The international driver’s coming back home
Many of us have been running companies in the logistics industry for years. Many of us have spent years buying and selling trucks, hiring and firing drivers, without whom a trucking company could not operate. For years, we have been responsible for transporting goods in various industries, picking up, handling and delivering them on time. In transport, everything should run like clockwork. Our transport is closely linked in an unbroken chain throughout the entire logistics system. Every delay leads to further delays, the work is dynamic and adrenaline-packed. Despite excellent, precise planning, you never know what will happen and when. And it happens when you least expect it.
But have you ever wondered what it’s like to come home for a lorry driver, who is one of the most important cogs in this whole logistical machine?
Have you ever thought about the fact that the driver also has his loved ones, family, children, friends, his plans, duties, commitments, celebrations, problems, joys, health, simply his time and his life?
I found a very moving text on the blog of a freight forwarder, https://instaspedytorka.pl/, addressing the topic of drivers coming back home. With her permission I present a few examples described by her from the lives of drivers with whom she had the opportunity to work. I recommend it and wish you a good read.
“Dad, you’re back!”
Friday, 9 p.m. You enter the house laden with bags from the tour, empty food jars, dirty clothes to wash. Crossing the threshold of the house you hear “Dad! Daddy’s back!” You see your two children running out to meet you. Behind them is your wife, you can see the tiredness on her face. During your two-week absence, she has been to the doctor 3 times with her daughter, shopped every day, went to work, did laundry, ironed, did homework with the kids, embraced the whole household reality. But apart from tiredness you also see smiles, joy and relief that you are back safe and sound. That you have a few nice days ahead of you. On your way back home you have already planned that on Saturday you will take the whole family on a trip out of town, that you will give your wife a break from household chores, and in the evening you will sit with a film or go out to see friends. Your trip is on Monday afternoon, so you’ll still have to take care of laundry and shopping. But you don’t dump everything on your wife. You do it together, you prepare your own bags, clothes, etc. These few days go by quickly, but you know you have somewhere to come back to, you know there is someone waiting for you. You know that what you are doing makes sense.
“Dad has arrived…”
Friday evening again, you enter the house, throw your bags in the corner, you don’t hear much movement in the house. Are they asleep? Your son is playing at the computer, headphones on his ears. Your daughter taps him on the shoulder: “Dad has arrived.” He turns and nods to you. Your daughter dressed up and goes out. After 5 minutes she is gone. Your wife is in the room reading a book, slowly getting up, unpacking your bags, putting in the washing. The conversation is not going well. You go to the fridge to get a beer, because there’s nothing to do. You sit down in an armchair, turn on the TV and fall asleep after a few beers. Saturday passes, in the evening you catch up with your friend in a nearby bar. Your wife says something, but come on, what’s the problem with having a beer with your friend, you haven’t seen him for 3 weeks. Sunday passes with a hangover. Your wife took care of the bags and packed some jars, but she’s not in a good mood. She seems to be waiting for you to go again. So you go, Monday 6:00 a.m. you sit in your truck and set off into the world.
“I can’t do this anymore”
Wedding, plans, credit, buying a flat, renovation. Everything is falling into place. I earn good money driving for a nearby window factory, I’m home every two days. But I would like to earn even more. I am offered 3/1 international trips. I agree with my wife that I will try it while there are no children, I will earn more and we will pay off the loan faster. A month passes, the second, the fifth. Two years have passed. Friends and family ask about having children. But we postpone it, for now we need to earn some money, maybe soon to buy something of our own, our own truck? My wife keeps mentioning that she would like me to stop traveling, to go on short trips again, and to be at home more often. Sometimes we quarrel when I am on the road, sometimes we don’t speak to each other for a whole week, but it will pass, just a moment and I will be home more often again. Friday, 22:00, I come back. The flat is empty. My wife is not here. On the table lies the petition for divorce and a note saying “It can’t go on like this any longer…”.
“Where are you already? Come back quickly…”
Thursday, 5pm, 800km from home. I get a call. It’s my wife. She’s crying, she can’t say anything. I pull over to the emergency lane, my hands are shaking, I try to calm my wife down and find out what happened. Finally I hear, but don’t understand… “When will you, your father is dead, he had a heart attack…” What do you mean he had a heart attack, he didn’t even have a heart condition, someone got confused. God, how can I go back? What am I supposed to do, I want to be home already, I don’t have the strength to go on. I don’t have the strength to go back. I have two hours of driving left, but I can’t concentrate, I can’t gather my thoughts. I don’t want to endanger the road, so I stop in the car park and put the car on pause. I stay awake all night, there are still so many kilometers ahead of me. All Friday my wife helps my mum with the funeral arrangements, and I’m not here. I drive, I come home, I come back to say goodbye to my father.
For the last time…
24 years old and 8 thousand PL (2 Thous. €) every month
Saturday, 8:00 a.m. I drop by the flat, I bought it recently, I had a lot of own contribution, my parents helped a bit, so I didn’t even have to take a loan. I have been driving a truck around Europe for 3 years. I earn very well, people my age don’t even have half of what I do. I can afford designer clothes, a nice car and parties. In the evening I plan to go for a weekend with my friends, there will be a lot of people, we rented a great house. Of course, there will only be me and one other friend, but it’s not a problem for me. Most of my friends either have girlfriends or even wives already. I do not need a permanent girlfriend. If I want to have fun, there is always a nice girl at a party. Why do I need the hassle, the longing on the road. I leave home on the road, without the mental burden, without thinking if I will have someone to come back to, without resentment that I will not be at her mum’s birthday party. The fact that returning to an empty house is not always fun, but on the other hand, I still have my whole life ahead of me. I have already achieved a lot, I have plans and dreams and I know how to make them come true. I am glad that I drive a truck, after all, not everyone my age has a front eight every month and goes back to their own nice flat.
So let’s have more understanding and empathy for the driver, whose voice and eyes are filled with nerves and frustration when the drive home is suddenly postponed by a day or even a week.
For the driver, for his family, it’s a question of organizing the whole weekend, plans, meetings, events. It is an absence from a son’s birthday party, it is a delay at a friend’s wedding, it is another postponement of a doctor’s appointment.
Source I used: https://instaspedytorka.pl/