“If you’re going to do something, do it with a smile and a good attitude.”
That’s the phrase that kept coming up when speaking with Arandell A-Team member Michael Roberson for this month’s Employee Spotlight. Michael is another one of our extremely motivated, high-performing plant workers – working as a baler operator for the last year and a half of his two years total with Arandell.
Michael is a prideful person – someone who cares about the work he does and ensures he feels good about the work he accomplished during his shift before going home at the end of the day. He’s a lifelong learner and is someone who’s always going to ask his supervisors the tough questions as a part of his growth in the company.
When looking for the team member we wanted to include in September’s Employee Spotlight, Michael’s name came up several different times from team members in several different departments. Members from each of our Logistics, Customer Service and Warehouse departments specifically mentioned Michael – saying things such as “he’s a very hard worker”, “brings a smile to other people’s faces” and our personal favorite… “he’s the freaking man”.
With all that being said, let’s dive in and share a little bit more about Michael Roberson, September’s Employee Spotlight.
What’s your name, job title and the department you work in?
My name is Michael Roberson. My official job title is baler operator and I work in the Material Handling department here at Arandell’s Menomonee Falls location.
Tell us more about your background.
Before becoming a full-time team member here at Arandell, I was working for a local temp agency which sent me a to a bunch of different warehouse and manufacturing type of positions. They actually placed me at the Quad in Sussex for a few months just before I came here. Between the two, it’s pretty obvious I made the right choice in coming here!
When I finally landed at Arandell, I was a bindery worker for about 7 months just feeding pockets before I became a backup trucker. Once I served the amount of time required serving as a backup trucker, I became a permanent trucker as a baler operator, which is where I’m at now and where I’ve been very happy ever since.
What are your day-to-day responsibilities?
Primarily working the forklift on the baler. A baler is a large piece of machinery that shreds up large amounts of paper that would be considered overs or weren’t utilized. This makes it much easier for us to recycle later on. What I do is move around the pressroom and then to each of our three balers so the paper can be shredded.
The tricky part is each of the three balers shreds different paper. So, for example, there’s a certain baler that shreds groundwood and another that shreds free sheet. There are certain papers that can be mixed but others can’t because of the difference in each baler. You really can’t sit in one area too long since you’ll be assigned to one primary baler but will also have to help out with the other two.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I’d say there are a couple of things I enjoy most about working at Arandell. One of them is the constant moving part of my job. I don’t really take a whole lot of breaks since I just get really focused in on what I’m doing and by the time I look up, it’s already time to go – it’s crazy!
Of course, I really enjoy the people that work here as well. I’ve gotten to know my supervisors on a personal level better than any other job I’ve ever had, especially compared to places like Quad where the situation was less than ideal. I love the pace at which I’m able to work at since I can easily manage my time. Time really flies for me while doing this job which is awesome.
What’s the number one reason you’ve stayed?
I think mostly for all the reasons I just kind of mentioned. The opportunity here has been incredible as well and I’ve moved up a lot quicker here than any other organization I’ve been a part of. I’m an anxious learner so I always ask a lot of questions and people have been very respectful of that and have given me opportunities I couldn’t have imagined at another place.
What motivates you?
I take motivation from my mom who has worked her ass off at the same place since we moved here from Atlanta when I was 8 years old. She’s always told me that if I like the job I have, I need to show people how much I like it by working hard each and every day. It really motivated me as a man to see her work so many hours and be there for my two brothers and I and raise us properly. I want to have that same mentality that she’s always had and accomplish what she’s been able to accomplish. I want to make her proud and follow in those same footsteps.
What do you like to do for fun outside of work?
I have my concealed carry license, so I enjoy going to the shooting range every once in a while to unwind. Other than that, I’m a big sports fan and Call of Duty fan on PlayStation 4. I usually watch Netflix or Hulu when I get off work unless there’s a big game that’s still on. People hate on me for this but I’m a big Bears fan – so I get teased all the time living and working in Wisconsin. I used to box a little bit to stay in shape too since I used to be a lot bigger than I am now. My favorite fighter is Shawn Porter and I still watch him when he has a match coming up.
Do you have a favorite vending machine snack/drink?
Personally, I don’t drink soda and try not to eat candy – even though I love chocolate. I do drink a lot of juice and chips from the vending machine while at work. Snapple Fruit Punch is by far my favorite. If there’s some new spicy chips or something I’ll give it a try and the bagged popcorn is good too.
Favorite TV show or movie of all-time?
I love comedy so I’ll watch just about any kind of stand-up, but Kevin Hart is my favorite. I’m not a fan of scary movies so if I do watch a movie it’s probably gonna be action or comedy.
Final Question: How do you define success?
I define success as getting to do what you want professionally and being given the flexibility in your job to learn new things. If you feel like you want to try something new, you need to make sure you give it your all. What makes me feel successful is in knowing I did the best job I possibly could day in and day out. Success is not letting anything get you too down. Even on tougher days where you’re super busy or not having the best day, you do it with a smile and a good attitude.