NAPA is known for something called Bleedin’ Blue. It means a lot of things to a lot of people: enthusiasm for the work, ambition to succeed, a skilled ability to adapt to new situations. To our man of the hour, Joshua Garcia, it means doing whatever it takes to get the NAPA parts out there.
In its purest form, Bleedin’ Blue can be boiled down to this simple question: Do you know the exact date you started here?
Joshua Garcia does. He knows he joined the NAPA team precisely on March 23, 2010 because that’s when something unexpected happened for him. It’s when he started an entirely new career he never imagined before, and his life has been duly changed because of it.
I moved back to my hometown to search for a job. I passed by NAPA first. I never thought about working for NAPA; I’m sure a lot of people don’t drop out of college and think they’re going to work at NAPA, right? But I came in here, put in my application, and the Human Resources employee said, ‘Hey, today’s your day, are you ready to get interviewed?’ And I said, ‘Yes, I’m ready. I’m ready for a job.’ I worked with a couple of different warehouses before, so I was familiar with warehouse operation and how to work in that environment—it’s what I like to do. I did my interview and, thank the Lord, I got hired that day.
Joshua is being a little too modest here. Why else would NAPA continue to help him grow if we didn’t respond to his amazing work ethic? In his time here, he’s tackled everything from the warehouse to the Sales team:
I started loading trucks on the night shift. I was then promoted to Puller after six or seven months. I was pulling the oil, batteries, rotors, radiators—all that good stuff. I did that for about a year, and then there was an opportunity for me to become a Supervisor in the warehouse. I did that for another four or five months before an opportunity for the Assistant Manager came up. I did that for about eight months, but then I received an opportunity I’ll never forget from Kelly, who is now our General Manager. In 2013, I transferred to the Sales side and started meeting with the customers. It really opened my eyes.
Joshua’s various roles with NAPA put him in the advantageous position to learn what really makes the company a success. It certainly wasn’t as simple as any single position would make it seem.
All I knew at the warehouse was to load the truck, close the doors; I didn’t know the whole process. But being out there, you see them checking their freight and selling their parts to their customers, and I know that aspect of it now. Our stuff had to be good. If not, our customers and NAPA’s reputation are on the line. So, I was able to learn about the Sales side of it, see the customers and help them out, and learn a little bit about the Shop business, who are our customer’s customers. I let them know the warehouse was behind them for whatever they needed.
And now Joshua has gone full circle. He’s back in the warehouse, but it’s different now: he runs the place.
April 2nd was my first day in my new promotion as Warehouse Manager. I’m back where I started! I’m happy and blessed. I’m very fortunate I haven’t had to move my family.
It has also been fortunate for him that he was able to see such a wide range of what NAPA has to offer. “I made relationships with our customers when I was on the Sales side,” Joshua says.
I wanted to help them out and be successful, and of course they’re happy when they’re making money. That inspires me because the happier the customers are, the more they buy from us and the more everyone is doing well. I am inspired to help out the customers and make sure they’re able to provide for their families.
But what is it really like to be inside Joshua’s NAPA warehouse? How does everyone get along?
It’s a small community, and I say to people when I hire them, “This is not like your average big corporation where you don’t know everyone you work with.” We have about 50 employees here and it’s very tight-knit. Everybody is close. Everybody helps each other to meet our initiatives, and if we meet those quotas, we get barbecue. The morale is very high here.
That solidarity may be born from everything Joshua learned about becoming a manager. “I used to be really Type-A. I couldn’t tell people to do something and not think about what the consequences were going to be,” Joshua remembers.
But leading a large group of people made me take a step back and take a look at the whole picture before making a decision. It helped me as a person because I can understand and relate to people a lot more than I did before because of the different personalities I’ve learned to adapt to. Leading has made me a better people–person.
At NAPA, we strive to make sure our employees can speak with each other not only professionally, but personally and amicably as well. We know the work day can seem long, but there are benefits to working at NAPA that don’t just come from great managers like Joshua.
Joshua briefly mentioned a vacation he took with his fiancée last year, only to find out that they were located where the Texas Drag Race was being held! “Since NAPA is a sponsor of that, they were able to give me some tickets. I never thought I would be in the pit shaking one of the driver’s hands. It’s little things like that, things NAPA lets us and our families share in,” Joshua muses.
NAPA is here for the whole experience; we’re not aiming to be your run-of-the-mill day job! And when it comes down to it, dedicated people like Joshua are what makes NAPA great.