The CT trucks: dispatchers tell drivers where to go.
With my freshly minted degree, I set out to find a new job, any job, in the UP. I had no luck, so I moved to Detroit, like so many people have done in the past. There, I worked for most of a year with Central Transport. (Coincidently, I missed the worst winter ever up here: 380 inches of snow.)
You've probably seen their trucks on the highways: red "C"; black "T"; hauling freight around much of North America. This first job, as a dispatcher, was a true education. I learned communication skills: how to tell truck drivers where to go in their language. I learned management skills: the supervisors would help us organize all the loads to begin our shift. I learned patience: sometimes I had to sit and wait for loads to arrive before plotting more courses of action.
I also learned to have a sense of humor on the job. One truck driver said, "I'm hauling a load of dispatcher brains." And he was answered by another trucker, "Oh, you mean it's empty?"
The drivers were routinely hard working, dedicated people who made their living in a very hard fashion: away from their families for long periods of time.
And they taught me one other great lesson: if you treated them well and with respect, they responded in kind, sometimes with Christmas presents!
About a year later, I was back in the UP, and married, and I was on my way home. But, I'll never forget the lessons learned.