We’re proud this week to shine a light on James Crist, a driver for Kloeckner Metals Tampa, who has already made a name for himself around Kloeckner as a cancer survivor who is committed to making a difference in the lives of those around him. James told us “I had colon cancer and survived, and after going through that, I made a decision to live my life to make a difference. I am truly committed to doing anything and everything to make a positive difference in the lives of others.”
James calculates the impact of this philosophy by adding, “If I can help one person per day, seven days per week, fifty-two weeks per year, some of those people will be motivated to ‘pay it forward.’ The impact will be significant.” We asked James a series of questions to learn more about his life philosophy and his work day-to-day:
I moved to Tampa, Florida from Tennessee and came to Kloeckner through a staffing agency in 2017 to fill a driver role.
I liked the Kloeckner environment and wanted to stay on. Kloeckner has a family-oriented culture and the employees care about one another. I also liked the KloecknerCares initiative, through which we support aid projects. This aligns with my values of giving back to the community.
My job is driving a local delivery route around the Tampa area. I also have the opportunity to really understand what customers use and how our metals goes into their products. Once something extraordinary occurred: I actually sold some tube to a customer that was a return from another customer, and this material would otherwise have to be returned to our warehouse. I love that I could contribute to selling steel.
Interacting with many different people and meeting new people is enjoyable and helps make the job more fulfilling. Every day is a new adventure, as you see a lot of interesting things. I am always willing to get involved in a situation where I can help, and you would be surprised how often you can make a difference and help someone when you are aware and open to getting involved. The incidents where I was able to administer first aid to accident victims are some of the examples of the adventures that one encounters every day driving a truck.
Consistency and reliability are very important. I have good people skills and I’m able to work well with our customers. A truck driver must also have a strong sense of orientation and a good understanding of his surroundings and always anticipate what other drivers will do. A “safety 1st” focus is critically important when driving a 40-ton vehicle.
Obviously, in my case, a new, reliable truck and equipment are critical to success. I am glad that Kloeckner provides me with a modern vehicle.
Pictures of my three kids James (9), Elizabeth (6), and Abigale (3), and their artwork all over the cab of my truck. I have young children that love to make drawings for me, so keeping these in my vehicle keeps a piece of them close to me throughout the day. And those remind me of what is most important and to come home safe every night.
I always wanted to go on a cruise with my wife Victoria and the kids. They really want to go to Disney World now that we live in Florida.
A knife, a lighter, and a fishing pole.
I really wanted to be a firefighter, and I was able to realize that dream as a volunteer firefighter.
People might say I am paranoid, although I call that being prepared.
I want to spend more time working with charities, particularly those helping children. Giving back is my passion, and I would like to continue to do that for as long as possible.
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