Saturday, April 25, 2015

The Idiotic And The Evil

Being on the road every day has convinced me that the proper attitude for safety is to assume that every other driver on the road is a raving maniac. Some days, it seems nearly true. Friday was one of those days.

Maybe it has to do with some folks getting their checks early and rushing around to spend them. Maybe it has to do with some folks getting distracted, thinking about how far they need to stretch their check to survive. Some may be unable to see through the tears they’re shedding, remembering the days when they HAD a paycheck. Then again, maybe they just smoke too much wacky-weed, or are affected by the phase of the moon.

I had a lot of aggressive drivers that day, acting like they owned the road and that I was an unwelcome trespasser. There were quite a few “what-do-you-think-you’re-doing-passing-ME” drivers on the four-lane, also. They’re the ones going slower than you, so you begin passing, only to find yourself going 10 miles over the speed limit to get around them, or give up and fall back in behind them. If you do the latter, they usually slow back down to what they were doing before you began passing. I think it’s all about ego and control, but I guess only the Lord knows what goes on in their minds. These things are so common, though, that unless you chose to let them define your day, you tend to let them pass and move on to new adventures. The deliberately evil ones are out there, but sometimes, we don’t even know HOW evil until later.

And so it was yesterday after I’d turned in my time card and was in the office to ask when to come in Monday. At that time, the big boss asked me if I’d had any problems on the road that day. My reply was, “Other than the usual crazies, not really.” Then he asked about a particular location, a light bulb came on and I replied to the affirmative. When asked about it, I described it thusly:

"I was headed out a four-lane, and was in the lane to turn into the mine access road across the way. There was a “wolf-pack” of cars coming at me, but they were far enough away that I knew that I had plenty of time to safely make my turn. However, as I turned across the first lane, it appeared that one of the lead cars accelerated at a mad pace and wished to plaster itself on my rear axles. Not wishing to give them that opportunity, I accelerated and entered the access road faster than I’d ever done before. Looking in the rear-view mirror, I saw the car go speeding by with plenty of room to spare."

The boss then told me that the woman driver (I’d assumed it was a man, due to the aggressive nature of the driving) had called in and told them that I’d cut her off and that she had to slam on her brakes and stop, to keep from hitting me!

The boss, and the others in the office, seemed to buy my side, but he warned me to always be careful and err on the side of safety, because some folks seem to feel that all trucks are their enemy, and they’re out to cause the drivers and the companies any trouble that they can. And, as we all know, some folks are just looking for a reason to sue.

I told him that I had my business name on the side of my truck when I was self-employed and understood the responsibility and possible repercussions of doing so. I told him that it made the situation even MORE important to me when it was someone else’s name on there that could suffer damage from my actions. I also told him that the woman was flat-out lying, but that neither he nor I could defend against that. I mentioned that I could have somehow misjudged her individual speed in comparison with the pack and accidentally been at least partly to blame, but that still didn’t explain her saying that she’d jammed on her brakes and stopped, when she hadn’t.

I left to come home, but with a bitter taste in my mouth. How do I know if the boss really believes me, or thinks that I’d just said what I did to save my own hide? Knowing that she’s a liar, my guess is that she was hoping to cost me my job. What in the world ails people? My only guess is that the Devil has them.

These things I know. She appeared to accelerate, not slow down. There was no squealing of brakes or smoke from the tires. There was no downturn of the front of the car that you see when someone brakes suddenly, and there was no right-to-left shimmy to show that she was fighting to control a car that was pulling left or right in a desperate braking situation. Plus, I saw her shoot by in my rearview mirror. Since humans are fallible, my observations could be less than 100 percent accurate, but this I know, the woman called my boss and LIED! I can do nothing, but the Lord will deal with her. © 2015


Kathy Felsted Usher said...

People lie, all the time. She either wanted to nake trouble because she was angry at something or just plain mean. I see it too, people not letting others over even though it won't slow them down, racing by and cutting over lanes with just barely room between two other cars or pulling up on your tail when they could easily pass. Who knows, it's just all about them.

Vicki said...

There seem to be a lot of mean spirited people in the world today. There have always been those ornery folks who enjoy making trouble for others, even if they don't know them. But there is an overabundance lately. You and God know you told the truth. Perhaps that is enough.

Gorges Smythe said...

I guess your last sentence says it all, Kathy.

I reckon it will have to be, Vicki.

Jerry E Beuterbaugh said...

One of my biggest pet peeves involves drivers, who remain beside me on multiple lane roads instead of settling upon either being ahead or behind. If I speed up to get away from them, they speed up. If I slow down for the same reason, they slow down.

That one is right up there with those, who insist that their tax dollars are helping to pay for every lane of the road (I have been actually told that by someone years ago). Therefore, they feel perfectly justified with remaining in the left lane when there are not very many vehicles on the road at the time. Be assured that it always made me somewhat nervous to pass someone on the right when I was behind the wheel of a big truck--especially the vehicle I was passing was another big truck.

I used to think that it was just another big-truck thing, but I have come to wonder if it is actually more of a me thing. This seems to be espcially true in regards to the side by side lingering. For the same old story far too often plays out even while I am behind the wheel of a small car. Sigh.

Gorges Smythe said...

Jerry, I used to run in the left lane some if no-one was around,because it was often smoother from being used less. That may be why some folks still use it, but there's no excuse for people hogging it.

Ralph Goff said...

Stories like this one make me really appreciate living in the land of gravel roads and two lane blacktop. I avoid city driving like the plague. As you said , just imagine that all those other drivers are blind, deaf,, and out to get you. Hopefully your boss will know you well enough to trust your version of the incident.

Gorges Smythe said...

I can't blame you for feeling that way, Ralph. I don't like driving in town, either.

deborah harvey said...

guess the Devil has them

not a guess, a certainty

deb h.

Kathy Felsted Usher said...

When I went though the airport in Chicago they let me pre-board because it was obvious I would hold up everyone. They wanted my boss to pre-board too and help get me situated and put my cane up top once I sat down. Some passenger got upset ( I didn't know it at the time) and told my boss to stop butting in line. He explained he was helping the disabled woman and the passenger still didn't care and would not move and became aggitated. My boss just walked right through with my wheeled carry one (and I think over his toes)! Then the man sat within a couple of rows of us. I would have been tempted to tell the airlines he was aggressive so they held him for a different flight had I known. I would not normally do anything like that but to refuse help to someone who can't walk. What would he do if he got angry about something in the air? Out of line completely.

Gorges Smythe said...

No doubt you're right, dh.

Some people are way worse than animals, Kathy.