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Posts tagged ‘engineering techs’

Painter’s View: Pro Linebacker on Property

A True Hotel New Year’s Tale…

 

I would have recognized the former Chicago Bears linebacker anywhere. Even sitting at the bottom of the playground’s purple slide.

 

Nearby, two children – identical in size and features – played on the monkey bars.

 

Suddenly, the retired football player jumped up, sprinted toward the young boys, and grabbed them under his massive arms.  “Let’s go find your grandmother,” he cheered. And off they went.

 

I didn’t see the highly-respected athlete again. But a teammate in engineering sure did. And, he set out to get an autograph from the man.

 

“He give much (to) sick children in Mexico City after earthquakes,” my coworker said. “Years ago. He still help. Hospital. Orphanage.”

 

“Really?” Sorry to say, I knew little about the pro player’s life since he took off that helmet and famous jersey.

 

The former Chicago Bears record holder wasn’t the only good man around the hotel that Christmas holiday season.

 

Later that afternoon, I spotted Carlos (not real name) handing two-twenty dollar bills to a fellow engineering tech. Earlier, everyone in the department had chipped in to help Rory (not real name) buy a new car battery, so he could drive off the hotel property at the end of his shift. The collection had come up short.

 

Carlos was not loaded with money. He had a large family to feed. Probably, he needed that forty dollars for their Christmas.

 

Later that day, near quitting time, I wandered into the kitchen. The cook was getting ready to discard food, left over from a banquet in the conference center.

 

“Lots of good food, just going to waste,” he said shaking his head. “We always prepare extra. There’s enough here to feed a small army.”

 

“Or two large families,” I grinned.

 

Immediately, an image popped into my brain. “I know two staff members’ families that could really use this food. Do you have any doggie boxes?”

 

The cook stepped over to a cupboard and pulled out a stack of Styrofoam carriers. “I’ll dish up. You close and put into two groups. One for each guy.”

 

We hurried. The wall clock said ten after four. “We’ll just make it.” I punched my mobile. “Carlos, find Rory and both of you come to the kitchen. Pronto.”

 

“What’s up, Bob?”

 

“You’ll see.” I got back to work helping to box up the leftover food. There was ham, potato fries, dressing, sweet potato boats, green beans, carrots, and chocolate cake squares, with red and green (butter) icing. .

 

The doors to the kitchen flew open, and both Carlos and Rory burst in. “What’s up, Bob?”

 

“These!” exclaimed the cook. “For you. Your families.”

 

“WHAT?!?”  Neither man got it.

 

“I hope that you got that new battery put in your car, Rory.” I thought: ‘cause you’re going to need to get this food home pronto.

 

Then, the engineering teammates did get it.

 

Excitedly, the cook and I bagged all of the filled boxes. Handing three large bags to each man.

 

Before Carlos and Rory left, all four of us were sworn to secrecy. But, something told me that even the G.M. would have given his “OK.” Especially, if he’d known each tech’s situation.

 

Interestingly, when I started at the hotel, both Carlos and Rory had been among the group of teammates that ate lunch together, and spoke only Spanish. I’d felt left out… a newcomer to the “hotel family.”

 

Isn’t it funny how time, experience and real teamwork brings people together? I’ll bet that’s something that the former Bears linebacker could have taught us a lot about!

 

FINAL NOTE: Many thanks to all hotel and facility team members that look out for their peers.

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Noticing and filling a teammate’s need doesn’t take much time, just an open soul.

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Many thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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

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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.

Changes and Advancements in Hotel/Facility Painting, Part 2: Products and Materials

 

Introduction:

 

Products and materials designed for the hospitality painting market are developed for (1) aesthetics of the guest environment, and (2) durability. For a paint job to last, there has to be color retention, as well as resistance to fading – and the elements.

The market now manufactures products with low odor, excellent matching qualities and high coverage. All to reduce the amount of products/materials used, and increases in cost.

 

1. Changes and Advancements in Products:

 

A. Waterborne interior alkyd. Feature: Provides hard, durable finish ideal for moldings, doors, furniture, and cabinetry.

B. Dual component paints. Feature: Designed to act as both primer and finish.

C. Exterior clear coats for wood. Feature: Increase color retention, and to aid in the prevention of cracking and mold damage.

D. Flame retardant additives for paint.

E. Silicon-based anti-fouling paints. Advantage: Reduce ship hull conductivity and corrosion.

F. Waterborne odorless epoxy. Feature: Provides hard, durable interior finish on drywall and masonry surfaces.

 

Comments about Products:

 

Manufacturers make every effort to develop products that are designed to ease application by painters and finishers, and consumers. Also, they strive for products that create a more durable finish.

 
2. Changes and Advancements in Materials – eg. wallcoverings:

 

A. Resin-based wallcovering. Feature: Designed to simulate natural woods and textiles.

B. Plasticized resin. Featured use: Coating of siding, wood, or metal.

C. Vinyl wallcovering. Feature: Simulates decorative finishes.

D. Colorized sand-finished plaster. Advantage: Eliminates the need for paint.

 

Comments about Materials:

 

Advancement in materials is highly specialized. Modern architectural design stimulates the need for materials which are new. Also, it requires an advanced chemical design and composition of materials. Example: A plastic which looks like metal.

 
Closing Comments about Painting Products and Materials:

 

Select a product or material which best suits your intended use. When you want a finish to last, follow the manufacturer’s and vendor’s recommendations. From surface preparation through the final finishing stages.

Learn about the development and testing of construction materials that address problems with which you must deal on a regular basis. Example: Materials that actually deter the growth and infestation of toxic black mold fungi.  Such materials are of special interest to painters and engineering techs, as well as other hotel and facility workers, in high-heat/high-humidity regions of the country.

 

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Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

 

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