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Posts tagged ‘hotel’

A Painter Walks in an Engineering Chief’s Shoes – and Sees from His View!

Following a recent interview with a facility’s chief engineer, I had the opportunity to meet the hotel’s general manager. He was a twenty-five year plus veteran in hotel administration and operations.

 

One might have assumed that he was inflexible – resistant to change. That would have been an unfair assumption.

 

Within minutes, he started to fire “what if” situations at me with lightning speed and engineering exactness. It was obvious that he was seriously interested in acting upon any suggestion that was do-able there.

 

I’d done my homework previous to keeping the appointment. Also, I’d walked around the property for over forty-five minutes the day before. Eyeing things up close, and further away.

 

Still, how many hotel general managers possess that level of interest in looking at something from a painter’s point of view? Generally, don’t they leave that to the head of engineering or facilities?

 

How many GMs possess any more than a basic level of understanding of a painter’s job? Or, want to know more?

 

A week after the interview, that hotel’s chief engineer phoned. At 7:30 at night. He said that the hotel had withdrawn the posted painter job. He explained why.

 

“Well, Bob, several of your suggestions made so much sense that the GM sat down with me after you left.”

 

He said that they would be acting on one suggestion that same week. He added that he and the GM had come up with a plan to keep their painter right there. And, to keep him happy, healthy and safe!

 

“We want to thank you. Let us know if we can return the favor. You’re welcome here any time.”

 

Periodically, I read online articles and blogs about leadership. Most are factual and fair. A few are harsh, and paint a shaded picture of our leaders today. Many of these same writings lean in favor of the persons that do the “grunt work.” Employees like I. That’s great as long as the shoe fits.

 

One size never fits all. And, as most of my experience with leaders has shown, it helps to stand in their shoes. At least once. Even for a few minutes. And, to view a situation from their vantage point.

 

I must say that it sure felt great when that five-star hotel GM did that for a member of his team – a member of my “painter” trade. Many thanks!

 

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Have you ever walked in your boss’s shoes? Try it!

Thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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Painting Around Sharp Budget Cuts, Part 1

Sharp budget cuts mandate many changes in an organization – such as a hotel, hospital or university – that employs a full-time staff painter. They tend to include staff terminations in some departments – including engineering/facilities services/physical plant.

The loss of even one person, in an already manpower-strapped operation, can affect everyone there. Each person in a way unique to his or her job description, role as a member of the department team, and link as a member of the organizational team.

The work load increases, usually for everyone who still has a job.

Each person must continue to complete his or her own projects and work orders – in a timely, satisfactory manner. In addition, each has to assume some responsibility for the completion of tasks and work orders handled previously by the team member or members no longer there.

A painter, even a lead painter, may take on engineering/maintenance tech jobs and work orders.

Fill-in tasks, such as pest control spraying and mold/mildew remediation, may become regular parts of his or her routine job.

He or she may do basic guest room repairs and replacements. He or she may repair and replace air conditioner units, plumbing, lighting, tile and carpeting, roofing, WI-FI connections, and door key card systems.

The painter may help with mechanical and operating system repairs, and pool and spa repairs. He or she may be asked to handle exterior lighting and property security and safety system repairs. He or she may need to assist with groundskeeping and lawn maintenance.

 Any additional load leaves less time to get regular painting done.

How did you handle your engineering department’s last sharp budget cut? How many teammates, if any, did you lose? How many non-paint job responsibilities did you take on? For how long? How did it go?

Which, and how many, of your regular job tasks and projects got pushed on the back burners? How long ago was the last cutback? Do you continue to operate under capacity?

If so, how do you schedule in your regular projects and tasks? How do you make room for the added responsibilities? How do you ensure yourself the time and resources needed to do both jobs right?

Perhaps, one or more of the following related practices may help you be good-to-go.

 

1. Take your calendar – paper, online, app, etc. List your current paint shop-related projects and tasks.

 TIP: Take a little time with this. Make sure you get the main ones. Get down the other ones that you do take care of – and no one, including you, thinks much about.

 

2. With each project and task, determine where you’re really at.

ASK YOURSELF: What else needs to be done to complete it? Approximately, how much more time do you need to get each finished?

 

3. Prioritize each according to need. Set approximate time line and completion date.

 

4. On your calendar, slot out time needed each week – or every other week, at the latest – to work on each project.

TIP: You and your supervisor need to agree which ones must be completed as soon as possible. CAUTION: This can change at any time, and often. With little or no warning!

 

5. Allow yourself and your department a little flexibility.

 

6. Determine your regular paint shop tasks. The ones high on your job description and capability lists. Yes, those lists may vary a little or a lot.

 

7. Determine approximately how long you need, each week – or every other week, at the latest – to do each task.

 

8. Consider the best days of the week, and times, to work on each one.

Example: “Good-to-go: Wednesdays, 9-2, while most guests are visiting area theme parks; sightseeing; attending major sports event, conference, etc… and I can put other things on hold.”

 

9. Estimate how long you will need to do each.

 

10. Prioritize. Consult with your supervisor as needed.

 

11. Schedule onto your calendar – and all department calendars, too!

 

Sound like common-sense stuff, that every experienced painter will not need help with? Maybe.

When team size dwindles, available skill-sets and expertise can dwindle, too. So will available work time.

Confusion, stress and overload can set in suddenly. It can throw you off. Especially, if it hits you on an off day, at an off time.

“Nip it in the bud,” as character Barney Fife, “The Andy Griffith Show,” said repeatedly.

Get good-to-go. Block-in your painting and decorating related projects and tasks.

It is up to you to make certain that every paint-shop related project, task and work order is taken care of. That’s a given!

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Protect your own “staff painter” work day! Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob” blog.

Every Hotel’s/Facility’s Team Member Can Learn Something from Its Painter: Part 2

Painting and decorating is a very multi-faceted job. It requires an extensive knowledge of and experience with both trade and construction industry methods, products, materials, supplies, tools, and equipment. Also, it requires the ability to deal with a variety of factors: weather and climate, property (age, condition, use, size), budget, schedule, etc.

Any hotel or facility team member – teammate of the property’s painter – is in an enviable position. He or she has access to this skilled craftsperson. All kinds (of helpful information is in his or her head. And, at his or her fingertips.

Tap into this valuable resource. Your friendly team painter – and teammate – could be your best painting and decorating advisor ever!

Continuing from Part 1, here are some other things that you can learn from the painter with your hotel or facility.

 

12. How to inspect a wallcovering shipment before using it.

 

A. Carefully! Completely! Every roll! From beginning-to-end of roll!

B. Multiple rolls: Make sure the numbers are from the same run or batch. If not pattern or color may be different.

C. Check if pattern aligns properly from roll to roll.

D. Reversed vinyls: Check for color matching, especially for darker colors.

 

13. How to cut wallcovering sheets to match the room’s layout.

 

A. Full sheets: Cut all of the full sheets first.

B. Cut pieces above and below windows or doors, measured to match.

C. In-sequence sheets: Mark them, if necessary.

D. Tops of sheets: Label, if needed.

E. Corners of sheets: Mark for commercial vinyls, or for solid color non-patterned papers.

 

14. How to prep a surface or area for applying wallcovering.

 

A. Sand surface smooth.

B. Patch surface where necessary, using a chemical-cured, or powdered joint compound.

C. Apply sizing or oil-based primer to the walls.

D. Sand primed surfaces when fully dry.

E. Mark vertical lines at corners of walls so sheets are plumb.

 

15. How to set up a work area for applying wallcovering.

 

A. Protect floor with dropcloths, particularly where cutting and paste table(s) will set.

B. Set up pasting and cutting area: tables, blades/knives, level, sponges.

C. Place necessary materials and supplies in area: paste materials, rolls/boxes of wallcovering (inspected previously), tools (measuring tape and ruler, cutting/trimming knives, pasting brushes, smoothing knife, seamer, etc.)

D. Put bucket of warm, clean water at paste table, for cleaning it as needed.

E. TIP: Keep a second bucket of warm water nearby, for cleaning tools – as necessary.

F. TIP: Have a small bucket of very clean, cotton rags nearby, too.

G. Place sizeable, lined garbage container nearby for scrap wallcovering.

 

16. How a painter/paperhanger actually applies wallcovering.

 

A. Apply adhesive to wallcovering sheets, if product is not self-adhesive.

B. Unfold top section of sheet, aligning in proper place; then smooth down using a brush, or plastic edge smoothing tool.

C. Hold onto sheet with one hand, and smooth rest of sheet into place.

D. Seam sheets either by butting or overlapping seams. “Seamless seams.”

E. Fit and trim wallcovering around moldings and fixtures on wall or ceiling.

 

17. How to clean up after finishing wallcovering job.

 

A. Remove paint, filler, polyurethane from rim of can, also spray can nozzles

B. Reseal/re-closing and storing paint cans, caulking tubes, filler/putty tubs.

C. Soak tools used to apply wallpaper paste

(1) Wheat/cellulose/clay water-based paste: Soak brushes in bucket/can of clean, warm water.

D. Clean tools:

(1) Soak in warm, soapy water; then rinse.

(2) Residual paste can be removed with warm water and carbonated water for hard-to-clean vinyls.

E. Read blogs: “Paint Shop 1: Organizing…” ”Paint Shop 2: “Policies and Guidelines.”

 

18. How to protect and store your tools.

 

A. Brushes: Stand upright, bristles down. Read blog: “Paint Shop 1: Organizing.”

*** TIP: In a rush? Wrap brush or roller in newspaper, or wax paper. Secure with sturdy rubber band till you can clean brush thoroughly.

B. Roller covers/naps: Air, till nap dry. Store upright in tool box, or clean 1-gal. paint can.

C. Artist brushes: Air, till bristles dry. Store, bristles up or flat in brush case. Never down, unless you’ve wrapped brush.

D. Spray equipment: Flush properly with compatible solvent (water, mineral spirits). Clean spray tips. Remove any dried paint.

E. Central storage container: Store all hand tools together creates immediate availability. Also it reduces time looking for tools in different locations.

 

SPECIAL THINGS TO LOOK FOR…

 

1. Darker wallcoverings: Wash with baking or carbonated soda-based water wash. Remove paste thoroughly.

2. Pasting: Apply adhesive evenly and very smoothly to back of wallcovering.

3. Pasting option: Apply adhesive to the wall.

4. Watch carefully: Do not UNDERCUT wallcovering when trimming around something.

5. Hanging multiple sheets vinyl on new drywall: Cut seams before you go too far.

—- CAUTION: Drywall paper may pull loose if you wait too long.

 

A FEW QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR PAINTER WHEN IT’S CONVENIENT

 

1. Which paint is better: flat wall paint, semi-gloss, or gloss?

2. How can I get something painted when I have a low budget?

3. Would you consider bartering? Eg. Painting our house for design help with website?

4. I have a friend that needs some painting done. Can I give him your cell phone number?

 

QUESTIONS NOT TO ASK YOUR PAINTER IF YOU WANT TO KEEP AS A FRIEND

 

1. Can you recommend a painter? I need some work done in my home.

2. Can you paint my house for free? TIP: Ask about “bartering.” See last section.

3. Is it all right if I don’t recommend you, or act as a reference?

4. Can you fix my week-end wallpapering mess – as a favor?

5. If you have a stain-finished door, what can I do to prepare it for finish painting?

 

A Painter’s Point to Ponder:

 

Being asked by co-workers, at whatever levels, to share tips from one’s trade is an honor. Especially, when done with genuine respect and interest.

It gives added meaning to the “team”-anything connection. And, it deepens the mutual, and individual, sense of worth and belonging.

 

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Please find a way to help someone else enjoy this day! Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

Every Hotel’s/Facility’s Team Member Can Learn Something from Its Painter: Part 1

Hotel/facility painters get noticed. Often! In their “whites,” they are recognized easily. During any work day, they are watched by various teammates. Certain teammates or managers tend to be regular observers.

What can you learn from your hotel or facility painter? Here are some possible clues – and tips.

 

1. How to select the right products or materials for the job.

 

A.  Surface/”substrate” type: New, bare wood; old, painted wood; varnished wood; metal, brick, stone, concrete; covered with wallcovering ( paper, vinyl, flock, foil, etc.).

B.  Surface’s current color: Light, dark; bleed-through; solid, patterned; new, faded.

C.  Area’s purpose: One-person use; high or low traffic; interior or exterior; kitchen, children; entry/exit; garage; basement, stairs, stairway.

D.  Budget: Tight-One coat of paint! Flexible-Primer, one finish coat. Big-Top-quality job.

E.  Job’s required life-span: 1 year or less; 2-3 years; indefinitely.

 

2. How to determine and estimate amount of paint needed. Be on the safe side: Buy extra.

 

A.  Walls: Measure two walls. Multiply numbers. Example: 10-ft. x14-ft. = 140 sq. ft. room

(1)  To paint light color over light, or dark over light:

Coverage needed: 140 sq. ft. + 50 sq. ft. (1/3) = 190 sq. ft.

(2)  To paint light color over darker, or over wallcovering:

Coverage needed: 280 sq. ft. (double sq. ft) + 140 sq. ft. (1/2) = 420 sq. ft.

B.  Molding or trim: Measure running length (linear feet). 3 lin. ft. = 1 sq. ft. wall space.

C.  At the paint store, read the label on the pain can that you plan to purchase. Look for “Covers” or “Coverage.” Compare to your estimate, also the type of area you’re painting.

 

3. How to set up the area to be painted.

 

A.  Protecting floor, carpet or tile with dropcloths or old sheeting.

B.  Moving furniture, lamps, plants out of way; cover with dropcloths or sheeting.

C.  Using masking paper and tape to protect windows, trim, brick/marble, special surfaces.

 

4. How to prepare – “prep” a surface to be refinished.

 

A.  Covering and protecting adjacent surfaces and areas with masking paper and tape.

B.  Selecting products based on surface/“substrate.”       See No. 1 above.

C.  Considering surface damage amount and type – eg. scratches, gouges, holes, cracks.

D.  Choosing caulking product. Running smooth, full beads with caulking gun.

E.  Repairing small gouge in the wall – product and tool(s) to use.

F.  Filling holes, cracks, etc. How much product to use?

G.  Using a putty knife to smooth filler even with the surface

H.  Holding/grasping tool for maximum control and flexibility; making right strokes.

 

5. How to apply a primer paint on a new surface, before finish coating.

 

A.  Selecting primer product and color suitable to finishes- white, tan, gray, black.

B.  Applying spray primer versus primer from a can. Which to use when?

C.  Painting up and down? In same direction? Back and forth? At an angle?

D.  Taking short, light strokes, or long strokes? Or, plastering it on?

E.  Waiting between coats, if one coat does not cover. How long?

F.  Finishing “prep” area, so the finish coat will adhere well – and last.

 

6. How to apply a finish coat of paint.

 

A.  Checking paint in can for lumps, clumps, paint strings, etc. Mixing paint again.

B.   Testing can of spray paint for flow, consistency, viscosity.

C.   Selecting brush(es): nylon/polyester bristle, China bristle, etc. (Many choices!)

(1)  Bristle width that will fit area: 2-inch, 2 ½-inch, 3-inch, 4-inch.

(2)  Bristle edge that fits surface: squared, curved, angled, sharp corner, dipped.

(3)  Brush handle length and “gripper” that you can manage.

(4)  Checking for loose or worn bristles in brush – used and new ones.

D.  Selecting rollers: Short or long handle; narrow, middie, or wider base roller.

E.  Choosing cover and nap type, density. Basing on product and surface traits. See No. 1.

(1)  Cover nap: New rollers before buying; used rollers before using again.

(2)  Brushing/rolling methods: Suit to surface, area size/layout, product, drying time.

F.  Cleaning up as-you-paint: spills, drips, splotches, trails, etc.

**  Note: Using a spray gun system calls for a completely different set of skills, abilities and savvy.

 

7. How to prep a used surface for re-painting.

 

A.  Washing all old surfaces first.

B.  Fully sanding, caulking and patching surface/area as needed.

C.  Applying primer, or first coat of the finish product.

 

8. How to re-paint a previously painted surface.

 

A.  Assessing condition of the surface – and area.

B.  Lightly sanding, also caulking and spackling imperfections in, the surface.

C.  Selecting and using roller cover with a nap size similar to the one used before.

** TIP: Looking at roller “stipple” (pattern left on surface before) to determine size used.

D.  Brushing: Using long strokes, and laying paint on evenly.

E.  Rolling: Using uniform motion; slightly overlapping each previous edge (stroke).

 

9. How to prep a used surface for re-finishing – eg. varnished wood.

 

A.  For painting:

(1)   Completely sanding surface to dull existing finish.

(2)  Wiping down surface with liquid sandpaper, or rubbing alcohol.

B.  For staining:

(1)  Using different color: Removing clear finish with paint stripper. Then, sanding surface in multiple stages.

(2)  Removing darker color before staining with lighter color. Doing what’s needed.

(3)  Protecting the wood’s integrity. Doing your best.

(4)  Be careful – and patient!

 

10. How to stain and seal a new wood surface.

 

A.  Choosing stain product: Depends on extent – size and complexity – of project.

B.  Sanding lightly. Making certain that all marks or discolorations are sanded out.

C.  Applying stain heavily to surface. Using rags, cotton towel, or sponge.

D.  Letting stain soak in.

E.  Waiting till the stain feels slightly “tacky” – sticky.

F.  Applying sealer with a brush, roller or spray gun.

 

11. How to varnish or finish coat a new wood surface.

 

A.  Using spray finishing system for optimum finish.

B.  Spraying multiple thin coats, rather than one heavy coat.

C.  Letting solvent evaporate before applying second coat of finish. A MUST!

 

Whatever information or tips you glean from your hotel/facility painter is really up to YOU.
Fact-finding TIPS:
1. Be specific. Tell your painter about the project: room/area; layout, approximate square footage; type of surface/”substrate,” surface age and condition; area’s main uses; budget.

2. Be honest. Tell your painter who will be doing the work. Will it be YOU? Let him or her know what painting, refinishing, and/ or papering projects you’ve done. How did they turn out?

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Read Part 2: “Every Hotel’s/Facility’s Team Member Can Learn Something from Its Painter”

Wallcovering Tips; Special Things to Look For; Questions to Ask, and Not Ask, Your Painter.”

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Have a “fresh outlook-ing” day. Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

Every Hotel’s/Facility’s Team Member Can Teach Something to Its Painter: Part 1

1. How to set and disperse a budget fairly and effectively. How to build a strong, loyal and happy team.

GO-TO” Team mentors: General Manager; Manager.

2. How to “niche” market your best services and creatively market your weak spots. How to upgrade the property’s paint palette to attract guests that match your mission. How individual staff members can promote and market their hospitality business.

 “GO-TO” Team mentors: Director/Sales and Marketing; Sales Rep.

3. How to find the best on-line travel deals  –  to visit anywhere, any time. How to identify best-for-your-budget websites on which to advertise.

“GO-TO” Team mentors: Director/On-line Sales; On-line sales rep.

4. How to negotiate the best deal for a big group – eg. wedding reception, alumni club. How to choose between buffet, family style, or ala carte menu. How to choose between pre-purchased, open-bar, or cash-bar beverage set-up.

“GO-TO” Team mentors: Director/Food and Beverage; F & B planner.

5. How to plan a memorable, affordable event on very short notice. How to plan an unforgettable group event.

“GO-TO” Team mentors: Director/Conferences and Events; Event planner.

6. How to interface land, on-line and mobile communication devices. How to use latest software programs, secure files, and select secure passwords. How to prevent breaches to accounting files.

 “GO-TO” Team mentors: Director/I.T.; Internet manager.

7. How to identify lower quality repair supplies to prevent waste. What the engineering staff needs on a regular basis, when it comes to supplies.

“GO-TO” Team mentors: Chief of Engineering; Engineering tech.

8. How to negotiate the best deal on a small order. What types of items require more inventory to prevent running out.

“GO-TO” Team mentors: Director/Purchasing; Purchasing agent.

9. How to select, prepare and serve top-quality budget meat like prime cuts. How to prepare popular dishes; or prepare new dishes using popular food products.

“GO-TO” Team mentors: Head Chef; Specialty chef/cook.

10. How to remove toughest stains and destroy stubborn odors from very vulnerable surfaces. What products to control room odors last the longest.

“GO-TO” Team mentors: Director of Housekeeper; any Supervisor/Housekeeping.

11. How to repair and clean an A/C motor. How to tell when A/C Freon charge is insufficient.

“GO-TO” Team mentor: Manager/HVAC Systems.

12. How to keep accurate financial records, and file taxes on-line. How a business settles delinquent, frozen supplier accounts.

“GO-TO” Team mentors: Manager/Accounting; Supplier account manager.

13. How to make anyone feel welcome. How to interpret guest complaints, reactions, body language, eye movements, voice, etc.

“GO-TO” Team mentors: Manager/Front Desk; Front Reception.

14. How to grid, plant and maintain eye-catching front entrance appearance. How to prioritize areas for landscaping.

 “GO-TO” Team mentors: Director of Groundskeeping; Landscaper/groundskeeper.

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What ‘GO-TO” departmental tip do you want more facility painters to use regularly?

Which ‘GO-TO” departmental tip do you want other team mentors to use?

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READ PART 2: “More Hotel/Facility Team Members and GO-TO’ Team mentors.”

What to Carry on Your Painter’s Golf Cart

 golfcarts   In July, a painter with a four-star hotel and resort e-mailed me about his recently inherited golf cart. He’d just relocated from the East coast.

“Two questions: What are the must-haves, good-to-haves, etc. to carry on my cart? What should I carry to be ready for anything? With the larger property and greater flexibility and autonomy in this job comes more time management challenges.”

Golf carts are the standard mode of transportation and conveyance for hotel and other facilities’ painters, as well as engineering techs. They’re compact, and a real back saver and life saver.

They’re a necessity for (1) getting around the property fast, (2) responding promptly and efficiently to calls, (3) hauling materials, supplies and tools, (4) equipping oneself for completing scheduled and emergency tasks and projects, and, (5) performing those “other duties as needed.”

What things do you need to keep on your golf cart?                                     

1. The 24/7 basics

A. Products and materials: Joint compound mix, caulking, light-weight spackling, paint, texture patch, interior/exterior paint for touch-up work.

B. Supplies: No. 120 and No. 220 sandpaper, masking tape (3/8-inch, 1-inch, 1 ½-inch), masking paper, steel wool, “WET PAINT” signs, small bag of clean rags; dropcloths (clean), buckets.

C. Tools: Drywall pan, 6-inch knife, 10-inch knife, multi-sized screwdrivers, portable drill, drywall hand saw, caulking gun, assorted paint brushes and roller covers, utility knife, roller frame and screen, roller extension poles, wire brush, paint strainer.

D. Protective gear: Safety glasses, disposable bodysuits, gloves, rubber gloves, respirator, dust masks.

E. Disposal/garbage things: Plastic bags, rolls of paper towels.

2. Add: Painting-related work order essentials

A. Spray cans of fast drying primer (white, gray), latex caulking, joint compound

B. Small notebook

3. Add: Painting project essentials

A. Roll of plastic, garbage container, circulating fan, “CAUTION” Tape.

4. Add: Special painting and decorating project essentials

A. Sponges, cheese cloth, tack cloths, plastic wrap, masking tape

B. Glazing liquid, linseed oil, paint thinner, various faux finishing brushes

5. Add: Handy-to-have along items

A. Masking machine, heat gun, wallpaper steamer

B. Broom and dustpan, vacuum cleaner (portable, battery-operated)

6. Add: Engineering and maintenance tech basic supplies

A. Replacement parts for bathtub, sinks, electrical, light bulbs

B. Paint to touch up walls where necessary, caulking for tubs, sinks and counter-tops

C. Hammer, wrench, pliers, 2-4 clamps, sealant glue

D. Level, tape measure, picture hanging clips/fasteners

 7. Add: Containers, holders, etc. to keep things organized

A. Large portable tool container

B. Plastic tray (s) for small parts

Okay! What things should NOT be carried around on your work golf cart?

1.  Air compressor, pressure washer

2.  Anything that protrudes out from cart’s side or back, creating safety issue

3.  CAUTION: Hazardous materials should be removed from your cart as quickly as possible. Never leave them on the cart, when it is left unattended, or overnight.

TIPS FOR KEEPING YOUR GOLF CART CLEAN, AND LOOKING FINE!

1. Once a week

. Wash your golf cart and wipe dry with a clean, soft rag.

. Wipe down all other areas to keep them looking clean.

. Clean the windshield – as often as needed. Include windows, if cart is enclosed.

. Vacuum the floor, back areas, etc.

. Straighten out your supply and tool areas, while you’re at it.

. As a final touch, give the steering wheel and column, dashboard, etc. a good cleaning with a couple of disinfecting wipes.

2. Once a month, or more often

. Clean the seat upholstery. Spray on all-purpose auto upholstery product, or mixture of 1 part mild vinegar to 2-3 parts water. Wipe dry.

. Wipe down all surfaces.

3. Every six months

. Apply a coat of car/truck wax on metal surfaces. Buff out with soft rag/cloth.

. Apply a similar wax on plastic areas, such as the canopy.

A FEW GOLF CART SAFETY SUGGESTIONS…

1. Make sure the batteries are fully charged every day.

2. Check the tires for proper inflation at least once a week.

3. Always carry the ignition key with you. Never leave it in the cart.

4. Always park your loaded up cart as close as possible to your working area.

* CAUTION:  An unattended golf cart can be an “inviting enticement.”

CLOSING TIP:

What you carry on your cart depends a lot on your listed job description. Also, it depends on the other things that you may be responsible for handling. It depends on the size of the property. And, it depends on how much running you want to do – back and forth between your paint shop and the locations on your “to-do” list for the day or week.

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Enjoy your day!  Enjoy your life! And, thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

The World of Orchids and Hotel GM William and Wife

William (not real name) served as general manager of the Contemporary Hotel within Walt Disney World in Florida. He and his wife grew hybrid orchids (orchidaceae). Periodically, they hung some, with special hooks, from the limbs of the only shade tree in their back yard.

From my mother’s Cracker House two doors down the street, I’d gaze at the couple’s beautiful orchids. Each flower so thin and delicate, like fine parchment. Its petals painted in graduated hues of pastel blues, purples, pinks, yellows, crèmes, whites. Some petals edged in a sharply-contrasted primary or secondary color, such as cranberry red.

I learned how orchids, like so many floral genus, are to be admired and displayed. Some look best as a hanging plant. Any of the tall, long stemmed genus make an impressive presentation in a tall, fluted crystal vase. The fuller clustered variety looks elegant in a wrist or shoulder corsage.

 William and I spoke little to each other between 1995 and 1998. We said or waved “hello” on the mornings that we left for work at the same time. From time to time, he asked for product advice related to painting specific exterior or interior areas of his home.

One thing was clear to each of us about the other: Respectively, we loved our work, and were very good at it.

Our mutual love of nature was apparent, too. Our shared interest in horticulture was referred to periodically. Our knowledge of ornithology – particularly, orchidology – was not. And, we never mentioned that orchids grew in each of our family trees.

I did know that the father of William’s wife lived on the East coast, and that he was recognized for his hybrid orchids. Breeding and cross-breeding them. Clearly, William’s wife possessed a keen understanding of the plant species. Its sensitive nature, its intricate relationship with the soil, and its precise requirements for planting, propagating, growing, and harvesting.

My exposure to orchids had been minimal. A sister, mother, aunts, grandmothers, etc. had only worn them. In corsages. For school proms, commencements, weddings, and anniversaries. No one in my immediate family had grown orchids. Or so I thought.

Credit: reichenbachiasmall.jpg. uflib.ufl.edu

ENTER: Heinrich Gottlieb Ludwig Reichenbach (1783-1879) and Heinrich Gustav Reichenbach (1823-1889). Over ten years after William and his wife sold their starter home, and moved the family onto a property with plenty of growing room.

Heinrich Gottlieb was a botanist, eminent ornithologist and orchid specialist. The author and illustrator of over fifteen botanical works, he had three orchids named after him.

Heinrich Gustav was an ornithologist, botanist and orchidologist, who specialized in the pollen of orchids. The world’s leading authority on orchids, he identified specimens from around the world, and recorded them in his “copious notes and drawings.”

By the genealogical “complacency” of my youth, I missed the opportunity to show William and his wife copies of the Reichenbach ornithology and orchidology works in my grandfather’s library. I missed the opportunity, at a later date, to present them with one of those books. As a special gift.

For certain, William and his family would have enjoyed reading and referring to Heinrich Gottlieb and Henrich Gustav’s notes. They would have enjoyed every opportunity to examine the many detailed drawings of the plants. They would have appreciated owning even a small part of that rare collection of ornithology works.

Postscript: It should be noted that Heinrich Gustav Reichenbach became the center of immense conflict. According to the terms of his peculiar will, Reichenbach’s entire herbarium was bequeathed to Vienna, vs. Kew, to be locked away for twenty-five years.not Kew. If Vienna did not abide by the request, the costly collection would pass on to Harvard, or finally to the Jardin des Pantes.

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