Women in Trucking - A Woman's Perspective
A Quart of Chocolate Ice Cream
What do a quart of chocolate ice cream, a new hat, a box of tissues and a phone call to a friend in the middle of the night have in common? They are all traditional tools women use to deal with the break up of a romance. You might ask what this has to do with trucking, but dealing with a broken heart while on the road is tougher for us lady drivers.
Finding someone decent to have a relationship with is hard. Maintaining a relationship while being a truck driver is harder. But having a relationship go south is hardest yet. Many think that because we women drive truck we are tougher than other women, harder hearted and can easily survive anything. Though we lady drivers develop a tough outer shell and portray ourselves as strong and independent, many of us have a very soft heart and are hurt easily...we just learn not to show it.
When a woman is at home, she has the benefit of friends, family, clergy and counselors if a break up occurs, AND the luxury of time to take a day or two off and mope around eating chocolate, go out and buy a new hat, cry a box of tissues up and get hysterical while talking to a friend for hours. We live in trucks that move every day, carrying time sensitive freight and are virtually isolated for the most part from people that give a darn if we are hurting or not. "Just get 'er done," is the attitude we get!
So, what replaces the traditional tools for getting over a break up for us lady drivers? Unless you can convince your dispatcher that you are out of hours and need a 34-hour restart starting the day of the break up, taking a couple of days off is out of the question. We don't really need too many hats...one ball cap to keep the rain off is enough. Crying hysterically is not acceptable herding 80,000 pounds of steel, rubber and payload down the road.
Packing away the pain is not good because it adds to the stress of not only the break up, but to the job. Going in and sitting at the counter in the truck stop and looking for a sympathetic ear will more than likely get you propositioned or worse yet, laughed at. Men have it easier I think in break up situations, not that they don't hurt as badly as we do, but men tend to be more sympathetic to men in those times...don't you think?
Sometimes you just have to stop the truck at some safe place and cry for an hour. Let it out. Find that place in yourself that harbors the anger and let it come forth. If there are rocks and trees, throw rocks at trees; so what if people look at you strangely. Take the tire thumper out and thump the rubber off of your tires. To heck with the bill and call your best friends. Listen to them when they tell you they love you. They will be there after any relationship no matter what...and that loving friendship will carry you through the hurt. Look at yourself and accept the responsibility that is yours in the break up, not what was his. Check yourself to see if you need to do some work on yourself so you come out of this a better woman and potential partner.
Then get back in your truck and do the job you do so well...driving that truck. You ARE special, you are a lady driver. And when it is time for your 10-hour break...they sell chocolate ice cream at most truck stops.