Veteran truckie Chris Roe, 66, thought he’d seen all types of bad driver behaviour in more than 46 years behind the wheel.
But an incident at the BP Marulan Southbound truck stop on the Hume Highway last Thursday night takes the cake, compelling him to speak out in defense of the industry.
Roe had stopped for a shower and a meal in the designated drivers’ area when a truckie he didn’t know arrived and immediately became belligerent with staff.
After bellowing instructions for how he wanted his meal cooked, the irate driver disappeared to cool off in the shower.
When he reemerged into the dining area, Roe said he became angry again when he couldn’t find the remote to change the TV channel.
After staff politely asked him not to stand on a chair and change the channel manually, Roe said the truckie exploded, unleashing a tirade of abuse at a staff member as she retreated to the safety of the staff-only area.
“He then marched around to the other side [of the counter] and put up a performance for the ages,” said Roe.
“I was so embarrassed by the whole situation that I felt compelled to go and apologise on behalf of the rest of the industry to the girls behind the counter for what they had been subjected to.”
Roe thought about following the truckie out to his truck so he could identify his employer and report his unseemly behaviour, but feared for his own safety.
When he asked staff if they were okay, Roe said they dismissed the tantrum as water off a duck’s back, but the embarrassed truckie said no one deserves to be treated like that.
“If we’re going to demand clean showers, toilets and the right to sit down for a meal, we’re at least compelled to give a little bit back in return,” he said.
“If you want to complain get on the phone and complain to BP [head office]. The girls there are doing nothing more than the job they’re required to do in a way they’ve been instructed to do it.
“We haven’t got the right to be subjecting anyone to that sort of shit.
“I’m that wild about what happened. I just don’t want it to happen again.
“He simply shouldn’t be in anybody’s truck representing this industry in any shape, form or fashion.”
Big Rigs has approached BP for comment.