Employee Spotlight: Robert Zurita
Location: Bartlett, IL
Hire Date: 04/13/15
- Wife: Kelly
- Kids: (3) Bianca, Angelica & Alexis
What did you want to be when you grew up?
What’s your favorite childhood memory?
Fishing and hunting
Dogs or cats?
Favorite Movie: Blues Brothers
Favorite Quote: Don’t be a follower. Be a leader.
What is your role at Auto Truck?
I’m an installer who preps trucks. I drill holes, do electrical wiring such as work lights, market lights, compartment lights, and run cables underneath the frame of the truck. I do help out a lot. Sometimes I jump from truck to truck. If they need help finishing a truck they might put me there. I usually do a lot of projects. So far I’ve been on four: two Ericsson projects, Israel and the Fiats. When that stops I go into doing things like helping out with other trucks. When you work on these projects the first couple allows you to get the hang of it. By the second or third one they expect you to be on your own. You can still ask for help but they expect you to know more and be a little quicker than when you first started. Ericsson was the first project they started me on. Me personally, it feels good to know that you are finishing something that is going to be used and you know it’s done right. No corners were cut or taken to finish it. If you did it the right way, you feel confident it’s going to work out in the field.
How did you first learn about Auto Truck?
I was going to school and the semester had ended. I was looking for a job and my wife said she knew a welder that worked here. She had a conversation with him and he told her I should come to Auto Truck and talk with HR. I said sure. He talked to me about the company and how it had great benefits, how the people were real fun to work with and very easy going. It sounded like something I would be very interested in. They were having an Open House. That’s when I came and applied. They gave a tour of the shop and they showed a PowerPoint of all the benefits. About a week after the Open House they called me and asked me to come aboard.
What do you find the most challenging at Auto Truck?
At the beginning I was kind of nervous about asking for help because I didn’t want to seem like I didn’t know too much of what was going on, but I started easing up. Now when I need help I will ask more instead of waiting. If the job takes longer than it should, I will ask for help. The guys are pretty good with giving me advice or helping me so I don’t feel too overwhelmed or stressed when I’m working on something that I’m having trouble with. Taylor, Jason and most of the folks help me a lot. They give me points on how to get the job done easier, quicker and more productive so I’m not there spending too much time on something. I’m just getting it done.
What do you like most about Auto Truck?
I really like the people that work here. I can see myself staying here for a long time. Everyone is pretty easy going. They make it easy for me to be comfortable asking for help.
What has been your favorite project you worked on so far?
I guess it was the Israel one. We were doing ambulances for them. I liked it because it seemed like the flow was a little bit better. I was bringing in the truck, putting it on the lift. I was running the wires from the middle of the cab down and marking the block. It just seemed easier. Not necessarily easier, just the flow was a little bit better. Ericsson was a little challenging because it was my first project with the company. I was a little nervous and I didn’t want to mess up. I did learn a couple of tricks between the projects to make my job a little easier. The Israel one though, was fun.
Before you started working at Auto Truck, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?
I worked at a hotel doing maintenance. The hotel hosted a lot of celebrities that played at the casino in Elgin or at Sears Center in Hoffman Estates. I got to meet George Strait. It’s a highlight of my life.
Is there anything about you that people would be surprised if they knew?
I saved a couple of kids from downing. I was working at the hotel as I said before, and people let their kids go swimming unsupervised. A 10-year old was swimming in the pool by himself while the parents were out on the patio and the kid was drowning. I also have saved a couple of people from choking at restaurants. It always seems to be around me. Ha ha. When I was taking my CPR class at Elgin Community College the teacher brought that up. She said, “You’ll notice more things happening around you”.
What do you like to do on your days off?
Just hang out with my wife and kids, chill at the house and relax. We go to the park, play hockey or throw a ball and cookout. I pretty much cookout all year long if possible. I also enjoy giving back to the community. I participated in the ‘Hustle Up the Hancock’ climb which was for respiratory health awareness.
If you could be anyone from any time period, is there anyone that you would want to be? Or even meet anyone from any time period?
John Lennon. He always seemed very charismatic, very intellectual and smart. He just seemed to have it going on: searching for peace, love and equality. He was a one-of-a-kind artist. If I was with him I’d ask him if he would ever consider getting the Beatles back together and donating the proceeds to the less fortunate. I’d also ask if it was because of his aunt raising him that he felt neglected or alone; if that could be the reason he wanted to change the world around him with his music and protest.
What advice would you give perspective employees?
Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it. It will make your job easier. Not everyone goes to school to become a mechanic, but they wind up working as one. I went to school for heating and A/C. I never went to school to become a mechanic. When I was in school they told us you would learn the books, but it isn’t until you get into the field where you get the hands-on knowledge. When you are actually out in the field working on trucks that is when it all connects together. Even then, there are always new and better ways to accomplish a task that you may not know about. Just ask. ◊
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