Thursday, May 26, 2011

David Arpin Hired Me in April of 1985

I interviewed with David Arpin back in April of 1985.  At the time, I had no experience in the household industry and was dispatching servicemen for Honeywell. It was a good job and I was making decent pay at the time with a great boss.

However, the reason I was looking at other options was due to the fact that I was working for a branch of Honeywell in East Providence, R.I.  Their home office was in Minneapolis, MN. Although they treated me well, I felt as if I was just a number, and that the owner or "head guy" at the home office would really never get to know me.

Back then, I was married for about four years and my daughter was two.  Basically, I wanted to work for a company that knew me and saw how I worked.  I felt that with Honeywell, as with any huge company, if the home office was making budget cuts, they didn't really know me since I was just a number working at a branch and could be let go.  I wanted more security and a chance to grow with a company that would recognize me for what I did.

Sure enough, Arpin was the right choice for me and my family!

For the first few years, I worked directly under David Arpin. Back then, David watched over all the bookings, drivers and agents in and out of the North and South East while Paul Arpin watched over the Mid-West and the West Coast.

There, my lessons would begin not only in the household business, but the people business.

I hear the same exact line from every one of our elite drivers.  They like Arpin Van Lines because here, they feel as if they are not just a number, but part of a family.

Friday, May 20, 2011


We all live in a world where stress happens. The moving business is certainly no exception. Since we are such a seasonal business, these are the months that we can all get stressed out and because of that, we may not handle situations to the best of our ability.  Just remember to...


I know that it is easier said then done at times, but for example, when you answer the phone and the person on the other end is upset or concerned, they have a tendency to speak fast and possibly loud. Our goal is to always be conscious of that, let them talk themselves out and just listen. Try not to join in with the same temperament and rushed speech.

When your next problem call comes in, take notice of how your body tenses up and try to control it and relax. Start at your toes and work your way up to your shoulders, take a big breathe and exhale.  Those that take yoga or pilates know that learning to breathe and relaxing your body is key.

Short story on breathing exercises:

My wife and I took birthing classes for our first born, which was 28 years ago.  A big part of the classes was for the partner (me) to help the one giving birth (my wife) by controlling their breathing and to focus.

I, of course, thought it to be a huge waste of time.  After all, I knew how to I never practiced.

Fast forward to the blessed event.  I'm standing in the hospital room by my wife holding her hand and the labor pains begin. She begins to breathe faster and out of control and I'm now in her face pretty much mimicking her, breathing just as fast.

Now, we are both breathing like an out of control locomotive when the nurse walks in and sees that I am turning white and my wife does not look good either.  She immediately stands between us and tells me to sit down and put my head between my knees.  Then, she takes turns helping the two of us by slowing us down. 

"Breathe Mr. Vieira...breathe Mrs. Vieira...

She also showed us by taking big breaths and big exhales.  My wife is the one giving birth and I'm passing out.

Big help I was.

Happy ending though!  My wife gave birth soon after to our beautiful daughter, Jillian.

Moral of the story:  BREATHE!

Do not mimic, imitate or join the other person who is hyperventilating...just help control the situation.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Taping of our 2009 Driver of the Year - Steve Martin for "On The Road"

As the Senior V.P. of Operations, I have the privilege of taping and interviewing drivers for our "On The Road" segment on the Arpin Broadcast Network (ABN).

The first driver interview that we rolled out was with Steve Martin. Steve was our 2009 Arpin Driver of the Year and he is professional in every sense of the word.  I had worked with, dispatched and bonded with Steve years ago and knew him as a man of his word.

So, when we were looking at drivers to interview for our "On The Road" segment, he was an easy choice.

We had dispatched Steve many high profile moves and he slam dunked every one. Although Steve will tell you that all customers are all high profile to him, he treats every customer the same.  That is what makes Steve...well...Steve.

Steve was actually taping some training videos for us at the time. Matt Dolan, our COO, had volunteered for his house to be packed up and used for the training videos, so we interviewed there between tapings. 

(Matt was rather brave to volunteer his home to be packed and moved.  As a retired Captain from the U.S. Navy, his family has probably moved more than a dozen times and now that he's finally retired, he was asking his wife to pretend move.  Brave man.)

Steve was very open as many of you have seen in his interview.  (If you haven't seen it yet, please click here.  It's worth watching.)  In the interview, Steve talks about how much each move means to him and how there is a bond formed with each customer.  More importantly, he is able to see past the furniture and the appliances and is able to see the people moving.

Certainly, Steve is proficient at the packing and loading.  He also speaks about tips that have helped him but ultimately, you leave with the main idea that he cares and that it is more than a job or a move to him.

It is about the people.

We call each other brother and that is how I feel about him.  Thank you Steve for being part of the Arpin Family!

Monday, May 9, 2011

It's Heeeerree!

It's here folks!!

The summer season is definitely starting to heat up, bookings have been very strong the past few weeks and all signs point to a very busy summer.

For all of us to profit, the most important thing to do is increase communication. We need surveys done as soon as possible and estimates changed in the system.

All dispatchers should communicate where their trucks will be well in advance on our truck available site on Arpin's web site.  Email with any availability. Also, please check our available tonnage list as we have all shapes and sizes moving from everywhere in the U.S.

Communication is the key to profitability for drivers to run full and have less deadhead miles.

As we all know in operations, the scene can change from the morning to the afternoon, due to late bookings, estimates and many other factors, so you need to review the list constantly and email often.

Helpful Hint For Dispatchers
Always have a paper and pencil handy to write down main points of the conversation.

You gain two things from this:
  1. By writing it down, it is committed to better memory 
  2. Because the board and plans change constantly, the request or information you are writing at the time may not even fit the puzzle until later that day.