There I was — laying in my bed, staring up at the ceiling, knowing it was almost time to get up and start the day. It was early June. I had just graduated college the previous month and was beginning to work a few days a week with my father learning the trade.
“Why do I always do this to myself?” I whispered.
My dad told me the night before that he needed me up early, dressed and ready to head out to work. Of course, being a young buck, I never listened. I ended up going out with friends and didn’t get much sleep the night before.
I heard my father making his way up the stairs to ensure I was awake and ready to go. I quickly sat up in bed, rubbed my eyes and tried my best to look alert.
“Sean?” my father shouted as he knocked.
“Yeah?” I responded.
“Yeah, I’m awake and getting ready,” I replied.
Ten minutes passed, and I was still in bed trying to soak up every minute of sleep possible. This time my father didn’t bother coming up the stairs and instead, began to yell, “Sean! Wake up! Let’s go!”
That’s when I knew it was time to really get up and start the day. As I was getting ready, I could hear the rain outside, pelting the roof and slamming onto the bedroom window. I peeked through the blinds and could barely see a thing. The window was foggy and wet, and I could barely see the trees blowing in the high wind.
“Man, this is going to be a fun day,” I whispered.
I quickly scarfed down a banana and some coffee for breakfast as my father waited for me in the truck. Back in those days, I hardly teamed up with my father in the same truck. I usually drove my own car and met the guys at the jobsite. I was relieved that I didn’t have to drive in this storm. I threw on my rain jacket and ran out the front door. As I went to open the passenger side front door, I was greeted with a dumpster full of water bottles, coffee cups, fast food bags, and faucets stems and washers. I looked down at my feet and couldn’t believe my eyes.
“Seriously, Dad?” I asked in shock.
“What are you doing? You’re making a mess Sean,” my dad joked.
I didn’t find his humor that amusing as I was getting pelted with cold rain and now had to pick up his recyclables. Nevertheless, I quickly scooped up the garbage and threw it into the nearby trash can.
We made our way down the road on to our adventure for the day.
My dad knew that I was taken aback by his mess. I looked around the cabin of the truck and saw a thick layer of dust all over the doors and front dashboard.
“Dad, can you see out your windshield? It’s all foggy. Do you have the defroster on?” I asked.
“Yeah it’s on. It just needs to kick in,” he replied.
He began to rearrange the paperwork on the front dashboard so the vents could work properly. While doing so, his phone rang and he answered.
“Maybe I was better off driving my own car,” I thought to myself.
My dad began to write down the address of the customer who had called, while trying to see out the front windshield. From that very moment on I promised myself that if, one day, I had my own truck, I would never let the cabin turn into a dumpster.
Well, 10-plus years have passed since that rainy June morning when I feared for my life in that truck, and I’m happy to say I kept my word.
As many of you know if you have read my articles in the past, one of my pet peeves is keeping an organized and clean work van. That experience ten years ago scarred me for life. I see it everyday I’m out driving around from job to job. Those work vans with papers, wrappers, notepads and binders forming a mountain on the dashboard. How do you even see where you’re going?
Listen, I know it’s not easy sometimes to keep the front cabin perfectly spotless. It’s easy for fittings, paperwork and yesterday’s breakfast, lunch and mid-day snack to be left on the passenger side floor and seat. We’ve all been there; trust me. But there’s no excuse for the cabin to accumulate and turn into a recycling bin or garbage truck. The truck is our office away from our office at home, and we need to take a little more pride in keeping it organized and clean.
It’s easier than you think. I like to clean out the cabin of the truck at the end of each workday. It only takes five minutes to do so, and it gives you a fresh clean start to the next day. I also recommend keeping some of those Armor All cleaning wipes in the truck and give the interior a good wipe once every other week. We know how dirty the truck can get and how quickly. I even tend to have a little fun with my truck cabin, as I like to decorate the dash every season. It always puts me in a good mood to have a clean, organized and even decorated work van. So, as the new year is upon us, maybe try to take better care of your office on wheels by applying these small changes everyday.
I would love to see some photos of your work truck cabins! Email me firstname.lastname@example.org.