Annetta’s supreme negotiation skills—a good humored, maternal, this-is-how-it-is approach—have earned Houston a laudable multi-year streak for efficient distribution during her time as Kloeckner Metals Houston Mesa‘s Transportation Coordinator.
At 24 years with Kloeckner, Annetta plays an uplifting role in a successful work culture that gets the right product to customers on time. How does she do it? She builds relationships.
Over the years, Annetta has bonded with drivers on whom she depends for timely deliveries. In fact, before she was a Transportation Coordinator, she was a driver herself. This common ground certainly lays a solid foundation for authentic relationships, but her motherly persona reinforces connections.
They laugh and check in with each other. One driver even calls her “Auntie Annetta.” Laughing, she said, “I just let him call me that.” Being held so dearly pushes the business act of setting delivery rates into a more flexible realm – Annetta secures the best rates in town.
In addition to modeling the importance of relationship building, Annetta pulls everyone together toward a common goal. There’s no guessing where you stand with her, or how she expects you to act. She’s firm and cuts to the chase. But, she does so with such palpable warmth that you’re inspired to work hard and, more importantly, to work smart.
For example, Annetta describes the shipping floor as “the final checkpoint.” She stresses the importance of thinking logically through any problems that come up.
“You have to tell the difference in product,” she insists, “and be able to deduce things like – if a delivery is supposed to be ½ inch steel it should weigh x and if you go to weigh the truck and it’s off, that should be an indication that you need to check something out: is it the wrong kind of steel? or is there just not enough of it?”
To increase the likelihood of a good negotiation, knowing metal through complexities of thicknesses and grades is about as necessary as having a good attitude. For this, Annetta maintains a life motto: some days are diamonds, some days are stones.
These lyrics taken from a John Denver song by the same name have been guiding Annetta for years—at work and at home. As a motto, the words reflect the ebb and flow nature of life. They speak toward hope, acceptance, and resilience.
While at work, the motto might show up to voice encouragement in a conversation with a coworker who’s having an off day. We all have them, Annetta might say, but just because today is a stone—a dud, painful, or merely uneventful—it doesn’t mean there isn’t a diamond out there waiting for you. Really special, standout days do happen.
Annetta trusts that she can nourish the best out of people because her parents taught her to.
She has fond memories of her childhood. Like when, for some small reason or another, her father and her grandmother stopped talking, she urged him to reconcile. “Netta,” she recalls him saying, “my heart’s not as good or as big as yours.” Flabbergasted, she responded, “Daddy, that’s crazy! Where do you think I come from?”
Now, Annetta is a proud mother of 5 children. After having 2 children of her own, Annetta and her husband adopted 3 more. Those younger 3 experienced too many stone-like days, so Annetta and her husband decided to show them some diamonds. For Annetta, and her huge heart, the choice was a no-brainer.
That you pass on what you receive underlines the essential value Annetta has brought to Kloeckner dating all the way back to 1997. She shows her big heart, and people show theirs right back.
Learn more about careers at Kloeckner and see more employee stories.
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