Friday, December 30, 2011

A NEW YEAR AND A LOT OF POSITIVE ENERGY- 2012

2012 brings with it a new energy, a positive energy on many fronts.

Many finally are starting to see a move in the right direction in the housing market as well as the economy.

Both, are of coarse, major factors for us in the moving business as in most businesses.

Moving companies are beginning to wrap our arms around the DP3 system in the military and improvements have been made and will continue to change for the better.

The trucking industry went through the culture change of CSA 2010 and we are moving ahead now and we are all probably better of for it.

A culture change is exactly what our industry has been going through, with the background check issue on labor taking even more of a prominent stand in all lines of work, the distribution of all military work and the rules and regulation changes from our government on all safety inspections and point systems...it all added up to a major culture change FOR ALL OF US.

We at Arpin believe that we came through it all as a better company for our customers, drivers, employees and agents.

When adversity hits you can either succumb to it and surrender or you come out of it stronger, learn from it, adapt and move forward.

We have some really great projects that will be taking shape in 2012, the biggest being our PRIME SOURCE project. That ties in everyone to a one system, one computer program that will streamline all communication and make all of our jobs more efficient and profitable.

Computerized driver inventories will be tied into Prime Source, giving all drivers the quicker, cleaner way to inventory on any smart phone or iPad. This feature will cut your inventory time in half and it will cut your claims buy more than that. You will eliminate paper and have the ability to email your documents while at residence and much much more.

Lots of good stuff coming up, adversity did hit and Arpin decided to not only to get through it but to get through it and to improve what we all do.

And remember the reward is in the journey...what is success to you?..

Count your blessings and ENJOY THE RIDE !


Thursday, December 29, 2011

25 THINGS TO REMEMBER

1) Don't sweat the small stuff, and remember, most stuff is small.
2) The most boring word in any language is " I "
3) Nobody is indispensable.
4) Life is full of surprises. Just say "never" and you'll see.
5) People are more important than things
6) Persistence will get you almost anything eventually.
7) Nobody can make you happy. Most folks are as happy as they make their minds up to be.
8) There is so much bad in the best of us and so much good in the worst of us that it doesn't behoove any of us to talk about the rest of us.
9) Live by what you trust, not by what you fear
10) Character counts. Family matters.
11) Eating out with small children isn't worth it, even if someone else is buying.
12) If you wait to have kids until you can afford them, you probably never will.
13) Baby kittens don't begin to open their eyes for six weeks after birth. Men generally take about 26 years.
14) The world would run a lot smoother if more men knew how to dance.
15) Television ruins more minds than drugs.
16) Sometimes there is more to gain in being wrong than right.
17) Life is so much simpler when you tell the truth.
18) People who do the worlds real work don't usually wear neckties.
19) A good joke beats a pill for a lot of ailments.
20) There are no substitutes for fresh air, sunshine and exercise.
21) A smile is the cheapest way to improve your looks, even if your teeth are crooked.
22) May you live life so there is standing room only at your funeral.
23) Mothers always know best, but sometimes fathers know, too.
24) Forgive yourself, your friends and your enemies. Your only human.
25) If you don't do anything else in life, love someone and let someone love you.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Getting and Giving Information

Unless you are a driver or a packer or a helper that is actually ringing the doorbell and picking up the couch and walking it down three flights of stairs then your ONLY involvement in a move is getting and giving information.

If you are a Customer Care Representative or a dispatcher your role to a positive quality move is to be sure that all important information is found out and transferred to the proper party.

It is common when a move has situations that arise to start pointing the finger but everyone involved needs to ask themselves what they could of done better. What could they have done to help prevent the situation.

The mover and packer are the ones that need to handle the situation on the day of the move and most times if it has reached that point then being able to do a full quality move may be compromised.

It needs to start with asking all the right questions when a move is called and in and assigned to us but it is also every one's responsibility from there to ask the right questions and to pre-plan as much as possible.

The dispatcher needs to keep everyone involved in the move informed, email the information, ask questions. Is the job going direct, how is access, is there a full unpack, is there an item or items that is most important to the customer.

That last one is vital to help win over the customer, what is most important to them? It may not even be a item it may be the time a job must be done at origin or a preferred delivery date.

Do not ASSUME anything.

Ask questions, be prepared, give our drivers and packers the information that they need to do a proper job and service our customers the best we can.

Drivers, you need to ask the same questions and way in advance. Email and call the customer care reps and your dispatcher, keep them in the loop. We are all here for you.

Get and give information and FOLLOW UP.

If we all do our part and work together we can do some marvelous things.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Helping each other out there on the road

It is still good to hear that there are still drivers that go out of there way to help other drivers.

We recently had a driver in the MD area and was planned to load a job and his help was a no show. He saw another Arpin driver and when he told him the story the driver gave him one of his helpers and when he was done he met him at the residence to help pitch in himself.

That is what it is all about !

I am not sure why but this seems to happen a lot less now then it did years ago.

When I started in the business back in the 80's drivers always helped each other.
The code of the road was you just bought that guy dinner and you called it even.
It would always come back to you.
It was truly the pay it forward system.

Guys looked out for each other even if it meant staying over a night to do so in some cases.

Bonds were made and in most cases they were made for life.

I do not know what changed but I truly hope the spirit would find itself back into the industry.

We could all use it....probably now more then ever.


Pay it forward...help a fellow driver.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas 2011

Christmas is a time when we open our hearts to others in our midst, especially the less fortunate- including those who have no homes, who struggle with personal demons and suffer terribly in the cold.

It is a time when we forgive others for their wrongs to us.

It is a time when we wish our neighbors and associates, of every faith, good fortune and happiness, whether by saying " Merry Christmas" or "Happy Holidays"!

It is a time when we take special pleasure in helping a child smile- especially a child who has struggled with poverty, illness or trouble at home.

It is a time when we treasure family members and honored traditions passed down for generations, including the lovely old songs we sing together.

It is a time when we pause in the rat race to savor our fleeting moments with those we love.

It is a time we reflect on fleeting those moments really are- when we feel our eyes brim up, remembering those we can never stop missing, who will not share holidays with us again, at least not physically.

Our culture seems increasingly crude at times, our sense of self righteousness so enormous that we feel entitled to cruelty insult, or impugn the integrity of, anyone who disagrees with us, especially in the political realm. The spirit of Christmas argues against our demonizing each other, and for trying to disagree in fair-minded manner that preserves a mutual respect.

It is a spirit worth carrying beyond December 25.

Merry Christmas

Friday, December 23, 2011

Good manners and a Positive attitude

Below is a email we recently received from a Major in the military....


Gentleman,
I just wanted to take a few minutes and let you know what a great crew you have at Studdard Moving and Storage in Leavenworth, KS.
I am in the military and my family and I have just PCS’d from Kansas to Ft Campbell, KY. This is our 8th move in 12 years and by far the best move we have experienced! From the initial walk through, the packing loading and unloading everything has been incredible. Even the personnel in the office have been extremely accommodating and polite, doing everything possible to make this transition smooth and painless. Mr. John Campbell, even scheduled the box pickup at the destination for us.

As you can imagine, moving during the holiday time can be extremely stressful on a family, so the good manners and positive attitude of your crews was refreshing. Anytime we asked something to be wrapped or loaded in a certain way, they accommodated us, without giving us the statement that we hear ever to frequently, “Sir (or Ma’am), I’ve been doing this for 20 years and I know what I am doing.”
This was very refreshing.

I will be filling out the survey through the military, but I just wanted to let you know as well, what a great job one of your teams did.


Like we say...good old fashion work ethic....
Thank you John and all of Studdard moving !!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

What some really hard workers have to say about effort....


 ― "Striving for success without hard work is like trying to harvest where you haven't planted." - David Bly, American politician (1952- )

― "Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work." - Stephen King, American novelist (1947- )

― "Nothing will work unless you do." - John Wooden, American college basketball coach (1910-2010)

― "You just don't luck into things. You build them step by step, whether it's friendships or opportunities." - Barbara Bush, American first lady (1925- ) 

― "Without labor nothing prospers." - Sophocles, Greek playwright (B.C. 496-406)

― "Always make a total effort, even when the odds are against you." - Arnold Palmer, American professional golfer (1929- )

― "Fill the unforgiving minute with sixty seconds‘ worth of distance run." - Rudyard Kipling, British novelist (1865-1936)

― "The highest compliment that you can pay me is to say that I work hard every day." - Wayne Gretzky, Canadian ice hockey player (1961- )

― "Satisfaction lies in the effort, not in the attainment. Full effort is full victory." - Mohandas Gandhi, Indian religious leader (1869-1948)

― "The world belongs to the energetic." - Ralph Waldo Emerson, American philosopher (1803-1882)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Performing 'In a Flow,' 'In the Zone' - A Form of Mindfulness

 


I'm a big sports fan, and one of the big fascinations for me is how the top performers do what they do on the playing field. How does a football team fall behind 0 to 10 and end up winning 42 to 10? How does a basketball player attempt a clutch 3-point shot at the end of a close game, with three defenders trying to block him - and make the shot? How does a professional golfer hit a shot to the green 200 yards away, in 30 mph swirling and gusting wind, with trees blocking his view of the pin - and land the ball within 3 feet of the hole? And on and on. This kind of achievement fascinates me.

Watching this sort of thing makes me think of what Tolle and others say about mindfulness and living in the moment. Because it's impossible to perform in competition without making a horrible, costly mistake. It happens almost every time. But the top players don't dwell on what has happened. And they don't think much about what could happen in the future. Their discipline is to focus their attention on the experience of making the play that is right in front of them...in the present moment. Bad things happen, they react to them, and in only a few moments they stop thinking about it. In other words, they practice mindfulness in their sport.

You've heard people talk about "being in the zone," especially as it relates to sports. Broadcasters say this when a player is executing at the full capacity of his skill, making one outstanding play after another. What's really happening is that the athlete has turned off his mind and is executing automatically what he has programmed his brain to do. He may have thought about details of technique and how-to during thousands of hours or practice. But the purpose of practice is to wire the brain to execute the skill automatically. You can't do anything in an outstanding way if you have to think about how to do it while you're doing it. You have to just do it.

This "flow" is also a form of mindfulness. You have to be fully present, in the moment. You can't be thinking about anything in the past or about future consequences. These things have nothing to do with performing well in the present moment.

Things like overconfidence and loss of composure are related to failures to be present in the moment. They come from thinking too much about the future or the past.

Of course this applies to any human endeavor, not just to sports, whether playing music, speaking in public, dealing with people or writing a novel.

Do you remember a time when you were "in a flow" or "in the zone," performing at a high level? It's a wonderful thing. Top performers have learned to shift into that mode at will. If you're an ambitious, success-oriented person who wants to perform at your best, I encourage you to learn how to consciously execute that shift.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Hmmmmm interesting....

An interesting experiment.....

Started with a cage containing five monkeys.

Inside the cage, hang a banana on a string and place a set of stairs under it. Before long, a monkey will go to the stairs and start to climb towards the banana. As soon as he touches the stairs, spray all of the other monkeys with cold water.

After a while, another monkey makes an attempt with the same result - all the other monkeys are sprayed with cold water. Pretty soon, when another monkey tries to climb the stairs, the other monkeys will try to prevent it.

Now, put away the cold water. Remove one monkey from the cage and replace it with a new one. The new monkey sees the banana and wants to climb the stairs. To his surprise and horror, all of the other monkeys attack him.

After another attempt and attack, he knows that if he tries to climb the stairs, he will be assaulted.

Next, remove another of the original five monkeys and replace it with a new one. The newcomer goes to the stairs and is attacked. The previous newcomer takes part in the punishment with enthusiasm! Likewise, replace a third original monkey with a new one, then a fourth, then the fifth. Every time the newest monkey takes to the stairs, he is attacked.

Most of the monkeys that are beating him have no idea why they were not permitted to climb the stairs or why they are participating in the beating of the newest monkey.

After replacing all the original monkeys, none of the remaining monkeys have ever been sprayed with cold water. Nevertheless, no monkey ever again approaches the stairs to try for the banana. Why not? Because as far as they know that's the way it's always been done around here.

Sound familiar?

Monday, December 19, 2011

Take responsibility and remember....

  • 1. Every problem is temporary.
  • 2. The quality of your decisions determines the quality of your life.
  • 3. Dire conditions allow opportunities for inner growth.
  • 4. Adversity is what life is all about. You have the power to use adversity to your advantage!
  • 5. Blame and condemnation seldom produce positive change and almost always make things worse.
  • 6. Others only have as much power over you as you let them!
  • 7. The most obnoxious person in your life is often your best teacher.
  • 8. Aggression and passivity are two of the least effective behaviors to effect a solution.
  • 9. To find freedom we need to forgive.
  • 10. Forgiving is a selfish act to free yourself from being controlled by your past.
  • 11. Cooperation requires a lot less energy than competition or domination.
  • 12. Every situation can be viewed from many perspectives. Is there a pattern to the way you view most situations?
  • 13. Focus on seeing the world the way it could be, not the way it is.
  • 14. Take responsibility for the responses you make.
  • 15. Turn problems into challenges and crises into transitions!
  • 16. You may walk through the Valley of Death but don't set up camp there.
  • 17. To lead full lives we need to get in touch with ourselves, discard our limiting beliefs, and shed our prejudices.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Wake up call to action

A test. One of the following two statements is correct. Choose A or B....

It's morning. You grab a cup of coffee, walk out the front door and gaze upon your familiar world, and...

A. Not much has changed.

B. Practically everything has changed.

Which did you choose? The correct answer is B. It isn't easy to create a life for yourself. You look upon your world and you need to believe that there's some constancy, some stability, some predictability to it. But all that is an illusion. Everything in the world is in a condition of flux. If you aren't surprised by what's going on around you, you aren't paying attention.

Every person is on a journey that is unknown to you. Countless changing variables propel these unknown journeys. Even random thoughts and small decisions have unpredictable consequences. The lives of all your friends and family are changing.

Millions of conversations are taking place. Millions of ideas are forming. Millions of people are taking action, often on the spur of the moment, often after careful planning. All these actions will have consequences.

Are you hoping to finish your project and have an impact? Is your work based on assumptions you made some time ago? Do you think the world out there is like a theater where a sizable audience sits quietly and waits patiently and politely for you to come on stage?

This day, as you stand on your doorstep, acknowledge the truth. Wake up! Almost nothing out there is the same as it was yesterday. Unimaginable changes and their consequences are cascading forward in time as you take another sip of your coffee.

You don't have any time to waste. Whatever is important to you, you need to be doing it. Most of what you do every day is of little consequence. Do what's important instead. Get into a flow, Bring the best of who you are to the work that defines you and gives you purpose. If you want to make a difference, then get on with it.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Work ethic

What kind of work do you do? Whatever it is, much depends on your willingness to work your buns off when it counts.

It‘s amazing what you can get done when you push yourself to your limits. And that‘s exactly what you sometimes need to do. But will you? Sometimes success depends on your willingness to move faster, devote more personal energy and work longer hours.

Yet, when challenges slow your progress, it‘s hard to remember that something good might come from all your hard work. You might wonder whether the results you hope for are worth the physical aches and pains or the mental fatigue that you‘re enduring along the way. It‘s natural to wish you were able to do something that didn‘t drain so much of your personal energy.

At times like this, remind yourself that while hard work might exhaust you, in the long run it‘s how you get what you want.

Almost always, a worthwhile goal requires tremendous effort and commitment. If your goal means that much to you, and if you‘re willing to do the tough stuff and not give up, you have an excellent chance of achieving it.

 The key is to have a goal you really care about so you give it your best effort even when you're tired.

Remember, you already have within you everything you need to give the required effort. You can concentrate on the challenge before you, no matter how difficult, and give it your best.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Brown University/Arpin Group


Brown University/Arpin Group

Through one of our companies, Arpin Renewable Energy Company, we have been testing solar applications to trucks and transportation. We've outfitted some of our trucks, and had spectacular results with eliminating conventional use of energy and reducing emissions.

Through our partnership with TransSolar company, we are about to significantly expand our testing to many fleets, and should be launching new, solar products next year.

Concurrently, we've mentored students at Brown University to not only help with this effort, but expand the potential use of solar on trucks. The results are award winning as you can see from this story: Congratulations to the Arpin team at Brown for a job well done:





Arpin Renewable Energy Mentors Brown University Students to Shape Future of Transportation Industry

December 13, 2011
Arpin Renewable Energy has formed a partnership with Brown University’s entrepreneurship program to expand the use of solar energy in the transportation industry.

“I am very excited to be mentoring Brown University student entrepreneurs to shape the future of energy in the moving and transportation industry,” said Peter Arpin, president and CEO of Arpin Renewable Energy. “So far, their presentations on the subject of lowering costs and reducing our impact on the environment have demonstrated exceptional promise and I’m looking forward to seeing the students’ conclusions at the end of the semester.”

Three Brown students from this year's Entrepreneurship I class (ENGN1930G) are working with their class mentor, Peter Arpin, to lower operating costs at Arpin Van Lines by applying green technologies which also will reduce the company’s impact on the environment. Arpin Renewable Energy is currently engaged in a project to retrofit a moving truck with solar technology.

The Brown student team is also looking to increase revenues per truck by applying solar powered electronic advertising displays on a select number of trucks to help offset the costs of the solar retrofit. The student team is in the process of identifying appropriate technologies and developing a business plan for these applications.

To satisfy the requirements of the class, students must create a credible business plan based on the best solution that evolves from the mentor-posed problem. This business plan must take into account sales and marketing, patents, and opportunities to protect novel product features as well as a product requirements document. Students must present this plan to Peter Arpin at the end of the semester.

The Arpin entrepreneur team recently competed and placed in the finals of the RICIE 90-second elevator pitch competition. There were 58 individuals/teams in competition and nine finalists were chosen. Both the Arpin (Han Lee of GLS Mobile) and Hall (JCD Wind Energy) teams from Entrepreneurship I (ENGN1930G) finished in the top nine, winning $50 each.
About Renewable Energy:

Arpin Renewable Energy is a research and development company, which explores and produces green alternatives that can be applied to the moving industry. It is also responsible for the implementation and management of “Green Initiatives” across all Arpin Group subsidiaries to help reduce their carbon footprint. Learn more about these green initiatives at http://www.arpingroup.com/index.php/about/green_initiatives/.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

A Different Christmas Poem


This went sent from of our Vietnam war hero that runs an Arpin agent in MA...Allen Young Movers in MA....Thank you Marty !

The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.
Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.


The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.
My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.


The sound wasn't loud, and it wasn't too near,
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.
Perhaps just a cough, I didn't quite know, Then the
sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.
My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.


Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.
A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.


"What are you doing?" I asked without fear,
"Come in this moment, it's freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!"
For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts…


To the window that danced with a warm fire's light
Then he sighed and he said, "Its really all right,
I'm out here by choice. I'm here every night.
"It's my duty to stand at the front of the line,
That separates you from the darkest of times.


No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
I'm proud to stand here like my fathers before me.
My Gramps died at ' Pearl on a day in December,"
Then he sighed, "That's a Christmas 'Gram always remembers."
My dad stood his watch in the jungles of ' Nam ',
And now it is my turn and so, here I am.


I've not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he's sure got her smile.”
Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red, white, and blue... an American flag.
“I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home.


I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.
I can carry the weight of killing another,
Or lay down my life with my sister and brother..
Who stand at the front against any and all,
To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall."


"So go back inside," he said, "harbor no fright,
Your family is waiting and I'll be all right."
"But isn't there something I can do, at the least,
"Give you money," I asked, "or prepare you a feast?
It seems all too little for all that you've done,
For being away from your wife and your son."


Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
"Just tell us you love us, and never forget.
To fight for our rights back at home while we're gone,
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.
For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled.
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us."


Thank you Marty for your service and for all you do every day...what you did matters to all of us.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

This is our reward.....

The following is an email from a customer we recently moved...

We have just moved with your company (we were located in Erie CO and unloaded in State College PA).
Specifically Carol and Bob were our team movers. We weer surly impressed by their efficiency, while at the same time their being very friendly, calm and reassuring.

As you might guess, moving with the accumulation my husband and I had after after having been married 52 years was quite nerve- wracking. But after Carol and James ha introduced themselves, Carol began to move around checking off everything, making sure things were well identified and packed. The loading crew themselves moved in and made short work of packing all our things. Far from being a stressful situation, Carol and Jim seemed to have everything happily under control, while being very pleasant with the two of us.

We thought they did an extraordinarily good job, so of coarse, we were very pleased with the two of them as well as with Arpin. You must be very proud to have such a good team as employees. They both seem to be very happy with their jobs and to do them well. W appreciated their work and so would be very happy to recommend Arpin to any others we know contemplating a move.

Thank you very much!

....WOW, talk about making a difference in some one's life...these were movers from our elite agent out of Oklahoma...Ryan Moving and Storage...Damm right we are proud....thank you Carol and James..

THIS IS OUR REWARD FOR OUR HARD WORK

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Treat em like you would your mom's move

I had a dispatcher that worked for me for years and he was very good but his attention to detail seem to sharpen when we moved one of his relatives.

I noticed that when we were moving his son or any relative of his he was right on it. He followed the job from start to finish and hand picked the driver. He made sure that the driver had all the information needed and followed up to be sure that it all went well.

Don't get me wrong he did a good job on other moves but his level of involvement certainly intensified.

I always thought that if he could duplicate those emotions across the board with every customer he would of seen the results for himself.

One of our past driver of the months said I just handle every customer's furniture as if it was my own.
Most every successful driver that I have known have always had that same philosophy.

You should not have a different way to approach your job depending on who or what, you should always give it your best.

 In the long run it will always come back to you ...either way it will come back to you...might as well make it positive.

Monday, December 12, 2011

How to handle mean people

- See it for what it is.
Rather than internalize the criticism dwell on what you might have done to deserve the attack, recognize that the nasty person has personal issues.
That's not to say that a friend can't point out a flaw that needs fixing, but when someone piles on five or six things that are wrong with you, take a step back and see what is really going on.

- Get away.
Exit the room, and/or- end the conversation- calmly, efficiently and without saying anything that you will regret.

- Get them on your side.
Invalidators respond well to three things: affinity, acknowledgement and admiration. Repeat back what they have just said to you so that they feel understood and begin any argument with a compliment.

- One on one.
If it's not important let it go.

If it is important , get them alone and start by saying something like " maybe you didn't know..." Some mean or rude people deliver the biggest sting in front of an audience, and alone they might be apologetic.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Success....Some Quotes

Along with success comes a reputation for wisdom.....Euripides

Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude......Thomas Jeffereson

I can not give you the formula for success, but I can give the formula for failure- which is: Try to please everybody....Herbert Bayeard Swope

Success does does not consist in never making blunders, but in never making the same one a second time...Josh Billings

The secret of success in life is for a man to be ready for his opportunity when it comes...Earl of Beaconsfield

Success is the good fortune that comes from aspiration, desperation, perspiration and inspiration....Evan Esar

If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Then Quit. There's no use being a damm fool about it....W.C.Fields

Saturday, December 10, 2011

DECEMBER 10TH

December 10th, 1985 my life changed as did my wife's, my children and dozens of other people's.
On December 10th 1985 my wife's mother was murdered.
For those of you that read my blog or know me I am sure some times thinks that I write about all sunshine and lollipops and that the world, and perhaps your life, is just not that way.
I know , believe me I have experienced a good share of the bad but that is what shapes us. At least it does me.
When I say "let it go" and that life is too short it is because I believe that.. and life is short. We have no guarantees.
On December 10th 1985 it was a day like any other day until our phone rang and we heard the news that my wife's mom at 42 years of age had been murdered in her shoe store that she had just opened a few years before. Killed by a man who was just let out of jail and who was a career criminal. He murdered a young woman in Fall River MA just hours before driving to R.I. and going to my mother in law's store.
He had no reason and no cause only that she was there.
He was found and sent back to prison and is now dead himself.
But the effects on all of was and is devastating...life will never be the same.
Many questions arise in your head and much anger but life does go on.
You certainly look at life different after a tragedy like that hits your life. What most people think is a bad day or bad circumstances you look at and put it in perspective.
I have been though much more in my life that help shape the way I am, alcoholism in my family, diabetes, stroke, miscarriages, a daughter who needed two surgeries before she even turned one, a son in hospital for weeks when he was not even two with pneumonia and much more and yet the good outweigh the bad.
That said my life is not much different than yours probably, we all have a story and our cross to bear.
That is what makes us and shapes our life's.
We learn more from our tragedies than from our triumphs.
Life goes on and life is short with no guarantees....live it...let the heavy and the negative go..enjoy your loved ones and friends and the world around you....every day.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Where One Fails, Another Prevails !

Below is from one of elite agents from Oklahoma...


Where One Fails, Another Prevails!
I screwed up the other day. I hate to admit it, but I will when the situation shows I didn’t meet expectations. My customer was an agent for the Dept of Transportation and was granted a transfer but had to cover the move herself. After much research, she chose to go with Arpin because she compared our service and safety record to all the other big boys in town- Allied, United, Mayflower, All My Sons (who the hell are they by the way). She said we had the best record and that if the price was close then she’d go with us. We were just a little higher, so she went with us.
                After browbeating my operations manager about how important this move is and how kick-ass it would be to have a testimonial letter from a DOT employee- I went and forgot to put the frigging flat screen TV kit on the service order! So when it was brought to my attention that the driver was out loading and that the TV was still not prepped, I reviewed the service order- immediately slapped myself after seeing I left the field blank for the TV Kit, and began to graciously seek suggestions. My operations manager looked at me with a slight grin and said, “Don’t worry, I sent it out with the driver this morning.” He could have started off with that, but he likes knowing I screw up sometimes. So, I immediately gave him a High Five and yelled, “Damn Good Job! You see! That’s Teamwork! Where One Fails, Another Prevails!” The new lady in our office kind of laughed nervously, probably wondering if she should work in this kind of environment. She’s still here, so I guess she’s adapted.
The point is if there is no teamwork, the customer will suffer. Then we will suffer. My operations manager could have easily passed the buck to me and said, “Hey, you wrote the order, you made the mistake, you need to take care of it.” And I would have, because I did. But, when the initiative is taken, no matter who makes the mistake, the customer sees no break in service, no delay and never knows a mistake has been made. She benefited from us acting as a team. We benefit as well.

                I depend a lot on the people around me and sometimes solely on people I’ve never met. I depend so much on the people in our office they put me down as a dependant on their taxes! But it is important to know that they have my back and I have theirs- especially when we screw up.

Well said......


Thursday, December 8, 2011

MERRY CHRISTMAS

No man is a failure who has friends.


A Holiday Message from Arpin's Agency Marketing Coordinator Chris Kunzmann


From our social media guru...Chris Kunzmann....

Ahh the holidays are here.

It’s everywhere you go.  Turn on the radio?  Christmas music.  Walk into a shopping center?  Christmas music.  Like watching ABC Family?  25 Days of Christmas.

Personally, I won’t start listening to the “oh so catchy” music until after Thanksgiving.  I need to let the turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie digest until I can start dreaming of a White Christmas.  But once it hits 12:00 a.m. the day after turkey day…all bets are off.

Now that I’m 24 years old, while Christmas is still my favorite time of the year, the meaning of the holiday changes as the years go on.
  
When you’re a child, you can’t wait to tear through the wrapping paper, hoping it’s that toy you’ve been pestering your parents for.  Your belief in Santa is still strong…and you hope he didn’t see you push Jimmy during recess.

As a teenager, you want the next “cool” thing so you can show all of your friends.  At this point, you know Santa is just for show, but if you have a younger sibling, you still have to believe.  I fell into this category since my brother and I are 5 years apart.  So what if I recognized the nearby mall Santa from the Home Depot down the street?  To my brother, here was his chance to plead his case for the latest Barney VHS (that’s right…I may only be in my early 20’s…but I still remember VHS).

Now, there’s adulthood.  Instead of just getting presents, it’s now time to give back.  Parents, guardians, friends, boyfriends and girlfriends…husbands and wives.  Maybe you donate to your favorite charity.  This is after all…the season of giving. 

For me, I love this time of year because it gives me the opportunity to see both sides of my family within two days.  On Christmas Eve, I celebrate with my mom’s side.  On Christmas Day, my dad’s.  I encounter the usual questions of “when did I get so tall?” and “how’s life after college?”  But, the important thing is to never take these occasions for granted.  Cherish them at the moment and take in every second of Jingle Bells on the radio and the countless Charlie Brown specials leading up to Christmas Day.

And, if you haven’t seen A Christmas Story yet, you’re missing out.  24 hour marathon on TBS every year starting at 8 p.m. on Christmas Eve.  It’s my favorite movie of all time.  All time.  I try to watch it at least 5 times during the marathon. (It’s the best Christmas marathon on TV…right next to the Bond 007 Days of Christmas).

I wish all of you a Happy Holidays since we may celebrate either Christmas or Hanukkah.  May it be filled with good memories, spent with good people…and if you’re an NBA fan…a Celtics win over the Knicks (I know that’s on my Christmas List).

Enjoy,
Chris 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

GET r DONE..


From one of our owner operators.....

Way back when(think it was 2002) our 400N tariff came into being,the first job(as it ALWAYS turns out)without long carries and stairs being paid....HAD 400 FEET OF CARRY(Long driveway,single lane)and 4 flights of stairs to deal with..Down on the Mississipi gulf coast,in the swamp...My shipper had a house on a small river 5 total stories,28,000 pounds..As with all large jobs back then,I arranged for 2 guys to go with me the day before to inventory and pad so everything was ready for load day.That was a mistake...My help got to see the residence and the next morning...NO HELP,everyone at the agent knew by them how bad it was and it cost me DOUBLE just to get help...But,I'm getting ahead of myself...45 minutes of drive(still just the inv.pad day)and I pull up to this 400 foot driveway....God that's a long way to carry and not get paid for it...only to discover ½ way down the driveway was underwater,a spot maybe 10 feet(low spot)wide had 8 inches of water...No other axcess,had to come out THAT driveway.The yard was swampy,no way to cut through the grass without losing a shoe in the muck.Believe it,I had a conversation with my shipper that day about the water from opposite sides of his driveway lake.This has to be a shuttle,NO I've a gp,well,I'll tell you what,IF,that's not dry tommorrow for load day,shuttle or we don't load.He said he would try to dry it up...We used the neighbors drive and a sheet of plywood over the wet spot in the grass to get pads and ourselves in that day,and had NIGHTMARES about tommorrow.....

Tommorrow came and we got to residence only to find my shipper sitting in a lawn chair(baggy bermuda shorts,hawaiin shirt,flip flops)with a shop vac sucking water out of his lake,then draining the vac back onto his grass,draining right back into the drive....Almost fell out of the truck,laughing....He did not see that...Still would not pay for a shuttle....Started thinking...Alum bars,plywood...I built a temporary bridge across his lake,got it loaded and finished the day.....What did I learn....

Don't give up.
There's always an answer.
Adapt.
Improvise.
Get r DONE...(moved him by the way,Vegas to Sanford Fl.).

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Relationships and Business

In order to succeed, you need to have positive relationships with the people that you work with and the people that you work for. You sincerely need to care and to make those around you successful as well.

Many people with a title, bosses or those in a position of "power" tend to forget that they NEED others. They also forget their job is to always try and find the bridge, as well as pulling people in, not pushing them away.

"Power" is a funny thing anyway. What is true power?

If I do not give you power over me, do you have no "power".

People tend to go on power trips and once they travel down that road, they can get lost in their own minds. By doing so, they lose the people around them and so begins their decent.

They start to fall and get more angry. They throw more of their weight around in fear that they are losing control or may fail...and they will fail unless they stop and see the light. You can not go it alone.

If you truly care about who you work with, it will show and will come back tenfold.

Relationships + business = success.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Posting from one of our professional movers...


He writes....

I'll Never Forget

The first time I set foot in Arpin's headquarters...A little background first.....I've been out here ALL my life,or as my card says”Since Dirt Was New”.Had more fun,made more money,than most...Still(after being with a large carrier)I was missing something.I could remember when they were a FAMILY of agents who backed up and supported each other,and that disintegrated as agents and the carrier grew.Call them....What's your driver number(?),JEEZE,I have a name.So,my first impression was(this was after pulling for an agent for 4 months,they had no idea what I looked like)INCREADABLE...EVERYONE up there knew my voice and called me by my first name...Made me feel right at home,like a part of the family....I found a home....Then on to modern times....

Last year,I tore up my good knee,Quad tendon came off and had to be re-attached...During the 4 months down,the agent I was with got taken over by another owner(I'll not go there)and I was struggling to figure out where and how I could come out of this mess ok.....Up steps Arpin....Backs me up,and helps me get through the worst 6 months of my life...You guys have no idea how much I appreciate you being there.....I'm here for you...

.....and we are here for all of you too.......family

Sunday, December 4, 2011

A few quotes from some songs of my favorite singers...

James Taylor-
From Company Man-
I have been the fool to let this manufacturer use my body as a tool.

And from Secret O Life-
Try not to try too hard
It's just a lovely ride
 the secret of life is enjoying the passage of time

Beatles
From The End-
And in the end the love you take is equal to the love you make

John Lennon
From Beautiful Boy-
Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans

Garth Brooks
From The Change-
And I hear them saying you'll never change things
and no matter what you do it's still the same thing
But it's not the world that I am changing
I do this so this world will know that it will not change me.

Bruce Springsteen
From New York Serenade-
Listen to your junk man....he's singing..he's singing...he's singing

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Driver to Agent owner

Arpin is the only moving company that not only gives our drivers support but we also give them the path and assistance to run and own their own agency if that is one of their goals.

We have agents that are a big part of what we do today and the owners were home grown.....

Don Queeney who owns Hampton Roads Moving in VA
Cathy and Keith Gilbert who own Arpin of Albuquerque in NM
Wes Stewart who owns Stewart's Moving in VA and Arpin of Jacksonville in FL
Dean Moreland at Arpin of KY
Joe Garlick from Apple Transfer in VA
Richard Beattie at Arpin of Melbourne in FL
Paul and Sue Decker from P&S in MI and
Chuck and Kym Lange of Lange Moving in SC (Our current agent of the year)

I had the pleasure of dispatching all of them as drivers (except Don Q) when they drove for Arpin and watched them grow into agents.
With the help and support of Paul Arpin and the Van Lines and a lot of there hard work and dedication they were able to become successful.

Tim Norris has been a driver for Arpin since 1998 and he too is trying to start an agency in NC.

Click on the link below to see Tim's interview....good luck Tim

Friday, December 2, 2011

We move people not furniture

           Below is a shared experience from a past driver who now owns a successful agency in CA, Chip Martin from Daly Movers....




   A million years ago, back when I was still doing local moves 7 days a week, I once moved a real estate developer who taught me a couple of lessons. This first thing I noticed when I walked into his house was a picture of him holding a globe over his head like he owned the world, causing me to prejudge the man an arrogant SOB. He was an arrogant SOB, I hastily concluded, but that wasn’t the point. That initial negative impression dictated my behavior for the rest of the move. As we walked through the house doing the pre-move he started pointing out all the stuff that needed to be packed whereupon I pointed out that we did not come prepared to pack. Sir, you ordered a local move, and we came prepared to give you a local move—not a pack job. He frowned while I stood my ground, and then we worked it out where I would go back to get some packing materials to accommodate him. Sometime later when we were moving the refrigerator out, he asked me to clean it before I delivered it to his new residence. I promptly told him I was mover, not a maid, and that movers move stuff, they don’t clean it. That went over about as good as our lack of packing materials, but I didn’t care, the guy was an arrogant idiot who expected me to be a mind reader about packing and a maid to clean his cheese stinking fridge.

              As it turns, he wasn’t an arrogant ass with unreasonable expectations, he was simply overwhelmed and stressed out in the middle of an ugly divorce and just needed some help above and beyond. He told me my attitude stunk but he liked how I worked, and after that I became the official mover of his real estate company doing 3 or 4 moves a month for several years. Naturally, I had a self imposed attitude adjustment after that, and whatever he wanted, even if it was picking up his dog shit in the yard, I was Johnny on the spot with a smile on my face. I’m exaggerating here, but you get the point.

 The most important lesson was that I move people, not furniture.

 Yeah, we move the boxes, beds, and dressers, but these items are actually the physical extension of the shipper because the shipper has invested time, money, and memories in these possessions. Which is to stay, we can have the most perfect move from a claims and operational standpoint, but if the shipper isn’t happy in the end we have failed—period. The fact that the boxes, beds, and dressers were happy with the move doesn’t count.

The second thing, I learned is never to prejudge a customer. Once you do that, particularly in a negative manner, you have programmed yourself to treat the customer in certain way, and effectively stopped being empathetic and open minded. So what if the customer starts out with a lemon pucker smile. Cut her some slack instead of starting an attitude war. Who knows what’s going on in her life? Maybe somebody died, maybe she’s in the middle of a divorce like above, or maybe she just didn’t have her first cup of coffee. We were hired by her to do service, we’re there to do it, so we might as well do it with a smile on our face and give her one less thing to be stressed about. This brings up another important point—sometimes you never know who you’re moving. Like the story above about the real estate developer I moved. I had no idea who the customer was but I prejudged him which led me to be an uncooperative jerk, and though it turned out good in the end—I just got lucky. Another customer might have said ‘good riddance’ – for good reason— and I would have missed out on a boatload of business.

Finally, I can’t say enough about being flexible and prepared. After that move, I always kept a quantity of boxes in my truck just in case, that, and I told my inside sales staff (my wife at the time) to ask more thorough questions as in ‘will any packing be required?’ As for being flexible, when the customer told me he wanted packing I should have thanked him for putting more money in my pocket rather than pulling an attitude about doing more work. And the same can be said for cleaning the refrigerator, I mean, if the customer wanted to pay my hourly rate for a truck and 2 to clean it, why not? It’s his money and easier on my back. It’s not that we can provide a swap meet of services, we cannot be all things to all people, but we can keep a smile on our face, keep a positive attitude, and see the silver lining in things.  



Thursday, December 1, 2011

WELCOME BACK

In the past month we have had three of our top drivers come back home.

One left because of medical reasons, one to try another line of work and another to test out being semi retired.

All three called to come back to Arpin and all three said the same exact phrase " I want to come home ".

What a great feeling as a Van Line or a company to build that type of foundation and pride that in today's business world and with a company this size we can still have a "family" feel.

I truly believe it, the industry may be going through a culture change and our entire economy is still digging out yet we maintain and keep our foundation.
Be honest, work for and with people and have employees that care.

Our recent drivers that have returned are from all over, one from TN, one from NC and one from MO and they are all household movers through and through.

Once a household mover, always a household mover.

I think that men like these three are TRUE PROFESSIONALS and they do such a good job at what they do that no matter how hard it gets or what thoughts they may have on those tough days that they will always come back to household.

That feeling that they get at the end of a move cannot be replaced. To be able to walk into a very stressful situation on moving day with a complete stranger and at the end of the move to get a hug or a handshake and that eye contact that says "thank you"- you were a life saver- is simply irreplaceable.
It is that instant reward and self satisfaction that you can not duplicate.

Being able to effect other people's life for the positive is truly a gift.

Welcome back home men.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

" THINK DIFFERENT "

Here's to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troubleshooters.
The round pegs in the square hole. The ones that see things differently.
They're  not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo.
You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About
the only thing you can't do is ignore them. Because they change things.
They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as
the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough
to think they can change the world are the ones who do.


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Keep your head down

When bullets are flying it is best to keep your head down...

For the business world that translates to.. when it looks like it is getting crazy with the gossip or things are getting out of hand with those negative email's just get back to work.
 Put your head down and let it blow over or at least attack it on your time or on your schedule.

It all starts to be negative energy that will just produce more negative.

Try to remember the basics and get to it.

Remember what you like most about your job and emphasize that...... and tune out the rest.

Noramlly when you do that you will feel better and when you do address the other distractions they would of either have gone away or at least you will see it through clearer eyes.

Keep your head down...

Monday, November 28, 2011

Learning to see Life's lessons

If we allow it there are lessons around us every day.

On my drive to work I am normally always in a hurry, I usually arrive at work an hour or so before my normal work day starts but my mind is already in overdrive.
I have a pad next to me in the car and I scribble any thoughts that I want to follow up on. I may start writing things down while having my coffee before I even start my ride in.

I travel all back roads to get to work and it is about a twenty minute ride.
Even so I some time get irritated when I hit a little traffic or get caught behind a school bus that stops every 30 yards.
All because I am in a hurry to get to work.

One day I am held up because coming in the other direction on one of the side roads is a school bus stopped, it seems like it is taking forever so there I sat getting frustrated.
A lady gets out and then I see the side doors open and a electric floor is dropped in order to accommodate a handicapped child.
Just then I noticed a young boy in a wheelchair coming down the ramp on the front of his house followed by who I presume is his mother and sister.
They wait till he gets on the bus and the door shuts, all the while never losing eye contact and when the bus pulls away they blow kisses at the young boy and sign something to him and touch their heart.

And to think that before all that all I saw was a stopped bus and an inconvenience to me.

Makes you stop and think about what is important and what others sacrifice EVERY DAY and how selfish we can be.

Now when I happen to be driving down that same road in the morning if I see the bus stopped I put my car in Park, take a deep breath and watch the whole process take place again and this time I count my blessings and think how wonderful these people are that are forced to slow life down and know what is really important.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Ahhh the holiday season....

People getting pepper sprayed, hit with a tazer gun, beaten until bloodied.....no that's not the riots in other countries or a day in the war zone that's what we now call "black Friday". The beginning of the shopping season for the holidays.

The holiday season is the most stressful time of the year...crazy huh?

At a time that we should be happy and celebrating we put so much emphasis on "stuff" that we stress ourselves out.

What to buy for who?
We need to express how much we love the people in our life's with "stuff".
So we work and work and save, or throw it on the plastic and worry about it later.

We do it to ourselves.
We forget what the heck it is all about....family, time with each other, being able to reflect and count your blessings.

The Buddhist believe that the more possessions you have the more your possessions possess you.

Ahh the holiday season....hurry up and get out there and spend spend spend....

Friday, November 25, 2011

Sacrifices

To all of our drivers away from home on the holidays thank you, thank you from all of us at Arpin and from your families.

We all make sacrifices every day.

  Even for those of us that are not away from home for days or weeks on end may have children that you need to drop off at day care, you sacrifice daily knowing that you would prefer to stay home with your children but you know that you need to do it for the good of the family and for your child.

You need to provide and to try to set the table for your children to succeed.

It is not easy.

It is not easy for those that choose to drive across country and to be away from home and your loved ones but you know that you do it for the family.

This is your profession.

This is what you do best and because of that it is the best way that you can provide for your family.
It is a huge sacrifice and one that takes adjustments by everybody in the family.

As I have said in a past blog it is the quality of time that you spend with your loved ones not necessarily the quantity.

I know people that have the good fortune to be home every day and have a family but choose to send their children away or do not understand the blessing that they have and the opportunity that they have so they ignore their children or worse they argue with them and wish they did not have so much time with them.

The tough thing about those that sacrifice is you do not always get to see immediate rewards, quite the opposite you may either give yourself so much guilt or perhaps your family does not immediately understand how hard it is for you and they may lay the guilt on you and you start to question if it is worth it and then begins a domino of negativity.

Believe in what you are doing and do the best you can.
We all need to sacrifice and we can be better off for it.
No family situation is perfect, we all may wish for different circumstances at times but we need to work within our means.

Being away from your loves ones is difficult but if you use the time that you have with them positively and know why you do what you do then it will all work out.

Like I said it ain't easy but most things worth having and keeping are worth the sacrifice.

Stay on coarse.....

THE YEAR WAS...1976.

  US President and Vice President-
 Gerald Ford & Nelson Rockefeller

  HEADLINES:
Israel signs Peace Accord returning Sinai to Egypt ~ US Supreme Court votes to reinstate the Death Penalty ~
 Legionnaires’ Disease occurs at
 the American Legion Convention in Philadelphia ~ Former Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter defeats Gerald Ford to become President 

TIME MAGAZINE MAN OF THE YEAR: Jimmy Carter


     POPULAR TV SHOWS::
 The Carol Burnett Show ~ The Bob Newhart Show ~
 The Rockford Files ~ Bionic Woman ~ Laverne & Shirley ~ Family Feud ~ Charlie’s Angels

  SONGS:
 Dancing Queen ~ If You Leave Me Now ~ Boogie Fever ~ Tonight’s the Night ~ Let Your Love Flow ~ I Write the Songs ~ 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover ~ Afternoon Delight ~ Disco Duck ~ Convoy

   SPORTS:
Champions include Cincinnati Reds (baseball), Pittsburgh Steelers (football), Johnny Rutherford (Indianapolis 500), Montreal Canadians (hockey), Indiana (NCAA basketball), Tony Dorsett from Pittsburgh (Heisman Trophy), and Bjorn Borg and Chris Evert (singles at Wimbledon tennis) 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thankful

This time of year it is always good to reflect on what you are thankful for.

We all get caught up so much in the day to day that we do not always take the time to remember how blessed we are.

I am thankful for my family and our health, and a wonderful grandchild .
A wife who I fell in love with back in 1980 and love even more every passing year.
A father could not be more proud then I am of my son, Michael and my daughter, Jillian or my son-in-law, Joe, they are good people with good hearts.

I am thankful for the opportunity to work for the Arpin's since 1985, it has been a great ride.
To have learned and watched from Paul Arpin was certainly a gift and one that I do not take for granted.
He was a special man who had a vision and that vision evolved through the years from wanting to build a business to take care of his wife and kids to toward the later half of his life he found pleasure and challenges in helping and mentoring others.

I am thankful to have met and worked with so many people throughout the United States. Agents and drivers and agents that were once drivers. Operation people, and employees not only here at the home office but all over. It is truly a blessing.

I often think how lucky I am to be born and raised in the United States of America, a country that allows me the freedom to live where and how I want.
I am thankful for all the men and woman that are in our military and our veterans because they allow me those freedoms through their sweat, blood and tears.

As I said we all get caught up in own little world and with bills, and work issues and many other distractions.
Take the time to see the blessings in your life and remember do not sweat the small stuff....and most of it is the small the stuff.



Monday, November 21, 2011

Shutting It Down

We have the iPhone, the iPad, iTouch...i i i...we have more technology literally at our fingertips than any other generation...EVER...pretty cool.

Now, we all need to understand how to harness it and use it to our advantage.

When I am at the airport and at a store or just out and about, I notice that people rarely look up from their phones or iPads. They are going to have to make them with some kind of mirrors so you can see what is in front of you as you are looking down so you don't bump into poles or get run over.

We have a "National Smoke Out Day" where we ask people to stop smoking for a day. I think we may need a national shut down day where we ask everyone to shut their phones off.

Take a breath, talk to the person sitting next to you, talk a walk without your headphones and listen to nothing but what is around you.

Everything in moderation, that is what I always told my kids when they were growing up. We ruin it when we overindulge, whether it is alcohol, eating or pretty much anything. Now it's the use of computers, the Internet and technology.

We ALL need to take the time to shut it down.  Pick a day, any day. It may surprise you.

Arpin Family

What Family Is

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sunday

One of the reasons I left retail back in 1982 was they had just passed the " blue law" in R.I. which made it possible for retail stores to open on Sunday.
That's right for those of you to young to remember, stores were actually CLOSED on Sunday.

Imagine that.

That was the day that for generations we shut down and the family would gather for Sunday dinner.
You sat around , ate, relaxed and caught up on what ever was going on.
I always thought that it was an important tradition and my wife and I had been married for over a year and was we were expecting our first child.
I was appalled that such a law could pass and I thought that it said a lot for where we were going as a society when we put money and business profit over family.

OK, maybe I did over dramatize it a bit but that it was I believed at the time.

I still absolutely believe that may of been the beginning or certainly the next big hurdle in our overall culture change.
That said I do not think that Sunday necessarily needs to be THE day. As long as families make time to shut it down and relax and talk, that is the important thing.

I understood that Sunday does not necessarily needs to be the day when I joined Arpin and became friends with an over the road driver who would spend days and weeks away from home but he told me that when he was home it was the quality of time he had with his family not the quantity or particular day.

It is so true.

Either way, my concern is now with all this technology at our fingertips and stores open 24/7 our present and future generations will not understand the importance of shutting it down.

Gone are the Sunday traditions in most households....not mine.
 I am proud to say that 30 years after I left retail we still have Sunday dinners , my children who no longer live at home come home on Sunday with their friends and husbands and their children and eat, relax and we catch up with each other's life's.....long live tradition.

I guess this kinda marries up with my last posting on what is success to you.......being able to hold on to this concept of Sunday dinners and family is my personnel success story.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

What Motivates You?

What motivates you?
Money?
Just having to pay the bills?
A better life, to own your own house, a bigger house, a better car???
Power?

What is success to you?
A title?
A office?
A bigger office?
Having enough money to provide for your family?

As we get older and mostly without even knowing it, we find ourselves in a place where we are working only to try to keep our nose above the water. We accumulate possessions and keep accumulating until we owe so much that we start to panic and stress.

Who did this to us? Us.

Less is more...that needs to be our new battle cry. If you can't afford it, don't buy it. Credit cards were one of the evils that took my generation down. We simply bought it and worried about paying it for it later.
Money can not be your ultimate motivation because power and money are fleeting. It is not a real tangible thing.
The old saying is "be nice to people on the way because they are the same people you will meet on the way down".

Relationships are real, honesty and always putting others first is real.

Gale Sayers has a book called, I Am Third.  The title comes from a sign he had on his desk: "I am third, GOD is first, family is second, I am third."

Success is not how much you have but what difference you have made in the lives of others.

Toward the end of Paul Arpin's life, he would tell me that he did not "need" the money. He did not want for anything. He led a simple life, he lived in the same house for his whole marriage...a house he paid cash for. A simple modest home.

What motivated Paul was the challenge of always trying to do better and helping others.

Friday, November 18, 2011

YOU GOTTA DO WHATCHA GOTTA DO

Years ago on Mother's day David Arpin called me at home to tell me that a customer had just called him and was hysterical. Seems as though an agent was planned to load her the day before but broke down and was still broken down and she needed to be out of her house by the end of the day.
Her house was in R.I. not far from the home office.

It was early morning and I was sitting at the table with my wife and two young children when David Arpin called, I told David that I would make some phone calls and take care of it.
Thank goodness I have a loving understanding wife, after all it was mother's day and now it looked as if I was going to be gone most of the day.

I knew of two owner operators that were in town and what hotel they were staying at so I called them to see if they would help. Following with the code of any good household driver they were more than happy to lend a hand.

I then called a local driver for Arpin of R.I. who lived close to me and asked if he was available to help get a truck from local so we could load the job on it and he also was more than happy to help.

The four of us arrived at the residence a few hours later ready to rock and roll. A two story home that looked like around 10-12,000 lbs.

The customer was very happy and kept thanking us through out the day. She could not believe that we were able to pull all this together in just a few hours.

We were able to take a negative and turn it into a positive, she was a "customer for life now" she said.

Sometimes you gotta do whatcha gotta do...

Thursday, November 17, 2011

I stand corrected...

On my last posting I told a story about Paul Arpin on Thanksgiving. Chip Martin sent me an email to correct my telling of the story and to elaborate...

Thanks, but the story is bigger than that.

The driver was actually Ted Kerkhof, my father in law and business partner at the time.

Retired from the road from Bekins after twenty years, Ted went back on the road to raise some money because we were having business difficulties.

Ted was in his 60’s at the time, and the special part about the story is that he  was a Dutch immigrant who grew up under Nazi occupation and actually lived in Eindhoven Holland when the Allies invaded (the movie a Bridge too Far tells the story of that invasion which was the largest airborne invasion in history)

So here is a guy, who went through all that as a young man, raises a family of six moving from Holland, to Canada, to Germany, to settle in the US working the tobacco fields, mines, lumber, restaurants, factories, he was even a Canadian paratrooper, etc, only to get back in the truck and go on the road to take care of business when most men his age would be buried or whining fat on the couch.

Ted was my mentor and role model of a man, so this true story of what Paul did for Ted may not seem like much to most, but to me there just are not adequate words.

In a way, Ted and Paul were cut from the same cloth, old school guys who gave a dam, and I suppose that is another reason why the story is so touching because of the selfless dedication and concern from both men.

Paul didn’t know Ted. He only knew that one of his drivers needed help, and he did, even if it meant getting up from the Thanksgiving table to drive through the snow and reach into his wallet for a man he had never met.

Dave, I have goose bumps just thinking about the spirit that once drove such men, because truth be told I cannot honestly say whether I would go back on the road as Ted did when it was needed most, or whether I would answer my phone on Thanksgiving, much less leave the house to help a stranger as Paul did, even if he was one of my employees.

Anyway, thanks for remembering.

Sincerely,
William Martin