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Welcome to my world

It was just over a year ago when Ted Light planted himself in my office and the thought in my head that it would be a great career move for me to return to my roots in the trucking industry.I'd spent ...


Rob Wilkins
Rob Wilkins

It was just over a year ago when Ted Light planted himself in my office and the thought in my head that it would be a great career move for me to return to my roots in the trucking industry.

I’d spent the last 20 years publishing a number of automotive aftermarket publications for the same company that owns Truck News and frankly I was getting bored.

As the decision weighed on my mind I couldn’t help but remember back to Feb. 3, 1980 when I first broke into this business as sales representative for the Ontario Truck Trader. It was my job to call on – and more importantly sell advertising space to – dealerships in Toronto and Eastern Ontario.

Included with this lofty post: a camera, an expense account and company car. I remember thinking how lucky I was. Visions of martini lunches and a private office (complete with my own secretary of course) bounced through my head.

Life was going to be good.

However, reality was quick to set in.

The martini lunches were replaced with take out from the Husky Truck Stop in Joyceville, Ont.

The private secretary never really came about and while the company car did in fact have four wheels, let’s just say the finish was an interesting reddish-brown color and it didn’t come that way from the factory.

The expense account was there providing I didn’t stay in any motel that cost more than $20 a night.

The actual building we occupied was a story in itself.

Built during the war years, it was originally a munitions plant. The angled roof was situated directly above the sales department and on a stormy day, rain would literally gush all over our highly classified sales call reports.

On more than one occasion the entire office broke out their umbrellas during particularly strong downpours.

Despite these distractions, there were some added bonuses to the job: The tea and coffee located in our ultra-modern staff kitchen was free of charge. And one month before I was hired the company had installed new broadloom carpeting.

(Mind you, it looked just like the indoor/outdoor mini-putt stuff.)

This blast of nostalgia overwhelmed me and my decision to Ted’s offer was made. I accepted the position as publisher of Truck News, Truck West and Motortruck magazines.

So now I’m back in the world of trucking and the hotels cost $220 a night, my coffee is $1.35 each morning. The roof here leaks too occasionally (but only in the atrium) and my vehicle is still a brownish color – but this time I can assure you that it was made to look that way. The more things change the more they remain the same. Thanks Ted. n

– Rob Wilkins is the publisher of Truck News and he can be reached at 416-442-2097.


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