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Painter’s World: “Please Find My Dolly.”

A True Hotel Holiday Tale…

 

She couldn’t have been more than five years old. I’d just rounded a building, and climbed out of the golf cart. The little girl ran toward me.

“My dolly. Mein puppe. My dolly.” Tears gushed out of her deep blue-green eyes. Wide with fear. “My dolly,” she sobbed, as she grabbed onto a woman’s hand.

“May I help you, Mam?” I asked.

“My doteur lose her doll.”

 

It was Christmas Eve at the hotel. Guests and visitors swarmed the property. The Seralago was at full capacity. Actually at overflow.

I knelt down to the child’s level. “What is your dolly’s name?”“

“Katweena,” she cried. “Dolly Katweena.”

“Katrina? That’s a pretty name.” The child reminded me of my sister. What she probably looked like at that age. Beautiful, natural wavy hair that encircled her round face. Like an angel’s golden halo.

“Can you tell me what your dolly looks like?”

“Like me.”

“Blonde hair?” I looked to the mother, who struggled with her English.

“Katrina large. (The woman moved her arms about 20-22 inches in height.) “Baby doll. Pink dress. White pinafore. Shoes, like Marta’s. (She looked down at her daughter’s white tie shoes.

The little girl had inched closer to me. “You find Katweena?” she asked, almost in a whisper.

How could I refuse? It may have been close to clocking out. But, no way could I leave that property before finding that child’s doll.

“Madam, do you know where your daughter might have left her doll?

“We – family – by pool. Close gazebo. Husband and sons swim. I read in chair. Marta stand by small pool, for little ones.” The woman’s voice sort of dropped away. Her eyes full of concern.

“I’ll start by the pool then. Where will you be, Madam? What room?” I stopped. Family of five, I thought. “Does your family have a suite here?”

“Yes. Suite. Children’s fun room. Building 100-200.” She hesitated, “Please find. Must fly home day after Christmas. Germany.”“We’ll find your daughter’s doll.”

“We’ll find your daughter’s doll.” The lady smiled, then bent down and hugged her little girl.

 

Standing, I reached for my mobile, and called Security.

“Please put out the word. We’re looking for a lost doll. Long, blonde hair. Pink dress, white pinafore, and white tie shoes. Doll is 18-22 inches tall.” I told security where I was, and the guest’s suite number.

I felt a tug on one of my pants legs. My “whites” were splattered with pastel yellow and mint green paint. (We’d had an incident in another suite. It needed a quick repaint, the entire suite.)

“Please find her.” The little girl’s eyes bore into mine.

“I will. I promise.”

 

After clearing where I could find the family within the next hour, I re-parked my golf cart. And I took off.

First, I scoured the entire pool area, including the gazebo. Also the children’s playground. Just in case. I checked every spot within that general radius, certain that the child had not wandered far from her family’s location by the pool.

For over a half-hour, I looked. Nothing. And, no one else – in security – had found the doll either.

I decided to find the family. To reassure the mother – the little girl – that I was still looking. And that other staff members were looking, too.

The family was back at the pool area. The little girl spotted me and met me part way. “You not find my Katweena,” she said. Lowering her eyes to the ground.

“Not yet.” I bent down. “But I’m still looking.” I forced a smile. “She has to be here somewhere. Right?”

“Wight!” The child agreed. A slight smile appeared on her tear-moist face.

 

About fifteen minutes later,  I looked toward a sort of out-of-the-way corner near the gazebo. I’ll never know why. Something just pulled me there.

I darted toward an area opposite the pool. Past the gazebo. Around the corner. Toward this nearby pool supply building.

There she was! Doubled over on the concrete walk. I couldn’t wait to grab hold of that dolly. Wipe her off. Straighten up her dress and pinafore. And, smooth down her curls.

 

I will always remember the look on that little girl’s face. The moment she spotted her dolly in my arms.

It was the same kind of “love-look” that I remembered seeing, many times, on my sister’s face when we were kids. Especially when she was playing with her Madame Alexander Baby Doll.  “Cookie.”

"COOKIE" circa 1972

 “COOKIE” – circa 1972

 

I worked the next day. Christmas Day. And, I had the chance to see little Marta and her family before they caught the shuttle to Orlando International Airport.

Working on Christmas – that Christmas – offered such a remarkable reward. The gift of being surrounded by people – hundreds of families – on the most important day of the year.

 

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Bless you and yours this holiday season.

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Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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

Painter’s View: Modifying Your Hotel’s Color Scheme

Supposedly, residential painters possess the greatest creative latitude in using color. Their palette is color wheel sized.

Hotel and facility painters tend to be confined to the master color scheme established for the property. Then, specific surfaces, areas and amenities on the property.

That said, they can expand that palette. They can give the property, and people, a huge boost!

 

My suggestion? Start on the right foot.

1. Be certain that you have identified the exact color scheme currently approved by the owners.

2. Check out where what colors are used.
Example: Sherwin-Williams Yellow crème. Front road entrance and lobby/office building.
Example: S-W Chinese Red. Front entrance and lobby building fascia.
Example: S-W Deep Mint Green. Exteriors of guest buildings.
Example: S-W Bright Gold. Exterior doors of guest rooms.

3. Confirm with the owners their preferences and limitations for making color use changes.
Q. What colors in that color scheme can be modified?
Q. What new tints, hues and/or shades are acceptable?
Q. On which surfaces and areas can what specific new colors be applied?

TIP: Get sample color swatches approved in advance. In writing!

 

TEN TIPS FOR MODIFYING COLOR SCHEMES

1. Building exterior fascia and trim. Be consistent.
Example: If the front lobby building is trimmed in S-W Chinese Red, then trim all buidings on the property in the same color hue. The finish may need to be varied, depending on the surface.

2. Option: If color scheme features, say, six colors, use all six at front entrance area. Then, paint the fascia and trim on each building in one, or different hue from color scheme palette.

3. Then, paint other exterior surfaces on or near respective building in that hue.

4. Select one color from the color scheme. Mix two-to-three tints closely related to that color. Choose two-to-three types of surfaces and areas around the property to paint in those different tints.
Example: Park benches, signage frames, litter collection boxes. Paint in S-W Medium Mint Green, one of the new tints.

5. Select two colors from interior color scheme. Mix two-to-five tints closely related to those colors. Then, choose two-to-five types of surfaces/areas to paint in those new tints.

6. Choose two different tints from the same new one above. Paint two areas in the office area in those tints to liven up the workspace.

7. Choose the mid-level tint from that 2-5 that you mixed already. Create accent wall in sales director’s office. Paint darker tint on bottom half of the wall. Then, tint that color two levels lighter. Use that color to apply decorative finish – eg. vertical stripe – to upper half of wall.
Added touch: Paint a long narrow section of wainscoting/trim a darker tint of same color. And install it mid-point horizontally.

8. For the G.M’s office, use the darkest tint that you mixed. Create an accent wall by applying decorative finish on entire wall.

9. In main hallway to a restaurant, brush on a light tint of one of the lobby colors from the color scheme. Added touch: Paint wainscoting/trim section in same tint, or two shades darker.

10. Fitness room. Paint three-foot wide vertical stripe on both entry walls. Use one of lighter colors from master color scheme.

The idea is to build on the color scheme that you already have in place. Wherever possible, you want to extend and accentuate that theme. You want to unify the overall aesthetic appearance of painted and decorated elements on the property.

And, ultimately, you want to strengthen and solidify the guests, and teammates, overall perception and connection to your hotel.

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A painter’s role includes the enhancement of what’s already there!
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Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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

Painter’s View: Working a Holiday Shift

Working a holiday shift has its rewards. Take Labor Day at a hotel or hospital.

 

  1. The overall mood of the staff is more upbeat, spontaneous and relaxed.
  2. Guests or patients are feeling upbeat and sociable, even to staff.
  3. Fewer members of management may be around to interrupt your work.
  4. Supervisors tend to move in slower gear, and accept the same from team members.
  5. The painter’s tasks and work orders can often be completed in minimal time.
  6. Management demands cause less stress.
  7. The overall atmosphere around the property is lighter, even enjoyable.
  8. The dining menus offer more festive, fun choices – even in the staff/employee cafeteria.
  9. Lunch breaks may be a little longer if the workload is light – and relatively routine.
  10. More opportunities may come along to chat with teammates – in your own and other departments.
  11. Extra treats, from the chef, may be available for free. Particularly, if he and his kitchen helpers have been cooking for a big event at the hotel.
  12. Clocking out may be a little later than usual; but the reason is usually worth it.
  13. Guests or patients like the chance to visit with you a few minutes.

 

 

Eight Tips for Enjoying that Holiday Work Shift

 

  1. In advance: Pick a painting project you can easily leave and return to throughout the day.
  2. Schedule to eat lunch with one or more teammates, and share the holiday spirit.
  3. Share your morning and afternoon breaks with any fellow staff member that’s nearby.
  4. Help a teammate handle a work order that is clearly a pain in the grain.
  5. Look alive! Lend a hand when you see a coworker struggling with a large arm load of stuff, or trying to move a piece of furniture or equipment.
  6. Treat your supervisor on duty to a soda, coffee, or snack.
  7. Say more than a “hello” to guests or patients located in your general work area.
  8. Volunteer to help a teammate or supervisor with a task or work order so everyone in your department can leave on schedule.

 

Turn your holiday work shift into an experience you wouldn’t mind repeating. And, help others to feel the same.

 

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Your hotel’s or hospital’s paintshop doesn’t close just because it’s a legal holiday.

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Thank you, holiday shift painters, for staying on the job.

 

And thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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

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