From time to time, Ambipar Field Coordinator Anthony Simpson admits, he’ll be out somewhere like the grocery store, minding his own business, when a strange woman approaches him with a smile and a question — which typically goes something like this: “Hello, Anthony. I was in Belk the other day and you weren’t there. Where’d you go?”
When you’re the department store’s leading Women’s Shoes salesman for 10 years, customers tend to remember you. Even 8 years after joining One Stop Environmental. Which begs the question: Why would Anthony trade-in a good living, not to mention the creature comforts and daily affirmation that came with his position at Belk, for a basic-labor position — at the bottom of the proverbial ladder — performing some of the toughest and dirtiest work imaginable?
“I had a friend working here. I saw a really good opportunity for personal growth, and I liked the idea of doing environmental work. I still do. It’s something different every day.”
That said, there is one aspect of Anthony’s experience at Ambipar Response that’s strikingly similar to his days at Belk: Clients still frequently ask for him by name.
It’s a good thing Anthony has a way with people.
One of his job responsibilities is assembling quick-response teams when clients have needs that can’t wait — a task that routinely requires him to call crew members long after they’ve retired for the night. He’s done it himself more times than he can count. “We don’t like to say no,” he says with a smile.
And while Anthony will admit that the occasional overlong workweek can leave him burned-out, “we have good opportunities for taking vacation time to get recharged.” Last December, he says with an even bigger smile, Anthony watched Alabama flatten Georgia in the SEC Championship Game from the Tide’s sideline. And how did he land that spot? “I know a guy who works in the stadium.”
A recurring theme
If there’s one thing Anthony understands, in work and life, it’s the importance of relationships. “Without that, nobody working with me is getting out of bed in the middle of the night. Without relationships, clients aren’t so understanding if we miss something. Nobody in any business is perfect, but our clients know how committed we are to being perfect, no matter what. We don’t make excuses. We make things right.”
Trial by fire
It didn’t take long for Anthony to prove himself to One Stop’s crew chiefs — and it wasn’t long before he was given opportunities to prove himself as a leader. “Their approach was basically, ‘Let’s see if he can handle it. Can he manage people? Can he handle the paperwork? Can he communicate well with customers?’ After a couple of jobs, they were comfortable that I could.”
Today, Anthony runs an average weekly crew of 20 — which involves everything from making sure people show-up on time to tracking equipment condition and maintenance schedules. “Sure, it means a lot more headaches, but I love a challenge.
“And I really love my guys. We have so many hard workers, and we’re really tight as a team. A big part of that is because our leaders have always made One Stop, and now Ambipar, the kind of place where people want to work — and I’ve always tried to do the same thing myself.
Telling the truth
”To me, that starts with company culture, and an important part of our company culture is honesty. You can read it right there on our website’s Careers page: ‘Whatever It Is, We’ll Handle It. At One Stop, it’s more than a promise. It’s our culture. The work is challenging. Sometimes it’s downright difficult. And yet for the most part, our people love what they do.’
“That kind of honesty helps us recruit the kind of people we want. It’s why our crews are so tight — because everyone’s willing to come-together and solve problems.
“Sure, I make a good living, and this company has always been good to me, but what really keeps me here is, I just couldn’t leave my crews. Or my clients.”
Anthony in a nutshell
It’s about 5:05 in the afternoon when the conversation is winding down — which makes it two hours after the time he hopes to call it a day, most days — when Anthony’s phone rings. Which can mean only one thing: His day is suddenly far from finished. He picks-up the phone, and with a broad smile on his face, says “Yes sir!”
Sure, Anthony knows the importance of relationships. But if there’s one thing that makes his relationships consistently successful, it’s what he’s just demonstrated: Attitude. And with Anthony, that attitude is pretty close to 100% contagious.