I tried online dating back in January 2016, but I didn’t get any dates, and I cancelled my subscription. Then a few years later, I signed up again. It can’t be any worse than having no dates at all, right? So I filled out my dating profile and hit “send.”
In the profile section where it asks you about the most important qualities that you’re looking for in a person, the first word I used was athletic. It’s not that I’m only interested in dating Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Rather, it’s because people live to be 100 in my family. I don’t want to fall in love with a somewhat unhealthy person who doesn’t watch their calories, doesn’t exercise, and will probably die when I’m age 70, leaving me without an excellent companion for my 30 remaining years.
I want to increase the odds that I will be able to find a wonderful person and enjoy their company for decades to come – not just a decade. So it’s going to have to be somebody who takes really good care of their health through diet and exercise.
Athletic. Remember that word.
This guy who I’ll call “Marty” responded to my online dating profile and arranged to meet me at Starbucks. (Right away my middle daughter groaned at how incredibly gauche it was that he suggested Starbucks. Whatever. I can’t micromanage everything, right?)
I went to Starbucks at the appointed hour. Marty was late. I sat next to one entrance while keeping an eye on the other entrance.
As he entered the far door, the first thing I noticed was that it had been at least several decades since Marty had been acquainted with the word “athletic.” (What on earth inspired him to decide, as he read my online profile, that he was the guy I was searching for?) So I geared myself up for spending some time talking to another human being who I would never meet with again.
The surprises didn’t end there! While online, Marty had represented himself to me as a financial professional. However, within minutes of meeting Marty, it became clear that his financial profession was, in reality, a fledgling hobby, because Marty is actually a truck driver.
What’s more, he apparently really enjoyed talking about truck driving. I listened to many chapters of Marty’s Encyclopedia of Truck Driving Experiences. Except guess what? I know a little bit about the truck driving industry, from all the research I’ve read for stocks. Marty beamed at me when he discovered that I was able to discuss truck driving. He was absolutely thrilled. (He was probably ready to marry me…yikes!)
Anyway, I asked Marty about the industry-wide driver shortage, and here’s what I gleaned:
- The written test to acquire a commercial driver’s license (CDL) is much harder than it used to be, thus, fewer people are passing the test and becoming truck drivers.
- Additionally, the legalized use of recreational marijuana in approximately nine states and the District of Columbia has further shrunk the pool of qualified truck drivers, because some would-be drivers cannot pass the drug tests.
- The new mandatory use of electronic logging devices (ELD) throughout the trucking industry is exposing truckers who heretofore had their fingers on the scale, i.e. they were lower-quality employees who often misrepresented their work data to their employers.
Trucking companies have significantly increased the pay scale in their desperate search for qualified drivers, and they’re passing those operational costs on to the shippers. The booming economy has trucking companies working at capacity, except for the trucks that are sitting idle due to lack of drivers.
I finally managed to thank Marty for his company and conversation, at which point he asked me out to dinner. And it was at that point when I had to be blunt and say, “We’re not a match.”
I decided to stick with the online dating for a tad longer, instead. I kept on truckin’.