I arrived for my second day driving trucks around to find the boss had other ideas, in fact – and he made this very clear – he said that I’m “not competent enough to drive these trucks in any capacity” and I’m “not invited back tomorrow.” It seems then that my trucking driving experience is over, just when I was starting to enjoy myself. Although I have to agree my parking was pretty ropy and the damage I caused no doubt cost the company a fair bit, and as for reversing, well the less said about that the better.
I headed inside the office to clear out my locker and say bye to the rest of the drivers when the boss caught up with me and offered me one last job, something a little different that truck drivers occasionally indulged themselves with on quieter days. First he swore me to secrecy, “of course” I said, “This diary I’m writing is for my personal records only and will never, ever be published online”. In his naivety he bought my lies and bundled me into a truck.
I’m not sure how long we had been driving for, a had a nap as we travelled, but on arriving at our destination and being rudely awakened by the biggest, scariest trucker I’d ever seen – seriously, he was the stuff of nightmares – I was greeted with a magnificent sight. My heart began to race, my palms were sweaty, pupil dilated and breathing elevated, we had arrived at a race track, for trucks.
I could hardly believe my eyes; a race track for trucks, what a marvellous idea. The boss turned to me to see me grinning and said the magic words I wanted to hear “your truck and trailer is over there, son. You can’t park to save your life but as far as fast, reckless driving goes, you’re our number one driver. Hop in and win us this race.”
He didn’t have to tell me twice. Giggling like a little girl I skipped over to my huge truck with connected trailer and began revving the engine like I would a sports car. It stalled a couple of times during my revving sessions but I think I made my point to my competitors; I wasn’t one to be trifled with. Now begins the race.
I drove up to the start line. The race was a time trail through an obstacle course. Barriers and the like were strewn across the track and I was tasked with getting to the finish line or a parking space at the end, in the fastest time possible. There was of course one slight problem, one me and my employers noticed very shortly after I started my first race. I can’t control these massive trucks and turning to dodge obstacles just isn’t my thing.
This was pretty embarrassing; driving from obstacle to obstacle damaging my truck quite severely. At one point I took a corner a little too sharp, lost my trailer as it got jammed on a barrier, and got disqualified from the race. It was a rough day. All that hope my boss and the team put on my shoulders and all I could do was crash my truck in spectacular but race losing ways.
Half a dozen races past and my performance remained consistent. I warily made my way towards the boss, half expecting him to hit me. Instead he just sighed and told me that truck driving simply wasn’t my forte. He did, however, suggest a profession that might be more my thing. A smaller vehicle with brushes attached. In fact he knew of a small city on the lookout for a contractor to help clean up the street, quite literally as a street cleaning driver. Well how could I refuse such an experience? As of next week I’ll give street cleaning a try.