Women in Trucking
Where has the Non-Profit Organization, “Women in Trucking” been in all of this? Well, that will be my next cronicle if I can ever finish my student trucker story. I joined “Women in Trucking” as soon as I had chance to get to a computer in 2008. I was under the impression that the Mission Statement on the front page of the website was accurate.
I observed the climate for a period of time before I ever posted. It most certainly did not seem very friendly but the immediate positive response from other truckers on Allen Smith’s “Ask the Trucker” who were both male and female persuaded me to reach out to Char Pingel and tell her about what had been happening to me AFTER I went through the chain of command and into the arms of the HR Lady in my story.
This thread has the most reads of any thread on the WIT Forum which at last count was over 3000! From day 1 I was attacked publically on the WIT forum by Sandy Long aka Lady Godiva . In a series of private emails I was further dismissed and basically told that they run people off like me who want to publically discuss what I was seeing with my own two eyes happen to Women who were entering the trucking industry for the first time.
Remember, I entered as a single Woman, not with a Husband or Boyfriend. I do not come from a trucking family. I was totally reliant on my CDL School Training, My Company Support System and My Trainer to provide me the tools to be successful. So far, none of them had come through for me but I wasn’t going to quit.
I first called Char Pingel and told her that a public cat fight is detrimental to ALL Women and she agreed but nothing was done. Later, I began emailing Ellen Voie about the fact that her forum seemed to be commandeered by Lady Godiva who actually has shown time and again that she does not like other Women. I was called names that were meant to label me and be derogatory but all the names were in fact, all different types of Women! It made me wonder, “What kind of Women are allowed to be supported in “Women in Trucking”?
After many calls and emails to Ellen Voie and watching her tweet about getting her CDL but never actually operating a Big Rig herself, I saw that she had an aversion to the hard questions that are of the upmost importance for new females entering trucking. Is she an Advocate? or a Carpetbagger?
Here are a sampling of screen shots made from Ellen’s Twitter tag @WomeninTrucking (Caution: Ellen Deletes stuff after I publish it but I have the screen shots on my hard drive) *** Note: These are in reverse order as they are Twitter Stream Tweets
89. I am traveling out west with my boyfriend, and I am
so happy that I can handle a 38 foot 5th wheel trailer!
3:33 PM Jan 22nd from web
90. The Trucker ran a story about my getting my CDL
http://www.thetrucker.com 9:55 AM Jan 18th from web
91. I did not have to take a written or practical test to
transfer my Ohio CDL to Wisconsin. 4:25 PM Jan
15th from web
92. I completed the driving test in Ohio, then came back
to Wisconsin and transferred my license. I am now a
CLD holder! 4:24 PM Jan 15th from web
93. I passed!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I got my CDL today. 8:22 AM Jan
9th from txt
94. This week I will be returning to Canton Ohio to take
my driving test over. I’m scheduled for 8 am
Thursday. Wish me luck! 2:42 PM Jan 6th from web
95. I made a left turn and the light down the road turned
green in my turn, so he claims that I made them slow
down. Darn! I’ll be back! 9:49 AM Dec 22nd, 2008
96. So, the bad news is that the examiner did not pass me
on the driving test. He said that I impeded traffic. 9:48
AM Dec 22nd, 2008 from web
97. I took my CDL test on Saturday. I passed the pre-trip
with an 89 out of 90. I passed the skills test also
(parallel parking was not fun!) 9:47 AM Dec 22nd,
2008 from web
98. Today is the day. I am up early, after spending the
night in Canton. My test is at 8 am. Next time I log in
I hope to have my CDL! 4:08 AM Dec 20th, 2008
99. This afternoon I was able to get my last hour of
driving time in to complete my 10 hours of driving. It
was slushy outside. 5:20 PM Dec 19th, 2008 from web
100. The freezing rain caused us to stay in the classroom
all morning. We watched videos and practiced our
pretrip inspection by memory. 10:26 AM Dec 19th,
I spent my own meager salary on two occasions to attend trucking conventions to meet Ellen Voie in person to see for myself. Is she only trying to collect a paycheck from a non-profit organization off the backs of Real Women Truckers or what?
On a number of occasions she had told me that “WE” cannot say anything disparaging about certain companies because “they might be our sponsers”. That’s pretty sick when you consider that CRST is one of them.
When time permits I will chronicle all the emails, all the bullying, all reasons that the idea of a Women’s Trucking Organization is wonderful but in order to be responsible it is imperative to be clear that you WILL NOT help those entering Trucking if they get raped, beaten or harrassed. It is esspecially important because of the frequent radio appearences made by Ellen Voie that encourage Women to use her book as a guide to help them through CDL Training.
That is not radical feminism, it just being clear that you represent the industry, not the Women who drive the actual Truck.
Allen Smith did two shows on the topic of “Bullying in the Workplace” both of those links for the archived shows are in my FAQ section. The topic was in part inspired by the CRST Sexual Harrassment Case which was occuring at the same time the situation on the WIT forum was going on. Remarks putting down other Women and making Judgements on Women were frequent. One particular thread commented on was about how a crocheted valance had been seen on a big rig and this was looked down upon, as that female was just advertising her presence. This was sort of funny because at the same time a female crocheting trucker on Twitter seemed like she could handle herself pretty well if someone came to give her any shit about her hobby.
I delibrately persisted on the WIT forum. I wanted to see for myself and for the other Women who had been contacting me what sort of support WIT truly could offer to overcome obstacles in their trucking carreer.
Ellen Voie was invited to participate in these radio programs. She even had us rearrange the schedule to accomadate her schedule, which we did. Unfortunately, she later declined citing her lawyer advised her against it, but she would love to do a follow-up show.
In Las Vegas, the general consensus from Women Truckers I met is that Ellen Voie is not doing anything for Women Truckers. She did manage to land a reality TV Producer though, but that’s actually not too hard if you have ever been to Vegas or anywhere in California. You just have to be willing to make an ass of yourself on TV. Selling the idea of Women Truckers very easy but the image Ellen & the ATA are trying to sell the general public may not be helping Real Women Truckers at all.
In Dallas, Ellen Voie took credit for something she had absolutely nothing to do with and in fact wanted no part in asking for a company to address the subject matter. I had seen her do this with articles as well. I was beginning to get the picture.
As I get time I will chronicle all of this because what she is doing is actually detrimental to Women. There is a problem in the trucking industry for female students and Ellen is recruting them with her book and radio appearences, therefore she needs to clarify to these women that should they be harmed, she is not the person to go to.
Please watch this Video Clip in Ellen’s own words for and upcoming documentry on Bullying in the Workplace by filmaker Beverly Peterson.
Like I told Ellen Voie in a recent email, “I support Women in Trucking but I do not Support a Women who has never driven a truck making money off the backs of those who do, there in a name for that you know!”
Also, I am including this post I made about the CRST Sexual Harrassment Case which is Ellen Voie’s Sponser. It is from this post I came to know Tracey Tuttle-Hamm and “OKCSafety” who is “Tom” in the Dan Rather Segment called “Queen of the Road” read it HERE