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  • Report: #296882

Complaint Review: Schwan's Home Service

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  • Submitted: Fri, January 04, 2008
  • Updated: Sat, December 29, 2012

  • Reported By:A town in Washington
Schwan's Home Service
http://www.schwans.com Marshall, Minnesota U.S.A.

Schwan's Home Service Unfair work conditions and expecations Marshall Minnesota

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Pay Schedule has changed.

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: I also worked for Schwans

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Schwans is a scam

*Consumer Comment: LET'S SET THE RECORD STRAIGHT

*Consumer Comment: A little help from a friend

*Consumer Suggestion: Quality of Life & Consistency

*Consumer Suggestion: Quality of Life & Consistency

*Author of original report: Thank you so much Tom for your reply.

*Author of original report: Thank you so much Tom for your reply.

*Author of original report: Thank you so much Tom for your reply.

*Author of original report: Thank you so much Tom for your reply.

*UPDATE Employee: A different perspective

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This report is for those who are considering employment at Schwan's Home Service. It is my intention to give people the facts. It is not to defame them. I am an employee right now, and although I am blessed to have a job, I have found that working for Schwan's makes for a very tough living and it does take away from your quality of life.

I have worked for Schwan's for nine months now. What Schwan's does is send each potential employee on a "shadow" or "ride-along" day. Typically, they will send you with one of the stars. By that I mean that they send you with a driver who runs excellent numbers. My shadow day lasted 14 hours. I arrived at the depot at 8:30 AM and I got home around 10:15 PM. The driver I rode with that day did $1400 in sales. It was a good day and I got to see what a day working for Schwan's looks like.

I was offered the job upon arriving back to the depot. I accepted and began the hiring process. I had to submit to a full background check, which was no problem at all. I then had to take a DOT physical to prove that I could handle the rigors of the job. Again, not a problem. The hiring process took about two weeks. Even though I was offered the job, it still took time to complete the full background investigation. When it was completed, I was called and given a start date. I was pretty excited. The job seemed simple to me, even though the hours were extremely long -- my shadow day seemed to fly by, even though I was in a truck for 14 hours. I was always moving and it was cool to meet other people on the route.

My training lasted eight weeks, and this is something that I have to give a great amount of credit for -- most depots, from what I have heard, do not properly train their new drivers. Once a driver shows he can pass the drive test and has a few days under his belt with another driver, they turn him loose. This only sets route managers (read: Schwan's Man) up to fail. So I am thankful that I was trained for the full eight weeks with someone that cared about my success. To this, I give my former depot a round of applause.

Upon successfully completing my training, I was turned loose to run my own set of routes. It went pretty well. I was running decent numbers, although these numbers were lower than they were previously running. This is usually unavoidable. Schwan's has an insane turnover rate. I am considered a veteran, and I have been doing this for nine months -- so maybe that lets you in on the typical employment length of most route managers. This turnover rate really hurts sells, because to be completely honest -- people do not like seeing a new person standing on their doorstep every three months. I remember people asking me, "So, how long do YOU plan on sticking around?" That is the mindset of most customers. Why should they even attempt to build a relationship with you if they feel that you will be gone in three months? If you plan on sticking with Schwan's, then you need to develop thick skin. People will be rude because they are wondering where the other guy went who used to bring them their goodies. Now, you are going to be a nuisance to them. If you prove yourself by showing up for three months in a row or so, they will begin to trust that you're someone who just might be sticking around. From the beginning, you are running up a steep hill. Proving yourself is not fun, but as I said, my routes were running decent numbers and they were steadily climbing with each visit that I paid to my customers.

This past summer, I asked my manager if I could switch one route day so that I didn't have to run a day on the 4th of July. I thought it wouldn't be a problem. I had Friday off, so I could have easily made up the day. My customers told me that I shouldn't even bother stopping because they either wouldn't be home, or they would be celebrating with family and friends. Well, my boss told me that I could not move the day and I would run it as scheduled. I did, and I sold $286 worth of product. 286 x 0.11 (Schwan's employees are paid 11% commission) = $31.46. I worked about 12 hours that day, so as you see -- I made $2.62 an hour on a HOLIDAY. Nice, huh? Now, some depot managers will let you move days around, but many won't. What company do you know that would be fine with paying their employees less than $3 an hour on a holiday? Schwan's would and does. I knew before that day even started that it was a complete waste of time. Who wants to see their Schwan's Man on a holiday? I was thankful that most of them understood that I did not want to be there anymore than they did, but it didn't help sales. It is ridiculous that Schwan's does not provide a minimum guarantee for their employees who work holidays. Schwan's has their employees run days on New Year's, the 4th of July, Labor Day, Memorial Day, Halloween and Christmas Eve. I might even be forgetting some. It's all about the bottom dollar.

How about the time that you don't get paid? I arrive to work at 8:30 in the morning. I pre-trip my truck and get ready for the day -- this usually takes about 20 minutes. On more than one occassion I have arrived to work at 7 in the morning to take my truck to a shop to have it inspected. I once sat there for four hours while my truck was fixed. No pay for that, and I missed four hours of my route where I could have been out making money. I guess your time is not money. You also have to do your bank deposit at the end of the day and drive to the bank to drop it off. I'd say on a regular day, I spend an hour doing tidious things (they do have to get done, but still) that I, nor any other driver get paid for.

Let's talk more about the pay at Schwan's. They pay you a $120 a day guarantee when you start working for them -- some depots a little higher, some lower. The average day lasts 12-14 hours. So at most, you are making $10 an hour. For me, it was decent money and I was fine with it. I knew when I got my route that the potential to make more was there. When I got on my route, I was making anywhere from $80 to $250 a day in commission ($250 was the exception, not the rule). I started in one of the best depots in the corporation numbers-wise. I had probably the third or fourth best route, and I made about $2400 a month after taxes. Not terrible money, but let's not confuse it with good money.

Let's break it down some more... Each depot has at least one driver who runs great numbers -- some depots have drivers who run deuces ($2000+ in sales). That is cranking. If you're running that, you're doing very well for yourself, and it also means that you have been with the company for years and you have developed an awesome relationship with your customers. They know exactly when you're coming and they can nail down a time window of about 10-20 minutes of when you will arrive. Guys like this are to be applauded because they have given this job their all and have put in some serious hours. But how much money are they really making? If a driver is running 2 grand a day, he is making 13 percent in commission (Chairman's Club). 2000 x 0.13 = $260 a day. A guy I know puts in 14 hours a day like clockwork, and he averages $2000. He works four days per week. That equals out 56 hours per week. Now, let's take his weekly commission -- $1040 a week before taxes. Now, the guy I am talking about has been with Schwan's for 14 years, so keep that in mind.

1040 x 4 (four weeks in a month) = $4160 per month before taxes.

4160 x 12 (12 months in a year) = $49920 per year. Now, that is a loose figure, so leave $2000 or $3000 there either way for margin of error.

Now, let's factor in the hours. As I said, the guy I am talking about works 14 hour days.

14 x 4 = 56 hours per week.

56 x 4 (4 weeks in a year) = 224 hours worked per month.

224 x 12 (12 months in a year) = 2688 hours worked per year.

Let's see how much a route manager makes per hour. Not just ANY route manager, but a route manager that runs awesome numbers -- some of the best in the whole corporation.

49920 / 2688 = An hourly wage of $18.57 an hour. Again, leave a dollar each way for margin of error. This is not an exact science. So, one of the best in the corporation, who has been with the company for 14 years, makes $18.57 an hour -- roughly the same amount that a Costco employee would make after two years -- and here's the kicker: working a lot less hours! They also get paid holidays. Schwan's employees do not.

Customer Service Manager's (read: Your Schwan's Man) are the reason that Schwan's is a Fortune 500 company. The suits in the corporations are the guys who have college degrees and make their decisions from afar. Most of them have never managed their own route or been on a truck. Yet, they make all the decisions.

So, if you want to work for Schwan's, get a few things straight first:

They will fill your heart and eyes with stars. You hear of the 'flexible' hours and income potential. You hear about the management potential. If Schwan's offered all of these great things, then why on earth would they need to advertise that they are hiring on every single truck that runs a route? You would think finding a job with Schwan's would be mighty scarce if these promises were being fulfilled. The problem is is that they are not.

If you like spending time with your family, do not work for Schwan's. If you're highly motivated and love working long hours, then by all means, go for it. If you're young and single, it might be the gig for you. If you can face daily rejection and the feeling of having your very livelihood depend on whether a person's freezer is full, then by all means, go for it. If you enjoy working holidays and not being fairly compensated for it, then go for it. If you enjoy people hiding from you when they see you roll up, then have it at it, ace. Just remember: a sucker is born every minute. Most of them work in commission sales with a very low ceiling for companies like Schwan's who nickel and dime their employees and have an astronomical turnover rate.

Schwan's Home Service will cease to exist in the coming years IF they don't find a way to pay their employees livable wages. Remember, the guy I outlined above is a star player and someone all other drivers look up to -- so I took a very positive sample size and presented you with cold hard facts on what a star with this company makes. Not much more than a Costco box boy who has been with the company two years while finishing his college degree. If you think I'm exaggerating, I'm not. I am telling it like it is. This is how life with Schwan's works. I would guess that the average driver works no less than 60 hours per week and takes home about 30K per year after taxes. I won't do the math for you on that one. But can you say: Less than minimum wage in most states?

Daniel
A town in, Washington
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 01/04/2008 12:49 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Schwans-Home-Service/Marshall-Minnesota/Schwans-Home-Service-Unfair-work-conditions-and-expecations-Marshall-Minnesota-296882. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Pay Schedule has changed.

AUTHOR: Paul - (United States of America)

I have already posted on this site.... but noticed that the pay schedule talked about here has been dramatically changed.   So though this person spent much time explaining how things work.. it is different.  I would say worse.
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#2 UPDATE EX-employee responds

I also worked for Schwans

AUTHOR: Jamie - (U.S.A.)

I'm not sure where to start but here goes. I was an employee of schwans from april 2003 to nov. 2007 MN. I will start with my first day. I did the ride along day with the LGM because they were so short handed the LGM was running the routes. Like I herd from others on here I was fed the glits and glam. Soon there after I was thrown in the truck. Never went to schwans univesity or the eight weeks of training. I road with one route driver for one week and was on my own.

The Lgm at that time (we went through three in the time I was there) told me no matter what to get the routes done and be there every two weeks. The routes that I took was a 5 and 4 that were averaging 1010 per day. Six of these route days it took an hour and a half to get to my first stop. Witch I was not paid for. At first did not bother me. I had to learn on my own what needed to be done to make my routes run better numbers. I started stopping at new houses, carring products to the door, asking current customers for new customers and so on and so forth. It didn't take long and a year went by. Then schwans came out with the $1 fuel surcharge. I lost alot of customers that I worked so hard to get. I will not forget that day I went on my route and got door after door slammed in my face after telling them about the new charge. I went from having 46 BC's (buying customers) to 30BC's per day in a matter of a 2 week call back. It took a while before some of them came back. Some of them I even offered to pay the $1 for them just to keep there business. After a year of that Schwans decided to drop the $1 surcharge for our district. I managed to get most of those customers back plus a few more. For anyone out there that wants to tell me I didn't try go right ahead and think what you want. After that whole mess I was just plane old getting burnt out. I gave and gave and got nothing back but a bad paycheck and a couple of placks. The people that work there right now more power to you. Schwans took all of mine.
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#3 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Schwans is a scam

AUTHOR: Steve - (U.S.A.)

A couple points:

Schwans is generally around $8 per hour

no sick days

no paid holidays

no advancement

if someone works for Schwans as an alternative to jobs that they can get for $7 per hour-I feel sorry for you.

upgrade your education-there's better jobs and a lot better companies to work for.

you certainly do not get what you put in-13hr days to Schwans

anyone who gets their 11% of gross sales for the week-looks back at all those hours-pathetic benefits-and feels it is worth it must live in another area of the USA than the rest of us.

Schwans is 3rd rate, and crooked as well.
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#4 Consumer Comment

LET'S SET THE RECORD STRAIGHT

AUTHOR: Margaret - (U.S.A.)

SALES JOBS SHOULD BE ELIMINATED, PERIOD!

If a salary is paid, that is a much more incentive to working any job. When I was just out of high school and had to have a job to live while I pursued other interests and additional education, I applied at several major mall dept. stores. After interviewing and finding out you had to make comission and end up getting paid less than, I took a job in a large discount store. At least there I knew I had a wage and 35 hours a week to be able to move out and get an apartment.
Sales positions are utterly ridiculous!! Why should someone have to make sales when they are delivering. They are a DELIVERY PERSON, not a sales person. Let some suit sit in the office and do that.

I would never work in any kind of sales where I had approach people for business. If the business can't sell itself by not hounding people then the business should be out of business.

Sorry, but that is just the way I feel. I don't like being followed around Dillards, Macy's, etc asked over and over again " Can I Help you"! If I need help, I will find someone, if not leave me alone to think and make my purchases wisely!!
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#5 Consumer Comment

A little help from a friend

AUTHOR: Anonymous - (U.S.A.)

I just wanted to say that I can understand your frustration. My husband recentally became a CSM at Schwans. He was told he would be working on flex run. For the past 2 days, he has been putting in 14 hour days playing catch up because they have been so short staffed. Some of the customers haven't seen their CSM for 6 weeks!! It is very frustrating considering this was a job where he thought he would be home more than his previous.

The good news is that he loves his job. The area we live in offers jobs at $7 an hour. It makes it hard for anyone with a family to be able to survive. Schwans opened a door of opportunity for him where all the other doors had been closed. He has sold over $1000 a day on his first 3 days alone. He has lead his depot at news at the door and the promotional sales. We are looking forward to seeing our income potential grow where it could not grow before.

We are very leery, while my husband is having $1000 days, his flex partner is having $400 days. It is very frustrating to us that my husband is going to fill this guys pockets, while the other guy is leaving my husband behind.
I know that he has only been there a short time, but thinking about it, this is the best job for him and many others in our area. You get out of it what you put into it. If you just stay positive and use the tools that Schwans has given you, you can do well and accomplish anything.

This year my husband is shooting for a grand slam and I have no doubts in my mind that he will accomplish it ( with a little push from his wife). I wish you the best of luck and don't give up, you can accomplish what you set your mind to. If you think you are going to have a bad day, you are. Only you can determine you happiness and your income potiental.
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#6 Consumer Suggestion

Quality of Life & Consistency

AUTHOR: Big Sam - (U.S.A.)

Daniel is right on with his report. This may not hold true for the entire country, but certain districts/regions do suffer from what Daniel mentioned.
We have been loyal Schwan's customers for many years and like many, had the same driver up until a couple years ago. We noticed something changed in the company or management. Suddenly, drivers appeared at our door different hours of the day, sometimes they wouldn't stop, but we watched them drive by our house. We did our part and called Schwan's, they gave us a depot #, but then that was just a recording. Our neighbors have also mentioned the "Now Hiring" signs on the trucks... been there for at least 18 months.
Since our Christmas dinner internet preorder was not delivered AT ALL, we've dropped service & have decided on alternative companies. Our friends have decided the same.
Our original driver mentioned the long hours & time away from his family. So we did tip him & always had our list ready. In today's world, it will be very hard for Schwan's to survive in some metro areas due to the fast paced lifestyles, competition, bad reputation & from what we've experience, the lack of customer satisfaction.
One of our drivers (he lasted 3 visits) mentioned a revolving door being installed at his depot. And unrealistic sales goals coupled with poor business decisions. He did bring new items to the door & we liked that... but one day no one stopped, so we immediately thought: "Well, there goes another one."
Maybe the men/women who have the great routes & have the experience do great w/ Schwan's... but what about the new employees, who must deal with customers like us who have been burned & have no faith in the Schwan's delivery service.
Is it a "oh well, there's enough people in this world, who cares if we piss off this customer. NEXT!"
Negative word of mouth will always damage, often kill a business, regardless how big or how long in existence.
Daniel, for the sake of your family & your sanity, if you haven't already, save yourself the pain & stress... get the resume out there!
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#7 Consumer Suggestion

Quality of Life & Consistency

AUTHOR: Big Sam - (U.S.A.)

Daniel is right on with his report. This may not hold true for the entire country, but certain districts/regions do suffer from what Daniel mentioned.
We have been loyal Schwan's customers for many years and like many, had the same driver up until a couple years ago. We noticed something changed in the company or management. Suddenly, drivers appeared at our door different hours of the day, sometimes they wouldn't stop, but we watched them drive by our house. We did our part and called Schwan's, they gave us a depot #, but then that was just a recording. Our neighbors have also mentioned the "Now Hiring" signs on the trucks... been there for at least 18 months.
Since our Christmas dinner internet preorder was not delivered AT ALL, we've dropped service & have decided on alternative companies. Our friends have decided the same.
Our original driver mentioned the long hours & time away from his family. So we did tip him & always had our list ready. In today's world, it will be very hard for Schwan's to survive in some metro areas due to the fast paced lifestyles, competition, bad reputation & from what we've experience, the lack of customer satisfaction.
One of our drivers (he lasted 3 visits) mentioned a revolving door being installed at his depot. And unrealistic sales goals coupled with poor business decisions. He did bring new items to the door & we liked that... but one day no one stopped, so we immediately thought: "Well, there goes another one."
Maybe the men/women who have the great routes & have the experience do great w/ Schwan's... but what about the new employees, who must deal with customers like us who have been burned & have no faith in the Schwan's delivery service.
Is it a "oh well, there's enough people in this world, who cares if we piss off this customer. NEXT!"
Negative word of mouth will always damage, often kill a business, regardless how big or how long in existence.
Daniel, for the sake of your family & your sanity, if you haven't already, save yourself the pain & stress... get the resume out there!
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#8 Author of original report

Thank you so much Tom for your reply.

AUTHOR: Bigsmooth - (U.S.A.)

Tom,

First of all, I would sincerely like to thank you for your response. Truth be told, I was pretty bummed out on the night I wrote it. I had my worst day ever (other than working last year's 4th of July) and did $314 in sales. What I now realize is that I have NOT been doing everything I can do be successful at this job. Do I carry to the door? No. I honestly don't, and I don't know why. Maybe it is because I feel my customer's will look at me as a salesman if I do that.

I usually have good NATD numbers, but I know they can be better if I start carrying. You are right. Warm doors? None, to speak of. I do not like to build. The main reason? I am afraid of going to someone's house to try and get them on the route. Yes, that is stupid. I know part of my job is doing this. If you could offer me any advice on this, I would love it. When I trained, we did not do any building. My SS trained me and he did an awesome job, but building was something that we did not do. As far as rounding out meals. I do that, but not as much as I should.

You gave me a dose of reality and I really appreciate it. I know that there are things I could be doing to improve my route. I do like working for Schwan's; that is what is so maddening. I am a likable guy and all I have heard from people is that they enjoy me, but there are people who have been turned off to Schwan's do to the turnover. I need to do a better job of trimming the fat off of my route and finding out who wants to be a customer, and focus on building. Another thing: I work for two awesome individuals. My LGM and SS are great guys who want us to succeed. It hurts to think that I could leave them high and dry if things don't start looking up, because I think they have high aspirations from me because I transferred from a squared away depot and was running good numbers.

There is a fear that I need to get over... and that is the fear of rejection. I hate the feeling of feeling that I am a nuiscance to someone, and unfortunately with this new route, I do feel that way at times.

Oh, and about my math... Well, there are 52 weeks in a year, but I was taking into consideration vacation and holiday time (our depot lets us push the days up so we can have a week off during Christmas and New Year's). I know we get paid for vacation, so that was my bad.

I feel Schwan's is a tough company to work for, but many of my words in the original post were off the mark due to frustrations I was feeling at the time. I also feel it is a good company to work for. Please do not think that I compound the problem of turnover. I am not ready to give up on this job yet. I plan to implement new things to my route, such as carrying to the door, more building and even creating my own website for my route. I do have high goals and I want to it to work; I was just feeling the growing pressure and mounting frustration. That is an issue of maturity, and I am learning. Slowly, but learning.

Please offer more advice if you have any... I am scheduled to get on an Excellence route by May, but my partner and I have to improve our routes before we can do it. I would say my route averages about $700 right now. Three or four years ago, it was a club route that ran awesome numbers. It was abused between then, though I don't mean that as an excuse -- it's just reality. I want to get it back and be successful. Please offer any more words or advice, or you can e-mail me directly (((ROR removed for security purposes)))

Thanks, Tom!

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#9 Author of original report

Thank you so much Tom for your reply.

AUTHOR: Bigsmooth - (U.S.A.)

Tom,

First of all, I would sincerely like to thank you for your response. Truth be told, I was pretty bummed out on the night I wrote it. I had my worst day ever (other than working last year's 4th of July) and did $314 in sales. What I now realize is that I have NOT been doing everything I can do be successful at this job. Do I carry to the door? No. I honestly don't, and I don't know why. Maybe it is because I feel my customer's will look at me as a salesman if I do that.

I usually have good NATD numbers, but I know they can be better if I start carrying. You are right. Warm doors? None, to speak of. I do not like to build. The main reason? I am afraid of going to someone's house to try and get them on the route. Yes, that is stupid. I know part of my job is doing this. If you could offer me any advice on this, I would love it. When I trained, we did not do any building. My SS trained me and he did an awesome job, but building was something that we did not do. As far as rounding out meals. I do that, but not as much as I should.

You gave me a dose of reality and I really appreciate it. I know that there are things I could be doing to improve my route. I do like working for Schwan's; that is what is so maddening. I am a likable guy and all I have heard from people is that they enjoy me, but there are people who have been turned off to Schwan's do to the turnover. I need to do a better job of trimming the fat off of my route and finding out who wants to be a customer, and focus on building. Another thing: I work for two awesome individuals. My LGM and SS are great guys who want us to succeed. It hurts to think that I could leave them high and dry if things don't start looking up, because I think they have high aspirations from me because I transferred from a squared away depot and was running good numbers.

There is a fear that I need to get over... and that is the fear of rejection. I hate the feeling of feeling that I am a nuiscance to someone, and unfortunately with this new route, I do feel that way at times.

Oh, and about my math... Well, there are 52 weeks in a year, but I was taking into consideration vacation and holiday time (our depot lets us push the days up so we can have a week off during Christmas and New Year's). I know we get paid for vacation, so that was my bad.

I feel Schwan's is a tough company to work for, but many of my words in the original post were off the mark due to frustrations I was feeling at the time. I also feel it is a good company to work for. Please do not think that I compound the problem of turnover. I am not ready to give up on this job yet. I plan to implement new things to my route, such as carrying to the door, more building and even creating my own website for my route. I do have high goals and I want to it to work; I was just feeling the growing pressure and mounting frustration. That is an issue of maturity, and I am learning. Slowly, but learning.

Please offer more advice if you have any... I am scheduled to get on an Excellence route by May, but my partner and I have to improve our routes before we can do it. I would say my route averages about $700 right now. Three or four years ago, it was a club route that ran awesome numbers. It was abused between then, though I don't mean that as an excuse -- it's just reality. I want to get it back and be successful. Please offer any more words or advice, or you can e-mail me directly (((ROR removed for security purposes)))

Thanks, Tom!

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#10 Author of original report

Thank you so much Tom for your reply.

AUTHOR: Bigsmooth - (U.S.A.)

Tom,

First of all, I would sincerely like to thank you for your response. Truth be told, I was pretty bummed out on the night I wrote it. I had my worst day ever (other than working last year's 4th of July) and did $314 in sales. What I now realize is that I have NOT been doing everything I can do be successful at this job. Do I carry to the door? No. I honestly don't, and I don't know why. Maybe it is because I feel my customer's will look at me as a salesman if I do that.

I usually have good NATD numbers, but I know they can be better if I start carrying. You are right. Warm doors? None, to speak of. I do not like to build. The main reason? I am afraid of going to someone's house to try and get them on the route. Yes, that is stupid. I know part of my job is doing this. If you could offer me any advice on this, I would love it. When I trained, we did not do any building. My SS trained me and he did an awesome job, but building was something that we did not do. As far as rounding out meals. I do that, but not as much as I should.

You gave me a dose of reality and I really appreciate it. I know that there are things I could be doing to improve my route. I do like working for Schwan's; that is what is so maddening. I am a likable guy and all I have heard from people is that they enjoy me, but there are people who have been turned off to Schwan's do to the turnover. I need to do a better job of trimming the fat off of my route and finding out who wants to be a customer, and focus on building. Another thing: I work for two awesome individuals. My LGM and SS are great guys who want us to succeed. It hurts to think that I could leave them high and dry if things don't start looking up, because I think they have high aspirations from me because I transferred from a squared away depot and was running good numbers.

There is a fear that I need to get over... and that is the fear of rejection. I hate the feeling of feeling that I am a nuiscance to someone, and unfortunately with this new route, I do feel that way at times.

Oh, and about my math... Well, there are 52 weeks in a year, but I was taking into consideration vacation and holiday time (our depot lets us push the days up so we can have a week off during Christmas and New Year's). I know we get paid for vacation, so that was my bad.

I feel Schwan's is a tough company to work for, but many of my words in the original post were off the mark due to frustrations I was feeling at the time. I also feel it is a good company to work for. Please do not think that I compound the problem of turnover. I am not ready to give up on this job yet. I plan to implement new things to my route, such as carrying to the door, more building and even creating my own website for my route. I do have high goals and I want to it to work; I was just feeling the growing pressure and mounting frustration. That is an issue of maturity, and I am learning. Slowly, but learning.

Please offer more advice if you have any... I am scheduled to get on an Excellence route by May, but my partner and I have to improve our routes before we can do it. I would say my route averages about $700 right now. Three or four years ago, it was a club route that ran awesome numbers. It was abused between then, though I don't mean that as an excuse -- it's just reality. I want to get it back and be successful. Please offer any more words or advice, or you can e-mail me directly (((ROR removed for security purposes)))

Thanks, Tom!

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#11 Author of original report

Thank you so much Tom for your reply.

AUTHOR: Bigsmooth - (U.S.A.)

Tom,

First of all, I would sincerely like to thank you for your response. Truth be told, I was pretty bummed out on the night I wrote it. I had my worst day ever (other than working last year's 4th of July) and did $314 in sales. What I now realize is that I have NOT been doing everything I can do be successful at this job. Do I carry to the door? No. I honestly don't, and I don't know why. Maybe it is because I feel my customer's will look at me as a salesman if I do that.

I usually have good NATD numbers, but I know they can be better if I start carrying. You are right. Warm doors? None, to speak of. I do not like to build. The main reason? I am afraid of going to someone's house to try and get them on the route. Yes, that is stupid. I know part of my job is doing this. If you could offer me any advice on this, I would love it. When I trained, we did not do any building. My SS trained me and he did an awesome job, but building was something that we did not do. As far as rounding out meals. I do that, but not as much as I should.

You gave me a dose of reality and I really appreciate it. I know that there are things I could be doing to improve my route. I do like working for Schwan's; that is what is so maddening. I am a likable guy and all I have heard from people is that they enjoy me, but there are people who have been turned off to Schwan's do to the turnover. I need to do a better job of trimming the fat off of my route and finding out who wants to be a customer, and focus on building. Another thing: I work for two awesome individuals. My LGM and SS are great guys who want us to succeed. It hurts to think that I could leave them high and dry if things don't start looking up, because I think they have high aspirations from me because I transferred from a squared away depot and was running good numbers.

There is a fear that I need to get over... and that is the fear of rejection. I hate the feeling of feeling that I am a nuiscance to someone, and unfortunately with this new route, I do feel that way at times.

Oh, and about my math... Well, there are 52 weeks in a year, but I was taking into consideration vacation and holiday time (our depot lets us push the days up so we can have a week off during Christmas and New Year's). I know we get paid for vacation, so that was my bad.

I feel Schwan's is a tough company to work for, but many of my words in the original post were off the mark due to frustrations I was feeling at the time. I also feel it is a good company to work for. Please do not think that I compound the problem of turnover. I am not ready to give up on this job yet. I plan to implement new things to my route, such as carrying to the door, more building and even creating my own website for my route. I do have high goals and I want to it to work; I was just feeling the growing pressure and mounting frustration. That is an issue of maturity, and I am learning. Slowly, but learning.

Please offer more advice if you have any... I am scheduled to get on an Excellence route by May, but my partner and I have to improve our routes before we can do it. I would say my route averages about $700 right now. Three or four years ago, it was a club route that ran awesome numbers. It was abused between then, though I don't mean that as an excuse -- it's just reality. I want to get it back and be successful. Please offer any more words or advice, or you can e-mail me directly (((ROR removed for security purposes)))

Thanks, Tom!

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#12 UPDATE Employee

A different perspective

AUTHOR: Tom - (U.S.A.)

I would like to start my statements by saying it sounds to me like you need to find a new job. If you are truly this miserable that at 1 am you are typing into this website to vent your concerns, you are truly unhappy. Life is too short to be this bitter and miserable about your job every day. I would suggest that since it is the weekend that you get the sunday paper, look on line at career websites and get yourself a new career. From the sounds of it any job that pays $8.00 per hour would cover your pay and make you far happier.

I have been an employee of Schwan's Home Service now for the past 4+ years. I started my career as a CSM just as yourself and most people in the Home Service side of the company have. As a matter of fact I know that majority of all management above CSM's in Home Service started in a yellow truck just as you are. I do agree with you concerns of the long hours that our CSM's must work. However that was made clearly evident to you on you initial ride day from the sounds of it.

When you break down the math that you used to explain your ride day you would have realized that what you did that day would have only paid you approximately $12.50 per hour for each of the 14 hours you worked that day which does include your bonus used in your example.

However, it is clearly evident that math isn't your strong suit since in a year you only fiugre that every month has 4 weeks and with 12 months that only equates to 48 weeks. Last I check we still have 52 weeks every year.

Schwan's is a job that you get out of it what you put into it. We do tell all of our employees that it is a strictly comissioned base job from the beginning. If you aren't comfortable with your pay being based on your ability to sell food then you should not have taken the job.

I personally took over a set of route that we averaging about $800 per day. In my first year I grew my routes into the "top in company" type route you speak of. I was a chairman club level driver and accomplished the "grand slam". I was also able to do so my second year by not working nearly as hard as I did my first and giving myself about a 10% raise that year. I was then promoted into a sales supervisor position with the company helping to teach and coach others as to how to be successful with Schwan's.

After doing that for 10 months I was able to take over my own depot as a General Manager. I have now moved back to my original depot as the LGM. I have a true "veteran" staff. The average years of experience of my 20 CSM's is over 6 years. And that number has been affected by at least 3 individuals being promoted in recent years.

I am part of a region of change for the corporation. You were offered "flexibility" which we do really have at my depot and in my region. All of our employees have the option of working some or all "flex days" with a partner. They can work from either 7-4 or 2-11, & they alternate shift per week. They then are able to have more time off and be with there families. They make comission of the entire route days sales. Pretty sweet deal to get paid while you are at home spending time with your family. Your concern about holiday's is well understood.

Unfortunately we are in the Customer Service business, hence our title CSM. We need to provide a service to our customers wether it be on the holiday or not. I do know that most depots you can make up any holiday on another day. Unfortunately due to truck avalibility it might be on a Saturday and not on your "day off" of Friday.

I guess I would like to pose a question to everyone. If Schwan's was such a horrible company then why have they been doing home service delivery for 55 years now? I don't dispute the amount of high turnover that we have. Unfortunately it is individuals like yourself that help compund that problem. It really takes 1 full year of being assigned to a route to establish a relationship with your customers. Too many new CSM's like yourserlf get too frustrated at about the 6 month point, hmmm imagine that you are at 7 months since training, and quit. It does take time to build that relationship with your customers and for them to trust you. We do have an excellent pilot program now that will help our CSM's pay during this period while still putting expectations of growth upon their weekly performance.

I would like to conclude by asking you Daniel if you have done all of the things that you were trained to due during your initial eight weeks? Do you carry to every door every time? Do you promote the NATD to increase your income? How many warm doors do you get on a daily basis? Now many new customers do you add on a daily basis? Do you round out every meal? Do you ask for referrals from your existing customers? How do you increae your customers buying frequency. Do you use grocery lists and day dots? Do you properly educate your customers on our catalog? Do all of your customers know what's on sale every time your their? I think the place that you need to start Daneil is with the man in the mirror. If you can't honestly answer yes to all of these above questions that you truly haven't given this career everything you can. If you are not willing to do all of these things every day then I will stand by my open paragraph's suggestion. Find yourself a new job that you will be happier and more successful at. I wish you best of luck in whatever you decide to do.
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