I was working in a dead end, night shift job, and wanted an opportunity to better myself. One of my coworkers heard Del Papa Distributing was hiring and suggested I look into it. I applied to be a “Driver in Training” and got the job! When I started, it was a little bit of an awakening for me—it was very different from what I was used to doing. It was a lot more physical and I started during the busy season. But my supervisors were very encouraging and really helped me learn to get going. After I picked it up, it became second nature. My job as a Driver in Training helped me learned the driving routes. Then, I became a Retail Service Assistant where I learned how to manage inventory and how to check in at different accounts. Then I started getting experience behind the wheel!
I was a little reluctant to get behind the wheel of a big 18-wheeler. Looking at the truck was intimidating and I didn’t think I was capable of driving a vehicle that large. But as I watched from the passenger seat, I grew in confidence: “If they could do it, I could do it.” Now, after six years of working with the company, I work as a Retail Service Delivery Driver. I am responsible for checking my truck and making sure everything is in order before we leave the warehouse. I consult with my Retail Service Assistant and we set out to make our deliveries.
My favorite part of my job is helping train new Retail Service Assistants. While it’s technically not in my job description, my supervisor recognized my patience and charged me with raising up the new guys. When a new person starts, they are typically paired with me. Just like my supervisors did for me, I encourage them in their new job and help them get past any fear they may have. When I hear other drivers later say, “This guy is pretty good!” I know I have helped start them off on the right track for success.
Just like I care about the new guys, Del Papa Distributing really cares about their employees. Here, you are not “just a number” or “just an employee.” Here, they depend on you. Your job is important to them. When you need something, they work with you. They care about you beyond what you do in the uniform; they care about you as a person! This plays out with our customers, too. We have a great reputation with our customers: we are there when we say we are going to be there and they know the quality of service they will receive every single time. They trust our dependability and are confident to ask anything of us because they know we will serve them without complaining.
Even though I started with this company when I was in my 30s, I immediately felt at home. I have finally found a job where I can stay. This is where I am supposed to be. This is where I should have been all along!