Associate Spotlight - Dimitry, Transport Driver

Dimitry is a transportation driver at Coca-Cola Boston. He's worked at Coke Northeast for almost 13 years and in that time has earned himself the nickname “The Mayor." He has a special view of the people he works with. To Dimitry, his coworkers are more than just colleagues; they’re his friends and he feels a responsibility to make sure their voices are being heard by supervisors and managers.

 

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Q: What other positions have you held with the company?
A: I started as a distribution driver, made a trip to merchandising and now I’m a transport driver.
 
Q: Can you explain what a transport driver does and what a typical day looks like?
A: We connect plant to plant. We bring products from our facility to all of the other sales centers in our territory. I’m an early bird and start at 4 AM. We bring products to other facilities and try to be as safe as possible driving between 300-400 miles a day. Safety is actually one of my major things because I’ve seen a lot of distracted drivers.
 
Q: What’s the best part of your job?
A: The best part is the people: the connections, the encouragement, the communication, and the friendliness. We build relationships everywhere we go. At every facility, we have to have some kind of interaction. You learn something and talk to people, I do a lot of that. I connect wherever I go so I have a lot of friends throughout the company. I get to see all different views of the company and people will share their frustrations and what they enjoy and you learn a lot about people.
 
Q: What is the most challenging part of your job?
A: The most challenging is the driving. I’ve seen it all. We’re hauling 40,000 pounds on those trailers and it requires a lot of focus. We need to stay safe and on top of it and have to deal with people. I’m anticipating a lot of things, my brain is always working and I’ve seen so many close-call incidents. I give myself time and I’m patient. I’m more patient than I used to be 10 years ago because I know those people are someone’s daughter or someone’s brother. I put it in my perspective because it could be one of my daughters driving or someone I know. It is very challenging in that regard. And we drive in it all: snow, rain. But you just have to keep going!
 
Q: How do you stay so calm?
A: It’s embarrassing but I listen to a lot of classical music. The guys sometimes make fun of me when they get in my truck. I have an approach in life, I joke a lot. My mom was a teacher and maybe I inherited her calm and collected personality. It’s less effort to be pleasant than to be hateful or to be angry. It takes me less effort to be useful, helpful and grateful to somebody than be hateful and take that home with me.

Q: Do you have a favorite memory from a day at Coke Northeast?
A: Yes, there is something that always stuck with me when I was a distribution driver. At that time I was always frustrated. Between work and having two young kids and daycare, there’s a lot of stress. One day during the winter, my wife locked herself out of our place with the kids and she called me while I was on my way back to Needham for my reload. I had just gotten the first load done and I was like, “I’m sorry, I just have to go.” One of the supervisors said, “Dimitry, it’s okay. I can take your keys to her.” That particular time, it kind of changed my perspective of the company and the people that I was working with. It was at that point, I realized I wasn’t just a number. That’s one of my favorite memories but there are many examples of camaraderie in the trade. It’s always been like that since I started here.
 
Q: Would you recommend Coke Northeast as a good place to work? If so, why?
A: Absolutely. As I said, it’s a very wonderful company to work for. Opportunities are endless. The people I work with are very encouraging and respectful. They’re always encouraging you to get better and move up when there’s a position available. I always bring a lot of friends here to work, at all levels. I’ll always be an advocate for the company.
 
Q: What advice would you give to someone just starting out?
A: Well, if I could go back and give myself advice, I would say to stay the course and not get frustrated. Things always get better! It’s a challenging job, but learn to do it the right way and safe way. It’s all how you approach it, it’s how you value yourself. Stay the course and stay focused.
 
Q: There have been a lot of change here in Needham and in the company as a whole, what are your thoughts?
A: We’ve seen a lot of change. There was a lot of sadness around here when production closed and I’ve noticed something very big. Something different. Pretty much everybody’s attitude. I shared that with my supervisor. People are more relaxed and happy around here. You can sense it, you can see they’re more invested in the company. The feeling of being a family is coming back. I sense it, I see it. I see the way people are into their job. We lost that, to be honest with you, a few years back. No one would go the distance to do anything because they didn’t feel like they were valued or their opinion mattered. But there’s been a lot of change and I really, really like it.
 
Q: What’s your favorite product that we sell?
A: I’m actually a fan of Caffeine Free Diet Coke!

Thank you, Dimitry, for being such a great ambassador for the company, your coworkers, and your friends. If you or someone you know is interested in career opportunities at Coke Northeast, visit Careers.CokeNortheast.com