Contributing author Joey Slaughter is the owner of Blue Ridge Transport, LLC. A Ringgold, VA based carrier. Joey started his company in 2010 after serving time as an unhappy employee with a local trucking company. The time spent there was not fun but, in hindsight, was a turning point that propelled Joey into the wonderful world of being an entrepreneur. Please visit JoeySlaughter.net for more insightful blogging.
It was around 20 years ago, but I remember it vividly. This day would be seared into my memory for some reason. Not that it was a life-changing event or a near death experience…. No, it was just a conversation with a childhood teacher of mine.
My former teacher was working at a fundraiser bake sale in front of a retail shopping location. I recognized her as I went in and walked over to talk to her. I had to remind her of who I was because the last time she saw me, I was a little elementary school student-far from the 6’ young man that stood in front of her this day. She was glad to see that I was married (my wife was with me) and didn’t appear to be a bum on the street.
After the usual catching up, she asked me, “What kind of work do you do?” I replied that I was a truck driver and immediately, I noticed a look of disappointment, a slight eye roll and a brief look away. I replied quickly with “I get to see a lot” in hopes of saving the moment from slipping away into total awkwardness. She responded with a half-hearted acknowledging nod of confirmation. I guess I wanted my teacher to be proud of me, but she wasn’t.
I’ve been trucking since 1992 so I have seen a lot over the years. Trucking has taken me over 2 million miles across 46 states and 2 provinces in Canada. I sometimes think of that teacher and our conversation when I gaze at the beautiful sunrises and sunsets across this beautiful land. From the sun drenched palm trees of San Diego to the frozen wilderness of northern Maine – from the drizzly, green landscapes of the Pacific Northwest to the yacht filled marinas of Miami and everywhere in between. Thousands of beautiful images have been viewed through these eyes, imprinted in my memory and woven into my life. Why yes teacher, I do get to see a lot! And I made the right choice.