Goodaye all. The way we interact with people not only has an impact on our own lives, it can have much further influence on how we are treated by others and even more distant, but still relevant, how we are seen by other groups.
None of us likes getting a ticket from the Police and for those with big mouths and small brains, bagging the coppers (or road authorities or road workers etc) for just doing their job, will only ever confirm the bagger’s stupidity and at the least, will only make the baggee less likely to be reasonable or perhaps, even human, and at the worst, it could mean the next person getting a ticket will cop it more. We can be frustrated over delays at roadworks and even, wonder about the costs and time taken to fix a bit of road, but abusing those on the side of the road will only reinforce the view that the baggers (and his kind) are idiots.
On my Facebook page, “Audiobooks for the road”, I have just reviewed “The Dry”, the debut novel of Jane Harper. A dinkum Aussie story of a town in drought and people with secrets and yes, this is fiction, but I am sure many of you have heard that truth can be stranger (and perhaps even worse), than fiction. In the story, a new local country cop comes on a murder/ suicide involving the shooting of a young boy and it really made me think of the life of a cop. Giving out tickets must be a damn side easier than dealing with murderers, rapists and drug freaks, but I think many forget that side of things.
As I said above and have said on the UHF after an outburst against a copper, true we don’t like getting a ticket, but abusing them and suggesting nasty things about their parentage, will not make you less guilty, it will only makes things worse. We all might abuse a stupid car driver to ourselves in the truck, but winding down the window and doing so is, I believe a step too far. Similarly, abusing a caravanner over the UHF (or even more foolishly a car driver who is very unlikely to hear you, but you want to be a big man by abusing them and showing all how tough you can be), will that help?
Will it educate the abused to understand what they did wrong, will they learn how to do something better or safer in the future, or are they simply more likely to think all truck drivers are idiots? Surely you have all heard from the man himself or about a “mate” who got out of the truck and told the copper/scalie what a goose he was and he put him in his place. How would you respond to such an introduction? Would you then offer your hand to shake? Of course not. If you launch out of the truck in any situation with a mouthful of abuse and bad manners, can you then expect to be treated fairly.
There is a story of a truckie who did this and the copper got out his book and started writing tickets, the truckie kept abusing him etc and eventually, his brain slowly activated and he said to the officer, when will you stop writing those tickets and the copper replied, “When you calm down and shut up for a second”. These officers can have a gun and or a pen and sometimes the pen is mightier than the sword, or gun in this case at least. If you want respect from those who pull you up on the side of the road, you must first give it to get it back, you must earn it.
If they do not give it in return, then you do have the right to take that up with their superiors. If you don’t, who will tell them of the actions of the person on the side of the road and how many drivers will be badly treated by such a person with no overarching close authority. Help all your mates on the road by being fairer, understanding those who do not understand us, offering advice instead of abuse and we will all live happily ever after. Sorry for the fairy tale ending, but which way do you want things to go? Do you want things to improve, or get worse? I can only do so much as an individual, but imagine what we could all achieve, if we just slightly changed a couple of things we do.
Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.