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Posts tagged ‘Hotel painter’

Surviving a Hotel or Hospital Property Sale

The rumor mill has been grinding out “guess whats” for weeks. The “hotel” or “hospital” where you work is up for sale.

 

The order comes down, straight from the top.6uT

 

‘Be on your best behavior.”  “Keep this place running smoothly.”  “Keep your mouth shut.”

“You never know who might be watching – or standing in front of you.”

 

“Don’t blow it!”

 

Then you hear that the strangers walking around are prospective buyers.

 

“Keep on your toes. Stay alert.”

 

For weeks… months, the staff sees a steady stream of serious buyers canvassing the property.

“Be extra courteous and hospitable,” management team tells everyone.

 

The stream of prospects reduces to a trickle. It might even stop altogether. Or so it seems.

 

Then the big guys show up. With their cameras, webcams, custom-apped smartphones, tape measures, calculators, etc. It appears that they’re walking around every foot of the place. Staff spots them everywhere. Even in secured, private areas.

 

Things quiet down again. You see a handful of the same people moving around the property. Checking things out very carefully, several times. The rumor mill shuts down.

 

Word leaks out: The property has been sold. The G.M. confirms it. An announcement to all staff includes the name or names of the new owner/owners, and their take-over date.

 

All this while you’ve needed to get your work done.

A lull hits the entire organization. An eerie type of mourning engulfs the place. A very brief time is allowed for everyone to accept the news.

 

The transition work begins for everyone.

 

You – and probably everyone else on staff – start asking the same questions:

 

  1. What are the new company’s policies and rules?
  2. What are the new company’s practices that every staff member is expected to follow, effective immediately?
  3. What are the new company’s policies, rules and practices specifically aimed at your department? For your job as “Painter”?
  4. What kind of help will be available if you run into any problem trying to work under the new system?
  5. How long do you get to make the transition?
  6. Is your job at risk? How long do you have?

 

Usually, change takes place very quickly, when a hotel or hospital property is sold.

 

They “clean house” thoroughly. Bodies are moved out at sometimes a shockingly fast speed. And, heads roll.

 

The chain of command may change. Management may change drastically.

 

For those staff members left, job descriptions change and switch. Work shifts and schedules may change. Pay scales, dress codes and benefit packages will probably change.

 

New owners, new managers, new game.

 

Surviving the sale many not be your call. Surviving may, or may not, be what you think.

 

 A few tips for surviving the sale of your workplace

 

  1. Promptly start getting ready for whatever may be coming down, at the first hint of a possible change of hands.
  2. “Keep your nose clean,” as my father once advised.
  3. “Zip your lip,” as my grandfather used to say.
  4. “Prepare for every possible scenario that may affect you,” as I’m suggesting via this blog.

 

Final note: Some property sales move silently and swiftly. No signs. No rumors. No strange visitors milling around. No news!
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Surviving the sale of your work property comes down to your self-preservation skills, and attitude.

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Thanks for following “Painting with Bob.”

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

Call 911 First, Security Second. Override Policy.

Certain circumstances call for a staff member – eg. Painter – to phone 911 FAST! Then Security.

 
Some emergency situations on the job demand immediate action, whether the person is a teammate or manager, guest/visitor, vendor, or property’s owner. Your response must be quick, precise and necessary.

 

Call 911 or Chief of Security First. It’s Your Call – 11 Examples

 

  1. Trips, falls – especially involving blows to the head.
  2. Severe asthma attacks – clamped breathing.
  3. Adverse reactions to toxic exposure – lost vision, can’t breathe, immediate rash, swelling.
  4. Hazardous materials contact – eyes, skin, lungs.
  5. Stroke symptoms – face numb, speech slur, arm drop, lost balance, blurry vision, dizzy.
  6. Heart attack symptoms – chest/back/shoulder pain, dizziness, numbness, sweating, shortness of breath, nausea.
  7. Choking – Note: While waiting, Heimlich method may be wise action.
  8. Turning blue – any part of body. Also look for stopped breathing, numbness signs.
  9. Allergic reactions – Sudden swelling, rash, hives, clamped breathing.
  10. Paralysis, numbness, tingling – No time to hesitate!
  11. Heat illness symptoms – weakness, sweating, dizziness, dehydration, thirst, tremors.

 

Anyone who is experiencing any of the above symptoms, or any combination of them, requires immediate emergency help.

 

At least four times on the same job, I was in crisis. I suffered at least two of the above sets of symptoms. Other people were around in each instance. No one called 911. Care to guess what happened eventually?

 

3 REAL-LIFE COMPANY PAINTER CRISIS SITUATIONS

 

ONE. Joel was on the job less than a week. He’d moved to Florida to help care for his elderly parents. He noticed something wasn’t right the minute he removed the lid from a new gallon of paint. Sudden headache, problem breathing, burning eyes, itching skin.

 

“Latex is non-toxic,” he told himself.

 

When he got dizzy, he stumbled out of the hotel guest room. He yelled for help, and pushed the call button on the mobile. No one came.

 

TWO. Maria was considered one of the most fastidious housekeepers at the hotel. The director of her department had put her in charge of mold and mildew cleanups. She’d suffered mild mold fungi symptoms from Day 1 on the job, over 17 years ago.

 

Shortly after her fortieth birthday, she noticed the problems weren’t getting better. After every exposure to the mold, then the chlorine bleach cleaning agent, her eyes burned and wouldn’t focus. She experienced serious problems driving, reading, knitting, etc. Her chest muscles ached. She felt tired a lot. She developed skin rashes, even hives.

 

Less than one hour after clocking in one morning, she was washing walls down with bleach. She couldn’t get her breath. She got very dizzy, and started to pass out. She pushed her mobile phone button. No immediate response.

 

THREE. Curt dropped a box of full paint spray cans on his head. No big deal, he thought. He loaded up his golf cart, and sped toward the pool side gazebo, to get set up for the day. He felt a little weak, but got busy.

 

By 11:00 AM, he felt nauseous, light-headed, headach-y, and a strange pain around the neck. It was ninety degrees outdoors. He passed out. When he came to, three children stood over him. No one called for help. He got himself into an empty, air-conditioned guest room and spread out on a bed.

 

A “911” situation may not be that obvious at first. You may need to rely on your gut feeling, holler for help, then take a closer look for the other symptoms.

 

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The life you save may be very precious to someone else. Act! Don’t hesitate to help!

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Thank you for reading “Painting with Bob.”

 

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

Paintshop: Expanding your space

Every Paintshop Has Space to Expand. Somewhere!

 

It falls under the lead painter’s job description. And, it requires every engineering team member to keep it in shape.

 

Usually, the paintshop space is smaller than the volume of things that must be housed there. The amount of open floor space is limited. The size of the area available for in-shop work must compete with the space needed for traffic flow; moving supplies, tools and equipment in and out; and tool and equipment maintenance.

 

Thirteen ways to stretch your paintshop’s space

 

1. Every three months, take photos of the paintshop. Print and post on the department bulletin board. How does the place look? Can you see where improvements are needed?

 

2. Monthly, clean house! Get rid of everything that (a) does not belong there, (b) is no longer used, and (c) is too dangerous and unsafe to store there.

 

3. TIP: Discard each item properly and safely, according to MSDS instructions, EPA standards, and your department’s/company’s policies. No exceptions!

 

4. At the end of every day/first shift, pick up after yourselves.

A. Put supplies, tools and equipment in their proper storage places.

B. Tightly close/seal all product cans and containers; place them in designated areas.

C. Into trash receptacle, throw used sandpaper sheets, rags, disposable masks and gloves, etc.

D. Close all drawers, cupboard doors, fold-outs, etc.

5. Regularly, assess how you are using the paintshop space. What kind of space is running short? Shelving, drawers, wall, open work area?

 

6. On 1-inch to 1-foot grid paper, draw a layout of the painshop.

A. Measure each use area; sketch into its proper place on the layout.

B. Examples: Paint can shelving – 12 ft. long; Hazardous chemical steel cabinet – 6 ft. wide; Closet 1 – 4 ft. deep by 8 ft. wide; ladder loft – 6 ft. deep by 8 ft. wide; compressor area – 6 ft. by 6 ft.

 

7. Jot down which spaces are crammed.

A. Make a note of the items in each of those spaces that can be moved to a bigger storage shed or outbuilding on the property.

B. List the types of items that you will still need more space to store.

 

8. Go back to your gridded layout.

A. Where do you have room to make more room? For what kind of inventory?

B. Measure the running feet available to add another shelving section.

C. Measure the area where you can fit a second, smaller cabinet.

D. How can the tool and supply drawers be re-compartmentalized? Cut clutter.

E. Do you have any open wall space, even 4 feet long?

1. Can you build in a counter there? What about installing a few shelves above?

2. What about building shelving underneath, or adding cabinetry (with doors)?

9. Keep a chart of what improvements you want to make; the supplies and estimated costs for each; proposed location for each. (I code each into the layout, using letters. Examples: SB= Shelving below); HTS=Hand tool storage; P=Priority (eg ASAP, by December).

 

10. Keep your chief engineer in the loop. Brainstorm with him or her about available budget, necessity of addition, scheduling.

 

11. Get everyone that uses the paintshop involved in its upkeep.

 

12. Regularly, post messages on the department’s bulletin white board. Keep them upbeat and to the point.

 

13. Let your teammates and boss know that you appreciate their efforts to help keep the paintshop organized, neat, safe, and useable.

 

 

Motivating Tip: In the dark… in an emergency, how easily could you, or your boss, find something in the paintshop?

 

Look at it this way: Your paintshop says a lot about you as a professional. How you approach your work. And, the quality of the job you leave behind each time.

 

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Keep your paintshop in top shape, and it will help you do your job right – and in timely manner.

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Many thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

 

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

Painting It: Hotel/facility painter and custom finishes

Ordinarily, a hotel/facility painter will not be expected to restore or maintain custom finishes applied by fine artists. Example: Front lobby’s faux marbleized columns and fascia, done during original construction.

 

That job might change, however, when:

 

  1. management/owners want the job done, and will not contract for fine craftsmen to do it;
  2. something must be done about area, and the painting/decorating budget is frozen for the rest of the year;
  3. necessary repairs and replacement to the area – due to rain/water leak, major mold infestation, structural aging, fire damage – force a “restorative” level of painting.
  4. major reconstructive/upgrading requires “blending” old, original finishes with newly applied ones. Particularly in high traffic, frequently used areas – eg. luxury suites, conference centers, entertainment room.
  5. Management issues an order for you to maintain, duplicate, or restore custom finished surfaces/areas.

 

So, what do you do, when you’ve never applied a fine finish – not even in apprenticeship school?

 

SIX + ONE + THREE TIPS TO HELP YOU GET THE JOB DONE RIGHT!

 

  1. Create a sample board, made of the same construction material as the surface involved. Do a super job of duplicating the problematic finish on the surface/area. Repair, prepare and refinish by following the same steps you’d use on the real surface.
  2. Once both you and management are satisfied with the result on that sample board, find the most obscure and worst small section of the area to be redone.
  3. Repair, replace and refinish that section using the identical technique, products, supplies, and tools used on that sample board.
  4. If possible, let that refinished area stand for at least five full days. Preferably longer. See how it appears to you. Compare your redone section to the finish on the overall area.
  5. Encourage management and the big shots to take several look-sees. Invite a few very observant teammates to check it out, too.
  6. Get a written “special project order” signed and dated by the hotel’s/facility’s top management officer. Your supervisor’s order to proceed is not good enough. This approved order must include the following:

A. Project scheduling and completion date, based on your availability and regular work responsibilities (that you will still have to get done during this time);

B. List of all needed products, materials, supplies, tools, and equipment – as required;

C. Pre-signed and pre-dated requisitions for delivery of all needed items in “B.”

D. A “no interference and no changes statement,” leaving authority with you.

E. Statement about cordoning/securing entire work area for the time that you require;

F. A “project delay start date”, if management has not had required products, materials, etc. delivered according to agreed upon schedule.

 

ONE SCHEDULING TIP: Slot out time thirty days out from project start date, if possible. This gives everyone the ability to get their respective ducks in a row. You, teammates, supervisor(s), management, purchasing, suppliers, etc.

 

THREE SUCCESS TIPS:

 

  1. Do your best to work ahead on your regular tasks, work orders and projects. Hint: With your supervisor, do a weekly “walk through” to make sure you’re both covering the basics.
  2. One week out: Meet with your supervisor. Include teammate(s) that will be covering for you in getting regular work done. NOTE: By this point, the list of “to do’s” will have been agreed upon between you and your boss.
  3. One week out: Closely check your project inventory. Run through the list of products, materials, supplies, etc. Is everything ready? Has everything been delivered?

 

BOTTOM LINE: Keep in mind that you’re really at the mercy of management. Too often, what they say they want is not matched by their compliance to their part of the deal. Tread carefully, my friends!

 

FINAL NOTE – and CAUTION

I’m a stickler when it comes to “special projects” that flow from the desks of management. I never start one of these projects on the fly. And, I never proceed with any “special project” that everyone involved has not, in advance, committed to in writing!

 

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Certain faux finishing projects need to be redone by the experts.

And, you are not they, if you don’t know a lot about this specialized art form.

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Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob.”
Copyright 2016. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

Hotel Painting with Bob: 2016 and Beyond

Out with the old,  and in with the new!

 

Welcome, everyone, to a new year of painting projects.
 

 

YEAR 2016 can be viewed in all sorts of new and fascinating ways.

 

If you haven’t done so in the past, let your creativity flow. Generate new ideas for decorating your living spaces and your businesses.

 

WHY? And, is it within our budget?

 

You can “THINK BIG,” yet start small, if you wish. Or, you can treat it – any new or upgrading project – as an investment for the future.

 

Painting and decorating has been around for a long time. Even the Egyptians adorned their buildings with vivid colors and figurative designs. They expressed themselves to demonstrate the value they placed on their way of life.

 

You, too, can “express the best” that your hotel or resort stands for! 

 

Repaint the walls of your lobby, public restrooms, guest rooms/suites or villas, etc. in colors which express your hotel or resort’s inner spirit – and attitude toward life. And, your guests!

 

Refinish pieces of furniture to renew their value. To give them a big lift!

 

Texture and/or Faux Finish a ceiling to create depth and variety in the surface appeal.

 

Spray finish exterior furniture to create a fresh, inviting, and durable look. You can even apply a decorative finish for a traditional or classic appeal.

 

What you can keep in mind is this:

 

Whatever “environment” you are thinking about painting or refinishing, let your creativity be your guide. Just go for it!

 

Don’t hold back.

 

And, if you are in doubt as to the right procedure to follow? Seek a certified, journey-level painter and decorator to help you out. Someone more experienced than you. Someone with a more extensive background in an area that you want to tackle.

 

Or, just go for it! And, paint it for yourself.

 

Either way, the outcome will revive your property. And, rejuvenate you, too.
Let the use of paint, color, and texture inspire you. Excite you. Lift you. Challenge you. Renew you.

 

HAVE A FRUITFUL NEW YEAR, EVERYONE!

 

And, remember:

 

No painting project is too small, if you see it will add joy to the lives of teammates and managers, guests and visitors. No painting project is too small, if you see it will add joy to your life. Both on and off the job!

 

Robert “Bob” Hajtovik

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Thanks for visiting ” Painting with Bob,” a painting blog with spirit.

Copyright 2015. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

“Hosea, the Conscientious Hotel Painter”

Hotel management instructed the purchasing director to stop ordering essential painting supplies. Thus, hampering  Hosea’s ability to complete basic painting maintenance tasks.

 

Previously, he’d experienced long delays getting things like one tube of caulking, or a gallon of white latex base paint. Increasingly, crucially needed items never made it at all.

 

So, Hosea did what any conscientious painter would do. He started to buy a few must-have supplies on his own, out of his own paychecks. When a supervisor told him to stop doing that, many of Hosea’s work orders had to be put on hold.

 

When management complained that the painting wasn’t getting done, the friendly and peaceable painter improvised with the materials that he did have. For as long as he could.

 

Then, Hosea did what any accountable painter would do. He suggested that management please check with purchasing about the delayed deliveries of maintenance painting supplies.

 

When the stoppage came, Hosea did what any industrious and resourceful painter would do.

He typed up a list of painting supplies, that he absolutely had to have. He printed out a lot of copies of the list. And, he asked local relatives and close friends to help him get the supplies that he needed to do his work. (Preferably at no cost.)

 

Within a week, painting supplies and tools started to arrive at Hosea’s small home in Broward County. “Deliveries” arrived every day.

 

By the end of the second week, Hosea’s attached one-and-a-half car garage was nearly full.

 

Neighbors kept quiet. Word spread. A lot of people found out about Hosea’s problem. They knew that he was a very good painter. They knew that he was a hard worker. They didn’t want him to lose his job.

 

Quietly, Hosea started to take a few of those essential supplies for painting maintenance to work. He used them to take care of some of those crucial work orders, still on hold. Some for months!

 

At one point, someone in management complained that Hosea had been catching up on his basic tasks and work orders. Different department managers recruited a few of their staff members to “keep an eye” on Hosea.

 

How was he getting his work done?

 

Hosea learned that all orders for him to get new, clean uniforms had been cancelled also. Bosses complained about the condition of his uniforms, and his appearance. He told his wife, and family. He consulted with his priest.

 

And, he made the decision that any highly-respected and ethical professional, being “managed out,” would do.

 

What did Hosea do? You might be very surprised.  By the way, Hosea is a real person.

What would you do if you were in Hosea’s situation?

What would you do if you were Hosea’s supervisor in this situation?

What would you do if you were hotel management?

 

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Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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Copyright 2015. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

THE CARING PLACE! EVERYONE HAS TO START SOMEWHERE.

THE CARING PLACE was one of the first domestic violence shelters, where women could take along their children.

 

It took over two years for “The Task Force to Prevent Domestic Violence” to establish The Caring Place, and set up the services that would be provided there. My mother served on that task force.

 

Located in Indiana, its first facility had been used previously as a convent in the Gary diocese of the Roman Catholic Church.

 

Local craftspersons in the construction industry volunteered their services to remodel and retrofit the three-story, yellow brick building for its first shelter residents. It had to meet numerous codes and standards.

 

Just as important, the building had to meet the special needs of women and children in severe crisis and danger. Women and children who had given up everything they had to reach safety – and help.

 

My father and several IUPAT/IBPAT friends handled the painting and decorating part of the project. That included the repair, preparation, painting, finishing, and wallcover installation in the living, dining, cooking, play and recreation, and sleeping areas. Also, it required extensive work in the offices, and the security, storage, and entrance/exit areas.

 

My “work” time was limited to weekends and a few vacation days. I was in junior high school.

 

I remember the list of tasks, which an IUPAT/IBPAT foreman handed me on the first day.

 

 Overall duties: Assisted the painters in setting up, prepping, painting, finishing, and cleaning up all rooms and areas.

 

Specific duties:

1. Stretched dropcloths out on floors of rooms/areas to be worked on that day, or the next day.

2. Helped carry, place and move prepping and painting supplies into and out of each work room and area. Note: The painters handled the transportation and set-up of full containers of products and materials. Examples: Primers, paints, stains, varnishes; boxes/rolls of commercial wall vinyl.

3. Helped remove and tag all wall outlet covers and baseboards.

4. Cleaned and covered smaller tools; wiped off/cleaned, then replaced can lids, container caps, box covers, etc.

 

Working on that project was not fun, really. Still, it tapped into interests, traits, skills, and abilities that I did not know I had.

 

THE GREATER TASK: Helping to provide a clean, aesthetically pleasing and relaxing, and safe home for 15 women and at least 18 children at once.

 

That was good training for my soul. An important part of my development, as a responsible adult, and responsive member of the universe.

 

WHY PLACES LIKE THE CARING PLACE STILL MATTER

 

In April of 2013, I became deathly ill on the job, at the hotel. (See linkedin.com.) “911” was not called.

 

Instead, a while later, hotel guests – a woman and her children – came to my rescue. The family lived temporarily at the hotel, because they had “lost” their “home to foreclosure, near Windermere in South Orlando.”

 

The woman and her children saw me staggering across the lawn. I was about halfway between the front building holding the offices, where the incident occurred, and the back building and the engineering department.

 

The woman and three children ran out. The woman helped me sit and sip lots of water from a pitcher. One of her children broke a candy bar into small pieces. The girl pushed them, one at a time, into my mouth. The mother and children helped me to my feet, and led me to the back building.

 

A month ago, that woman recognized me in a local store. She introduced herself. A teenage girl smiled nearby. “I fed you my candy bar.” “That’s right,” I said. “I owe you a Hershey’s.”

 

What I learned is that, two years earlier, the woman and her children were “hiding” from her abusive husband. A well-known local businessman, and leader in the community.

 

She said, “He’d never think to look for us in an older hotel like that. I was trying to wait a couple of weeks, then catch the Amtrak to my family up north…”

 

I asked if she’d considered going to the women’s shelter in Orlando.

 

Her face turned pale. “YES! But the lady on the phone started to ask me a lot of questions. I didn’t have that kind of time!”  Tears formed in her eyes. “Besides, they didn’t have room for my children…”

 

I thought of The Caring Place.

 

THE CARING PLACE! If only the woman and her children could have gotten to Northwest Indiana. To the huge and beautifully restored three-story circa-1930’s period home where that shelter was located then. The Caring Place would have made room!

 

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Special thanks to the G.M. and staff of the Seralago Hotel and Suites Maingate East in Kissimmee, Florida, for giving special women and children safe shelters – and security.

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And, thank you – everyone – for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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Copyright 2015. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

 

 

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