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Posts tagged ‘Consulting Painter’

Painter’s World: How Last Stops Can Play Forward

In December of 1992, my father visited Florida – and his daughter – for the last time. Every year, he planned it so that he’d be in the “Sunshine State” to celebrate his birthday.

 

On the way to South Florida, he stopped at St. Augustine. He walked through the Fort, and checked out the cannons pointed out to sea (Atlantic Ocean). He knelt and prayed in the tiny chapel nearby, where the Spanish explorers prayed for calm seas. He toured the Henry Flagler Museum, and admired examples of the world’s rarest seashells.

 

He window-shopped along the cobblestone-covered street where top artists and craftspersons displayed and sold their works. He got acquainted with one of Florida’s, and the city’s, most renowned oil painters. He drove through torrential rains and winds to St. Augustine Island, to buy a relic nautical bell, from a diver that explored old sunken ships.

 

In South Florida, he gave his daughter a ride to work for three days straight because it took her hatchback auto so long to defrost and warm on cold, icy mornings. Early mornings, he (and Mom) walked along Bal Harbor Beach, between one of Sunny Isle’s most expensive oceanfront condo buildings and Baker’s Haulover Cut, a channel that connected the Intercoastal Waterway to the Atlantic.

 

Outside, he waited in line for an hour or longer to bite into one of the best, and largest, Kosher sandwiches in the Southeast. (He had a Classic Cornbeef; Mom had her Reuben.)

 

The afternoon of Christmas Day, he walked along the southerly stretch of that Bal Harbor Beach. Ahead of his daughter and Mom. His head hung low; his steps slower that usual. Whenever he glanced back at family strolling behind, he wore a contemplative look on his face.

 

One morning, he followed up with a lead from a real estate broker that handled large residential properties in Golden Beach. It was located along a small stretch of ocean property between Sunny Isles and Hollywood.

 

He admired several new oceanfront mansions along Ocean Boulevard. Eventually, he pulled into the drive at the address given to him. A massive, U-shaped stucco mansion, painted in a soft Golden-yellow, towered before him. A lean, bronze-tanned man – the Italian architect – stood by a long and glossy black Mercedes.

 

“Distinguished, friendly” was the way Dad described the man during a long-distance phone call to me on Christmas Day. He also said that the man’s oldest son had been pre-med at Purdue, the same time that I was there.

 

My father got out of his like-new grey Chevy Suburban, and introduced himself. The gentleman laid down his tube of blueprints, then took Dad on a tour of the 10,500 -plus square foot home.

Over thirty minutes later, the two men re-emerged, wide smiles on their faces.

 

After an embrace and a “Chiao,” Dad climbed back into his vehicle. He handed Mom two business cards, and a handwritten note on the architect’s engraved personal stationery. And he said, “We’re moving to Southeast Florida. I’m going into painting here. My own shop. Mr. V is my first client…”

 

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know that Dad never made it back to Florida. (Well, not in his well-known earthly form.)

 

FAST FORWARD…

 

Christmas 2017, I will be my sister’s guest when she spends over three days at the Golden Beach home of that Italian architect’s son and his family. Longtime customers of my sister’s employer.

 

When the invitation card was forwarded to me, it contained an interesting old photo. Taken in December of 1992, it showed my father, a distinguished gentleman wearing an Ivory silk suit, and a third man dressed in “painter whites.”

 

They stood in a large marble-walled rotunda at that Golden Beach home. Under a partially-completed dome ceiling: A replica of the Sistene Chapel.

 

Standing to the side of the three men was a man a little younger than I. He was dressed in a black turtleneck and worn jeans. (He looked a little familiar.)

 

“The guy in the dirty jeans is me,” my sister’s Christmas week host had scrawled at the bottom of his invitation note. He added, “I hope that you can make it. Condolences about your father. He would have liked it here. Done very well… My father liked him.”

 

SMALL WORLD, ISN’T IT?

 

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Every meeting in passing is an opportunity about to unfold.  RDH

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Many thanks for doing your work and living your life with a conscientious soul.

And, thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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

Consulting in the Painting Trade

 

Why do highly skilled, innovative and excellent employees turn to self-employment and consulting? 

 

In October, I surveyed fifty-two journey-level painters that had left “boss situations.” All had gone into contracting and/or consulting. All possessed over 15 years of previous experience painting, in an employee or staff member capacity. Examples: contractor, facility, government, private corporation, institution, school system, property management company, etc.

 

Many of the painters “commented” with the following reasons for offering consulting services:

 

  1. Decision-makers already seek out their creative ideas and advice.
  2. These people tend to listen, use and follow suggestions.
  3. They tend to pay well for the expertise and direction.

 

Another reason given: RESPECT!

 

Three former employee painters described the well-known “suggestion box” scenario.

 

Some employers set out suggestion boxes to impress employees with their “inclusion” policies. They might read the suggestions. Often, they are filed away, or “shelved.” The employees, including the painter, hear nothing more about them.

 

Decision-makers that tap consultants will actually read those employee suggestions. They will act upon them. Moreover, they will include the employees in those follow-through activities.

 

Why do skilled, successful and excellent employers turn to consultants that, previously, were highly skilled and excellent staff painters?

 

Twenty-five employers with staff painters on board were surveyed a month earlier, in September.

 

Many “commented” with three reasons they turned to painting consultants that previously served as staff painters.

 

  1. The consultant will work as smart and hard for them, and they worked before, as employees.
  2. The consultant will take the time to learn and understand all about them, their business, their problems, and their circumstances.
  3. The consultant will do everything in his or her power to (a) find the right solutions and (b) help them – customer/client – actually put those solutions into practice.

 

Another term for it: MUTUAL RESPECT!

 

In painting and decorating, consulting is an important part of every project. It is a key element in every successful and trusting painter and client/customer relationship.

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Reach out. Give where you can. Build a network.

Root yourself. Help others do the same.

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Many thanks, to everyone, for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

Copyright 2015. Robert Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

 

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