March 2, 2021
Submitted by Joshua Hannaberry, Calgary Regional Chair
It was approaching the first week of March 2020 when I first learned the term “pandemic”, as a small group of people were conversing at my son’s basketball game about this thing that was happening on the other side of the world. What a journey it has been since that day.
I feel it is appropriate to express my gratitude once again to all the professionals working in the transportation industry, who have continued to put forth the necessary efforts to keep our supply chain stable and to help ensure our essential supplies are delivered without delay.
Furthermore, I want to express my gratitude to all the professional drivers working day and night. I know I am not alone when I communicate thank you, and we understand how detrimental it would be to our economy and basic comforts if we did not have dedicated professionals on the road each day. #ThankATrucker
Personally, I appreciate keeping these types of scenarios in perspective, as it fuels my fire to express gratitude. In addition, it provides the opportunity to reflect on the quality of people that are working within the transportation industry.
In a prior Josh’s Corner article, I shared one of my favourite quotes communicated by Robert H Schuller, that states “tough times never last, but tough people do”. I believe this quote does a fantastic job describing the quality of professionals in our industry. Another quality I believe we as professionals possess, which continues to shine extremely bright, is integrity. CS Lewis defines integrity as “doing the right thing, even when no one is watching”.
When I reflect on my time as a professional driver, I can think of countless tasks completed alone, or essentially alone. Tasks such as pre-trip inspections, loading equipment in or on trailers, cargo securement, just to name a couple. I recall countless conversations with my dispatcher after my morning deliveries were completed prior to them even arriving at the office. For a local P&D driver, I am confident they can relate to experiencing similar events each day. Over the road professional drivers, may it be long haul or regional coverage, are entrusted to transport millions of dollars worth of cargo and equipment on our highways. These professionals spend days and weeks on the road, operating safely on our highways, and most of the time, they too are alone. These are just a couple of examples of the different professionals working in our industry that are doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.
Prior to March 2020, it was common for office professionals, such as dispatchers, load planners, operation managers, etc. to be working in an office building of sorts. Once the pandemic took shape, the term “isolation” spread like wildfire, and as a necessary prevention, these professionals started to work from home, away from colleagues and direct supervisors.
I have been in a few conversations over the last twelve months with professionals who worked in an office environment, where the hot topic was working from home. Possibly you are in a similar situation? Were you in an office role, but have since been working from home? I encourage you to think about how many procedures had to change on the fly to accommodate this necessity. Personally, I believe this to be nothing short of amazing. I have been involved in several conversations surrounding productivity since the working from home shift occurred, and there is staggering evidence to show with the right leadership and systems in place, work productivity improves drastically. Once again, professionals in our industry are doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.
Recently I was fortunate to attend an exceptional virtual course called the Fundamentals of Investigation. One of the instructors communicated a term when explaining a company’s responsibility for safety, that has really stuck with me. He stated “top-down”. When I think about this term, “top-down” not only with the focus on safety but operations and organizational morals, I believe integrity also needs to start at the top in order to be lived out as you go down. When a senior leader sets the standard by doing the right thing when everyone is watching, I believe they have set the stage for the organization’s employees to be professionals with integrity when no one is looking.
For our industry to continue to push forward, I believe all of us need to continue to operate with integrity. If things become harder, we have the opportunity to become better.
To all the professionals working with integrity, thank you.