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Best Companies To Work For In BC

written by John Chow on December 6, 2006

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I just received my December issue of BC Business magazine. This is the issue where they tell which companies are the best to work for. You would think in high tech British Colombia the best employers are high tech firms like EA Canada (headquartered in Burnaby) or Sierra Wireless (headquartered in Richmond). Not on your life. The best company to work for in BC is a company that makes boxes. This was followed by a company that removes junk (they were #1 last year).

The Great Little Box Company is anything but little. There has been five major warehouse expansions since the company’s founding in 1982. In early 2005, Great Little Box Company purchased 10 acres of property on Mitchell Island in Richmond. The facility measures 250,000 square feet and employs 170 people. Needless to say, they make a hell of lot of boxes.

Last year’s winner, 1-800-Got-Junk?, takes the number 2 spot this year. In 1989, university student Brian Scudamore encountered a tight summer job market in Vancouver. It was that summer, while waiting at a McDonald’s drive-thru, that Brian discovered his future career in junk. Brian spotted a beat up junk truck with Mark’s Junk Pickup painted on the side, and was inspired to spend his last $700 on a used pickup and start his own junk removal service. 1-800-GOT-JUNK? has grown from one location in Vancouver, to over 200 Franchise locations world wide.

It’s very interesting to read why these companies are BC’s best employers. Neither Great Little Box or Got Junk are top paying companies. Let’s face it, it doesn’t take that much skills to make a box or pick up junk. Instead, they reward their employees with a good work environment and a sense of family.

I thought it was interesting that Aritzia, the store that Ashley dragged me into during our Christmas shopping weekend, is number 5 on the list. No doubt about it, BC has some great employers. Just don’t expect to get rich working for them.

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{ 13 comments }

Gdog December 6, 2006 at 5:48 pm

What would you rather do? Take a high paying job with long hours, or work a low paying job working little hours? That was an essay topic I assigned a while ago, and most students picked the low paying job because they wanted to have more fun and enjoy themselves. That’s probably because they go to 4-5 academies on top of public school.

Carl December 6, 2006 at 6:34 pm

That Junk business might have a nice job and benefits and all, but who the fuck wants to be clean up peoples’ garbage for a living? I think it should automatically be disqualified as a “top company to work for in BC”

colin February 10, 2007 at 1:00 pm

you’re an idiot. it’s not working in the truck picking up junk that won best company to work for. it’s working at the call centre doing inbound telephone sales or account management. fool.

Matt December 6, 2006 at 8:49 pm

Carl – It’s a job like anything else. You say picking up garbage sucks? I don’t know what you do for a living, but lets take Mr. Chow here. I’m sure there are plenty of garbagemen who think blogging and doing tech hardware reviews for a living is pointless. It just comes down to your lifestyle and point of view.

Michael Kwan December 6, 2006 at 9:24 pm

My friend used to work for 1-800-Got-Junk in their call center. He enjoyed it but the hours were strange and the pay was mediocre. He appears to be a career call center guy though, because the only reason why he quit Got-Junk (which he did say was fun to work with, mostly because the people you work with are around the same age… i.e., early 20s or so) was to get a higher paying call center job at CIBC where he gets more “normal” hours.

Tyler December 6, 2006 at 10:33 pm

The company I work for is one of Great Little Box Company’s bigger clients. In fact my landlord was recently hired by them for some sorta of region sales.

Another thing I learnt about the Great Little Box Company is that they send their employees to Mexico for a 1 week vaction in the winter months.

Oh and another thing, I swear this is the last, they also put on BBQs for their top Clients.

About a dozen employees of the Great Little Box Company came to our location and BBQ’d for about 90 of us!

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Rich From Your Home December 7, 2006 at 12:17 pm

I’ve heard that 1-800-got-junk has very stringent/strange hiring policies… They hold group interviews and if you’re not a certain personality type, they won’t even bring you back for a second interview despite having excellent qualifications.

Anyone know if that’s true?

My New Choice December 7, 2006 at 1:48 pm

It is interesting that often times the companies voted the best to work for aren’t always the best paying companies. While the paycheck is important at the end of the day, you really cannot discount having true enjoyment in going to work each day.

Hearing your stories of the area keeps making me want to visit the area. The closest I have made it is Seattle a few years back so now I just need to convince the Mrs. that it would be a nice vacation destination.

Tyler Ingram December 7, 2006 at 6:27 pm

Vancouver is definately a great spot to visit. During the winter it is nice to go snowboarding/skiing up at Whistler or even the local mountains like Grouse of Seymour.

Just remember out climate/weather is the same as Seattle so don’t expect high temperatures and sunny skies all year round ;)

My New Choice December 7, 2006 at 8:20 pm

Tyler, thanks for the information. If I am to convince my wife of a visit, it will be during the warmer months as she is not a fan of cold/snow/skiing/etc. :)

steven zussino December 8, 2006 at 12:34 am

Vancouver is a nice place to live and work but it is still a big city (like Toronto), the article should also pay attention to major employers elsewhere (like Coast Capital Savings, BC Ferries, Prov gov’t) that have a nice mix of work/play.

Stephen December 8, 2006 at 1:25 am

Got Junk charges a LOT for their service. A half hour job is like $100 bucks. I wonder how much the company actually gets and how much the employees get. I used them once, and their guys were actually extremely professional.