Guest Blog: "I am A Route Driver"

I am a route driver.  When I drive, I love to sing.  Here is a favorite of mine …

I am a route driver

Across the town I do drive

With cash bags and products at my side

Many a stop I do make each day

Many a machine I do service each day

My machines are clean, full, and work well

And I am driving still*

*read to the tune of “Highwayman,” by Jimmy Webb, 1977.

My pride comes from my work.  I love my work because I am out on the road and two days are never alike.  My machines and I work together as partners to deliver what was ordered by the person who pushes the buttons on the machines.  So I sing to myself …

I am a route driver

I belong upon the road

On the road steering my load

I drive a truck around the city and the state

I serve clients at every stop that I do make

And when I serve clients I am thrilled

And I am driving still

Sometimes I think that old fashioned service went out the window a few years back.  Not for me.  I love to provide service for the folks on my route.  Especially the people who push the buttons on my machines.  Pickin’ the song back up in my head …. 

 I am a route driver

Across the country deep and wide

Where folks like you who push buttons do reside

A place where each client is served by me

I make my machines clean, filled, and working

My radio plays country music for my soul

And I am driving still

I'll always will remain, and remain, and remain, and remain, and

remain, and remain, and remain

Country music is the only music to play when you are driving my truck, I do believe.  I like listening to Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash, and Kris Kristofferson, the Highwaymen country stars.  Other country music inspires me and I have always liked Frankie Laine’s 1958 “Rollin’, Rollin’’ Rollin’ Rawhide.”  Country music rejuvenates my soul whenever I feel overworked or tired.  It gives me a charge more than an energy drink.  Singin’ in my head as I drive … 

I drive a route truck

Across the universe so wide

With customer service as my pride

I serve the people who push the buttons

On my machines every day

Many a product we do sell every day

My machines are respected silent partners in my work

And I still remain, and

I’ll be back again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again.

I serve the people who push the buttons.  I respect those people and respect my machines, my partners.  Some of my machines have been together with me longer than some people stay married.  But that is none of my business.  My business is driving and serving again, and again, and again.   

The Take Away

NAMA and MSU currently have a research study underway about route drivers to gather more information about this essential position in the vending, office coffee service, and micromarkets segments.  We ask you to please participate in our study.  Please send an email to [email protected].  He will get you hooked up for the research.  We THANK YOU for your valuable opinion and ideas.  We THANK YOU, in advance, for your participation and your encouragement of your drivers and clients to participate, too.  THANK YOU.

About the authors:

Ronald F. Cichy, PhD, NCE5, O.M. is a professor at The School of Hospitality Business at Michigan State University.

Greg Sidwell, NCE5, CCS, is president / CEO of G & J Marketing and Sales.


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