Wednesday, October 31, 2012

What if

What if you knew you only had five years left to live?

What would you do different? How would you treat the people around you? How would you approach each day?

None of us have any guarantees here on earth, every day is a gift. I know that you have heard that a hundred times but it is so true.
Just think about it for a minute.

Would you be more honest?
Would you let stupid small things roll off your back?

If you knew your time was limited would you talk differently or handle situations different?

I guess the older you get the more you think about stuff like this. I have loss some good friends in the past few years and I am sure none of them saw it coming. I wonder what they would of different given the chance.

We do not always get a heads up or a warning.

Most of this post comes becomes in the past few years I have seen some very close friends and relatives pass away. Some younger than me and most without warning. Life is short.

Take a breath and enjoy what you have, be more honest and let go of the bull shit.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

No matter the title

I remember the first time I was able to order a business card. When I saw my name on the card and a title I had thought it was so cool, that I made it.
Ahh to be young and naive again.

You learn much later that business cards and title's mean very little.

No matter what your title is you are still a employee and you work for someone and guess what even those that own their own business still need to work for their employees. If you are an owner you feel the responsibility to profit, to be able to retain people and give them a raise or bonus.

If you are not the owner then no matter what your title you are a employee.

Too many people think their title is what dictates respect, it does not.
You may think so but if you want people to respect you or to follow you than you need to show them that you care and that you want to help them.

Title's may sound good or look good on a business card but it means nothing.

Monday, October 29, 2012




If you do nothing but these two things in life you will succeed.

A lot of people beat themselves up if they mess up. They have a hard time forgiving them selves. We all make mistakes, we are all human. Do not wallow in it. Learn from it and move on.

Because we are only human we must forgive others, it amazes me to see so many people hold grudges or spend so much time trying to obtain revenge. They carry around the weight of being hurt and negativity. Nothing good can come from this.
You gain so much more when you simply forgive.


Sunday, October 28, 2012

Parting ways

Parting ways with employees or drivers is always difficult.....but

Last week we received a survey from a customer that was very disturbing. He was a military member and he said that our driver was very rude to his wife. He actually said that the driver was a F %^^%%$  D$%& to his wife and his family. Mostly because the driver had to wait outside the base a long time before he was allowed in.
Just who does this driver think he is?
To actually treat anyone this way is inexcusable and to treat a member of our military this was is disgraceful. For all we know this soldier could be on his way to over seas to fight for our country or just home from a deployment. Either way he and his wife most certainly do not deserve this kind of treatment. All they want is their furniture. They probably already moved 4,5, 6 times, all in effort to help defend our country.
How dare he?
This was the third type email we received on this driver over the past 4-5 months. This one being the worse but the other ones had theme of attitude in them also.
When we called the driver to ask what had happened he actually gave us an attitude for even asking about his attitude.
We parted ways that afternoon, we asked him to leave our trailer at the nearest prime agent.
Arpin will never stand for such disrespect of our customers or for that matter anyone, employee, agent or any department.
Like I said - who does he think he is?

I fully understand the trials and tribulations that our drivers go through every day and no one respects them more. As I have said in several post Paul Arpin and David Arpin both drove and ran the road and they know what it is like and they respect our drivers also and have installed that philosophy in all us.
That said respect goes past driving, and what each one of us does for a living.
Respect is a moral obligation that we all have for each other. It is what separates us from tyrants and hoodlums and what helps us all build bridges and bonds.
This industry needs drivers and any business needs good workers but NO business needs that kind of disrespect.

Thursday, October 25, 2012


“People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.

If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway.

If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway.

The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.

Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway.

For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.”

Mother Teresa
Mother Teresa

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Some tips for phone calls

. Speak clearly. A picture paints a thousand words but the caller on the other end of the phone can only hear you. They cannot see your face or body language. Therefore, taking the time to speak clearly, slowly and in a cheerful, professional voice is very important.

. Use your normal tone of voice when answering a call. If you have a tendency to speak loud or shout, avoid doing so on the telephone.

. Do not eat or drink while you are on telephone duty. Only eat or drink during your coffee break or lunch break.

. Listen to the Caller and what they have to say. The ability to listen is a problem in general but it is very important to listen to what the caller has to say. It is always a good habit to repeat the information back to the client when you are taking a message. Verify that you have heard and transcribed the message accurately.

. Be patient and helpful. If a caller is irate or upset, listen to what they have to say and then refer them to the appropriate resource. Never snap back or act rude to the caller.

. Always focus on the call. Try not to get distracted by people around you. If someone tries to interrupt you while you are on a call, politely remind them that you are on a customer call and that you will be with them as soon as you are finished.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Atta boy

One of my old bosses told me that one ahh shit wipes out 10 atta boys.

That is more true today then ever.

You AND your reputation is only as good as the last job that you were on.

Fair or not, that is where the bar is now on ALL lines of work and in all businesses.
Competition is just too stiff.

Consistency is the goal.

Being able to approach each day and each assignment with renewed vigor and with a positive attitude.

Actually you owe it to yourselves to do just that anyway. In order to truly reap the rewards you need to give 100%- 100% of the time.

One ahh ship wipes out 10 atta boys.

Monday, October 22, 2012


The bonds and the relationships that we make in life is our true reward.

And the wonderful part is we never really know which relationship will grow, but if we try our best to befriend as many people as we can I can guarantee that you will surprised and you will be rich for it.

People are truly amazing and when you take the time to actually see them and let your guard down you will see them for who they are. We all have a story to tell and have had ups and downs in life and from that we all bring something to the table.

And it can be that cashier or waiter or mailman . People you see every day. Take the time to say hi and ask how they are doing.

 Take interest and just listen, who knows you may just learn something.

Sunday, October 21, 2012


Friday morning we lost a very good man, Ted Clayborn.
Ted drove for Arpin for many years. Ted and his wife who always traveled with him and was always by his side were special people. Always smiling and always working hard to do their best.
Ted past away Friday while loading a shipment in the State of Washington he suffered a heart attack.
Ted will be missed.
When I think of Ted I always see him smiling. While we were trying to hit the stupid little white ball out on a golf course or we were just sitting having a drink talking about nothing he was always smiling.
Even the time when he hit a ball on the coarse and it hit the tree about 3 feet in front of him and he it shot right back and always hit him, we laughed so hard.
Ted was a great example of a man who worked hard and played hard.
He loved his wife, DJ, and his family with all of his heart and it showed.
He made so many friends on the road through the years and I never ever heard anyone ever say anything negative about him..
May GOD bless you Ted and I hope that you are reaping the benefits of all the good that you did while you were here.
Lord knows you deserve it.

Saturday, October 20, 2012


Sorry that I have missed some days here in the blogesphere, just back from our Arpin convention out in Palm Springs CA.
Always good to see old friends and to meet new ones.
Throughout all the BS and the stress it is always good to recharge the battery with people that go through the same day to day as yourself.
It is good to catch up and to also hand out well deserved awards.
Congratulations to Mordue Moving out of Illinois for our agent of the year award ! Pam, Russ and John and their entire staff, packers and drivers are simply the best. They do quality work every day and on every move and we all know how challenging that is.
My good friend Richie Greenberg from Chaswood Moving in New York for receiving the Charles and Henria Campbell award, this award is named after two amazing people who have passed away that owned and ran Studdard Moving in Kansas, they were loved and respected by all of us in the Arpin family and we award someone who helps mentore others and cares for people as they did, congratulations Richie, they are smiling down at our choice this year.
Our Paul Arpin award went to Ed Zelinski and Golden Services in Washington State this year, Paul would choose the agent that most cared about our drivers and in Paul's passing we continue the tradition. Being a ex driver himself he always had a place in his heart for those that cared about the backbone of his company. Congrats Ed and staff.
Speaking of drivers, our driver of the year was also present, John Southall and his lovely wife Shannon. John is a shining 6 foot 6 inch example of character and class. John works hard to do the best he can every day and it shows. This was a award of many years of hard work, sweat and sacrifice. Thank you John and Shannon we look for many more years of partnership.
This is a tough business and we are constantly evolving and changing but in the end it is still people, people helping and learning from each other. Bonds and friendships that transcend work. It is such a wonderful opportunity to be able to work with people throughout the United States. You find that though different accents and locations we are all still the same.
Relationships matter, and we are blessed here at Arpin. Through the years even though we continue to grow we are able to keep that family feeling.

Friday, October 12, 2012

The moving Industry

The domestic Moving Industry has become more and more seasonal.

It use to be that we started to get busy in April and work our way up to a very bust May, June, July and August and mostly stay busy right through the end of September.

In the very good years we would start in April and take us right through December.

Not so today.

We seem to start in May and stay crazy busy till August then we see a fall off.

This could be for several reasons and it remains to be seen if it will once again go back to stretching out the busy a bit more.

One thing for sure we are all feeding out of the same troft more then ever and the competition is stiff and so is the demand for quality moves.

It still can be a lucrative business but we all find ourselves consistently trying to find ways to improve what we do. You have too because technology demands it and our customers demand technology.

The last three years in particular have been a crazy ride with the military new way of distributing their moves. The industry, Van Lines and drivers have been adjusting ever since.

Once again we are all under the microscope and the demand is for better, faster, cleaner service.

Kinda simple, you do a good job you get more work you don't do good work we all struggle.
We all find ourselves tethered to each other also, if you do a good job on a move but somebody else down the street messes up their score effects you.
That is why we all need to be aware that we hold our own destiny in our own hands.

That job that you are doing could mean the difference of more offers down the road.

Because we are more seasonal then ever we need to be more profitable.

Work smarter not harder...catch up with technology.


Seinfeld was only on for 9 years but we still refer to the shows often.
We say that there is a Seinfeldism for almost everything.

The one that I relate to a lot is the time that George is driving home from work and is recalling the meeting that they had that day and starts banging the wheel because he thought of a good come back to something.

How many times do we recall conversations or meetings and think of what we should of said but didn't?
It is frustrating.

When we are in the moment it is so easy to not think fast on our feet or to get thrown off by a question or how it posed to us.

We all wish that we could have " do- overs" and go back so we can say what we should have said.

All we can do is try to stay in the moment and not get thrown off our game, easier said then done sometimes.

Thursday, October 11, 2012


  • Kent State Shooting
    May 4, 1970....National Guardsmen opened fire on a group of students, wounding many, 4 fatally, on the campus of Kent State University. Today, memorials to the four students stand near the place of the shootings. 

  • Prime time football
    ABC begins it's long running Monday Night Football

  • World Trade Center is completed

  • Childproof safety caps

  • First female jockey in Kentucky Derby

  • California is the first no-fault divorce state

  • First New York City marathon

  • The Beatles release Let It Be, their last album

  • Doonesbury comic strip goes national

  • Apollo 13 mission suffers a huge setback
    A ruptured air tank on their way to the moon almost sealed the fate of the three astronauts on board the spacecraft.

  • Floppy disc was invented.

  • Charles Manson Convicted of Murdering Sharon Tate
    Charles Manson, the leader of a bizzare cult, and 4 of his followers were convicted of the murders of several people including actress Sharon Tate and her unborn baby.

  • China Launches Its First Satellite
    APRIL 24. The People's Republic of China becomes the fifth nation to put a satellite into orbit. China 1's first broadcast is the song "Tang Fang Hung" (The East is Red).

  • Federal Elections
    18 year olds are given the right to vote in federal elections.

  • The introduction of bar codes
    Bar codes are introduced for retail and industrial use in England.

  • Marshall University plane crash
    On November 14, 1970 a chartered plane carrying 75 players, coaches, and prominent residents of Huntington, WV and Marshall University crashed just short of the runway after returning from the days game against ECU. There were no survivors.

  • First F-14 Tomcat Tested
    Dec. 21, 1970: The first ever F-14 Tomcat was tested; This led to use by the NAVY for about 30 years.

  • American Soldiers Found Guilty
    American soldiers found guilty of murdering entire town of Vietnamese civilians.

  • Wednesday, October 10, 2012

    More demanding

    Times are tough. People demand more for their money.

    Rather you are going out to dinner or buying new furniture and certainly if you are buying any big ticket items or if you are moving all of your possessions to a new home you want and expect more.

    When you are in the middle of your own bills and your own problems it is difficult to see others and their situations.

    One thing for sure, if you ignore someone and look right past them and they are paying you for a service I can guarantee you that it will not end well.

    People demand more and you need to demand more from yourself. When you take the time to actually SEE the situation you will do a better job and who knows may even make a bond that will last much longer.

    Tuesday, October 9, 2012

    How to respond to Negativity?

    The following is a excerpt from an article, the link is below for the full piece.

    "I'm getting to the end of my patience," Dan,* the head of sales for a financial services firm, told me. "There is so much opportunity here — the business is growing, the work is interesting, and bonuses should be pretty good this year — but all I hear is complaining."
    When he passed his employees in the hall and asked how it was going, they would respond with a critical comment about a client or they would grumble about the amount of work they were juggling.
    "How can I turn around the negativity that pervades my team?" he asked me.
    I asked him what he was doing now. "At first, I told them how much opportunity we had in front of us, and I reiterated our mission statement," he said. "I wanted to remind them what we're all working towards. Now though?" he threw his hands up in the air, "I'm just pissed. I want to shake them out of their slump."
    Dan's response is completely natural and intuitive. Unfortunately, it's also completely ineffective.

    Initially, he tried to counter the negativity with positivity. When that didn't work, he became negative himself. Both responses reaped the same outcome: More negativity.

    Here's why: Countering someone's negativity with your positivity doesn't work because it's argumentative. People don't like to be emotionally contradicted and if you try to convince them that they shouldn't feel something, they'll only feel it more stubbornly. And if you're a leader trying to be positive, it comes off even worse because you'll appear out of touch and aloof to the reality that people are experiencing.

    The other instinctive approach — confronting someone's negativity with your own negativity — doesn't work because it's additive. Your negative reaction to their negative reaction simply adds fuel to the fire. Negativity breeds negativity.

    So how can you turn around negativity?

    Here's what I'm suggesting, translated into a three-step process for effectively turning around negative people:
    1. Understand how they feel and validate it. This might be hard because it could feel like you're reinforcing their negative feelings. But you're not. You're not agreeing with them or justifying their negativity. You're simply showing them that you understand how they feel.
    2. Find a place to agree with them. You don't have to agree with everything they've said, but, if you can, agree with some of what they're feeling. If you share some of their frustrations, let them know which.
    3.Before, he never missed an opportunity to highlight — and criticize — a person's negativity. Now he didn't miss an opportunity to highlight — and praise — a person's positivity.
    And it worked. Eventually the mood in the sales group turned and they worked together to bring in the largest client the company had ever won.

    As for me? The truth is, it's often easier to teach this stuff than it is to do it. In the heat of the moment, I can still get frustrated with other people's frustrations. But following these three steps has helped tremendously. And having a partner who reminds me of them? That helps even more.

    Read more:

    Monday, October 8, 2012

    YES or NO ?

    Next time you listen to a politician get asked a direct question take note that they NEVER answer with a direct YES or NO.

    The only recent politician that I know of that has is Governor Christie from NJ.
    I totally respect him for that, it has nothing to do with Red or Blur or Republican or Democrat - I just respect a person who can answer a question directly and stand on his or her own two feet.

    Most people start the spin immediately, they go into their talking points and never actually answer the question. Even when asked numerous of times.

    Why do we let these people get a way with this?

    The same goes on in every day business.

    We need and should demand accountability.

    Stop pointing the finger. It is what I call the Scarecrow approach. The scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz when asked which way to go scratches his forehead and crosses of arms and points both ways.

    It is simple, when a question is asked follow it with a simple YES or NO.. then explain.

    Sunday, October 7, 2012

    A truth meter

    Why don't we have a truth meter in political debates in real time?

    With facts now at our finger tips there should be a light right in front of these politicians when they talk that lights up when they lie.

    We all fact check them on our own why not have a running scroll on the bottom of the TV screen that states the FACTS.

     After they speak the next day we see in the paper or on talk shows what was fact and what , in many cases, was just completely fabricated.

    The problem is that they are allowed to say it and millions of people that do not fact check accept it as truth and then repeat it.

    We deserve better.

    We have the technology to do it, why not?

    Let's have honest debates and actual facts.
    It is all right to disagree, that is how this country was founded. On good old fashion back and forth discussions, some time heated but you need to hear the other side.

    Passion is good but let's hear them out and let's hear facts. I am tired of lies and distortions.

    Saturday, October 6, 2012

    From a article in North American Transportation

    Lessons from The Godfather
    In the late 1960’s novel, The Godfather, the thoughtful and calculating Don Corleone reflects on people who are easily angered. He muses, ―What kind of person jumps out his car after an auto accident and starts screaming and shouting? He goes on the speculate that such characters are courting death. The example is telling.
    Ironically, his son, Santino (Sonny), is prone to this impulsive, destructive instinct and demonstrates corresponding behaviors that we might today call character flaws. In the movie version (where there is a bias for action over psychology), these character defects lead to Sonny’s sensational death in the iconic tollbooth scene.
    The US government, specifically the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), discovered a lesson here for carriers and truck drivers alike. In their 2008 survey, they asked safety managers and transportation experts to identify and rank traits believed to be associated with crash risk. Their findings, based on a four-point scale, closely matched the Godfather’s theories:
    Personality Trait
    Safety Managers
    Other Experts
    Unhappy with job/Company

    Hundreds of experts provided input and consistently agreed upon four of the top five characteristics likely to result in higher risk for vehicular crashes. Furthermore, the majority of the raters felt that the worst ten percent of drivers were responsible for 50 percent (or more) of a fleet’s crash risk. These are the outliers that everyone would like to remove from the driver pool.
    The issue is far from trivial. Truck drivers face a disproportionately higher risk for vehicular fatalities and for serious health disorders. The 2004 fatality rate for US heavy truck and tractor-trailer drivers was 48.2 per 100,000 workers, approximately 11 times the rate for the general population. In that year, the non-fatal rate was also the second highest of any occupation. It is no coincidence that CSA regulations target this high risk group, with the overtly declared goal of removing them from the highways.
    The survey results and statistical findings presented in the FMCSA report support the view that commercial drivers differ greatly in their levels of crash risk, and that a relatively small percentage of drivers (10-15 percent) account for a disproportionate percentage of total fleet risk (30-50 percent). Although no fan of governmental intervention, it is likely that Mr. Corleone would agree that CSA is well-intentioned.
    Safety pioneer H.W. Heinrich said much the same thing when he introduced his domino theory of accident causation in 1932 in his breakthrough paper, Industrial Accident Prevention. The first domino was based on worker personality, including traits like recklessness, stubbornness and greed. He demonstrated how specific behaviors, when repeated often enough, lead to accidents.
    In the past several years, many well-known business gurus have posited similar theories for achieving organizational success. Peter Drucker asserts that business success begins with getting the right people on the bus and making sure they’re in the right seat. Jack Welch introduced us to Top-Grading, a systematic methodology for continuously removing C players from the workforce. Both experts, and a veritable host of others, agree that the quality of any team or business is predominantly dependent upon the talent acquisition process.
    How is it then, that fleet managers have been so slow to embrace this approach to organizational improvement? Could it be the age-old perception of a driver shortage?
    Few industries today suffer from greater employee turnover than transportation. On one hand, this represents an enormous financial burden on fleet owners and on the other, it poses a remarkable opportunity. If winning begins with selecting and hiring winners, why is it that just about everyone is willing to settle for the first applicant who shows up with the minimum qualifications? Worse, why do recruiters seemingly ignore the most important traits during the hiring process and, instead, focus on qualities and characteristics that are rarely predictive of on-the-job success?
    In some cases, these are the very same experts who identified such traits as aggressive, angry, impatient, impulsive and inattentive as being most predictive of vehicular accidents.
    So what is an accident? An accident is an unplanned event that disrupts activity, affects people and has a cause. Almost without exception, that cause is a driver’s behavior. Thus, to make the highways safer either:
    1) Correct the unsafe behaviors or
    2) Eliminate drivers from the work force who are willing to behave in unsafe ways.
    But which strategy works best?
    Your mom was right. If you don’t want to get burned, quit playing with matches. And, if you want better results, quit hiring your own miscreants.

    Friday, October 5, 2012

    Steve Jobs

    -- Many of Steve Jobs' most inspiring and quotable lines come from his famous 2005 commencement speech at Stanford, when he told assembled graduates, "Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life."

    Here are 10 of his better quotes, culled from "I, Steve: Steve Jobs in His Own Words," edited by George Beahm.

    1. "What a computer is to me is the most remarkable tool that we have ever come up with. It's the equivalent of a bicycle for our minds." (film "Memory & Imagination," 1990)

    2. "I end up not buying a lot of things, because I find them ridiculous." (The Independent, 2005)

    3. "I think death is the most wonderful invention of life. It purges the system of these old models that are obsolete." (Playboy, 1985)

    4. "People think focus means saying yes to the thing you've got to focus on. But that's not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully. I'm actually as proud of the things we haven't done as the things I have done. Innovation is saying no to 1,000 things." (Apple Worldwide Developers' Conference, 1997)

    5. "Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn't matter to me. ... Going to bed at night saying we've done something wonderful -- that's what matters to me." (CNNMoney/Fortune, 1993)

    6. "My job is not to be easy on people. My job is to make them better." (CNNMoney/Fortune, 2008)

    7. "If you want to live your life in a creative way, as an artist, you have to not look back too much. You have to be willing to take whatever you've done and whoever you were and throw them away." (Playboy, 1985)

    8. "Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower." ("The Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs," 2001)

    9. "My model for business is the Beatles. They were four guys who kept each other's kind of negative tendencies in check. They balanced each other, and the total was greater than the sum of the parts. That's how I see business: Great things in business are never done by one person. They're done by a team of people." ("60 Minutes," 2003)

    10. "I would trade all my technology for an afternoon with Socrates." (Newsweek, 2001)

    Wednesday, October 3, 2012

    What can YOU do

    When trying to look at situations or to improve spend more time on what YOU can do to improve and less on everybody else.

    There is always something you can do or learn if you try.

    I see it all the time, especially when times get tough- Everyone scatters and start to point fingers. They want to push the light away from them and on to others.

    Those type people will never sustain success. Sooner or later it catches up.

    Embrace change, ask people what they think of your service or your departments.

    Don't be defensive.

    It is human nature to be defensive and have a knee jerk reaction when you hear negative about you or your work or your department.
    Let it sink in first before you react. It may be better to not react at all.

    Some where in there might even be a lesson.

    Always think what YOU could have done differently. Self reflection is always needed to advance and improve..don't lie to yourself or pretend...the only person that you can ever truly change is yourself.

    Tuesday, October 2, 2012

    Simple needs

    As my mother's health started to fade in her mid eighties she once told me that she missed just walking around the mall and going to Newport Creamery for lunch with her friends.

    My mother never finished High School and worked two jobs most of her life and brought up three kids and did laundry and cleaned the house, all pretty much by herself.

    She never complained, never. And she never ever said a bad word about anybody.

    When she retired in her 60's she volunteered to help deliver meals to the elderly and the poor and  home bound with Meals on Wheels.

    After that she just enjoyed walking around the local Mall with her friend and having lunch.

    After all is said and done that is what she missed the most.....a simple woman..enjoying simple things.

    Monday, October 1, 2012

    Customer satisfaction

    The key to a satisfied customer is the same no matter what business you are in, rather you are a customer at a restaurant or you are taking a flight or buying a car or moving your household goods is basically the same.

    You want to know that the people you are dealing with ..CARE....that they are not looking past you or do not even acknowledge you.

    You can be served a nice meal, the car can be everything that you are looking for and your movers may be handling your goods with care but in the end if you do not feel they CARE and that they value your business you will not be satisfied.

    Some household good movers or crews that I know never get that, they figure if they get the stuff there in one piece they did their job. Well they did part of their job. You must take the time to look AT the customer, to ask what is important to them and if there is anything else that they need.

    Many people have fast lifes now a days and many are watching their dollars. When they spend their time and their money they expect service and they demand it.

    Good old customer service, smile, look them in the eyes, listen and show that you care.