Painting and Decorating Made Easier!

Posts tagged ‘Engineering/Facilities Services’

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.

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.


Stress Management in Poorly Managed High-Stress Environments

Managing your own stress is very doable. You concentrate on your own job, how you do it – and how you relate to teammates. While you’re doing your job.


Some workers, including painters, switch their priorities: people first, and their job second.


Whichever works for you, stress-wise, is fine. Hopefully, it will be fine with management, too.

As long as you get your job done right.


Tips to manage your own stress


1. Identify what is stressing you out at work.


2. Decide which stressors you can control. Which stressors do others control?


3. Create a flexible plan for changing those controllable stressors.


Example: Tense workday start? Get to work ten minutes early. Relax before going into gear.

Example: Headache, tense muscles? Walk whenever possible. It relaxes your muscles and brain, and improves your outlook. Note: So what if you need to wear your tool belt, and/or pull along a small supply cart.

Example: Isolation of job? Say “hello” or acknowledge teammates that you run into during the day. You do not need to stop and visit. They have their own jobs and time schedules to keep.

Example: Out-of-loop supervision? Allow 15 minutes a day to catch up with your supervisor. Separate from the time spent working together on a project or order.

Example: “Self-sufficiency syndrome”? Ask for or accept a little teammate help, at least once a week. It helps both of you feel like you belong.

Example: Teammate support? Offer to help a teammate out, at least twice a week. It helps both of you to feel needed.


4. Create an open plan for approaching stressors that are out of your control.


Example: Slow delivery of essential supplies? Let the purchasing manager know why you need certain supplies A.S.A.P. Eg, No-Traffic Zone paint; pool skirt tile grout and sealer.

Example: Frequent toxic mold exposures daily? Offer supervisor and housekeeping a clean-up schedule, that, respectfully, limits your daily heavy exposure to once a day.

Example: Manager criticism? Ask for a 10-15 minute appointment to discuss privately. Quietly and politely, decline and walk away from any public confrontation. It can be done.

Example: Manager and supervisor disagreement over your task? Suggest a three-way break time chat. First, listen to each of them express concerns and ideas for resolving. Then, offer a compromise, or your solution(s), if still relevant.


Your work stress can be managed simply and promptly. Whether its causes or triggers start with you – or someone or something outside of your control. The real choice is always yours!


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Decide to be wise. Develop common sense and good judgment. And, be kind.

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Thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”  Copyright 2015. Robert Hajtovik. All rights reserved.





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