For Gentle Giant Moving Company Founder & CEO Larry O’Toole, one of the greatest parts of his job is hearing from former Giants that not only enjoyed their tenure at GG, but used the experience to further their personal and professional development. Below is a letter sent to Larry a little while back from Andy Burd, a talented young man that spent 5 years with the Giants, that highlights how his time as a mover helped him stand out in a sea of qualified job applicants.
I have been meaning to write this for some time. You may or may not remember me, but this is Andy Burd, who worked out of Acton and sometimes Framingham (now Marlborough) seasonally (summers and some winters) for 5 years from ages of 16 to 21. Now that I have graduated from college and working in Hartford, CT at an investment management firm, I wanted to share with you my nostalgia of working at your exceptional company.
On graduation day after college I was faced with a difficult decision.
Without a job, I seriously entertained the thought of asking to come back to Gentle Giant. After much thought, I opted not to, because I knew that as soon as I put on that purple shirt that I would quickly forget about seeking the job I had dreamed for, and get caught up in doing what I have come to love: moving furniture. Having made the decision to part ways, I hit the road looking for jobs. I won’t bore you with the details, but the journey was long. However, in personal reflection over those months, I had to find my ‘worth’: what can I bring to a company that few others can?
The answers all came from my time at Gentle Giant. Working alongside Jay Brooks, Craig Averett and Joe Johnson (among an army of others) during those early years of ‘adulthood’ made me: productive, efficient, dedicated, and humbled. There is no better feeling than driving home tired as hell knowing that I did everything I possibly could to make a customer’s day better. Tip or not (some would disagree), I felt no better satisfaction than genuine, sincere praise from a previously skeptical customer that was blown away by Gentle Giant.
While I didn’t have a fancy internship throughout high school or college, the experience of being one of the youngest ever crew chiefs at Gentle Giant and having the opportunity to lead was a formidable experience I won’t see again for many years.
I have been working at my current firm for 10 months and have recently been promoted to a position I don’t think I’m even qualified for, but people have been impressed by a strong work ethic, servant’s heart, and “go get ‘em” attitude that the Gentle Giant culture promotes. Hurry but don’t rush. I credit this completely to the culture you have created of an honest, hard day’s work. Thank you..
- Andy Burd
Since sending this letter, Andy has moved to NYC and now works as an equity analyst at an investment bank. His view on Gentle Giant hasn’t changed at all since the letter and he still credits his GG experience for the success he’s had in his career.