Facebook and Farming
Creation Date Sunday, 03 July 2011. Hits 1865
Truck drivers frequently find themselves saying that they are in the wrong line of work. Consider a driver who makes $.40 a mile, a decent rate of pay in the industry. To drive 5 miles from a truck stop to a repair shop, he would get paid $2.00. Yet to get towed there, he will pay the tow truck operator $350.00. Is that a bit exaggerated? Then try this one on for size. The driver pays $3.60 for a gallon of fuel. That is certainly a fair price, below the national average. Let's assume he is very conscious of fuel savings, operates the vehicle efficiently, and gets 8 miles to the gallon. That is certainly higher than average. Yet even in these optimal circumstances, the driver receives $.40 cpm from his company, yet the truck stop receives $.45 cpm for the fuel he is burning in the course of his work. Still not enough for you?
The same driver picks up a meat load, and hauls it 500 miles to a grocery warehouse. He spends one hour at the shipper dropping his trailer and hooking up to the loaded, then eight hours driving to the receiver where he waits three hours to get unloaded. For that 12 hours of work, he is compensated $200.00. Meanwhile, the lumper he hires to unload the meat he just hauled there receives $200.00 for his four hours of work unloading the trailer.
Yes, it is fair for the driver to consider the possibility that he might be in the wrong line of work. That's why it struck me as a bit humorous this past week when I saw another industry receive an even larger jolt than the average trucker receives on a daily basis. Zynga, the company who created the game Farmville for facebook, went public at an estimated net worth of 20 billion dollars. It is now officially more profitable to get people to sit in front of their computer pretending to farm than it is to actually farm. They plant nothing, and nothing grows. They get up early to collect their eggs, but nobody can eat them. They raise livestock, yet they never produce a steak. They don't plow and plant their way to a living, they copy and paste someone else to theirs. They are e farmers who measure their success in points instead of crop yields, and friends lists instead of acres. To the real farmers, I feel your pain.
I'm not saying that anyone should quit driving and create a trucker game for facebook, but it might not be an entirely bad idea. You could get up in the morning and scramble to your computer to click your pre-trip inspection button before the cyber smokey raids the rest area you parked at. Characters could hire local thugs to create a diversion so they don't get a parking ticket while they are unloading at a dock that was designed for a 45' trailer leaving them hanging out into the road. They could lose points for parking their truck at a truck stop that does not have wi fi, and gain points for kicking the lot lizards out of the parking lot. Players could come home from a long day of work and hop on the computer to kick their e driver onto the sleeper berth line before they go to bed. At least when they wake up in the morning, they will have a couple of hours to tend to their fake farm while they wait in the dock at the imaginary shipper.