It is very important to follow proper safety procedures at all times as a trucker. As I learned the hard way once, this can even extend to personal hygiene practices. I was in Alice Texas, working for a trucking company, and living out of my truck. We had just completed a safety meeting, and because it had been called early, I hadn’t had a chance to take my morning shower. The only shower on the property was in the trucker’s lounge, and it wasn’t very private or clean.
Now, you have to understand, there was a locked door on this shower room, but the door faced right into the lounge. But since it was the only one there, it was either use it or be stinky. I decided to power through. After the class, I went to my truck and retrieved my personal grooming items and headed to the shower. I made my way through the men congregated in the lounge.
There was no dressing room, mirror, vanity, or toilet in this little shower room. Just a folding chair and one hook to hang a towel. Pretty sparse accommodations, but I made the best of it and proceeded to take my shower. Once I was undressed and showering, there was a knock at the door. I was a little annoyed that no one in the lounge had the decency to let the person knocking know that the shower was occupied. I responded with my hair full of shampoo, “I’m using the shower right now, give me a few minutes and it will be free to use.”
The voice from the other side of the door replied. “This is the shower inspector and I’m here to make sure you are following the proper shower safety rules.” I little taken back with the response and feeling that the soap in my ears might have made me hear things incorrectly I responded. “What?” Again the person replied, “I’m the shower inspector and I need to make sure you are following the proper safety procedures.” He continued. “It’s imperative that I enter the shower room immediately. It has come to our attention that you are exposing yourself to harsh chemicals without the proper safety clothing—in fact, you’re not clothed at all.”
It became very obvious that one of my fellow truck driver friends was messing with me while I was taking a shower, and I knew exactly who it was. “Buck, is that you?” There was no response, only the loud sound of clapping, laughing and cheers from the men beyond that shower door. I was laughing hysterically. “Okay, Buck, I know it’s you. Your butt’s mine!”
When I finally finished my shower and exited through the door, I was greeted with all kinds of whooping and hollering. Buck sat across the room on a chair, laughing with the rest of the room. He got up from his chair and walked toward me. “I know what you’re thinking, but I just wanted to make sure you were following proper shower procedures around here. Next time I suggest you take a buddy in there.” We both laughed. “You’re terrible.” I socked him in the arm. He gave me a hug. “Safety first!”