For this week’s Truck Team Tuesday, we are interviewing from our steadfast Indy North franchise out of Indianapolis, Indiana.
Answering the TTT questions today we have Franchise Partner (man in charge), Randy Wheeldon! We also include the musings of a man who runs the day-to-day operations (Ops Manager), Rex Wheeldon. Our trusty truck team member supervisor, Joel Garcia is also on hand and last but not least, we are graced with the Marketing Manager, Jaona Rickard’s 2 cents.
Guess what? This whole crew is related. A family business indeed exists in Indiana with the Wheeldons. This family spends their time off together, their time on together and – you guessed it, this family answers our Truck Team Tuesday Questions….together!
How long have you been working with 1-800-GOT-JUNK?
June 5th, 2006 was the day we were blessed with doing our first Junk removal job. We are now in that crucial 5th year of business. Like starting kindergarten at that tender age, we are poised to take what we have learned so far and really grow with it and be prepared for all of the future experiences that are coming our way. You may have noticed by the job titles above that we have a lot of chiefs and no Indians. That is by design. We are poised to take the next 5 years by storm because a solid foundation is in place. You cannot build a high rise without a very, very sturdy foundation.
What did you do before you found Junk?
We all come from diverse backgrounds. Mine (Randy’s) is Corporate Management. Rex’s is residential customer service in various industries. Joel was in the restaurant industry. And Jaona used to be a hair stylist. The one thing we all have in common is we know who pays our salaries – the customer, not the company.
What do you love about being a Truck Team Member?
We all are truck team members on a regular basis. I think I can speak for all when I say the best part about being a truck team member is the variety of people we get to meet and deal with on a daily basis. I, for one, am a true believer you can learn something significant from every different person you meet. No matter their education or experiences in life, they know at least one thing you have never been exposed to.
What is the most challenging thing about being a Truck Team Member?
The most challenging thing about being a truck team member is also the one thing that allows you to hold your head high when you go home each night. There is no (zero) room for error when dealing with a customer and their home or business. Each job has to be treated as if it were a once-in-a-lifetime obligation which has to be completed perfectly because your professional life is in the balance. One dissatisfied customer or damaged home erases every accomplishment leading up to that point. That is a constant, everyday challenge which we welcome in order to keep us as the elite system that we feel we are.
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever hauled away?
We get the routine, “Can you take my husband/wife?” request; however, we have never hauled one of those away. Some of those people were pretty weird though. In my mind, the weirdest junk removal jobs have consisted of brand new, never unboxed, perfectly good items – expensive items. For whatever reason, the owner paid to purchase this stuff and then paid us to haul it away, without it ever coming out of its original packing. This has happened time and again, so strange.
What’s the grossest thing you’ve ever had to do?
A Hoarders television shoot (for A&E’s Hoarders). The episode will air this season (which premiered last week). It was based out of Kokomo, IN. Watch the episode and see what I mean. Words and pictures cannot describe it.
Did you do it with a smile?
Not sure anyone could tell. The respirators covered our faces. So use your imagination when you see the episode. Smiles or no smiles? Send your votes to firstname.lastname@example.org. No independent firm will be used to tabulate the votes, so you’ll have to trust me on the results.
Do you have any other funny memories or stories that you can share?
We did a mega blue wig wave on a very busy thoroughfare in Indianapolis. We had 7 or 8 of us in blue wigs, sun glasses with signs in hand standing in the median waving at the cars going by. We got an add-on job that afternoon resulting from the wave. I (Randy) and Jaona went to the job. We were greeted at the door by a retired school teacher. Her first order of business was to give Jaona and I a good scolding to take back and pass along to our company, “1-800-GOT-JUNK? should not require “kids” to stand in the middle of a highway to promote their business. It is not safe for kids,” was what she said. We told her, that it was actually Jaona and I up there along with others in our age group. Not kids! See, the blue wigs and sunglasses do work if you are wanting to stay anonymous doing waves. I assured her, her message would get to the right person, which was me of course.
Note: To this day, I have never put kids in the middle of a highway to do waves.
Do you have a motto or a philosophy on life?
Live it like you own it and are accountable for it. 1) Because you do own it and are accountable for it. 2) No one else can do it for you.
These two little guys are Indy North’s mascots. The left one is named Re and the right one is Cycle. Together they spread 1-800-GOT-JUNK?’s message of green responsibility and successful company habits. If you look closely, you’ll realize that their entire uniform is held to Junktion standard, including the tiny brown leather belts (doggy collars).