Happy 20 years, Dave!

Today on the Kalalou blog, we celebrate Warehouse Supervisor, David Dixon! This coming September will mark his 20th year with our company and we couldn't be happier to have such a good-natured and hard-working guy as part of the Kalalou family. Dave gave us a little insight into his 20 years with the company as well as his thoughts on the future of Kalalou. We hope you enjoy getting to know this Kalalou All Star while also getting a closer look into what goes on behind-the-scenes here at Kalalou!

"To all my friends and family at Kalalou, current and past employees, I hope your journey has been as joyful and entertaining as mine. I look forward to the next stage in my Kalalou journey!" -David Dixon

Nickname: Around here, I have been called "The Sheriff" a time or two. I've been told that all I’m missing is a badge and a rifle!

When did you start at Kalalou? 9/20/1995. I can remember that day as if it were last week. I walked in the building for the first time; and after only being here for about 5 minutes, I was packing. They knew I was a star from the very beginning.

Tell us about your family. I am my mom’s only child. Although, I have a younger sister by my Dad. I was raised by mother and her mother in a four bedroom home with four generations and several beds per room. Although food wasn’t plentiful, Grandma refused to let any one of her family members go to bed on an empty stomach. That went for friends, neighbors, or any other visitors.

How old were you when you started at Kalalou? I started working here at the age of 17, fresh off the porch. I weighed around 150 pounds, now I weigh slightly more than that! The running joke between Doug & myself is... I remember when he had hair and he remembers when I was skinny! That was many years ago.  

What is a typical day like for you? My main duty is to try to make everyone happy and their jobs as easy as possible, from Doug and Susan to Jimmy Beck. I guess I’m the guy oiling all the gears to make everything move as smoothly as possible. That may include jobs such as marriage counselor, credit counselor, psychologist, loan officer, financial adviser, refereeing or even just lending an ear, and whatever else is needed. Also, I attempt to keep the 30 plus guys in line, keep all the equipment up and going, order all the shipping supplies, and try to make Customer Service's jobs go a lot smoother. Since we do a lot of cross training, we are constantly rearranging people to different areas to get the job done as efficiently as possible.     

What's the best part of your job? The non-work related incidents, whether it's listening to the “box cutter man” talk about his weekend at the group home, hearing our grumpy maintenance guy complain about having to do his job, having to listen to some of the warehouse guy's personal problems that sound like a miniseries on Lifetime, or helping guys set up banking accounts for the first time and trying to help make the best of their financial situations.

What is one thing you wish our customers knew about Kalalou? I wish they knew how generous the owners are and how close the core people of this company are. Of course, we have some employees/positions that come and go, but the core people of this company, are… Family! We spend more waking hours here than with our families.        

How is Kalalou different today than when you started? Well I don’t know where to start. I have seen so many employees come and go, some of them I was happy to see leave and some I was sad to see leave. I remember the days of only getting a turkey for Thanksgiving and maybe a ham for Christmas, now we have Christmas every Quarter… Some people may call it “Profit Share." I remember picking plums from the tree beside the old house and getting a call from Doug regarding a huge fire on the loading dock. I could go on and on for hours. I have had a lot of good times here, but I've also had some bad times. I can honestly say that the good times outweigh the bad. I haven’t had any other full-time jobs to compare to this one, but I’m sure this place is one of, if not the best place a person could wish to work! I have seen this company grow so much that I cannot put it into words. But overall, this has been a hell of a 20 year experience. I mean that in the most positive way possible. Of course, if I had the power to do it all again, I may make a couple of changes along the way, but I would definitely do it again!!!  

This company has so much potential and ability.  After 20 plus years, we've grown to this point. As of today, there are no a boundaries to the growth, the possibilities are endless!

I started working here fresh out of High School at the tender age of 17. Although I became accustomed to hard work at a young age and have had several part time jobs along the way, this is my one and only full time job. I came here a student willing to learn any and everything about this company. For the most part, I feel I have accomplished most of that. I went from being a student of Country Originals/Kalalou to being a teacher, but don’t get me wrong, I’m still learning.

Being around great, successful entrepreneurs like Doug & Susan for so long will of course eventually rub off on you. I owned, operated, and co-managed my own restaurant called Mae’s Dinner for several years in my home town. My grandmother’s name is Mae Dixon.  After that phase, I jumped into the rental property business. Now, I own several houses in several different towns. I owe a lot to Kalalou and these two great people for the opportunities and the knowledge they have given me, both directly and indirectly. The motivation, inspiration, and willingness that they have embedded in me are things I can never repay them for.            

One of my major goals early in life was to make 2 women proud of me. I have long surpassed that goal. I don’t think I could have accomplished the things I have, if I had not walked through these doors on 9/20/1995. And to think, I was voted “Most Likely To Become Nothing” in High school. I think I may have proved them wrong.