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Archive for the ‘engineering techs’ Category

Cocoa Beach Hotel Faces Changes Head On

In March, a hotel GM in Cocoa Beach invited me to stay there for several days. It was the idea of the property management company that had contacted me, way back in 2013, about a position.

 

“Pack a clean set of whites,” had been added at the end of the email. Curious. I did as requested, and headed for the ocean.

 

For the next three days, the hotel’s painter and management company regional director of operations led me around the property. They pointed out surfaces that needed work. They walked me through areas they wanted to improve. They showed me themes and color schemes that the owners wanted to change. And, they made lots of notes on their iPads.

 

The fourth day, we revisited some of those areas. Then, we sat at a small shaded table, and went over the men’s notes. By that time, typed into a hard copy for each of us.

 

Usually, that’s when “the best laid plan hits the fan” (my paraphrase). What the budget can bear differs a lot from the combined needs and wish lists. And, available time and manpower.

 

Not in this case. Everyone at the decision table has been motivated – and ready to move.

 

For example: Here’s what has happened within the last month and a half.

 

  1. A local general contractor was hired to repair and upgrade guest rooms and suites, two restaurants, game room, health club, children’s playground, and part of the conference center.

 

  1. A specialty contractor has signed on to remodel the main kitchen, and public restrooms.

 

  1. The GM has been authorized to add three people to the engineering staff for two full years.

All three will start work August 01, 2017. Each will handle specific aspects of the property upgrade.

 

  1. Grounds-landscaping specialist – Redesign and re-landscape the front entrance, nature sanctuary, rest, and walkway areas.
  2. HVAC and OSHA specialist – Handle vent system cleaning, filter installation, room thermostat replacements, bathroom fan/ventilation system cleaning and repairs.
  3. Painter – Prepping and repainting all areas designated on the improvement list.

 

Each of the three new engineering employees worked previously at, or on, the hotel property.

 

Each is a certified specialist in his or her trade.

 

Each is proficient in English and Spanish. One also speaks and writes Portuguese and Mandarin Chinese.

 

Each is related to a current hotel staff member.

 

Few engineering departments are able to gain three additional workers at once. Fewer have the luxury to employ three specialists at once.

 

It is done more readily in other parts of the U. S. It can be done when both the hotel management and owners are operating on the same wave length. At the same time.

 

An exciting thing to see in action – to be a part of – when it happens.

 

 

“Together… making a place for the human spirit to find ease, if only for one night’s stay…”

 From: Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good, by Jan Karon. Copyright 2015.

 

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As always! Many thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

Copyright 2017. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

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Paintshop: Preserving “Bob the Painter’s” Brushes

My father, “Bob the Painter,” died suddenly in 1993. He left behind a huge inventory of painting and decorating products, materials, supplies, tools, and portable equipment.

 

Included were thirty-nine (39) paintbrushes, most of them Purdy or Wooster.

 

. 13 China bristle – for oil-base/alkyd base paints

. 12 synthetic/nylon bristle – for water-base or latex paint products

.   7 lacquering brushes

.  7 faux finishing brushes

.  5 boxes of disposable (cheap) brushes – for building up primers/sealing

 

A tall and skinny, hand-crafted wood cabinet housed over 31 assorted artist brushes.

 

All paintbrushes were in very good-to-excellent shape. Bristles dense and springy, solidly embedded by “plugs” in tight-fitting metal ferrules; and firm, flagged/frayed ends.

 

All brushes were well-maintained, very clean, and no paint/residue build up anywhere.

 

Four China bristle brushes set in a small amount of solvent solution in Dad’s metal brush carrier. And, three or four artist brushes lay in a tray containing “fresh” water.

 

I was amazed – still am – at his attention to tool maintenance. His paintshop in our huge garage always looked in disarray. Yet, in a flash, he could find whatever he needed. Or, he could tell me exactly where to find something.

 

Recently, an e-mail appeared from the contractor to whom we sold most of Dad’s paintshop inventory. He said that his son had taken over the business in 2008. And, most of my dad’s paintbrushes were still being used.

 

That meant that the contractor and son had been doing a great job of maintaining those brushes, too.

 

In 1993, I kept at least nine of Dad’s paint and finishing brushes. I pulled them out last week-end. In an obscure spot on the handle of each brush a year had been etched.

 

On one China bristle brush: 1975; on another: 1986. On one synthetic/nylon bristle brush: 1984; on another: 1992.

 

The latter one may have been the last paintbrush that my dad ever purchased. It’s a 2-inch, angled sash with chisel tips. It’s like new and still in its Purdy holder. Even though I know that I’ve used that brush hundreds of times since 1993.

 

Great, well-made paintbrushes last. In fact, they get better and better with age. Just like some people and pets that I’ve known, too.

 

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Treat your paintbrushes better than your girlfriend or wife;

And they will support you well throughout your life.

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Take care. Thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

Copyright 2016. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

Paintshop: Equipping Engineering Techs with Right Paint Colors

My biggest staff painter challenge was ensuring that the other engineering techs to use the correct paint products for handling “painter” work orders on my days off. Mainly touching up surfaces in guest rooms and visible public areas.

 

They had neither the “eye” nor the time to match paint products in the shop to the paint colors of smaller areas needing repainting.

 

Yes, it was easy for them to find all of the cans of yellow latex paint, for instance. A paint chip was displayed on the lid of each container. And, it was easy to identify which cans of yellow paint had been used in the guest room originally in Building Two.

 

However, it was difficult to select the exact matching tint of yellow latex needed to touch up a particular spot or wall in a particular room. One reason: Over time, the original paint color on the wall would have faded or discolored. Why: Due to sun exposure, repeated household chemical cleanings and/or surface damage.

 

In most instances, after returning from days off, I’d quietly re-touch up the “touch-ups.” No big deal was made about the error in paint color selection. Nothing was said about the added time that it took to back pedal, and redo painting work orders. And, I’d never say a word to the tech about the chief engineer’s or general manager’s related complaints.

 

Painters, here’s one method to simplify the paint color selection job for your techy teammates.

 

  1. Go through all of the paint cans in the shop.
  2. Create a chart showing a chip for every paint can you have.
  3. Take the paint chip chart along as you make your daily rounds – eg. guest rooms, public areas, activity rooms, offices.
  4. Match each chip to the surface/area that it matches, and notate information.
  5. Back in the shop, add surface, area/wall and room information to every paint can label in the place. Write date that you matched the paint chip to surface.
  6. Group and shelve the paint cans according to building and room/area.
  7. Put up a small “poster” to identify those products by area.
  8. Make up a quick-reference wall chart for your engineering teammates.
  9. Give each guy a little one-on-one tour of the paint can setup. Show how to use the set up to their advantage.

 

NOTE: My engineering teammates made it clear that they did not like the hassle they got from the bosses, hotel management and guests  about the use of the wrong paint products and/or colors.

 

FOOTNOTE: You are bound to run into this type of problem. It really can’t be prevented totally.

 

BEST PIECE OF ADVICE: Do your best to keep the paint products in the paintshop organized and easy to access. Also, go easy on your teammates. They’re just trying to cover for you when you’re unable to be there.

 

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Train your engineering teammates in the paint touch-up methods that work for everyone.

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Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

Copyright 2016. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

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