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June 24, 2019 8:00 AM, EDT

A Trucking Industry Veteran's Family Comments on Bygone Age at New England Motor Freight

George Casiano George Casiano worked at NEMF for 29 years before the company ceased operations. (Submitted photo)

A message from wife Donna Casiano:

On Monday, Feb. 11, 2019, New England Motor Freight notified its employees that it intended to cease operation. This affected my husband, a veteran of 29 years. My daughter reacts to emotional events by writing and posted the attached letter on LinkedIn.

Casiano family

George Casiano with his wife, Donna, and daughters Ashley and Elissa. (Submitted photo)

Both my husband and I were very impressed, not because she is our daughter, but because of the clarity and precision of her message. The feedback to her post from professionals was incredible, as the piece spoke directly to the reality of the business world and, in particular, the trucking industry.

Unfortunately, companies fail, but the camaraderie at NEMF was one like I've never seen. The dedication and tireless effort exhibited by the majority of these people is to be admired. Very aware of the company's shortcomings, they fought all odds to literally keep the wheels from falling off.

I am sending a link to my daughter's posting. I hope you will publish it, if only in recognition of these people.

Editor's note: Ashley Casiano is associate media director at RPA, a marketing and advertising agency in Santa Monica, Calif. Her father, George Casiano, was a national account executive at New England Motor Freight. Her letter was posted on LinkedIn on Feb. 13, 2019.

Ashley Casiano on LinkedIn

Daughter Ashley Casiano's LinkedIn post:

My dad lost his job yesterday.

This is something I never thought that I would ever say. My entire life, he has worked harder than most people I know, widely respected in his professional (and personal) life, and steadfast for the last 29 years (aka most of the time I’ve been on this planet) in his dedication to his company, employees, clients and peers. This isn’t a “brag about my dad” post (although depending on who you ask, I apparently love doing that). This isn’t a “please have pity on my poor father” post either. This is a testament to our changing world, where convenience and efficiency trump loyalty and quality.

In my business, layoffs are sadly to be expected; I chose to forge a path in an industry that relies on fresh blood, high ROI and constantly being ahead of the game. I know a lot of friends and colleagues who have been casualties of downsizing, myself included, albeit when I was much younger and the stakes were much lower. This is just the world we marketing people live in, for better or worse.

While the same could be said for pretty much all businesses, one thing I’ve always been aware of with my parents’ generation — and jealous of — was the value of long-standing commitment to a company, a body of colleagues, and a job done right and well. My dad works with guys who I’ve known since I was a toddler, which is admirable, wonderful and becoming increasingly rare. Despite this, at the end of the day they were all treated like just a number; something that most of us no longer blink an eye at, but rather hope our number isn’t one that’s called for the chopping block.

George and Ashley Casiano

George and Ashley Casiano. (Submitted photo)

My dad will be OK — despite everything, he’s resilient and (finally!) a few years shy of retirement, so hopefully will be able to land a job that doesn’t suck the vitality out of him before then. But I can’t help but think about some of the things he (and many others) have been utterly robbed of: being celebrated for decades of hard work and service to a company who resorted to mass e-mail to let them know that it was all over, just like that. Being able to go into an incredibly well-earned retirement not having to worry about what’s next, other than maybe brushing up on his golf game or deciding which country — on the list that sat and waited while he worked instead — to visit. Instead, he’ll tap into every resource hoping it will pan out in that aforementioned job.

As we continue to strive for relentless modernization and desperately look to find efficiency in work and daily life, we seem to have lost sight of those qualities that used to matter, both professionally and personally. It scares me, and it discourages me. That said, I realize I’m part of the problem — I use Amazon religiously; I would much rather do everything online than in person; I would rather e-mail than God forbid pick up the phone — essentially, I’m helping to put “archaic” businesses like my dad’s out of commission.

Bottom line, my wish (or “key takeaway” if you will) is that in a climate where we’re all just rushing to rise to the top, make the most money, and get things done (and get them done fast), we don’t ever forget the people who helped get us there in the first place; and to treat them with dignity and respect.

Postscript: George Casiano landed a job in sales with Central Freight Lines, covering a territory from Maine to Tennessee for the Waco, Texas-based less-than-truckload carrier.