Driving Change in Robbinsville

July 6, 2021

“I’m lucky,” says Iraj Mesbahi. “I’ve loved every job I’ve ever had.”

This isn’t something everyone can say – most people have had at least one job they didn’t like somewhere along the way. Iraj brings a slightly different outlook to his work than most.

Iraj is a native of Iran who grew up with his family in Spain, and later moved to the United States in 1998. Since then he’s held several jobs, starting out in the manufacturing industry and moving into the world of apparel. Before joining the SanMar family in Robbinsville, New Jersey over eight years ago, Iraj was a shift supervisor at a TJ Maxx warehouse.

“I didn’t leave because I was unhappy,” he recalls. Iraj has left most jobs due to reasons outside of his control, such as the building where he worked was being closed. In the case of TJ Maxx, he left because his wife was concerned for him.

His daily commute was a long one, about 90 minutes each way, and Iraj’s wife worried over the long drive late at night. He started looking for similar work with daytime hours primarily to ease her concerns. And he found SanMar.

Iraj joined SanMar in January of 2013 as a supervisor in the production area of our Robbinsville distribution center. When a shipping supervisor role opened up Iraj was offered the job and started putting his experience with shipping into play. What was once a department focused on one particular process eventually took on responsibility for every package that left the building.

Iraj is proud of his accomplishments during his seven years as shipping department supervisor. But he’s also excited to take on his new role as shift manager, which helps make sure operations run smoothly across the whole building.

“The departments here are all connected, like links on a chain,” explains Iraj. His new role exposes him to more of what’s going on, allows him to learn the details of how it all works and enables him to get to know plenty of new people.

It’s those people that keep Iraj coming back day after day. “We all chip in,” he says. “If I have to help load the truck, I go load the truck. We’re here to help.” His favorite SanMar Family Value, “Do the Right Thing,” comes into play constantly and helps define both his work ethic and how he interacts with his co-workers. It’s this culture that he appreciates most.

“What you have at SanMar,” he relates, “you don’t have anywhere else.”

Iraj’s commute is about the same as it used to be – he still drives about three hours a day to get to and from work. But for him it’s worth the long drive. He loves the work and he looks forward to getting to it every morning. It doesn’t hurt that the daytime hours keep his wife happy as well.

He even loves the drive itself. He remembers that when he was younger, other kids wanted to be a firefighter or an astronaut, but he just couldn’t wait to get his driver’s license and get on the road. Today, those hours driving give him time to enjoy his coffee and his music, to prepare for the day ahead or decompress from the day he just finished. For him, his commute time is time well spent. “I make so many decisions while I’m driving,” he says with a laugh.

Iraj believes that he’s lucky, but when it comes down to it, SanMar is lucky to have him. We’re glad that he chose SanMar eight years ago and that he’s still here to drive change and bring his positive attitude with him to work every day.

SanMar’s distribution centers are hiring now. Find out more and apply.