During a recent visit to the Laredo, TX TA Travel Center, I happened to meet a man who came over to me and asked if I was a bus driver? I replied no and explained that I drove a truck just like him. This man was very intrigued that I was wearing my usual uniform, which includes a tie. He couldn’t believe it. I went on to discuss the reason for my professional attire and why it’s important for me to dress the way I do.
I shared with this man that years ago in the 1940s, truck drivers were respected and paid extremely well. Back then; driving was a very good paying job. A typical driver’s uniform consisted of a button down shirt, pressed pants, tie, Eisenhower jacket and a hard bill cap. I was a flatbed carrier years ago and decided to adopt this dress code for my own company. The results have been way beyond anything I could have ever imagined. At first, my fellow flatbed drivers laughed and made their jokes. However, I gained much respect from my customers, the public and law enforcement officials. The man stopped me at that point and reflected on a story he had read years ago.
The story was about a taxi driver who decided to treat his customers just as if they had rented a “limousine”. He dressed as if he was working as a chauffeur for the rich. He gave everyone first class service and went above and beyond what was expected of a normal taxi driver. His fellow cab drivers scoffed and would comment to him and say things like “dressing professionally and treating customers like they’re special clients won’t matter because you’ll never see those people again anyway”. They were quite surprised when he began to make more money.
I enjoyed hearing this story and the success behind it. After reflecting on this old story, the driver explained to me that he could now see why I would dress in a uniform. Before we parted ways, I told him examples of various other successes from leased on owner operator drivers who stepped up their dress code and enjoyed similar outstanding results.
In closing, someone once told me many years ago to dress for the position you want and dress in a manner in which you would like to be treated.