“Do you know anything about material handling or pallet racking?”

In my first interview, I was asked this question.  Now, in most interviews, you might consider that a make it or break it kind of question.  And in most interviews, I would have an answer prepared for this sort of inquiry.  After all, why would I be sitting in an interview if I didn’t have the first clue about the industry in which the business operates… Right?  Wrong.

A Day In The Life Of A Rookie“Actually, no.  I don’t have any previous knowledge or experience with material handling.”

I was positive this sort of response was going to hurt me, but luckily, my interviewer, Nate Storey, said, “That’s okay. Almost no one comes into this business knowing anything about pallet racking or material handling.  It usually takes about 6 months for people to understand everything.”

Phew.  Really?  Well, sign me up, I thought.

After a second interview, and much deliberation, I decided to accept the job with Storage Solutions.  Before starting, I decided to do more in-depth research on the industry so I could get a head start before my first day.  During my research, it occurred to me that this business isn’t extremely difficult.

So going in to my first day I knew:

  1. A pallet is a pallet.
  2. A beam is a beam.

Six months to learn everything.  How difficult could it really be, right? Wrong.  Again.

It occurrs to me early on that material handling and pallet racking is much more detailed than it appears.  A pallet isn’t just a pallet and a beam definitely isn’t just a beam.  Connections, uprights, braces, shelving, decking… there’s A LOT to learn.

The type of business Storage Solutions does was best described to me by CFO Bill Beeker when he said,

pallet rack“This isn’t a sexy business, but it’s still needed.”

This made sense to me.  The type of work Storage Solutions does isn’t flashy or noticeable… but it’s important.  We provide something certain companies have to have.

Now, my first eight days have gone by and I’ve learned a lot about the industry but have still barely scratched the surface.

Other Things I’ve Learned In My First 8 Days:

  1. Ball State University alumni rule this office, with Wabash coming in a distant second!
  2. A few employees of Storage Solutions were actually in the same fraternity at BSU. (Sigma Chi)
  3. I work with friendly, helpful people who want this business to succeed and grow.

I still have a lot more to learn, and who knows, maybe six months from now I’ll look back on this first blog and realize I was wrong about even the small things I thought I knew! I guess we’ll see…

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