Today I was listening to CNN and they were talking to Mike Rowe of Dirty Jobs fame. Rowe recently did a 60-second spot for Walmart helping them present their new plan to invest in American manufacturing. See the spot on YouTube here. The reason that CNN had Mike Rowe on their programs was that some of the American public has been outraged that he was sticking up for Walmart. In the interview on about 3 of the different CNN shows he denied sticking up for Walmart and said that he did the spot to help promote blue-collar jobs.
I immensely enjoyed hearing Mike Rowe talk about the blue-collar workforce and how we need to put America back to work. He even has a foundation that supports skills training. He talked about construction, welding and trucking. He said that these are the vocations that build America. And as truck drivers we know he is 100% right in his assertions. I think the comment that struck a cord with me the most was when he mentioned that blue-collar jobs have become something to be ashamed of. He used the example of someone that got a four-year degree in finance and now is turning a wrench as a plumber. How has America become so ashamed of the blue-collar jobs that helped form our country?
When I was working for FedEx Freight in Salt Lake City, Utah I had a supervisor who used to live in Boise, Idaho. Which is where I live today. When he told me he used to live in Boise, I asked the usual question, “So how did you like Boise?” This supervisor looked at me and told me that he didn’t like Boise because it was a blue-collar job town and he was more of a white-collar guy. My opinion of this supervisor at FedEx Freight was that he was a white-collared douchebag. About a year or so after I quit FedEx Freight and went back to my old job I got a dedicated run to Boise and eventually moved up here. I love it here, but that must mean that I’m a blue-collar job kinda guy. Go figure, I’m a truck driver!
I think now is one of the best times to enter truck driving as a career. The training to become a truck driver is very affordable vs. going to college for a four-year degree and I make just as much or more than my friends that graduated with degrees. And I don’t have the student loans that they do! I know the big knock on truck driving is that you will be away from your family. However, what I found out about this blue-collar job is that with today’s technology it is easier than ever to stay in touch with your loved ones. Also, once you have a year or two of safe driving under your belt. You can actually write your own ticket as to where you want to work! Whether it is local or long-haul work you are looking for. I personally see benefits to either way of trucking.
I have always been a blue-collar job guy throughout my work history. And trucking has provided me with a good stable income and the ability to give my family opportunities that I otherwise wouldn’t have been able to provide. One of my favorite things about being a new driver trainer was seeing the stories of the people that would start their career in truck driving. Now they all wondered how much money they would make and when I told them they could make about $1,000 a week their eyes usually jumped out of their heads. For most of them this was twice if not three times what they were used to making. And all for the small sacrifice of putting in some time behind the wheel.
So the next time you hear someone talking down about any trade-skill in the blue-collar job family. Make sure you let them know you are a truck driver. And truck driving is a blue-collar job. And if they think that blue-collar jobs are less than desirable, you tell them that they wouldn’t have anything in life if it wasn’t for you and your truck. After all trucking is one of the best blue-collar jobs out there! There isn’t anything better than being on a lonely stretch of interstate and see the sun come up. And you know that what you are doing is making a difference to the community that you are delivering or picking up that load from. Even though many people won’t recognize us as the cornerstone of the American economy. My friend, you and me both know better!