#36: Truckers Gerald Wong and Susan Hicks Wong

Listen to the interview by clicking the arrow on the audio player below.

In this episode, I talk to Gerald Wong and Susan Hicks Wong, a husband-and-wife team who make their living as long-haul truckers—and the first thing I learned was that they don’t really use the term ‘long-haul.’ They’re OTR (over the the road) truckers.

About Gerald Wong and Susan Hicks Wong: Gerald Wong is a Vietnam veteran who came to trucking in 1990 after an extended period of unemployment. For more than 20 years, he lived what he describes in the interview as the lonely life of the solo trucker.

But these days he has constant companionship: after losing her job as a graphic designer, his wife Susan, whom he met on Match.com nine years ago, decided to get a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) of her own. She was the only woman in her training class. Susan then joined Gerald on the road, and now they criss-cross the country together as owner-operators of “Iron Dragon,” their 2007 Volvo VNL780 (pictured here).

Gerald’s CB handle is Gizmo. You can find him on Facebook at Gizmo’s America.

#35: Licensed Acupunturist & Chinese Herbologist Lara Rosenthal

Listen to the interview by clicking the arrow on the audio player below.

The more people I interview, the more I realize that I’ve been harboring all sorts of false notions about job satisfaction. For example, I’ve had it in my head that people who grow up knowing exactly what they want to do for a living are happier with their work than those who have to cast around for a while looking for the right fit. I’ve also suspected that job happiness belongs almost exclusively to the “true believers”—people who have such conviction in what they do, such passion about their work, that (at least in my imagination) they operate free of doubt, untroubled by any inner conflict.

The process of listening to real people talk frankly about their careers has started to dismantle some of these ideas, and my interview with Lara Rosenthal was particularly powerful in this respect. In the course of our talk, Rosenthal explained that her work is profoundly satisfying—and yet the path she has taken was neither direct nor doubt-free. (Yee haw! There’s hope for us all.)

About Lara Rosenthal: Lara Rosenthal, L.Ac. is a licensed acupuncturist and board certified Chinese herbologist specializing in women’s health and fertility. She runs a private practice in Manhattan, is a faculty member at Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in New York, and a clinical supervisor at the NYU Hospital for Joint Diseases’ Initiative for Women with Disabilities. She has a B.S. in Biological Sciences from Stanford University, is fluent in Mandarin Chinese, and studied and worked in Taiwan for three years. Rosenthal regularly conducts lectures for both the general public and for practicing physicians on the uses of acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine to enhance fertility and treat common gynecologic issues. Her work on acupuncture and in vitro fertilization has been published in Fertility and Sterility, and the Journal of Chinese Medicine.