Stereotypes in general, usually are never good. Even if a stereotype is a “positive” one, its still ultimately negative. For example, someone who says “black people are naturally the best athletes” basically implies that other races are not as talented. Generalizing people all together is just bad practice. Think about all the negatives associated with stereotypes: racism, sexism, hurt feelings, etc. For us truck drivers, though, we have some unsavory cliches that the media has placed upon us.
Negative stereotypes are hurtful to the entire integrity of the trucking profession. What most folks don’t realize is that we are seriously what holds our country together. If it wasn’t for truckers, within days our entire infrastructure of society would crumble. We supply 10 billion tons of every single item you can fathom all across the country in a $671 billion worth of goods every year. Literally, we are what drives the U.S. economy! And in a time where we are suffering from severe driver shortages, we need to stop letting people feed into these absolutely BOGUS and 500% played out
Debunking the Stereotype Myths
- Weight– Although, it is true that a majority of truckers are overweight due to the nature of the job, we aren’t the fat and lazy slobs that movies depict us as. In fact, many truckers are utilizing the truck-stop gym sites, learning to eat well, avoiding the junky food at truck stops and motivating one another to lead healthy lifestyles on the road. It’s completely unfair to be thought of in a negative light based on weight. Plus, its 2014, body shaming is completely unacceptable. We deserve positive vibes, not vain criticisms.
- Meth- This stereotype that truckers are these drugged up methamphetamine-junkies seriously grinds my gears. Sure, we do have long hours and need to work off poor sleep schedules sometimes. But, that absolutely does NOT mean we are abusing drugs. Our jobs are our lives. There’s no way we would jeopardize our livelihoods by abusing narcotics. Get real.
- Only men are truckers- Sure, there are a lot more men than women in the trucking industry, even today. But, perhaps that’s only because our society has played out this totally lame stereotypes that women can’t hang with the guys in terms of truck driving. So not true. Some of the best drivers I even know are women. And to anyone that says otherwise, try telling that to the over 200,000 female truckers in the U.S. alone. More and more ladies are stepping into trucking careers and loving them. These stereotypes about women not being able to be truckers are outdated and down right sexist.
- “Stinkiness”- Okay, I’ve smelled some odd odors from some cabs at the truck stop. But, hey some of us (myself included) are very clean! I take pride in it. I keep my cab, my clothes and my body fresh. People prrobably assume we are dirty and don’t have access to showers. False. Most truck stop facilities are well-equipped with showers. And, these days a lot of companies are strict about enforcing that their employees are holding themselves to a standard in regard to cleanliness.
- Prostitution- Ick… I’m sorry I even have to mention this stereotype. I can deal with people assuming I wear flannels and smell bad all day long, but when it comes to the stereotype that most truckers accept solicitation from “lot lizards” seriously is not true at all.
For the Record
Truck drivers are by no means all bearded chain-smoking, drug-using, dirty, “whatevers” that some have made us out to be. In fact, we come from all walks of life. Some of us are young and just getting into the industry, some are mothers who have full-grown children, some are even ex-convicts who cleaned up their act. All I’m saying is that, we are all individuals from our own special cirsumstances. We deserve to be viewed in a better light. In fact, no group of people should fall into these slander-stereotypes. Let’s work towards promoting us for the good qualities and let’s debunk these old myths and generalizations about truckers.