Faces of Magnum:
Dispatcher Jenn Jones has dipped her toes into nearly every part of the company during her time at Magnum.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m married with three kids – two daughters and a son – so life is busy at home! Phoenix is 11, and she’s starting middle school this fall. Sydney is seven and will be starting second grade, and then I had Jamasen on 11/11/2020, so he’ll be eight months old here soon.
What is your current job title?
I’m an Account Manager. I currently am the dispatcher for the South and Pacific Northwest. Before I went on maternity leave, I had the Southeast and East Coast.
Which region have you enjoyed dispatching most?
Each region has its own challenges. There are a lot more trucks on the East Coast than out West just because the loads take so long to get out there. That lessens your truck count for the week, but that doesn’t mean that you aren’t as busy! It’s just a different type of busy. Both regions have their pros and cons.
I do have to say that the East Coast was definitely fun to learn. I have family in California and Oregon and my parents lived in Washington for a while. So, I know that area more. I didn’t really know anything about the East Coast when I first came to Truckload and was given that region. It was really fun to learn about.
How long have you worked at Magnum?
It’ll be 13 years in October! I started with LTL in Minot – I was the first office employee out there. Over the years, I’ve held various different positions – I’ve actually worked in four of our five divisions. The only one I haven’t been in is Warehouse.
I was 17 when I started here as a part-time employee. Before coming to Magnum, I worked at Denny’s as a server during the summer between my sophomore and junior year of high school. That job made me realize that I did not want to do a normal part-time job for high schoolers, and I talked my way into a job scanning paperwork at night.
Then, it developed from there. After I graduated high school, the office got busier because the oil boom was going on and we had a lot more freight out there. In February of 2016, I was offered a sales support position with LTL here in Fargo. I worked in that position for a year and a half, and then I came to Truckload where I’ve been for the past four years.
Why did you choose to work at Magnum?
When I was five years old, my dad stopped driving over-the-road for another company and started working at Magnum. It was the same year I started kindergarten, and it meant the world to me to have my dad home every single night.
This was years ago before a lot of the regulations and restrictions that are in place now, so if I didn’t have school on a Thursday or a Friday and my dad had line haul, he would let me come with him. At the time, they were able to haul two 53-foot trailers instead of a 53 and a 42. As a kid, those looked like they were a mile long. I loved getting to ride in the big blue truck. When the opportunity to work in the Minot office opened up, I was really excited because I had such great memories of Magnum from my childhood.
Can you tell us a bit about the day-to-day of your job?
As a dispatcher, I never live the same day twice, but my roles and responsibilities are the same. Every single day, I’m challenged with some kind of puzzle I have to figure out. For example, if a driver gets held up and is going to be late at their receiver, I have to move things around to make sure all the loads are still covered.
It’s like a puzzle with trucks on a computer system that I get to figure out. Sometimes, it can be stressful, but it’s wonderful when all the pieces fit together
What’s the best part of your job?
The people! The relationships I’ve built here are just amazing – whether it’s with drivers or other office staff. The ability to put a smile on someone’s face when they call upset or frantic is the best feeling. I love being able to help them through a situation they didn’t think they’d be able to get through. I am amazed by the amount of comradery here – how much I can relate to so many people.
Magnum has always been a family, and I have a great example of that. When Covid first started and we had distance learning, my daughter was supposed to go out and look at the moon with binoculars. Here in Fargo, especially in the wintertime, sometimes it’s too cloudy out to see anything. So, I posted something on Facebook, and all of a sudden all of these drivers started taking pictures of the moon and sending them to me with the city and state they were in. That was pretty awesome.
What is the hardest part about your job?
Trying to make everybody happy. For example, as dispatchers sometime we have to split a load to help a driver get home on time, the driver that was originally on that load might not be so happy about that. At the end of the day, we try our best to work with the drivers and accommodate them all to get them what they want, but sometimes it’s just impossible no matter what you do. There’s no making everybody happy.
What is something in your career that you are proud of?
Looking at what Magnum was when I first started compared to what we are now, it’s wonderful to see. It makes me extremely proud to see how we have grown and evolved.
What advice would you give to someone just starting out in your role?
I would tell them that attention to detail, communication and the ability to joke and find humor in things are keys to success in this role. If you aren’t able to joke around and enjoy yourself at work, then you’re in the wrong place!
To someone joining our dispatcher team, I would tell them they should feel lucky. In my eyes, we have one of the best teams ever. Any given day – even the most stressful ones – you can hear us cracking up. And that’s not just on the Truckload side – there is such a strong family feeling here. When one of my kids are sick or something comes up, all of my coworkers are right there ready to help out however they can. They genuinely care. So, that’s why I say that anybody who is going to join this team is lucky.
What is something people might not know about you?
I have a motorcycle endorsement on my driver’s license. Also, I love to bowl! My highest score was like a 230 or a 240 something, but that was back when I was a teenager and practically lived at the bowling alley.
What do you like to do when you aren’t at work?
Well, I have three kids, so I stay busy! I love to teach my girls how to cook, play games with all the kids and find new/fun things to do to create memories! In the short term, teaching the baby how to do things is the current family favorite activity. He’ll be walking any day now already!
Explore more topics in our other blog posts.
Faces of Magnum: Heather Werner
Faces of Magnum: Adam Krenzel
Highway Hero: Roger Miller