Associate Spotlight - Gerry, Driver
Gerry has been a member of the Coca-Cola family for almost 30 years. He’s a driver at Coca-Cola Lowell and with his experience and knowledge, he trains much of the new talent coming in.
“It’s fun,” he says, “If we get a good person that’s coming in and is eager, it’s nice to get them on the road and teach them on the job. It takes a different person to come into this role.”
Q: Where did you start out in the company?
A: I was in Needham for 5 years as a merchandiser and then came over to Lowell. We’ve had a lot of good people come through here (Lowell). Mark Francoeur was the general manager here, and he really cares about his people
Q: What’s the best part about your job?
A: The best part of my job is getting to know our customers. You start helping them out like family and they start doing the same for you. It’s like, if I come to your store every day and you have a little spill, I’ll help clean it up and just little things like that and they do the same for me. I always try to build rapport with people. There are a lot of good people out there.
Q: What’s the most challenging part of your job and how do you overcome it?
A: This job is like the weather - hard to predict. One day you’ll have a small load and the next day you could be overloaded. It’s a balancing act. When you have a computer, not a human, deciding the routes there’s no emotion or empathy or real knowledge about what we’re really doing. It will never work perfectly. We have to let our people get involved in that to help shift some things around and make changes. But it’s all about being flexible.
Q: What piece of advice do you give to the people you’re training?
A: The training is done in a quick time frame, so I just like to let them know that they can’t learn everything right away and that I’m going to do my best to make it fun. I let them know that it’s a great company and that they’ll have the opportunity to make a lot of money and that they can climb fast if they put in the effort. I really just emphasize that it could take years to learn everything, all the ins and outs of different programs, how different stores work, the menu boards and more. I encourage them not to get too frustrated or overwhelmed. Just learn the basics of the job and don’t be late.
Q: What’s your favorite memory from working here?
A: I love the Lowell General Breast Cancer Walk at the Lowell Spinners ballpark. We do it every year. They do a beautiful job, and it’s fun to go and do it again and again. I bring some of the grandkids. It’s nice to get kids involved in stuff like that at a young age. I like it too for the people who have passed in my life that have had cancer.
Q: What’s a common misconception about your job?
A: People never expect to do the lifting, lugging, and merchandising. They figure we just drop the product off at the store and leave and that’s not true. People never expect to be in a store for 2-2.5 hours putting the product on the shelf as a driver.
Q: What do you like to do outside of work?
A: I have 9 grandkids. It’s exciting because they’re all different ages and they keep us busy. I also like to putter around with my hands and watch the home improvement shows and North Woods Law. I like to destress with those shows, sometimes you have to shut down the news and all of the things going on in the world.
Q: What's your favorite product that we sell?
A: I like Dasani now. I started with the sodas, then I went to the Powerade, and now as I get older I’ve moved into the water. You slowly have to go to something that’ll keep you healthy. We have enough products for everybody!
Thank you, Gerry, for your service and for sharing your wealth of knowledge with our new associates! If you or someone you know is interested in career opportunities at Coke Northeast please visit careers.cokenortheast.com.