Saturday, June 30, 2012


A young lady from one of agents in the State of Washington was a huge help to us on a few big size National accounts and whe I thankked her for all of her hard work she sent me this....

...what I love most about my job is making it happen!

Wow......I love that quote ! ....That's what I'm talking about it !

Friday, June 29, 2012


Don't overwhelm yourself
by fretting about your entire workload. Handle each task as it comes, or selectively deal with matters in some priority

Learn how to best relax yourself Meditation and breathing exercises have been proven to be very effective in controlling stress. Practice clearing your mind of disturbing thoughts.

Change the way you see your situation; seek alternative viewpoints
Stress is a reaction to events and problems, and you can lock yourself in to one way of viewing your situation. Seek an outside perspective of the situation, compare it with yours. and perhaps lessen your reaction to these conditions.

Do something for others
to help get your mind off your self

Work off stress
with physical activity, whether it's jogging, tennis, gardening

Begin to manage the effects of stress
This is a long range strategy of adapting to your situation, and the effects of stress in your life. Try to isolate and work with one "effect" at a time. Don't overwhelm yourself. for example, if you are not sleeping well, seek help on this one problem.

Thursday, June 28, 2012


Look around
See if there really is something you can change or control in the situation

Remove yourself from the stressful situation Give yourself a break if only for a few moments daily

Don't sweat the small stuff
Try to prioritize a few truly important things and let the rest slide

Selectively change the way you react,
but not too much at one time. Focus on one troublesome thing and manage your reactions to it/him/her

Avoid extreme reactions;
Why hate when a little dislike will do? Why generate anxiety when you can be nervous? Why rage when anger will do the job? Why be depressed when you can just be sad?

Get enough sleep
Lack of rest just aggravates stress

Avoid self-medication or escape
Alcohol and drugs can mask stress. They don't help deal with the problems


Wednesday, June 27, 2012


I was brought up in  working blue collar family, both parents did not finish high school but worked very hard their whole life's.
I did not have a lot and would never dream about one day going to college or going on vacation- that was for the rich kids-
Growing up I would always think to myself "why not me?".
I can work hard and own my own home some day- why not me?
I can have a family and one day see them go to college- why not me?
I can have a management job and get promoted- why not me?
I can go on vacation to places like Disney and Hawaii- why not me?
Some day I will take my children and grandchildren all on vacation to Disney- why not me?
I have been blessed to accomplish all the above.

Now that I am older I see retired people taking there time and walking around without a care in the world, enjoying every day with kids and grand kids and once again I find myself asking- Why not me?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Worring about your co-workers

The one common denominator I see in people with a good work ethic is they want to do good and work hard not only for themselves but for their co-workers.

In the summer in particular it is so easy to want to call in sick just to give yourself a break. The biggest reason why those that "care" do not is because they know that if they do not show up that others will suffer. Their co-workers will have to work that much harder.
More then anything else that is what drivers them to come in on days that they would just rather head to the beach-"stress free".

I have had employees that always seem to get sick on Mondays and Fridays- nice way to extend the weekend.
Those employees never seem to make a home or a career.
They just do not get it.
Yea, you may be relaxing somewhere but back at work others will need to fill in for you and not only do their job but do yours also.......I ask you - is that fair?

I have a young lady who works in our registration department and she has been with Arpin over 26 years and has never missed a day in the summer. She is here for her co-workers. She recently was sick and her doctor had to force her to stay home. When she called in you could tell she was in pain but she mostly was worried and concerned about the people that she works with. She knows that it is one of busiest times of the year and although she was in pain her pain for her friends at work was also there.

Why do we good workers do what hey do? Sacrifice and work hard?
Just for each other as much as for themselves.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Understanding the neuotic need for power

Many in positions of power take up such post in fulfillment of a neuritic need to exercise power over others- prison guards,police officers some judges, teachers,parents, politicians- you understand. Insecure, afraid, those who maintain control are indeed, lonely, frightened. Their awful sense of vulnerability is a disease of the psyche. Such people usually treat their disease with massive doses of power that manifests itself in anger, cruelty, and aggression. I think of Plato, who said, " Access to power must be confined to those who are are not in love with it."

'This will be a better world when the power of love replaces the love of power."

The above was from one of my favorite author's- Gerry Spence-

Sunday, June 24, 2012


Quote of the Month:

"To believe in yourself and to follow your dreams, to have goals in life and a drive to succeed, and to surround yourself with the things and the people that make you happy - this is success!"

Saturday, June 23, 2012


When I first started driving, who
would have thought gas would someday cost 25 cents a gallon.

Guess we'd be better off leaving the car in the garage.

Did you see where some base ballplayer
just signed a contract for $50,000 a year just to play ball? It wouldn't
surprise me if someday they'll be making more than the President.

I never thought I'd see the day all our
kitchen appliances would be electric. They're even making electric
typewriters now.

The fast food restaurant is convenient for a quick meal,
but I seriously doubt they will ever catch on.

Friday, June 22, 2012


 I would like to share some news on some exceptional work by the Arpin van lines driver, LeeRoy Johnson.

LeeRoy was very professional and went well above and beyond the call. A perfect example was getting my headboard for my bed up the stairs.

The summer movers tried to get it up the stairs but when they got to the stairs the headboard was so large it was concluded that it just wouldn’t fit. LeeRoy was there also and helping them and it really seemed like there was just no way it would fit.

The day went on, and I looked for a carpenter to take apart the headboard which was seeming more and more difficult as the folks who packed the TVs tried to disassemble the headboard only to find that it was glued together and not meant to be split into pieces.

I resorted to looking for someone to CUT the legs off my $3000 headboard

I found a guy to come by and take a look at it. After coming by he deemed it would be too big a job for him and he didn’t want to assume liability on the headboard. The guy then went to measure the opening in the stair well to see how tight it was.  After some measuring he came up with the idea to flip the headboard upside down and he thought it would fit

At this time, LeeRoy was the only mover there, the other movers were already paid and their job was complete as we decided that the headboard wouldn’t fit after they tried it.

So now its me and LeeRoy, and the carpenter, who is an old man.

With a great struggle we got the headboard into the room, but it was really really tough. It weighs just under 400 pounds and it is 6ft6ins tall and 7 feet wide

LeeRoy and me and the carpenter proceeded to put together the bed, which wasn’t that tough after moving the giant headboard up the stairs.

I will tell you that I wouldn’t want the summer movers to have to move this thing out of my place when I move again. The caring and effort and attention to protecting the house and furniture that LeeRoy displayed was very appreciated.

We were going through the sign off sheet and he was about to leave when the carpenter showed up and this whole project got restarted.

So all in all I had to pay the carpenter 80$ for his time and I had to help LeeRoy move up my giant bed frame. The carpenter lent a useful hand also.

I want to make sure the LeeRoy gets an excellent review and the highest praise from me  because I was really in a tight spot and I wanted to get my headboard in the room without having to chop it up, LeeRoy could have easily left me on my own, but he stayed a good 3-4 hours more to complete the job, with just me and an old man to help him.

Please make sure that LeeRoy gets some recognition from his company for his exception work.

Thank you Lee Roy.....this is so much have done things like this for entire career at Arpin.
You are a good man that has helped hundreds of people just like this.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Check list in my head

Especially on days in the summer I find myself running through my checklist in my head on the drive into work.

Not on the day's work ahead but on all the good things in my life and what ever good that I have accomplished.

I try to run through the list to help me to remember not to get caught up in the days events as if they are all dire situations.

All situations can be worked out but it is imperative to keep a cool head and in order to do that I need to reassure my self of all that I have and no matter what at the end of the day -I will still have.

When it is as busy as it is mistakes will happen and tempers will flare. You can either add to it or try to reason your way through it.

Part of our stress in the moving business is that is even more seasonal then ever.
For example the second week of February this yea we moved 1.6 million pounds of tonnage- a lot of tonnage for sure- but the second week of June we moved 4.2 million.

Since it is impossible to stock up on drivers and equipment year round because of the disparity in tonnage we have the  unwelcome stress of the summer.

Trying to move 400 jobs in one week when the other 10 months of the year you move an average of 150-200 is where the challenge comes in.

With that you cannot staff at the agency level or at the home office in levels that can accommodate the rush so we all do more with less.

It is what it is.

That is why on the drive into work I try to run through my check list in my head.
To prepare...

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

It has got to feel good

Below is an email I received last night from a member in our military forces..

Just wanted to pass on a quick note regarding John Hayes and his crew. They recently packed my household goods for a transport from Las Vegas to Newport, RI and it was by far the best experience I have had in my 6 moves over the last 10 years of military service. Your company is doing great things and I will definitely be requesting additional services when we move again next year! Thank you for the commitment to customer service.

US Air Force

Thank you John and thank you to all of you out there doing your best every day !
We absolutely appreciate all of the sweat and hard work that our drivers and crews do every day. We know that it is not easy work. It is email like this that makes us all feel good and it certainly is your reward at the end of the day.
Here is a military man sacrificing for our country and HE is thanking US.

You can and you DO make a difference in people's life' proud.

Monday, June 18, 2012


               I want to thank Stewart Moving for all the help the extend me. My truck was broken into and my wallet stolen, while I was sleeping in it, while in Virginia. I would not have been allowed on base, to load in California, if Adam had not taken the trouble to go to the Sherriff’s Office, retrieved a report and email it to me. Thank-you, Adam and Wes. In today’s times, I find fewer and fewer Agents that are willing to go out of their way for us Contractors. I see a steak dinner in your future.

This was one of our owner operators...

Nice to know that there are people that care and go the extra mile to help each other...

Sunday, June 17, 2012


To all you dads out there...HAPPY FATHERS DAY !

One of the greatest moments in your life is when your kids are born, and then the first time they call you dad or daddy you feel so excited.

With that feeling comes a lot of responsibility but you welcome it.
It it definitely the gift the keeps on giving.
You are proud of them from the time they learn to stand up on their own to being able to ride a bike and before you know it they form their own little personality.

Unconditional love....they say you only get it from your mother, your kids and your dog.

That feeling of being proud and the love you feel from children only gets bigger, it is a wonderful thing to live through.

You watch them grow and interact and go through schools and colleges and you see life through their eyes and try to hold on to all the wonder and excitement that life brings.

Before you know it they graduate college and are getting married.
At times life seems to travel at warp speed.

The next wonderful moment is when your grandchild is born, you see eyes of your children with that same love and wonderment that you had when they hold and look at their children.
And then your grandchild calls you Papa or grandpa for the first time and your heart melts all over again.

Being a dad is such an important part of my life, I think without it my life would of been missing so much and I never even would of known it.

Children teach you as much if not more than you will ever teach them.

Unconditional love...there is no greater gift and nothing better.
 Let your self go and see life through a child's eyes and you will never grow old.

I thank GOD that he blessed me and allowed me the experience of fatherhood and now to be a grandfather allows me to see it all again, this time through my grandchild's eyes and through my children's eyes watching their children.

It is so hard to put into words....guess I'll just say...Happy Fathers Day to all of you that have been blessed the same as me.

(Oh yea and none of all that wonderment and joy would of happened without my loving wife who taught me  what unconditional love was and walked all those memories with me)

Saturday, June 16, 2012


Here is the crazy thing about planning drivers out ahead of time and dispatching  weeks in advance.

When I started here decades ago we would only give a driver his load information 48-24 hours ahead.
We never pre-planned because we wanted and needed the option to change up just in case.

I lobbied to change that saying that drivers should know as much in advance as possible what plans we have so that they can plan their own lives. Maybe stay home another day or let the wife and kids know so that they can make plans.
I saw it, and still see it as a huge plus for a driver on the road.

Of coarse the big problem with that is as I have explained in past blogs we DO have to change up at times.
And because we want the drivers to know in advance what we have planned when we now change it we now are the "bad guys".
Most drivers feel once we plan it on them that it is set in stone and it is now "their" tonnage.
We do our absolute best to do just that, we know the advantage of pre-planning. After all I was the one that lobbied for it years ago.

When we reshuffle the deck because of unforeseen circumstances we do so knowing that if we leave  a job on the street not only is it morally wrong it will cost us moves in the long run.
Moves that we will need to dispatch to those very same drivers that are upset that we are changing their loads.

Everything we get is predicated on surveys and customers satisfaction and we need to have good scores to be offered work YEAR ROUND.

MR Arpin would always tell me it is not so much what we do in the two - three months in the summer it is what we do the other 9-10 months.

We change things to cover work, to help our customers and to protect our scores so we can have work for drivers and agents year round.


Friday, June 15, 2012

One's perspective

Using our example on our last blog of the driver who's daughter was in a car accident...
his daughter ended up being ok, some cracked ribs and a car that is totaled but overall she was very lucky.

Because we had the driver planned on 4-5 moves we had to do a lot of last minute switching and planning. We need to look at several things, load dates, delivery dates, the ability for someone to be able to get the customer loaded on the day that they need be. Because these things happen last minute we can not always expect agents to be able to back us up. They may not have a driver available or the equipment or even the floor space in their warehouse.
So we need to look the overall picture over and have to change plans with drivers and agents , again not through any fault of ours but our first reaction and duty is to service our customers. They are innocent to all these happenings, all they know is they contracted with Arpin to move on a certain day. Most people do not have flexibility on load day, they have to move out.

One of the drivers that we had to change was upset and blamed dispatch because they had planned his load weeks ago and he had made plans with his kids.
My first reaction to him is yes it is not good that you may miss some planned time with your kids but thank GOD that you were not the driver receiving the phone call about the accident.

The driver that we asked to change loads "blamed" the dispatcher.
He said that he "lied" to him and that he did not care about him.
He said- how dare he change something he planned on me weeks ago.
The dispatcher once again was trying to rearrange the jobs because of what happened to somebody else...nothing personal. He was trying to help the customers that had no choice and needed , and should have, the quality service they are paying for.

It is all in one's perspective...

Thursday, June 14, 2012


Dispatch is where all jobs run through, we are the traffic cops in a way. We help direct the tonnage and pass along information.

Dispatch is at the mercy of all of our partners to do their job correctly and for agents and drivers to be a part of the day to day and follow through on what they commit to.

After all dispatch does not actually book the work, they do not assign discounts or survey the jobs. Dispatch does not drive or inspect equipment or load or unload.

They dispatch the work.

Shit happens....every day....stuff that is completely out of the control of dispatch but they need to be the bearer of the bad news because they are the traffic cops and the information flows through them.

For example:
This Sunday one of our drivers called us and said his daughter was in an accident and he was in NY ready to load Monday but he needed to driver home to KY to be sure that she was all right. Fully understandable...he first.
He was planned on four moves that week that now, on Sunday, need to be rearranged.- No one's fault and certainly the customers should not suffer but being June , as we all know, there are very little plan "B's".
This puts many things into motion and it will have domino effects on other agents and drivers and customers that have nothing to do with the situation . Jobs may need to get picked up by an agent, we may need to erase a job that has been planned for weeks and move drivers around now in order to cover direct loads and delivery dates.

This was one out of hundred incidents that can happen in just one day that effect many.
Dispatch needs to react and pick up the pieces and look over the whole picture and - yes- we need to let reps, agents and drivers know what ever it is that has now changed.

Some of the things that happen on a day to day basis that effect YOUR plans ...
- Equipment breakdowns- (some without warning and -yes- some even made up)
- Estimates incorrect- weight changes never called in or physical surveys never even done
- Moves that a rep or agent simply "forgot" to register
- Agents pulling their drivers off loads to cover "their own" self hauls
- Agents taking tonnage from other carriers effects each and every one of you
- Moves canceling that effect planned loads and delivery dates

How about this one, we had an agent book a binding cod move at 8000 lbs, they released it out of their warehouse. We planned a driver on it and sent him in to load it to find it was 11,000 lbs and bulky.
The driver did not have the room and did not load it, leaving him losing money , time and fuel. We had to plan another truck in making the customer late and the agent "blames" dispatch...think about it. Where could they have done better? The estimate? The communication of what it actually was?

I can go on and on ....but mostly - somehow- we all need to understand that we are ALL connected.

It is NOT- dispatcher's fault - there are many factors that go into a good move and a botched move.
All we can do is the best we can with the partners that we have.
It does no good to point fingers or to blame others is much too busy for that and it does not help get a customer picked up and delivered.

I guess people need a boogie man or someone to blame or just want to simplify things .... believe half of what you see and less of what you hear.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

My introduction to unions

My job before Arpin's was dispatcher for Honeywell , a heating and air conditioning branch in East Providence R.I.

My job before that was managing a retail company in Warwick, R.I. so I really had no prior experience in dispatching and really no experience with unions.

I had to dispatch electricians, pneumatic pipe fitters and repairmen for some of the major buildings, schools and hospitals in the New England area.

One of my first days on the job my supervisor, Marty (one very nice man) told me that if I get three good hours of work out of any repairman or their workers it would be considered a good day.

I realized what he meant after a few weeks.

The guys would show up to the branch in the morning to get their marching orders of the day and mill around in the break room having coffee for at least 45 minutes or so... then they would get in their trucks and meet at the dunkin donuts down the street...then they would drive to whichever building, school or hospital that they were dispatched...then they would meet with the maintenance supervisor for that building and go to look at where they needed to work for the day....then they would take a break...then they would work a bit  and take a lunch get the idea.

After all that if a electrician finds that the problem is that a valve needs to be tightened he would have to call it in to me because by union rules he can not touch it.
I would then have to dispatch a pneumatic fitter to the same place so he can tighten the valve.

Crazy huh?

This is not meant to be an indictment on unions just my introduction to them.

I learned a lot on that job, as I did at all my  places of employment.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Being the responsible one

I often wonder if being the " responsible one" is the right thing.

I have been working since I was 16, full time since I was 18 and I am on the way toward 55.

I have never called in sick when I was not hospitalized with something or was in a accident and I can count them on one hand.

I have always wanted to learn in what ever job I was in and wanted to think of ways to improve it. Not so much for advancement but just - because-.
I think it has been more for the challenge then anything else.

I have relatives, friends and past employees that just do not have the same drive or work ethic or the feeling of " responsibility " that I have.

Yet it seems there are plenty of days that I feel completely stressed while they just call it in or go to the beach or just seem to casually stroll through life.

I wonder sometimes who is the smarter one.

Will they live longer because of less stress? Do they enjoy more of the day then I do?

All I do know is that I just can't do things half way. I feel that if I do not do my job to it fullest that others will lose or have to pick up what I should have done.

I am the "responsible on" it or not.

Monday, June 11, 2012


Looking back now on my life I can't say I regret it
And all the places that I ended up not the way Ma woulda had it
But you only get once chance at life to leave your mark upon it
And when a pony he comes riding by you better set your sweet ass on it

You keep your heart above your head and you eyes wide open
So this world can't find a way to leave you cold
And know you're not the only ship out on the ocean
Save your strength for things that you can change
Forgive the ones you can't
You gotta let 'em go

(Lyrics from a Zac Brown Band song)

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Here's the flip side....

Here is the flip side to helping others...

I try my best to help people and in order to do that you need to trust them. In my position an din my job I have dealt with hundreds of people through the years and have had plenty of good experiences and have made friends for life.....but...there have plenty of times that I have gotten burnt.

People just out right lien, cheating and stealing. Lien right to your face and so good at it that they suck you in. Then when they turn on you it is a brick off the wall of humanity, off the future wall of trust.

I can fully understand how people get cold of can be stone hearted.
It is hard to trust people after getting burnt but what is the alternative?

I need to believe that overall people are good and need a hand in some cases.
The times that I have been successful have been very fulfilling. I feel like I did make a difference and helped someone when they needed it.

You would not believe some of lies , everything from saying that their wife and kid was in a bad car accident and in a coma just because they wanted more time at home to their grandmother dying or needing surgery. All to find out later that they made it all up.

Grown men ...just making stuff up.
I think some of them lie so much that they truly do not know the difference any more.

The crazy part is if they just told the truth everything would work out better for them and everyone else involved.

I will continue to trust because that is all I know how to do but it still takes another brick off the wall each time I am back stabbed or lied to.

Saturday, June 9, 2012


What if GOD was one of us? Just a slob like one of us......
Lyrics from a pop song but they raise an interesting question and view point.

What if he was one of us with the ability to be what whom ever he wants?
What if he was that stranger that you saw on the corner or the stranger that you drove by that was looking for help.

What if he had the ability to do that to judge how we did act and if we did help?

What if he was not physically that person BUT he was able to see us and watch how we acted.

Did we help a stranger? Did we comfort someone in need?

At the end of the day and the end of our road isn't that what really matters?

Are the kind acts that we do without looking for pay back the most rewarding?
Do you believe in the pay it forward principle? or what goes around comes around?

I do.

Friday, June 8, 2012


This Wednesday marked 68 years that our brave military landed on Normandy for what would be known as

On 6 June 1944 the Western Allies landed in northern France, opening the long-awaited "Second Front" against Adolf Hitler's Germany. Though they had been fighting in mainland Italy for some nine months, the Normandy invasion was in a strategically more important region, setting the stage to drive the Germans from France and ultimately destroy the National Socialist regime.

As German counterattacks were thwarted, the Allies poured men and materiel into France. By late July these reinforcements, and constant combat, made possible a break out from the Normandy perimeter. Another landing, in southern France in August, facilitated that nation's liberation. With the Soviets advancing from the east, Hitler's armies were shoved, sometimes haltingly and always bloodily, back toward their homeland. The Second World War had entered its climactic phase.


Thursday, June 7, 2012

Talk a walk

This time of year on the days that everything seems to be a problem call or email and you are half way through the day I find just a brief walk outside helps clear my mind helps.
I usually grab an apple and just take a walk around the warehouse or the building. The fresh air and disconnecting even for that short amount of time can make a difference.

Take a deep breath and take walk.....just remember to go back..

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


As difficult as the summer season may be it can also be satisfying.
Trying to figure out how to accomplish something that at first simply looks like a impossibility.

Some times the answer comes to you when you are driving to or from work, sometimes as your exercising or it just comes to you out of no where in the middle of the night.
Those times I have to write it down so I can go back to sleep or continue what I am doing or it stays on my mind. For that reason I have note pads and sticky notes everywhere.
If you switch this and change that and move the other job you may be able to figure it out.

There are so many times that at the end of the week we look back and have no idea how we did it all but we did it.
It takes a lot of cooperation and team work but those are the times that you feel good about what you do,

The same way a driver feels good when he knows that he helped turn a customer around. Perhaps they had a bad move in the past or they simply do not want to move but have, those are the customers that can be apprehensive and difficult at first and those are the customers that when you do win them over you feel the best about.

If it was easy anybody could do it.
 It is the "hard" that makes it special and ultimately what makes you special.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


Our biggest path to quality work and doing a quality is job is advance planning.

We all need to stay in front of it. Rather you are a driver, an agent, in operations or sales the one thing we all have in common is the need to plan in advance.

Even more so in the summer. The more ahead of it we are the more brain cells we will save at the end of the day.
It is the old pay me now or pay me later principle.
Either you take the time up front to do the research and plan or you take that much more time on the back end when you trying to rush around to find the answers.

Procrastination will kill it earlier rather than later...then go back and double check BEFORE the dates you are looking at.


Monday, June 4, 2012


One of our biggest challenges in the present generation and future ones will be separating WANT from NEED.

If you want to know why you can not catch up on your bills, if you want to know why you are stressed because you dislike your job but feel that you are stuck....Look no further than being able to separate WANT from NEED.

As we get frustrated many of us decide to splurge, go out or buy that thing that we know that w cannot afford but we say the heck with it. We deserve it. Knowing dam well that we cannot afford it.
Thus starts the circle.

Our grandparents or in some cases now our great grandparents that lived that great depression realized the difference. That had to, they lived it. They lived wondering if they were going to eat that night. They were satisfied with ham soup and crackers for a snack.
What happened?

We forgot, we got spoiled.

Stop blaming others and looking for handouts and learn the difference between WANT and NEED.

There was a time when the majority of Americans had pride, they helped themselves and they helped their neighbor.

Will we....can we...EVER GET THAT PRIDE BACK ?

Friday, June 1, 2012


Dear Mr. Arpin,

I’d like to compliment one of your CREWS, Power Unit 603, in their willingness to help me and my wife during an especially difficult time is something we will never forget.  It takes a very caring person to stop and risk their lives without second guessing and come to the aid of a total stranger.

Recently, while traveling into Missouri on Interstate 44, Catherin and I were traveling when we suddenly noticed that there was smoke coming from the dashboard of our 2012 Chevy Camero.  We immediately pulled over to see what was causing the smoke.  Once I pulled off to a neutral area of the Interstate and opened the hood, the engine compartment became a ball of fire.  Catherin and I did not know what to do, so I closed the hood and we ran away from the car.

Within a few minutes, a big rig with ARPIN on the side of it stopped.  As soon as the rig stopped, 3 guys came running to assist us.  One had a fire extinguisher, another had a furniture pad and the other was putting on a pair of gloves.  They asked no questions, just told us to move.  The one with the gloves opened the door and pulled the latch to release the hood and threw Catherin’s purse and cell phone in the grass along with my Panera Bag.  As one opened the hood, the other began to spray with the fire extinguisher.  Shortly after, the fire was out.

The Responders arrived on scene and secured the area.

I had the pleasure of chatting with the Driver and his Crew.  They are great individuals.  They made my wife and I feel like we were all family.  One of the Crew members got a bottle of water and a folding chair from underneath a large compartment and allowed Catherin to sit so that she could gather herself.

In a time when there is a lot of chaos, one can almost find humor.  The driver went and retrieved our belongings that he had thrown from inside of the car.  When he came up to the area where we were sitting, he gave us our belongings and I let him know that we were blessed for all they had done.  I asked him what happened to the sandwich that was in the Panera Bag, and he said, “when you were busy trying to calm your wife down, I decided to eat it before those ants over on the ground ate it.”  Just when we needed a laugh, we got one.

The crew stayed until they knew we were OK.  They must have been there 45 minutes.  It seemed like forever.  They said they would love to stay but they had to be in Fort Leonard Wood to do a job.  They got into their big rig and disappeared down the Interstate.

I must have seen a billion big rigs pass down the highway, but ARPIN is the only name I will never forget.  Their crews are like angels.  I will pass the ARPIN experience on to everyone that I can and hope they will allow ARPIN to have their business and do something positive in their lives.

I do believe that those 3 guys are COMMITTED TO QUALITY EVERY JOB EVERY DAY.  (This was printed on the guys’ shirts.)

Their thoughtfulness was greatly appreciated.  I am enclosing 3 ($50) gift cards.  Would you please see that my new friends receive this as a token of our sincere appreciation?  I never got to ask their names, but I will call them MY FRIENDS.

Their willingness to help Catherin and myself during an especially difficult time is something I’ll never forget.  Such a commitment to assist a total stranger during their most troublesome moment is to be commended.

TO THE ARPIN FAMILY: Blessings always look small if we just keep them, but if we learn to share them, we realize how great ad precious they are.