Working alone in the field was nice, but some of the management is contemptuous.
With some of the field work, you get to work independently and the compensation for what you do is okay, though it could be better. The work is relatively simple, and most of the time, easy to perform. You get to travel and see a lot of interesting places. The office building itself looks very nice, very stylish and creative.
The receptionist was one of the nicest, coolest people in the company, and would actually help you. Some of the drivers there were also very cool, very helpful. Some, not so helpful, it was a mixture, as in other walks of life. I had no raises in pay in the time I worked there (2 years), though they had a per diem program that was pretty healthy.
The original driver management back in 2008 was very cool and respectful. When I first started, I had an incident in which I stayed at a very low budget hotel. In my first two hours there, I experienced people kicking on my door, drugs being smoked in the hall, fights in the parking lot, a gun going off, and police arriving. Management pulled me out of there immediately and put me up in a place 50 miles from my work area, and paid me for the extra mileage without extending my hours at all. That was awesome. Business boomed under old management, from what I could tell.
Heres the not-so-good. After awhile, new management came in. Why there was a turnover in management, I couldnt say. I was put up at awful hotels again, putting me in a physically dangerous position, potentially putting my life in danger. I communicated to them in writing not to do it again. The new management ignored it, in order to save a couple of bucks. Then, they later did it again, and I sent emails to them that this sort of thing interfered with my work performance (its hard to sleep at night with a lot of commotion going on outside the door).
The new driver manager replied by email, criticizing me severely for my correspondence and put my phrase interferes with my work performance in quotation marks, adding insult to injury. Eventually, the company put me on "on-call" status after this, which meant I was effectively being fired. This also meant I had to turn in my company phone and use my personal phone. Shortly thereafter, I received a termination notice in the mail from the company. It said that they had contacted me for work and left a message and that I hadn't responded within 24 hours. I in fact did get a voice mail from the company--three days after they had said they had called me. So it was a setup. I was being punished, for no legitimate reason.
A few of the managers I had at Do It Outdoors were contemptuous of the employees, especially the employees who have done the most for them, who put in the most work, without complaining. Under the new management, some of the less-than-willing-to-work there were allowed to skate by. I felt I was the best employee that company ever had. Though I received an outstanding review in almost all categories, I was told that a couple of people had said my work performance was not up to par, which was very untrue (I had gone so far as to work in 15 degree weather with 35 mph winds, without complaint. And did a great job). The company refused to tell me who made the accusation that my work was not up to par, even though it was my right to know.
Additionally the new management proceeded to blame me for an incident in which I was attacked by a criminal in a car. Their attitude was that the employee is automatically wrong. Also, the new driver manager refers to the drivers as kidsand this is to their faces, or during phone meetings. Many of the people who you will be working with there (Im talking about the driver manager, the asst. driver manager, as well as the trip planner) are very incompetent. They are incredibly stupid, and whats more, they want to lord their stupidity over youyou end up feeling like you have to dumb yourself down just to get along there.
When I worked with Do It Outdoors, they did business with truck road service companies that were an absolute nightmare. Case in point: I was once stranded on the side of the interstate in 5 degree weather (due to a mechanical failure that could have been easily and inexpensively prevented, and which the company knew about) and called their breakdown service. The people on the other end were robotic and wanted a long list of information from me, then wanted to spend time verifying the information while I froze half to death (this happened more than once, often in extremely cold conditions). Also, with one of their breakdown services, I gave absolutely crystal clear instructions on where I was located (True example: Im on Interstate ____ at mile marker ____ and Im about 200 yards east of the overpass for another interstate, Interstate _____). Even then, they had zero idea of how to figure out where I was, and it took them 20 minutes to decide how to find me. When I reported all of this to management, they ignored it. Keep this in mind before you put your life in their hands.
Approach or Avoid
I would avoid this place altogether like the plague. If the original management was back in there I might consider going back, under certain conditions. But this is a company going down, if they arent already in the trash heap.
Basically, keep your mouth shut. Have absolute minimum contact with the driver manager, the asst. driver manager, or the trip planner. If you contact management, make sure its the Operations manager who was over the driver manager when I was there. Log every conversation, save every email. Think about what youre going to say before you ever send an email, before you ever call them. Also, as a driver, you may at some point be attacked by someone with road rage, and through no fault of your own. Call the police immediately. Then, send an email to the Ops Mgr. stating what happened, and only deal with that person. Do not deal with the driver manager.
You can have a good time at this company if you do those things, you get to stay in hotels and you have some free time to yourself. But dont expect the business to be steady, its most definitely not.
Suggestions for improvement:
Upper management should stop putting middle management between a rock and hard place. You were (apparently) making money before. What was wrong with that? Go for solid growth, not ultra-fast growth.
Get rid of all managers who are involved in the driving department. They have no respect for the guys and ladies who are making the company money.
Also, dont ever put your employees in sub-par hotels. Spend the extra $20-30 for something nicelike Extended Stay America. Its not about putting drivers up in the lap of luxury. Rather, its about basic, clean living conditions. Youll gain more money (and the employees respect) if you do.
Go through every piece of equipment and replace the old worn out parts (and they have a lot of them). This will translate into making things easier, gaining more respect from drivers.
Get road service companies who know how to use common sense, and who put the safety of your employees first.
Get rid of many of the lead drivers. Many of them are blowhards who have no idea of how to deal with people. Hire cool people who know how to deal with people, who can inspire respect without forcing it.
Lastlyget rid of the Human Resources Department, completely. Why are they even there to begin with? They are like the Gestapoand its all so unnecessary. BTW, I am someone who has successfully run 2 companies. I know what Im talking about. I hope someone out there who is considering working for this company reads this and benefits from it. Hopefully, theyll think twice before working there.