(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Jeff Crowl, HGR buyer)
When did you start with HGR and why?
I started with HGR on April 20, 1998. I signed on with HGR because I really liked what I did at the previous company many of us worked for and wanted to continue on that path.
What is your territory, and what do you do on a daily basis?
My territory right now is most of the eastern part of Pennsylvania and most of the state of New Jersey. In the past, at different times, I also have covered Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, upstate New York, North Carolina, and Ontario, Canada. I have bought deals from sister plants that I dealt with in Texas and California. My days start between 5 and 5:30 a.m. Depending on where I am driving to, I may or may not have time to go into my home office and do some work. Then I’ll drive to wherever I have my inspections scheduled for the day. Once there, I go through and inspect the equipment and then I’ll either head home or to a hotel. Typically I get back home between 4 and 6 p.m., and most nights have two hours or so of email to answer and/or other opportunities to follow up on.
What do you like most about your job?
What I like most about my job is probably all of the different things I see. Every day is different, every drive is different, every inspection is different, and every contact is different. Of all the companies I have visited in the last 20 years, it is amazing to me the different philosophies companies have. One company may be so clean that you could eat off the floor; others you feel like you need a shower when you leave them. One may hold on to unused equipment for many years, and others have policies that if they haven’t used it in three months they should get rid of it. But I just like that every day is different in one way or another.
What’s your greatest challenge?
My greatest challenge is and always will be the hunt for good surplus to buy. We have to keep feeding the showroom so that everyone else in the company can do their thing.
What’s your most interesting moment at HGR?
My most interesting moment at HGR. Wow, I mean it’ll be 20 years this April, so there are so many and also many that I have forgotten. I once accidently kicked a cat and really got scolded by the receptionist and once went to the house of a guy who we bought a deal from and he was not answering calls so I could get the equipment picked up. But I will go with a funny one that happened a few years back. I was in a facility where the contact showed me the equipment they were selling and left me alone and said to show myself out when I was finished. It was a nice cool day out, and as I was walking back to the front of the building there was a side door open and all I had to do was walk through the company lunch room which was being mopped by a lady. As I started to go through, she yelled over to me to be very careful because the floor was being stripped of the finish. Well, of course I saw her walking on the floor and thought for sure that being a nimble middle-aged buyer, I could do it no problem. So I kept walking and much to my surprise floor stripper is much more slick than soap and water. As soon as my feet hit that floor, they went out from under me and were instantly above my head as I landed flatly on my back and smacked my head on the floor. Embarrassed as I lay on the floor, I was trying to get up as quickly as possible so no one would see me. As I tried to prop myself up on an elbow to get up, they just kept slipping out from underneath me as I flopped around like a fish out of water. All I can remember is flopping around and hearing that woman who was stripping the floor laughing hysterically at me. After a few more flops, I was able to get to my feet and “skate” over to the side door to freedom. Bruised, battered, and my pride shaken, I walked to my car covered in the floor gel only to notice my Dell Tablet was smashed. So I then had to make the call to my manager and tell him what happened. Thankfully, he understood and thought the story was quite funny as well.
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working?
My greatest joy when not working would be spending time with my family. I have three kids — a 26-year-old son, Logan; a 23-year-old daughter, Alexa; and a 20-year-old son, Ross. Logan lives in Pittsburgh; Alexa lives in Philadelphia; and Ross has one more semester until he finishes college. So, really anything I can do to see and be with them is all I need.
Who is your hero or greatest influence/inspiration, and why?
I would have to say my father was my greatest influence on me. He passed away in March 1993 from one of the few things I can actually say I hate – cancer. But he was just one of those people who worked hard and never complained and was someone you could always go to and talk to or ask anything of. He was a speech pathologist and last worked as a supervisor of speech and hearing. He was a very honest, moral, and funny person who is greatly missed.
Anything I missed that you want everyone to know?
One other thing I would like to mention is that my girlfriend, Renee, and her three children (Maddy, Bill, and Dan) also live with me. They range from 12 to 22 years of age. We have a busy house on holidays when everyone is home, but they are all great kids and fun to be around.