Aaaah, common sense. Something everyone thinks
he alone has, but not many others do. Why is it that some people have common sense and others
don't? It sounds common, as though everybody is supposed to have it. But too often I hear people
say that "other people" don't seem to have any common sense at all. A dispatcher
that I know, always says that people with good common sense are very hard to find.
Truckers have to have a lot of common sense. It's
a juggling act. Schedules, safety, equipment, maps, food, sleep, construction, crazy four-wheelers,
CB, pre-trip, road rage, traffic jams, breakdowns, home time, it's enough to drive a normal
person crazy. But, if you love your work, it's easy.
Some people will tell you that common
sense has to do with lessons learned in life. And the way you respond or react to a given situation.
It's a character issue. The way you were raised by your parents, or lack there of.
I think part of the problem is that we all have
a different definition of what common sense is. So therefore, we can never live up to each
other's expectations. The dispatcher mentioned above, has an incredible work ethic. He works
over sixty hours a week. He never missed a day's work in over twenty years. He doesn't get
it, when wimpy people call in sick with an abscessed tooth. Because he would just go to work
with a baseball on his face.
I used to be a supervisor to twenty drivers. One
day, my boss told me I was too nice to the drivers. He said that all of the drivers liked me
and that wasn't good. And he told me "the next driver that walks through that door, I
want you to tell him off. Find something on him and let him have it!" Well, the first
one in the door was Sox. He had been working here for twenty years. He handed in his paperwork
and it was flawless as always. So I said "looks great, have a good night". And when
he left, my boss said I didn't know how to lead. He said you have to make them scared so they
will listen. I argued that I could get my drivers to do more for me because I was cool and
they liked me.
Once, I was in a classroom with about forty people
from over twenty different countries. And we spent the hour talking about our differences.
I learned a very important lesson that day that I would like to share with you.
There was a woman from Mexico. She said that in
Mexico, only women carry children. If a family was walking together, the father usually walks
twenty feet ahead of the mother and children. Even if they have five small children, the woman
has to carry them all because it is her job. And it would be too feminine for a man to do that.
A macho man from Mexico, if he is any kind of man, doesn't do that, she said. She also said
that she was shocked when she came to America and saw grown men carrying babies and walking
next to their woman.
There was a man from India. He said that in India,
when a customer walks into a store, the storeowner would do anything he says. He said you could
walk into a grocery store or even a restaurant in India and ask for a shoeshine and they will
do it. It goes against their tradition to say "no", no matter what the customer asks
for. And he said that he was shocked when he came to America and was treated rudely by a store
clerk. He really couldn't believe how everybody here simply speaks his or her mind, without
fear of offending anyone. And that Americans were amazingly tolerant of each other.
Then there was a man from China. He said that in
China, people are generally shy compared to the people here, similar to India. He said that
in China people don't ask for help the way they do here. He said that if a woman had to carry
six bags of groceries for two miles, and there was a strong man walking next to her, more than
likely he would offer to help. But, there is no way that she would actually speak to a stranger
and ask for help. And he was shocked when he saw a woman ask a total stranger for help with
Then an American woman said that she was having
a bad day once. She lost her job and husband all in one day. She wanted to crawl under a rock
and just cry for a few days. She wanted to be alone now to collect her thoughts in peace. She
went to a bar and had a drink. But the bartender kept trying to talk to her. So she left and
went to a restaurant. She got a cup of coffee and sat in a back booth. But the waitress kept
hanging around by her, trying to have a conversation. Then she took a taxi home. And the taxi
driver wouldn't shut up all the way home. Although she understood that these people were just
trying to be nice to her, she just wasn't in the mood.
Even right here in America, the people from each
State are different from each other. In Texas men open doors for women. But not in New York.
Sometimes we expect people to act a certain way
and they don't. You might expect that a total stranger would be kind to you, if you simply
asked him nicely, what time it was. But what if seventy-five people already asked him that
today? What if, everywhere he went, somebody always asked him what time it was? By the time
you ask him, he might be ready to bite someone's head off. Especially if he is not even wearing
Some people say that you can have the best education
in the world and still not have any common sense. Or, you can have no education at all and
still have great common sense.
You never know what's on a persons mind. Or where
they just came from. Many people have problems and complications in their lives. Some people
are tolerant of that fact and some aren't.
So what is common sense then, if we are
all so different from each other?
I guess what I am trying to say is that common
sense doesn't exist. What everyone is talking about, when they're talking about common sense,
is, people who are just like them. So, just because someone reacts the same way you would have,
you think he has good common sense. But someone else might be thinking that reaction was stupid.
So there is no real common sense. Unless, maybe, I don't have any.
|Ten Keys to
(Now available on Video, CD and MP3!)
1. Understand Traffic Waves
2. Prevent Traffic
3. Stay Calm
Do The Math
5. Be Predictable
6. Time Traffic Lights
7. Expect the Expected
Compensate for the Ignorant
9. Teach Others
10. Make Sure an Accident is
Never Your Fault
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