So I was delivering a part today and I overhead a lady say to her friend, “Now THAT is a job.” Friend, “I know! You get to drive around EVERYWHERE.” I turn around at this point and they just smile and wave at me. I turn back to the manager of the shop and I hear, “She gets to enjoy all the nice weather.” I finally turn back around and tell them that it is in fact nice :) Maybe I should’ve told her that we’re also like the United States Postal Service and we brave ice, rain, sleet, snow, tornadoes etc. to get our customers their parts and keep ‘em happy lol.
Sometimes you’re late with the delivery no matter how hard you try. Sometimes what you deliver is not what they wanted. Even if it’s not your fault, it’s you that has to see the anger, the disappointment, or the strained smiles. All you can do is apologize, swallow your pride, and make it right somehow. A delivery driver is the “face” of the company. Some of our mechanics rarely step foot in our door but will see me every day. You do what it takes to stay on their good side and you listen to what they say. A driver will be in tune with their customer. Know when they are frustrated. It doesn’t matter if it was your fault or not, make them smile before you leave.
An old white guy that was probably close to 70 walks in the store, looks at me, and then walks up to my boss. Old guy: I see you have a new employee Boss: Nope, She’s been here about a year Old guy: She’s cuter than the other guys Boss: You don’t think the guys are cute? Old guy: Nah, homie don’t play dat game.
Today marks one year that I’ve been with my store. It’s been a mighty wild ride but I wouldn’t trade what I’ve learned and the people I’ve met for anything. I am so very thankful for everything in my life right now for God has surely blessed me.
So I’m delivering to one of my mechanics in town and one of their customers saw the “caution makes frequent stops” sticker on the back and asked me if it said “caution woman driver” instead… Then he pointed out a pamphlet for “tips for female drivers.” I looked him right in the eye and was like “Umm NO, I don’t think so, I’ve been doing this for a year and I am good.” Even though I have had an accident on the job I’m actually a good driver and I have better map skills then a lot of men and haven’t got lost once while working. So please random fellas I don’t know, don’t think it’s funny to give female delivery drivers a hard time about “female” driving skills. I have seen plenty of men drive like fools too… I really don’t mind people who know me teasing me about stuff like that but for a complete stranger to judge me solely by my gender really irritates me.
I was backing up out a parking spot and a guy popped out of nowhere from behind the car next to me and about walked into my moving vehicle because he was texting and not looking where he was going. He better be glad I was paying attention. I stopped and he didn’t even look up once.
Being a woman in a male dominated field has its unfortunate side. Creepers. I must admit I don’t usually know how to deal with unwanted advances or crude comments so I usually just give them their purchased item, say no rather firmly, and walk off. What I want to know is why do some guys not understand that it’s not to cool to stare like a messed up sheep at a woman’s butt, chest, legs, hips, etc? Also, I personally don’t want to hear crude jokes aimed at me or not. I don’t want to hear about your body parts either, even if you’re talking to someone else in front of me. I understand that men are visual and I can handle customers being attracted or flirting but sometimes people just cross a line into being vastly inappropriate. Fortunately, I trust my coworkers enough to tell them when anything like that happens. I figure it’s wise not to keep it a secret. And, I’ve never been made so uncomfortable that I have filed any report on somebody. But still, I sometimes wish that I could throw things at the stupid people who don’t realize that I’m not there for them to stare at/hit on. I’m a professional, woman or not.
The things I dislike the most:
-Don’t talk to my chest. It won’t talk back.
-Don’t call me a “skirt.” If you must call me anything try my name.
-Don’t insinuate there’s anything going on between me and my married coworkers. There’s not. That is not something that should even be joked about.
-Don’t assume I’m incompetent because I am a woman.
-Don’t assume I can’t drive/navigate because I am a woman. I can read a map better than a lot of men I know.
Parting words: If you must flirt, do so with respect. If you must look, be a gentleman.
Success seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don’t quit.
Spiders scare me. Yesterday, I was driving around with a very large, black, and hairy spider in my delivery vehicle. For two hours. Imagine being stuck with something that terrifies you for that long and not having the option of killing it because the stupid thing was like a ninja. I was in tears. Two other people tried finding it for me and every time it ran and hide. I even sprayed it with Purple Power cleaner spray and it just ran and hide under the seat. Another driver was teasing me and told me it was on my shoulder. I screamed so loud the next town over probably heard me. I was so upset I was even considering another job because of the spiders. But I love my job enough to try and move past 8 legged creatures of death and destruction.
Pain. Hurt. Loss. One of the hardest things to do is work with the public when all you want to do is go home and curl up in a ball. Facing a loss today, I made sure I was prepared. I brought chocolate, Kleenex, extra makeup, and ice cream in hopes that the little things would bring enough comfort. As a driver and store employee you learn to let the emotions out in private and then put your happy face on when speaking to your customer, not out of deceit but out of a need for privacy. You have to learn to be hurting and not drive like you want to hurt the world back. You learn to give everyone you encounter your best even when you’re at your worst. If asked if something’s wrong, don’t lie. Your loss is worth more than denying it because of your pride. Pain is like steam, give yourself an outlet or you will shatter like glass. Respect yourself enough to learn the difference between working through pain and working while pretending the pain does not exist.
P.S. I’ve found it best that if I must cry then I cry without shame but I try to do so in private if possible especially as a woman in a men’s field and out of consideration of the customers. Most people understand loss, and certainly everyone deals with it differently, but some will be less than kind.