From Hilliard, Oh — 06/13/2009
Avi foodsystems: Not really sure how to descibe it. The starting pay rate has gone up the past few years. It was frustrating for those of us who had worked there several years, and the new hires were making 3 dollars more an hour than we were. Eventually they did come around though, and give us the same pay. I guess we should be grateful for the raise, but at the same time, if we have more experience shouldn't we get payed more than those who just started?
Respect: Not a whole lot of that going around. A job well done goes unappreciated, while if and when you do occasionally mess up you will be sure to here about it. Even though you may be 20 miles away at your next stop, you will have to go back and take care of an outdated pastry or overpriced milk, while your supervisor sits on his rear at the branch doing "paper work". A very negative tone seems to be set at the branch I worked at. I tried to stay positive, but it was hard to do.
Benefits: Actually not bad considering the price of insurance these days. They also have a 401 K plan you can get involved in. The only thing lacking is vacation. Often we were short handed and sometimes your "scheduled vacation" will have to be put on hold till further notice. Also you have to work a long time to get extra days of vacation.
Job Security: Not too bad if your a hard worker. They can't really afford to lose people, because of the high turn over rate. Avi goes through employees like no company I have ever seen. So if you are one of the few who last for more than 9 months to a year, more power to ya. I think it is a stepping stone job, for smart people who are just beginning a career, but is a job where you can easily fall into a rut in that you are so consumed with it, you have no time to look for an alternative.
Work/life Balance: Depending on what job title you have, this may be different. Route drivers at our branch started at 5 and usually got done around 2:30, give or take. Waking up that early you have to get a good afternoon nap or go to bed way early. For the supervisors it was salary pay. Which meant they could work you much longer hours, and pay you the same. Route supervisors started at 5 and ended around 4, sometimes later. Most the time the drivers were gone by that time, but branch managers and V A supervisors, who didn't start till 7 or 8 sometimes, would like to have there supervisor meetings at 2:30 or 3. So when you got out of there, and drove home it was 4 or 5. Leaving you about 4 or 5 hours with your family before you had to go to bed at 9, so you could start again at 5 the next day. Thank God we usually had the weekend off to regain some energy.
Career Growth: It's there, if you want it. Who would want to work 11 and 12 hour days as a supervisor though, when you can get payed as a route driver and make the same amount in 42 hours a week. No wonder everyone is grumpy.
Location: For me the location kinda sucked, but that was my own choosing. When gas prices were upward of 4 dollars though it was not cool driving 30+ miles to work
Co-Worker Competence: Most the time the route drivers knew more than there supervisors. Most of them had been there longer than there supervisors. A lot of times the supervisors were from a different vending company, and thought they knew what they were doing, but AVI does alot of things old school. Honestly the branch would probably run smoother with no supervisors. There is occasionally a need there I guess, but they should just leave the good route drivers alone. Don't keep raising the bar higher and higher until people break. They don't give very good raises if at all, so what is the incentive?
Work Environment: For the most part the equipment you use is ok. The trucks are usually well maintained. The coolers are a problem though. They can't be safe in the summer months. The cheese on the food usually melts before it gets in the machines. YIKES. You basically create your own work environment once you leave the branch in a route truck. If your clean and organized, your day goes a lot better than if your not. Some times stuff happens like at any job. You just gotta role with the punches and go on.
The things that made me want to get out at AVI, was mainly family time. 4 or 5 hours a night is not enough if you are a married person with kids. Also the pay is not enough to support a family without some side work or some kind of supplemental income. The benefits were ok, but not affordable, because you needed your entire pay check to survive.
AVI is a good stepping stone job, if you want to gain experience dealing with customers, and people in general. It may be a good job for a college student who can take afternoon classes too. Just don't get stuck there thinking it will get better eventually. It is what it is. Take it or leave it. Just don't fall into the rut cause it's easy to do. Before you know it your stuck there 8+ years and never know what might have been.