Interview with Sysco Eastern MD next week

Discussion in 'Sysco' started by HenryChinaski, Jul 28, 2014.

  1. HenryChinaski

    HenryChinaski New Member

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    Hey everybody. After 8 years driving over the road I've decided it's time for me to never sleep in a truck again. My record and history are clean. Just looking for some advice. I have an interview next week in Pocomoke.

    Wondering what to wear to the interview...Dickies and a button up shirt with work boots seem appropriate? That might seem like a ridiculous question, but I haven't applied for a job in 8 years.

    Wondering what the road test is like...not scared about it, just wondering if it's just the usual trip around the block and bumping a dock.

    How about the physical strength test...lifting some boxes I imagine?

    How much training do they give you? And how much work is expected in the beginning? I'll be driving an hour to and from work in a car and that part is kind of worrying me a bit if I work a 14 hour day 6 days a week...that could get pretty crazy.

    I'm actually looking forward to the work getting me back in fighting shape. I know it's grueling work, but I'm honestly kind of excited about that aspect of it. I've done work for Home Depot and Staples throwing pallets and product around a bit within the company I currently work for, but never anything like unloading full trucks. I unloaded trucks for UPS one summer way back when I was 20.

    Anybody work in the Eastern Maryland house? I'm really excited and naturally nervous and probably overthinking everything.

    Do guys typically work 4 day weeks? 5 day weeks? 6 day weeks? I was really hoping to get 2 days off a week. Making money isn't the most important thing to me in life anymore.

    anyway, any and all information would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 28, 2014
  2. grocerythrower

    grocerythrower Super Mod

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    Hi Henry!!

    What you described as interview wear is perfectly fine. The strength test consist of different things, like pushing the 2 wheeler, lifting milk crates full of weights, nothing to hard to handle. I did about a 4 mile road test, nothing major, just do what you do and your gonna be great!

    You will have some 14 hr days, but the more experience you get, learning the system, product recognition, learning your route, the less you will see those long days, here at Sysco OK we try to train a guy now for 4 weeks I believe, that is a good thing because it gets you ready to take your own route when the time comes, at least at my yard they put guys with the best, most patient trainers, I ain't one of them, I don't have that kind of patience, but some guys do, and they are really good at it.

    I hope you get on here, Sysco is a great job, and a great company, just remember that customer satisfaction should be your first priority, they are the ones that allow us to support ourselves and our families. When I pull out of the yard each morning at 0500 my focus is on my customers and making them happy, delivering them in tact, damage free product at the correct temp, and in a timely fashion, if the customer requires 15 extra minutes of my time then they get it, no matter how rushed I am, they are the first priority, keep that in mind.

    The relationships you will build will be very rewarding, much different than what your used to, my customers are happy to see me, no matter how bad a mood I'm in I leave it in the truck when I'm in front of the customer.

    Best of luck Brother, there is alot of experience and willingness to help on here to be had. Double R is a good man to speak to, he isn't with Sysco but another company and he has alot of knowledge to share, keep that in mind, Lazlo is another good one, as is Ted Ward, heck everyone here has something to offer!

    GT
     
  3. TedWard

    TedWard on the Chainwax

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    The strength test I had was done by a third party. The thing to remember is not to rush, you have so many seconds to complete whatever task, and if you counted the seconds, then it was easy. They are monitoring your heart rate the entire time and the mistake a lot of guys make is to complete the task as fast as they can, and their heart rate goes up too fast and they fail the test, so pace yourself. The test then doesn't make much sense, but that's the corporate world for ya.

    Each house is run different, so no one could really tell you what your hours will be like, unless they've just been hired at that house within the last six months. I couldn't tell you what to expect from my house because my route is easy this year and I'm working 15 hours less per week than most other drivers. You are going to work, especially when you are new, however much they need you to work, whenever they need you.

    I think probably nationwide each house is trying to do more with less, as is the corporate trend in almost every industry, so you should be prepared to work up to 70 hours, which is 5 14 hour days. They may make you work 6 days, Saturdays are usually much lighter here, at least the traffic is. That being said, say you have ten hours off, well, it's 8 hours after the commute, well 7:45 because you were chatting with another driver after work. You have to take a 15 minute shower, eat dinner 15 minutes, maybe cook dinner? You'll have to wake up and eat breakfast and get dressed, half hour minimum. So at the most, you are going to get six and a half hour of sleep each night, but really you're gonna get five hours, because most folks need time to unwind and veg out in front of the boob tube, even if they are exhausted.

    I have a half hour commute each way, and nine hours is not enough for me when they work me like that, but I get by.

    I remember a couple of years ago, we had two former marines get hired, both rather young. One took right to it, the other quit after just a few weeks. The stress is on a whole other level, and if you don't have the coping skills, it will get to you. If it does get to you, feel free to send me a PM.

    When you get there, listen to the drivers in the morning, you can tell which ones take high blood pressure medicine.
     
  4. HenryChinaski

    HenryChinaski New Member

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    Thanks for the information! I really am excited and feel like I'm going into this with a good head. I've been wanting to get healthier for the last 2-3 years rotting away in this truck...even bought a bicycle that folds in half to stuff inside the sleeper last year, but I only used it a few times because really who wants to ride a bike around a truck stop? I'm not obese, but I'm probably a good 25-30lbs over my fighting weight. I turn 33 soon.

    I'm pretty good at coping with stress. I learned a long while ago that arguing with fleet managers/dispatchers/customers is a pointless battle and sort of like losing a war twice and never ever worth it. I quit smoking a few months ago too.

    If I get two days off a week I'll be absolutely thrilled and have no problem gutting it out the other 5 with 5-6 hours of sleep a night. Staying out 35 to get a week off will make you appreciate an actual regular weekend.


    What time do you guys typically start driving? I realize it's probably different everywhere too, but is it usually an early morning thing? 4-5am? My only other concern really is that I've read on here where some guys start at midnight. That might take some adjusting to, but I've adjusted to all kinds of loads in 8 years on the road.

    Also what's the furthest a delivery driver actually drives to deliver to an area? 200 miles? I'm guessing Pocomoke City is likely going to deal with the eastern shoreline in Maryland since there's a Sysco in Baltimore and I imagine one in DC.

    What happens if you're working a load and for whatever reason you're not gonna get it all done in 14 hours? Do they head you back to the yard with the remaining freight or put you up in a hotel or what?


    And are you guys on E-logs? I ran paper for 5 years and E-logs for the last 2-3 so I'm fine with either.

    They've already run background checks (and credit checks) on me via third party....seems like everything is third party anymore. I got a call from a Chicago area code after I filled out the application online.
     
  5. HenryChinaski

    HenryChinaski New Member

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    Also I didn't even realize it until now but there's a $2500 starting bonus on the job I'm interviewing for. It's not a big concern, but how do they pay that out?
     
  6. Lazlo

    Lazlo Active Member

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    In KC our bonus was paid out a little @30 days, more @90, balance@6months. Your house may do it differently. Most of our routes start 4am-5am, a few earlier. Some houses run more key drops, Lincoln NE for example pretty much has everyone on the road by 2am. Distance you'll go depends on the area you all cover. In KC, even with our shuttle yards, we cover a pretty big area and have a few routes that are really long, but the majority of us round trip @ 100 miles or less here. My guess would be that with the population density and # of warehouses you won't cover too big an area but I could be wrong.
    All electronic logs to my knowledge.
    Freight doesn't get round tripped unless customers don't have the money to pay. You get it done, might have 1,2, or more (probably aggravated) drivers following you around to help you unload if you're that far behind, but you will get it done.
    You'll lose the 25lbs and be at your fighting weight soon...but won't feel much like fighting by the end of the day.
    Good luck. 1st 6 months or so's gonna suck but it will eventually get better if you stick it out.
     
  7. HenryChinaski

    HenryChinaski New Member

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    Thanks again! You've all really eased my nerves quite a bit. I was browsing this forum for a week or two too scared to make a post...

    What exactly is a key drop?


    One last question, which is all I can think to ask really...how much do they pay you during the month of training typically?


    Ok, one more....what model/number of red wing boots are you all using for the job? I already own a pair of Iron Rangers that are 5 years old, but that would be like wearing dance shoes on the ramps.
     
  8. TedWard

    TedWard on the Chainwax

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    A lot of customers let us have the keys and alarm codes to their restaurant so we can make the delivery before they get there, key drop.

    The pay is going to differ from house to house. Our current contract, a new hire gets $2.00 per hour less and is bumped up to the rest of us over the first two years.

    I've used the redwing 2235 or 2240 for the last several years, I need the widest one they make, it still doesn't fit. Just get one that fits, you can't stretch a steel toe.

    I lost weight when I first started, I gained it back, so there.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 29, 2014
  9. TedWard

    TedWard on the Chainwax

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    Oh yeah, your truck will have a computer and a camera looking at you, and you'll have a handheld scanner, don't lose it.
     
  10. Lazlo

    Lazlo Active Member

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    I actually don't wear boots. They feel really heavy to me, almost like running in sand. With all the climbing in and out we do I never felt like I could move very well in them. Just a clumsy(er) feeling that I can't stand. Keen and Reebok both make tennis shoes with steel toes and oil/slip resistant soles. I LOVE the reeboks, they're as light and breath as well as any other tennis shoes but have the protection of a steel toe. I'm gonna have to come up with a plan for the winter if I want to keep all my toes though.
    A lot of guys like the extra ankle support boots give, and I'm sure each house may have slightly different policies regarding footwear and what is required/allowed.
     
  11. grocerythrower

    grocerythrower Super Mod

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    I wear the 2492's by Red Wing, I highly recommend them, they are an 8 inch composite toe that meets the standards of steel, very light with ankle support, our house mandated that we wear boots with ankle support, the composite toe makes the boot lighter, even if my house didn't require safety toe or ankle protection I would still wear boots, always have, like gloves, I'm never without them, I learned that lesson the hard way.
     
  12. TedWard

    TedWard on the Chainwax

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    Oh yeah, I forgot, I buy my Red Wings from a local shoe store, and I pay about $40.00 less than I would at the actual "Red Wing" store.

    No one has my size, so either place would have to special order them, I'm waiting either way.
     
  13. HenryChinaski

    HenryChinaski New Member

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    Well the interview went fine. I basically just answered a bunch of scenario questions. No driving or strength test yet.

    The good news is I'll be running out of Easton, MD instead of Pocomoke. Easton is only 20 minutes away as opposed to an hour to Pocomoke.

    After the questions I was told to fill out a background check (for the 2nd time) and was sent to the clinic for a urinalysis.

    Got my offer letter just now which it says is contingent upon my clean piss test and background check.

    One quick question....and I imagine this isn't a big deal at all, but the offer letter states $16.00/hr and then it says "all subsequent pay changes will be discussed with you in detail with your manager". So I'm guessing 16/hr is just the lowball figure that they'll pay me for training or should I worry about that?

    Other than that I'm ready to put in my 2 weeks notice with my current employer (tempted not to, but that's just kind of how I am). Wondering if they'll starve me out or strand me somewhere. Come what may!
     
  14. HenryChinaski

    HenryChinaski New Member

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    I ended up getting the 2240s by the way. Along with the orthopedic cushions. Theyre really comfortable.
     
  15. Lazlo

    Lazlo Active Member

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    $16 would have to be a training wage, or they wouldn't have anyone working there at all! Does seem low to me though.
    Are they union? If so it may be a "break-in" wage that progresses over a year or two. If union you may be hourly, incentive, or higher of the two. If non-union once on your own you'll be on incentive pay, but this doesn't help you because each house sets the variables different from one another.

    Sysco as a rule pays pretty well, but it wouldn't hurt to make a phone call to clarify before you put in your notice.
     
  16. HenryChinaski

    HenryChinaski New Member

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    Looks like they were supposed to do the DOT physical along with my drug screen but for some reason they didn't. So now Ive been given a number to call to try to get one done while I'm driving over the road in the next week. Fairly annoying since I could have just got it over with when I interviewed.

    I'm gonna call about the 16/hr. They are non-union. And I was told my yard deals with DC/Baltimore occasionally but mostly southern Maryland.
     
  17. HenryChinaski

    HenryChinaski New Member

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    It's been 1.5 weeks since I completed the DOT physical and I haven't heard anything. Tomorrow's Friday. I interviewed/did the drug screen on August 6. Is this fairly normal? Is it too soon to call and ask what's up?
     
  18. grocerythrower

    grocerythrower Super Mod

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    I would call in a heart beat, I have got a couple of jobs by showing interest, you wanna work here right?
     
  19. Lazlo

    Lazlo Active Member

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    Call them. From what I understand all this crap (background check, other new hire processing) is being done in Houston now, once they finish up they give the opco the green light to bring you on.
    Problem is there's absolutely no sense of urgency. Someone starts it, then passes it off to someone else to do the rest, they put it off a couple of days, blah blah. I know of one new hire here that took a month to get in. He'd put in notice and quit his old job, then sat at home for 2 weeks unemployed while they farted around with his paperwork. Calling your local house will probably trigger phone call to the yahoos down south to see where in the hell they're at in the process.
    Centralizing these functions was supposed to streamline everything, but this company ran better when local opco's handled local decisions and functions.
     
  20. HenryChinaski

    HenryChinaski New Member

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    Thanks for posting this, it's helped to alleviate my frustrations with this process. It's been fairly brutal so far for the exact reasons you mention. I feel like I'm dealing with 4 different people when I should be dealing with one.

    I called one of them this morning and then the other one called me back to tell me my start date when they have training classes is 09/02. He also told me not to give my 2 weeks notice until background checks were cleared. Then 2 hours later another one emailed me to tell me I should have gotten a call this morning to say my background check was clear and my start date is 09/02. So I asked if I could definitely give my two weeks notice and they said yes. I've told them all along and even put on my application that I would need to give 2 weeks notice to my current employer. I probably shouldn't and don't need to, but that's just how I roll. Plus, I need to get settled a bit and buy a cheap car. So I emailed her that I can't make 09/02 and she told me they have training classes every 2 weeks. I hope that's true. I emailed her back and told her that I guess I would have to wait to start on 09/16 then. Haven't heard back yet.

    It's just too many cooks. And they don't pay attention to anything you tell them. Like needing to give 2 weeks notice. The reason I've been bugging them so much is because I wanted to be able to start on 09/02, but they dicked around so much that I'll have to wait now. No sweat.

    You would think they don't ever hire drivers who run over the road and understand that they need firm dates.

    but yeah, I'm kinda pissed off. Not at sysco, at these third party people. I imagine this is how the whole world works now though. Still excited to start.
     

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