Impure Thoughts #2: The Federal Marshall

Impure Thoughts #2: The Federal Marshall

Impure thoughts #2: The Federal Marshal

Okay, I’m sure we’ve all heard Billy Bigrigger telling his Federal Marshall story either on the radio or in person.

As soon as I hear one of these stories, I immediately hate this person for insulting my intelligence. On the CB, this guy is usually running with someone of equal or less intelligence, and if I hear an agreement from #2 driver, I realize there are two morons on the highway, and if they are going the same way as me, I immediately plan a quick 5 minute break. Chances are, they both have 4000 watt CBs and are running 15 over the limit where it's totally not safe to do so, 4 feet from one another and the chance of a wreck is pretty high. The problem with “radio Rambos” is that while they are moving, they are a real hazard. When they're parked, they're easier to ignore. But I digress…

A Federal Marshall's job is not to enforce trucking regulations in any way, unless a huge load of marijuana or some other illicit drug is involved. Or unless you are hauling illegal immigrants. Or, 22 pallets of neatly stacked, crated, wooden hay filled boxes that might just have AK-47s in them.

I had this really weird load from a really shady broker from a really shady warehouse in Texas to this really shady looking warehouse in Chicago once …but anyway…you wonder sometimes...

Otherwise the Federal Marshall's job is extradition (that’s moving criminals from place to place, Bubba), and basically chasing hardcore criminals that local and state jurisdiction rules to not allow for. Now, if I currently had the internet available, I would search long and hard to find the job description (as all federal jobs…well…most anyway…have the description publicly posted as per federal rules, and EEO, and so on and so forth). But since I’m writing this with intentions of posting it later, you’ll just have to trust me.

Because I’m pretty sure I’m more right than you, Mr. RebelFlagFingerlessGlovesChainWalletCellphoneHeadset.

The Federal Marshall’s job is not to correct lumper disputes, unless it’s a huge immigration thing and drivers aren’t going to know anything beyond the raid that happens in the wee hours when deliveries start at the grocery house anyway! The Federal Marshalls job is not to correct payroll problems between you and the company you’re leased to. Or driving for. They do not enforce labor laws. And if that company in fact owes you $15,000, I’m pretty sure a lawyer would do a better job of getting you that money. Not taking a load, hiding it at your house (on a GPS equipped truck) and waiting for the Man to arrive.That's not going to work.

Not, “Fedruhl Murshul done showed up at muh house whur I done hid that load I was under, an I done showed him the paper said they owed me that money, an Fedruhl Murshul left without a word!”

Yup. You just did what the Branch Davidians, the Montana Freemen, and Randy Weaver (bless his memory and his SON’s memory!!) couldn’t. You showed the feds where it’s at! OH! And the company can’t fire you because they haven’t paid you yet!

You showed them too!

Please!

In order to believe this, I’d probably also believe pro wrestling is real, and the Moon landing was faked. Oh Wait! A lot of these same people actually do believe that! I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. Seems to me stupidity follows trends just as every other part of society.

Cell phone headsets worn all the time, Federal Marshall stories, cheap lettering on the door says you’re an “OUTLAW”…oooohhh….lookout for this guy….he can’t think of his own CB handle!

There are only a million OUTLAWs on the radio…

So, if you see me – I mean – another driver who might look younger, and maybe hasn’t worked at the same place as long as you, don’t be fooled, and check your stupid ego because it might just be that, there’s a bigger fish close by. He can probably pull bigger loads than you, and do a better job than you. Just because he doesn’t go out of his way to “look” like a truck driver, does not in any way mean he’s a rookie.

It may just be that he’s dealt with Wind Energy companies before.

It may just be that he’s been to college (and dropped out) and knows how to talk to shippers and receivers better than you, because he has a great vocabulary, and is articulate, and took a few communication classes. Maybe he has a decent sense of humor. It may just be that he’s just not interested in you trying to constantly exert your superiority, and isn’t interested in hearing it. Because like you, when you made your judgment based on appearance, he made his judgement based on your constant never ending, increasingly stupid stories, and decided you hadn’t earned his respect.

There’s a twist, huh? We all judge books by the cover, and sometimes we’re not far off in this industry. The difference is that some of us aren’t liars!

Be truthful.

That’s all I ask. I’ve actually seen enough situations to become superstitious enough that I think guys who brag a lot have a lot of accidents and problems in specialized hauling! Call it superstition if you want. Why not? Fishermen have superstitions, carpenters, riggers; the list goes on and on. Why not trucking? I've thought for years that if I make eye contact with DOT when I'm crossing the scale, I'm screwed...so I just keep eyes forward...

So, yeah, stand there and brag about your greatness, then pull out with a totally under secured load, going to California of all places!

Let me find out you’ve called in something on me, which is probably crap (because I’m the type that if I screw up, I take my lumps) , and trust me, those four 5/16th chains holding down that 35,000 pound Turbine Hub will have pictures taken of them, and make it to the office in a heartbeat.

Otherwise not a word will be said. I mind my own business. Try that sometime.

To make a long story short, because you are a liar about insignificant things, I don’t trust you regarding significant things, Mr. Grungy Denim jacket. Oh, and that 379 the company is charging you too much for is effectively a Peterbilt in name only, and half the truck I just got out of. So don’t tell me 72 mph is that big of a deal. It’s not. And forward mounted tanks are for Freightliners, not extended hood largecars.

It even looks like crap.

I wonder what a Federal Marshall would think of a nice 379 cranking along at 2 am in west Texas , pulling a lit up Reitnouer with the speedometer buried in the trip odometer? Would he enforce the speed limit? OH, he or she probably could, but I’m thinking he or she has got bigger things on his mind. Or he or she might simply pull up alongside, flip the bubbles once, and come up on the CB and ask nicely for you to slow down. Stuff like that still happens. It's not just 70's stories. To this day, I don't know how fast that truck was going.

So stop the Federal Marshall stories already.

Some of us truly understand what it is to be professional, that there is a time and place for everything, and going out of your way to live up to the “My Big Redneck Wedding” standard doesn’t really translate to good business in this day and age. You’re not supposed to take that stuff seriously. Thank you Jeff Foxworthy and Larry the Cable Guy for blurring those lines! You both did this country no favors! Well, we laughed a lot, but some folks took it seriously.

Let’s leave the Federal Marshall stories at home, or on Channel 19. We’re not all that stupid.
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