Monday, February 12, 2007

Why I Am Such An Angry Driver

I am an angry driver.

My husband comments on this rather frequently as I drive along- and I am the first to agree with him.

I worked for a courier company a few years ago. For five and a half years I drove from 5:50AM in the morning to 6:30 or 7:00 PM five days a week. I left Easley where I lived, drove to Greenville to the company base, got the company vehicle (which was a little Izuzu pickup truck with a manual transmission and I ADORED driving- if it had been an automatic transmission I would have quit after the first week) and gathered the special bags for the Bank pickups we did for the contrated banks, drove to the post office and loaded up the US mail for the contracted companies, then drove to the hospital to pick up the specimen bags and lab reports for the contracted hospital and doctors offices we serviced.

Then my day REALLY began.

I drove from Greenville to Anderson which is about 35-40 miles from Greenville and proceeded to make 94- YES 94- daily stops. Now, that doesn't mean doing like a regular postal worker and just stopping every few yards at a box and dropping off a few pieces of mail- NOOOO- it meant going to the front, side or back door of an actual business(whichever was MOST inconvenient), unloading at least one mail tub of mail and bringing it to the specified location at each place. Mondays were particularly bad- we usually had three to seven tubs of mail for each business and that required taking out a hand-truck at each place, loading up the mail on it and then taking it all in to keep from having to do it seperately, but still took up more time to do. Not only was we required to do that job, but we were also required to be PR people for the company I worked for which meant we had to deal with any problems that arose with that particular client. Which meant we had to say hello -or at least smile-to/at everyone we saw and in the south that means we were generally required to carry on at least a small conversation at each and every stop we made. Again, Mondays were especially bad because everyone was in a Monday kinda mood and those handtrucks just invited people to stop you and complain about SOMETHING- and usually anything would do. It's an ART to try and take care of all the complaints and conversations while walking, working and trying to stay on schedule that takes a while to perfect, but fortunately I have always loved to talk and had that part of it down rather quickly.

Anyway, Every day part of my regular route took me from Anderson to Keowee Keys- a retirement resort of sorts about 20 miles from Anderson, for a bank run, then from KK to Seneca for another bank Run, then to Walhalla for a bank run, then back to Anderson to start Afternoon Mail pickups from the companies I had delivered mail to that morning. I had to do the bank run in an hour and 15 minutes to stay on schedule. Now JUST FOR FUN- twice a week-(Tuesdays & Thursdays)-they threw in another stop for me after the bank run but before the Mail pickups began- in IVA which was in the opposite direction from the daily bank run to KK. And it was 20 MILES in that other direction as well. And I did it.Usually being back on schedule by the end of the day. It took some skilled driving to do it but left no margin for error or for stupid drivers of which the Anderson area seemed to have an abundance. No , an OVERABUNDANCE would be the more accurate statement.

During the 5 & 1/2 years I worked for that company, I was involved in 10 accidents. TEN. None of them were my fault and I wasn't ticketed for any of them. The second one was bad enough that I had to take a year's leave of absence from the company. It made the front page of the Anderson Independant News. It didn't hurt me terribly badly physically altho I got a key jammed into my kneecap, a sprained ankle and my face busted the windshield in the truck, (tho it really messed me up mentally. I lived two blocks from my moms house at the time and for 6 months I couldn't bring myself to even drive that short distance to visit her. I couldn't get behaind the wheel of a vehicle without faling apart....) I had impacted so hard that my seatbelt had popped loose , luckily it had caught my left shoulder and as I was thrown forward into the windsheild it twisted me just enough that the side of my face smashed into it instead of a full nose first hit which probally would have killed me according to the doc in the ER. I guess I was lucky.

Anyway, after the last one I was in shock and I told the VP of the company, who had come to pick me up and take me back to the base, that I was going to find another job- I was convinced I was gonna get killed if I kept driving for that company for the amount of hours I drove every day. The odds were stacked against me.

Since I have worked for that company I have absolutely no patience for drivers.
None. I hate most drivers- especially women drivers- but most of all STUPID drivers. I hate drivers who drive too slowly. I hate drivers who drive too fast. I hate drivers who don't use turn signals or who use them too far back from their turns. I hate young inexperienced drivers, and I hate elderly drivers who think they've been driving for decades and they can do any damn thing thay want behind the wheel just because they're old. I hate people who don't know how to merge into traffic and feel they have to come to a complete stop and wait for a completely clear lane to drive in. I hate people who take too long to make turns in front of me and I hate people who make illegal turns in front of me and make me slam on the brakes and cuss like a sailor.

It doesn't help that I have been having a recuring dream for years- since that particular accident- that I die in a car wreck. It's extremely graphic- my Dream death isn't pretty- and it's very, very painful as well and it still wakes me up in a cold sweat gasping for breath. It scares me to death to think about driving more than I absolutely have to.

Yeah, I AM an ANGRY DRIVER. I have a RIGHT to be.

1 comment:

Sunny said...

And my next post will be about why I'm such an angry BLOGGER' when the spell-check refuses to turn off and my comp won't let me do anything including COPY so I can re-post it without all the OBVIOUS HIGHLIGHTED IN RED mistakes.

Hopefully this won't trigger another dream where all the letters jump off the page and start chasing me with red arrows and dotted i's to stab me to death with.