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Day Warehouse LeadGlazier Foods Company
“I’ve worked in the food distribution industry for the last 23 years — I started out in 1987 as a night frozen loader and order selector and worked every job in both shipping as well as receiving operations. I went to Glazier Foods in Houston in 1998 and worked in all areas of their receiving operations until leaving in 2004, worked for HEB in their dry warehouse San Marcos warehouse and then went to work overseas in 2005.
“For two years, I was the cold storage facility lead on Kwajalein Island in the Marshall Islands on an Army base for an Alaskan company, Chugach. You know that expression, coast to coast in 60 seconds? You could walk across the island I was on in one and a half minutes — it was a half-mile wide by two miles long. At one time, with the Army base, school and hospital, there were 1,700 people based there.
“Now I’m the day shift lead at Glazier Foods, where I have been since 2007. My main responsibility is to get orders dropped at our Dallas facility cross-docked to our Houston facility, using our fleet of trucks as well as outside carriers. I also help with the daytime receiving and will call operations in our Dallas warehouse.
After high school, I did a lot of odd jobs, but I kept getting laid off. I took some college courses my senior year in high school and did one semester at Sam Houston State University. I call 1984 to 1986 my ‘work and get laid off’ years. Now I’m working on a certificate and then going for the associate degree in Logistics at North Lake College; one day I eventually hope to finish my bachelor’s degree too. Since I work long hours, I’ve only been able to take one or two classes each semester, but the important thing is to keep going forward.
“I do already work in a logistics-related position: I take orders via our or outside carriers and then have 24-28 hours to load trucks and get them to their destination, which is a minimum of 15 trucks per week transporting frozen, refrigerated or dry foods. I have to use information from the bill of lading to figure out that each tractor-trailer is not overweight or overcubed — there is a gross weight limit and amount that will fit in each one. I know that the load needs to be light in the nose, heavy in the middle and lighter again in the back to keep the axles straight and my drivers from getting in trouble on the highway.
“I started back to college in the fall of 2009; I hadn’t been in school since 1985. All of the courses I’ve taken so far are online, which is great because I can work at my own pace. I was never what you’d call a brilliant student, just an average C-student, but I do better in school now because I know something about the topic — and it makes a big difference that I can do my schoolwork from home.
“What can I see for the future? I’m really interested in international logistics, maybe becoming a customs broker or doing something in the global world of logistics. I’m not a desk person; I do some work on the computer, but then I get out, check things, pack and load trucks. I hope that the experience and education I’m getting allow me to move more into a supervisory position some day and possibly go back overseas.”
John New is working toward a Logistics Technology certificate and associate degree at North Lake College.