Hi Terry, Thanks for sitting down with me today. Let me start by congratulating you on becoming Total’s very first female Trainer of the Quarter!
Thank you. It’s amazing. I am still in shock. As soon as they told me I called my daughter in tears. I'm like, “Oh my god, I'm trainer of the quarter! First female ever!” It’s a real honor, I'm still blown away.
How long have you been with Total?
I’ve been with Total almost 3 years and a trainer here for a little over 2. Prior to that I had been a trainer at other companies for about a decade.
What do you enjoy about being a trainer?
I like teaching people how to be safe on the road and showing them a way to make a great living. It’s great to see someone when they “get it.” It's really is like a light bulb turning on. It's just wonderful.
What qualities make a good trainer?
Patience… (Hahaha) you’ve got to have patience, and knowledge. If you take someone that's been driving for a year, and you put them as a trainer, they don't have all the experience of being over the road as long as other trainers have. I think that the best trainers have at least three or four years of making all the mistakes so they can save their students from making them on their own.
What is the most difficult part of being a trainer?
The hardest part is getting through to someone that doesn’t want to listen. If someone is really set on the way they learned something in school, that's the hardest one to teach. The hardest one to crack…. When I get someone like that I tell them that what they’ve learned in school may be helpful and then ask them to show me their way. Then I'll show them how I've been doing it for all these years. Nine times out of 10 my way is way better. When they see that, again, it's just like a light bulb.
Do you think you train students differently?
I don’t know. I train all my students the same way. The first week, all they do is drive and do their own logs but I watch them. I don't let them do any paperwork, nothing. The second week, I add more to it. The third I add more. The fourth week I just sit back, watch, and give pointers. That seems to work much better than just throwing everything at them.
You're doing a great job. We love that you're here. What is your favorite thing about Total?
Everybody here is so friendly. You can go and talk to John anytime you want. At the other companies I’ve worked for you had to make an appointment. I love John Stomps. He's awesome.
Is there anything you would say to all of our students out there as they're going through training?
I tell my students that when they get frustrated to get out and kick the tires, walk around the trailer. This is especially helpful when you're backing. You know if you get flushed because you can't get it in the spot, get out kick the tires, get back in, nine times out of 10 it works. Even I get frustrated sometimes. I'll get out and kick the tires and then put it in the spot. You're going to make mistakes, but you’ll make more when you are frustrated. So just relax and enjoy it because it's an awesome job.
Any other suggestions or advice for those trainees?
Have someone that you can call, make friends with other trainers, and have a network. If you run into a spot you’ve never been before, you can ask what it's like to have to go there. Make friends. We're all here to help.
Any advice for the trainers?
Listen to your students. They may not say it in words, but they'll say it in body language. I can usually tell within a week if my students are going to get the hang of it or not. You can tell the way they carry themselves and the way they act.
Was there anything else you want to say to any family, friends, or the Total family?
I'm so stoked!
Hahaha, thanks Terry. Keep doing what you do.