In my 30 plus years here at Arpin I have had the pleasure of knowing and befriending a lot of people.
Drivers and agent owners from all over the country, along with fellow employees here at the home office in R.I. and in other States.
And once I realized that I was not the center of the universe I began to SEE the people and know their stories.
When I started I was in my mid twenties and like most 20 year olds I thought I knew it all and that I was the best. I suppose that may be a good gene to have in some respects, it did allow me to venture into things I knew nothing about with the confidence that I could learn it and conquer it.
But my real growth came when I realized that there were a whole lot people that work hard and try and sacrifice every day.
I do not know that exact day or year that happened- but one of my eye opening experiences came when we had to form a committee to review what each department did in the home office in order to develop a library and scanning procedure for each folder and customer. I worked in operations at the time and I thought we worked the hardest and were the major force in the Van Lines. The committee asked personal from each department to come in and tell us what they did and how a folder travels through their hands and what they did with it. I left each day with more admiration for my co workers.
I had no idea.
Then the more I got to know my co workers and drivers and agents I had an opportunity to know their stories and their personal lives and realized that they all had something going on either with them on in the immediate family. I would never have known because they all came to work and did their job and for the most part left their problems at the door.
I was with agent owners after hours and found out that they are on 24/7 , their phone did not stop ringing. They were responsible not only for themselves but for every worker, driver. packer and employee in the agency. I had no idea, I naively thought that being an owner gave you more freedom..wrong.
My lessons continued.
I was good friends with many drivers, one in particular was like a brother, when he was in the New England area my house was his home too. He had a young family like me that he had to leave for weeks and months at a time in order to support them. He told me of the times that he waited to last minute to leave home because he missed his family so and he told me of the times when his small daughter would press her face against the picture window and watch him drive out of his driveway and cry.
It gave me a whole new appreciation of what drivers sacrificed.
My driver friend would tell me that he looked at it as when he was home it was quality time and devoted it to his family. That is so true, it is not how much time we have but what we do with it.
I was home every night but as a dispatcher I never stopped thinking of the drivers in my area or the jobs I had to cover. I took my job serious and wanted to do good and learn. Between May and Oct. I easily worked 80-90 hours each week and all though I was home at night it took me hours to relax my mind and get away from my responsibility at work so in many cases my times with my little ones were limited too. I too had my sacrifices, I left my problems at the door when I went to work and others had no idea what was going in my life. I worked through many family medical issues, deaths, operations and financial strife.
It did not make me better than anyone else , it just made me more like everybody else.
We all sacrifice.