Natasha Cheek is always thinking one step ahead. Since joining Waste Pro as a dispatcher in 2016, Natasha has made it a point to have strong attention to detail and anticipate any issues that may arise so things can be addressed quickly. “Sometimes I’m the last person to leave the building because I’m making sure things are accounted for and the drivers are ready to get in their trucks and go the next day,” she said. “I think that’s what made [Atlanta Division Manager] Jennifer Herring and [Atlanta Regional VP] Mike McGann offer me the job of Commercial Supervisor back in April.”
Natasha was no stranger to dispatching. Prior to joining Waste Pro, she served as an ambulance dispatcher out of the Milton-Alpharetta Police Department in Georgia and spent more than a decade working for the Department of Corrections. “There weren’t a lot of women in those jobs, but like the waste industry, that’s starting to change,” she said. “At first, I felt a little out of place, but I don’t give up on anything. I pushed through.”
From preparing route sheets to making sure all trucks leave on time to handling complaints, Natasha’s top priority is finding solutions. If there is an issue with a driver on the road or a customer who has a problem with their service, she is in constant contact with the crew and management to get it taken care of. “It’s intriguing for me to figure things out throughout the day and come up with solutions to the problems that present themselves,” she said.
Natasha has become very close with the drivers in the Atlanta division, which she said can sometimes be a challenge if she ever has to discipline one in her new role as a supervisor. But, overall, she said she has taken them under her wing and the morale is positive. “They were actually really sad I wouldn’t be their dispatcher any longer, but when they found out I was being promoted to supervisor, they were excited,” she said. “They’ve been in my corner, and they know I won’t steer them wrong; they see me in a positive light.”
It’s been a challenge to adjust to her new position, she said. She knew from the beginning that it would be a very different role than being a dispatcher, but she’s excited to do it. “The sky is the limit – there’s nothing you can’t do,” she said. “You’re only as limited as far as you see yourself going. I didn’t quit and I would advise others to do the same.”
When she’s not working, Natasha has, as she puts it, a ‘thirst for knowledge.’ “Knowledge is power for me. Learning something new is always great,” she said. “I’m always reading a book. I can’t get enough of it.”