I was driving to work a few weeks ago and saw a JK Moving truck on the street in my town 45 minutes south of San Francisco. I’m close to 20 years and 3,000 miles removed from the last time I had a JK Moving uniform on and I still was excited and proud to see clean shiny JK truck all the way across the country from when I worked at JK. I worked as a summer mover and packer (and some on school breaks too) from 1989 through 1991 and think that I may have learned more life lessons about working hard and taking care of customers from Chuck Kuhn and his team of long-term employees than I learned in many law firms I’ve worked at. Chuck and his family and management team have managed to find a unique balance between a fanatical focus on customer satisfaction and empowering employees to “own” their careers.
I was trading emails with Chuck last week and he told me that one of the guys who helped train me was standing next to him and said to say hello. I think that you’d be hard-pressed to find many other moving companies where the same people work for 20+ years (I think I’d also be hard-pressed to find an employer who never failed to congratulate me on graduating college, graduating law school, getting married, having children, and making partner at a law firm, when most of these significant life events happened years after I last worked for him).
One quick closing comment, I wrote this blog post after I got an email (from a different 20+ year JK employee) asking if I’d be interested in writing a blog post to give the perspective of “an outside party”. I responded that I’d was eager to write a blog post, but it’s been 19 years and I don’t feel like an outside party yet. Perhaps in 20 more years I’ll feel more like an outside party, but for now I’ll consider myself a member of the JK family who happens to be starting his 15th year as an executive compensation lawyer.