DRIVING ODDITY #3: People CARE How You Drive!
I’m driving home from work today, and I’m behind a pickup truck with the bumper sticker, “How Am I Driving?”
You know, you’ve seen these for years on the back of work vehicles.
Strange, But True
I’ve always wanted to call the number just to report that “the driver is driving really well at the moment”. I mean, it specifically asks “HOW am I driving?” so they’re wanting to know about the “good” and the “bad”… in my mind.
Anyway, this afternoon I called. For those of you who are curious as to what they’re interested in & how their demeanor is on the other end, here’s how it went…
The Call Center is primarily set up to handle “complaints” and traffic accident reports… They weren’t quite sure what to do with my “positive” report about a GOOD driver.
Hello, Can I Help You?
A very bubbly cheery girl answered on the 2nd ring (I didn’t even have to wait on hold!). I figure they only hire very “upbeat” people just to help diffuse the heated calls they’re likely to receive.
She starts out by asking, what the Vehicle ID# was (printed on the “How Am I Driving?” sticker), the license plate number, and if I could see the name of the company on the vehicle. (It seemed like a Call Center that managed calls for VARIOUS types of companies that “subscribed” to this service).
Since I was behind this truck the whole way on I-65, I could relay these pieces of information from my cell phone without difficulty.
Okay, So What’s The Problem?
Then she asked, “What city and state did the event take place in?” (evidence that they’re more likely to receive complaints & accident reports than nice friendly updates like mine). I told her Nashville, Tennessee.
Finally, you could tell that she braced herself to handle whatever was about to come her way, as she asked, “Now, what was the problem with this particular vehicle?”
I immediately smiled and replied, “Oh, nothing. I just wanted to call and report that he is a very safe driver.” She paused & had to flip through about 12 pages of scripted notes (filled with all of the responses she was allowed to give over the phone), before she replied, “Well… that’s nice. It’s good to hear that!”
That’s Not Part Of The Script
Then she fell back into her list of “mandatory questions she must ask before hanging up”.
Next came: “What color is the vehicle?”… “Can you tell how many people are inside?”… “What road was the vehicle traveling on?… “What direction was the vehicle headed?”… “What are the conditions on the roadway?”
I answered each quickly and easily, feeling proud that I’d done my good deed for the day.
Does He Get A Raise? A Bonus?
Who knows. I’m hoping the drivers who receive POSITIVE calls actually get rewarded with bonus points of some kind — increased pay, a plaque, props from the boss… something!
And, in a weird way, I felt like I’d bonded with this driver in some small way. I waved to him as I drove past him to exit the highway. Of course he paid me no attention.
What I Learned Today…
A random act of kindness makes you feel really good. (Unless, of course, you happen to get the guy in trouble or something. I mean he was in Nashville with Florida tags on the truck — maybe he wasn’t SUPPOSED to be out of state! And he had another young guy in the truck with him — maybe he wasn’t SUPPOSED to have passengers with him!)
Roving reporter, Randy, sent in this related picture:
As a lifelong traveler, I like to help people find unique ways to do things that will save time & money — so I write about "outside the box" Travel Hacks that most wouldn't think of. I'm SUPER organized and I love to pack! I've lived in 6 different states (Florida, Indiana, New York, Ohio, Tennessee, and Texas) and have visited every other state in the U.S. — except Hawaii. (Can you say bucket list?) I've been on several different cruises, airplanes, and boats in my life and I currently enjoy the outdoors by bicycling, motorcycling, Jeeping, RVing, camping, or just walking my dogs. My favorite "hobby" is riding on the back of our Harley-Davidson Road Glide traveling cross country — which we usually do at least once each year. We even rode from Tennessee to Alaska once! When I'm not on the road, you will find me at the corner of Good News & Fun Times as publisher of The Fun Times Guide (32 fun & helpful websites).