Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Great story about going to trucking school in Texas

By Emily Gogolak for Harper's. Packed with stark numbers and colorful details:

It has also opened the doors to deep managerial surveillance, like cameras that face not only out toward the road but in toward the driver, monitoring their eye movements, and baseball caps that monitor their brain waves.


The shortage is, in fact, a retention problem: annual turnover at large fleets in recent years has exceeded 90 percent. ... The median annual pay for a trucker today is just shy of $50,000, which, according to Belzer, is less than half of what truckers were earning in 1980 when adjusting for inflation.


Later that day, during lunch, someone dropped off three pit-bull-mix puppies, and Yanis claimed one and carried it around like a baby. She named him Bonito. There was one more up for grabs, dark gray with blue eyes and a white spot on its chest, and it clung to me when I picked it up. Rey looked at us. “Pit bulls make good truck dogs,” he said.


To explain my nervousness, I told a few guys about the time in high school when I accidentally drove my mother’s car into our house, pressing on the gas instead of the brakes while trying to ease into the garage and putting a giant crack in the living room wall.

“Oh, that’s your name, that’s your CB handle!” one of them shouted, referring to nicknames truckers use on citizens band radio, a service for short-range communication. “Thru-the-Wall!”

Immediately, Rey came up with an alternative: House Hunter.