 out of 4 drivers were on the phone, and dare I say – relatively unaware of the their own maneuvers or those around them. Certainly my senses were heightened, what with driving in a 50 ft long rig, weighing around 17,000 lbs at 5:04 p.m. on a Wednesday of Easter Weekend – but the drivers who slid in between us and the car in front of us just because their car would FIT, probably never really gave the move much thought, as they were too busy talking on the phone. It’s not a smart move, but it happens all the time. Jeeeeez, God forbid we loose our trailer brakes! If I lived full-time in a city (won’t happen, but let’s just say…) and my commute twice daily was in busy freeway traffic I’m sure I would fall into the comfort zone and talk away. Doesn’t make it safe.
So, I wanna know – how many of us are using our cellphones while we drive? I do, on a headset. Lemme know where you stand, I’m very curious. I promise not to judge – unless you are a trucker, cuz I really don’t think truckers should be chatting away while driving
Though Keith has a firm position of kudos and congratulations being unnecessary in regards to work that must be done – I had to compliment him for his fine driving hauling this:
In this nightmare: