I've been an over-the-road trucker for most of my adult life. I've tried working in offices a couple of different times, and I found I absolutely hated the experience. My latest attempt at office work was working as a computer network administrator for a large eye clinic. Computers have long been a major hobby and working with computers full time had been a sort of "dream job" in my mind for quite a number of years. What did I find? Reality is a whole lot different than a dream. The "dream job" turned out to be a nightmare. After two years of Hell I finally bit the bullet and came back to over-the-road trucking, the only job I'm really happy with.

I've had a lot of time to think about it and I've realized that computers tend to bring out the "psychic vampire" in people. This has been an issue with me for years, long before I took the computer Network Administrator job. Some people (though certainly not all), when they happen upon someone who is knowledgeable about computers, tend to try to pick every bit of information they can out of the person's brain. If I'm not careful I come away from such an experience feeling emotionally and physically drained.

When it comes to helping people with computers, I tend to be way too much of a people-pleaser. For years I found myself saying "yes" to helping people with their computers, and there are some people who automatically take advantage of it -- not only friends, but relatives too. There have been times when I've had as many as 5 computers belonging to other people at my house at the same time, fixing their machines for free. When I was on the road in the past there were times when I would find messages from perfect strangers on my answering machine wanting me to call them back on my dime to offer them technical support over the phone. I finally got smart and started charging them for it. That helped to weed out the men who were willing to pay from the boys who were just looking for free help. I also learned to keep my mouth shut when I would overhear people recounting their computer problems. A good 95% of computer problems are due to sheer user error. The type of computer end user that simply drives me insane is the type that has used computers for years, but doesn't really want to learn any more about it than they have to.

I'm fortunate that I stumbled into trucking early in life. I didn't realize what a great thing I had until I tried something completely different. Trucking isn't for everyone. It requires many, many, many long hours behind a steering wheel, day in and day out, week after week, month after month, year after year. I can sit and drive a truck for endless hours so I feel pretty fortunate to have found something I can do that I really enjoy.

A huge downside of office work, along with many other jobs, is the fact that employers want to maintain tight control over the employee's appearance. I absolutely don't agree with that. As a trucker, it literally doesn't matter what I look like. I can look as ridiculous, outrageous or extreme as I want, and it's irrelevant. Trucking solves the problem.

I've never been a people-pleaser when it comes to trucking. Pleasing a trucking company is a very black and white issue -- just make the loading and delivery appointments in a timely fashion without destroying the equipment, and they are pleased. As long as I make my pick-ups and deliveries and don't destroy the equipment assigned to me in the process, I have a great deal of freedom in how I perform the job.

The other issue I've never been able to come to terms with personally is office politics. If you put two employees working together, you always end up with office politics. The larger the number of employees, the more poisonous the political atmosphere becomes. Driving a truck over-the-road enables me to completely cut office politics out of my life. Of course there's a lot of politics going on in the trucking company office, but I am totally removed from it. For all I care, they can strangle each other, and it doesn't matter to me as long as they keep my truck moving and keep the paychecks coming. For me, the office politics problem is solved!


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