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Posts tagged ‘Hotels/facilities’

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.

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Paintshop and Management: Transparency and Accountability

The terms “transparency” and “accountability” are used in every trade and industry, including government and not-for-profits. Together, also sometimes synonymously.

 

What do transparency and accountability mean, in relation to the painting and decorating trade?

 

Transparency: Painter demonstrates a clear, honest and understandable picture of his or her, as well as others’, decisions, choices, actions, behaviors, etc.

 

Accountability: Painter becomes answerable and takes responsibility for his or her, and/or others’ decisions, choices, actions, behaviors, etc.

 

How can transparency and accountability work in the painting and decorating trade?

 

Problem/Situation: Yellow paint used for “No Parking” and “Yield” lines faded, wore off fast.

Transparency: Painter shows management the difference in composition and durability between paint product supplied, and the product recommended for high-traffic exterior surface.

Accountability: Painter takes share of painter-supervisor-management group’s responsibility for approving, ordering and using less durable and low-cost paint product.

 

Problem/Situation: Re-touched up others’ surface touch-ups, still left paint color differences.

Transparency: Painter shows G.M. how budget and time crunch drove decision to re-touch up small area versus repainting entire wall or room.

Accountability: Painter takes responsibility for completing work order that way, knowing results and need to still repaint wall or room as soon as possible.

 

Problem/Situation: Repainted entire wall after bleach clean-up of major Black mold fungi buildup, costing more than touching up immediate surface.

Transparency: Painter shows Housekeeping Director and G.M. why repainting wall was necessary and explains why it may be needed again in near future.

Accountability: Painter takes responsibility for own and supervisor’s decision to repaint area as soon as possible, and to help get guest room back into circulation.

 

Problem/Situation: Painted office walls stripped of wallcovering and heavily infested with Toxic Black Mold Fungi.

Transparency: Painter shows management why applying paint vs. wallcovering is safer, healthier.

Accountability: Painter assumes responsibility for tone-down appearance; offers to add border.

 

Problem/Situation: Caulked, repainted lobby’s slylight area vs. touching up water leak spots.

Transparency: Painter shows management that treatment plan protected area. Also, how it “bought” them little more time before major repairs and reconstruction would be needed.

Accountability: Painter takes responsibility caulking and repainting jobs temporary, visible fixes.

 

Problem/Situation: Declined “quick-fix” project to repaint all exterior guest room doors.

Transparency: Painter showed management dire need, and wise move, to properly prep, fill cracks, sand, and prime area before applying finish coat.

Accountability: Painter shared responsibility for appearance of doors, if repainted with minor prep work.

 

Problem/Situation: Discreetly inspected major wall damage, and advised extended-stay family of guests in suite before notifying managers.

Transparency: Painter explains to guest that damage must be reported before repairs could be done. Reported damages, situation to managers; suggested creative solution for repairing area.

Accountability: Painter takes responsibility for inspection and assessment before reporting problem. Takes responsibility for proposing that guest help make repairs to save everyone money and face.

 

Problem/Situation: Completed priority-scheduled project late, delayed by manager’s switching painter to handle unscheduled, extra project.

Transparency: Painter shows managers how delays impacted completion of priority project, before arrival of large group of guests.

Accountability: Painter assumes share of responsibility for non-completion of project in time, also for not holding firm to shared goal of General management-Engineering/Paintshop-Housekeeping.

 

Tips on how to look at any problem or situation

 

  1. It falls within the painter’s/paintshop’s scope of expertise, abilities, resources, responsibility.
  2. It has a solution. * So let’s find out what that is
  3. Let’s take care of it, the best we can with what we have to work with.
  4. Do it for the people. Do it for the place. Do it for the community.

 

Tips on how to look at Transparency and Accountability

 

  1. In the short-run or long-run, honesty is the best policy – and the easiest to justify.
  2. The obvious will always shine through, one way or another, eventually.
  3. It’s easy to understand what’s true, and to see through the rest.
  4. Self-responsibility is the trademark of a good human being.

 

A Painter’s work life is full of tests. Beyond skill, ability, knowledge, and adeptness.

 

Among them are tests that measure:

 

  1. His/her character, sense of ethics and philosophy of living.
  2. His/her loyalty to the painting trade and construction industry; the employer, manager, team.
  3. His/her commitment to the organization, and the business.
  4. His/her respect for and appreciation of everyone served by that organization – eg. guests.
  5. His/her collaborative spirit toward everyone with whom the business deals.
  6. His/her self-responsibility toward the organization’s role in the community at large.

 

A painter’s willingness to be transparent and accountable is a central key to professional and personal success, fulfillment and longevity!

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Thank you to every painter that tries to live and work a self-responsible life.

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Thanks, everyone, for visiting “Painting with Bob.”
Copyright 2015, 2017. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

Keeping Your Painter’s Brain Alive and Fit: Neurobiotics*

Ever hear of “Neurobics”?

 

I hadn’t either until someone gave me the book, Keep Your Brain Alive,by Lawrence C. Katz, Ph.D.* and Manning Rubin.* Published in 1999, the small book offers “83 Neurobic Exercises to help prevent memory loss and increase mental fitness.”

WHAT IS NEUROBICS?

Neurobics is a form of brain exercise that breaks your brain’s normal patterns of activity. Its aim: to enhance the brain’s natural way of forming associations. And, that’s basically how we learn.

WHAT CONDITIONS MAKE AN EXERCISE NEUROBIC?

It uses one or more physical senses – seeing, hearing, smelling, touching, tasting, plus emotional “sense” in novel ways and different combinations.
It engages your attention in a way that gets your attention.
It breaks a routine activity in a non-routine or unexpected way.

TWELVE NEUROBIC EXERCISES ADAPTED TO OUR PAINTER’S WORLD

I’ve adapted these exercises from three activity areas covered in Katz’s and Rubin’s book.

Starting and ending the day

Eat something different for breakfast.
Brush your teeth using your non-dominant hand.
Close your eyes and use sense of touch to choose what you’ll wear.
Wear earplugs at dinner and listen with your eyes to your spouse.

Commuting

If you drive to work, close your eyes, then get in and start your vehicle.
Buy several inexpensive steering wheel covers in different textures, and switch.
Open the window while driving so you can smell, hear and feel a mental road map.
If you walk to work, take a few different turns. Or, say “hello” to 2-3 new people.

At Work

Move things around – reposition your computer mouse, phone, a few basic tools.
Brush or roll on paint, using your non-dominant hand.
Write down a problem. In two columns, write words associated with it; cross-reference.
In the paintshop, keep a chessboard set up, or a 500-1000 pieces jigsaw puzzle in process.

FUN TIP:Once a month, switch a smaller, simpler task with a coworker, even your boss.

* Lawrence C. Katz, Ph.D., (1956-2005) was professor of neurobiology, Duke University Medical School. * Manning Rubin comes from a long line of prolific writers, and was senior creative supervisor at K2 Design, New York City, New York.
Tip: Check Manning out if you’re interested in creative writing, professionally.)

 

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Think About It: Your brain is like any other organ in your body.

Exception: It controls everything within your body. Treat it right, friends.

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Thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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

Paintshop: Upgrading Your Skills in the 21st Century

Work orders come and go, and come again. Projects vary by size, complexity, surface/area, and time constraints. Some come along periodically, once or twice a year, every few years, or only once.

 

Whether you’re a hotel or facility painter, you’ll need to keep on your toes. Ready to do what’s necessary in a reasonably prompt, professional and timely manner. Consistent in your techniques and outcomes, even when a high degree of creativity and flexibility are required.

 

Have you ever had a problem prioritizing, then scheduling, and eventually following through on certain work orders and projects? Whether the glitch was self-induced, or caused by outside forces? Examples: hotel’s/facility’s chief engineer, or general manager.

 

Here’s where experience can be a great coach, and mentor. We learn by handling the same or similar work orders repeatedly. We learn by facing the same or similar situation more than once.

 

When your experience needs a boost… when your repertoire of effective techniques, products/materials, supplies, and tools needs to be expanded, try these quick tips.

 
1. Tweak one of your standard techniques, products, supplies, and/or tools. WHY? You know that its basic elements work; so draw on that foundation of success.

 

2. Tap the experience of a pro in handling that type of work order or project. Examples: Online tutorials and sources, paint store consultants, fellow union/association members, related manufacturers.

WHY? It’s very possible that he or she has been there and done that. Some of the bumps that you’re facing have been worked out already.

 

3. Ask your chief engineer. WHY? He or she is there to keep things running smoothly, and cost-effectively. Probably, he or she has dealt with the situation before, though it’s new here. No doubt that he or she gets the connection between your doing a good job, and his or her ability to keep things humming. And your boss will want to add some wisdom to your mix.

 

4. “Google” the problem, in the form of a brief question or phrase. WHY? You may be amazed how many other painters have faced the same challenge, and found doable answers via their extended internet network.

 

5. Step out. Stretch your innovative, gutsy soul. Kindle or rekindle that pioneer spirit that may not have gotten much of a chance, in the past, to spread its wings. WHY? That’s how you become an expert yourself. A go-to guru!

 

Painting at the hotel often called upon skills and abilities that I did not know that I had. Untapped talents and resources that fit the need perfectly. Or surprisingly close. Whether facing a new or reconfigured work order, project, or troubleshooting problem.

Often, it was those challenges – those questions and uncertainties – that made the job come alive.

 

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New experience builds a foundation for great experience.

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Thanks, everyone, for checking out “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.

Painter’s View: Why This Matters

Millions of people, including independent painters, scramble to find individual health insurance coverage for 20117. Staff painters collapse under the strain of paying sharply increased premiums and higher out-of-pocket costs, for health coverage under their employer-employee group plans.

 

WHY THIS MATTERS

 

Simultaneously, president-elect Donald J. Trump contradicts a pledge to President Barack Obama to retain and improve the provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). And, he appoints, to Secretary of the Treasury, the Wall Street mogul Steven Mnuchin – the top congressional strategist against the ACA to engineer and guarantee its repeal by Congress by mid-2017.

 

WHY THIS MATTERS

 

Figures released November 30, 2016, estimate that over 20 million Americans will lose their health insurance in 2017, if the ACA is repealed. This means they and their families will lose access to preventive care. It means that persons with any pre-existing medical condition or history, even any acquired on the job, will no longer be able to get health insurance policies. And, even employer-employee group plans will groan under the weight of extensive riders.

 

WHY THIS MATTERS

 

At least 20 million households, of persons under Medicare age of 65, will no longer have access to preventive healthcare such as immunizations for flu, pneumonia, polio, TB, and shingles. They will no longer have access to affordable health maintenance benefits such as fitness/exercise clubs, nutrition programs and psychological counseling.

 

WHY THIS MATTERS

 

Workers will not be able to properly handle and manage their own fitness, wellness and health. Workmen’s compensation recovery periods will be much shorter. Family Care and Leave Act provisions will be sharply reduced; and employee jobs will not be reserved.

 

WHY THIS MATTERS

 

Hourly workers, such as painters, will need to return to work – after injury, illness, surgery – before their physicians and surgeons consider it safe and healthy to do so. Instead, workers will need to get back on the job very promptly to prevent (a) job loss; (b) future unemployability and uninsurability; and (c) personal/family financial insolvency.

 

WHY THIS MATTERS

 

All employment opportunities will be available only to persons whose health ratings are above 80 percentile, credit score is higher than 800, and educational level is at or above the STEM or Master’s level.

 

WHY THIS MATTERS

 

We will have come full circle. Job loss, unemployability and financial insolvency, in the midst of the collapse of the U. S’s health care and insurance systems, will be a no-win solution for everyone. Even the employed, employable and financially solvent. Even the billionaires that the president-elect will have serving in top White House posts, starting January 20, 2017.

 

WHY THIS MATTERS

 

Who sits in the Oval Office won’t matter then. Who sits on the White House Cabinet won’t matter. Who sits in the U. S. Congress won’t matter. Who sits in charge anywhere won’t matter. Because no one, not in these seats, will be well enough and able enough to care any more.

 

WHY THIS MATTERS

 

Real strength is always in numbers. And, the real numbers are located within our communities. Not on Capitol Hill. Which, by the way, has been and will continue to be in an internal mess. Trump “top drawer” people, or not!

 

WHY THIS MATTERS

 

Because you matter! Take a closer look around – and inside your own life.

 

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What matters is why it matters.

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Thank you very much for visiting “Painting with Bob” during 2016.

 

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

Painting It: The Fast and Easy Way

Just to clarify things: Easy and fast is not necessarily the most recommended way to paint something. However, for everyone, we sometimes want things to go a little easier or to happen a little quicker.

 

Painting is no different. By taking some precautions, we can guarantee some degree of quality, no matter how fast or easy the work is. Having the right amount of skill is usually the ticket.

 

There are any number of items that can be painted the easy way, and as fast as you might want to complete them. Example: Using an airless spray system, I once prime finished just under 3000 linear feet of molding in less than an hour. When calculated using a brush and/or roller, it would have taken the entire day. Yes, a high level of productivity can be achieved daily, depending on the situation.

 

A FEW PREP-LEVEL TIPS

 

  1. Make an assessment of the project.
  2. Determine the steps needed to complete the project. The general rule is: The fewer steps there are, the easier it will be to complete. And, you will be finished in no time.
  3. Next, evaluate how difficult it will be to complete each step. Example: To paint a louvered door, you must (a) sand each piece of wood or metal as the case may be, (b) dust the surface, and (c) apply the paint using your chosen method. Here, the process of sanding can slow the paint process down quite a bit. It would be no big deal, if all you had to do was paint it.

 

So, how can you make a job easy, or develop a faster way of doing it? Let’s take the easy part of it first. You might want to follow the steps below.

 

  1. Answer this question: What is the largest size brush to use for painting this surface? A 1-inch brush is used for detail and glass framework. A 4-inch brush is used for flat, open wall areas and wide trim such as crown molding. Determine which one’s best suited for you and the job.

 

  1. When selecting a roller system: Relate the viscosity of the paint to the type of surface. Applying paint with a roller is easiest if the paint spreads smoothly, and you don’t have to dip the roller every five seconds. Example: Use a 3/8 inch roller cover when painting brick or concrete block. And, you will fight it the entire time.

 

  1. What can be easier than using a spray gun? Assess the surface and which spray tip is the most appropriate to apply the paint evenly. For those of you familiar with tip sizes, a 3-11 is best suited for trim painting and multiple small objects. It is possible to work yourself to death painting large wall spaces with a small tip. Recommendation: A 4-17 or 5-21 are the optimum choices here.

 

 Now: How can you paint this faster than, say, the last time? Think: Spray it!

 

A well-seasoned painter, with comprehensive knowledge in spray painting, will know intuitively how to get the most out of his spray work. Here are several things that he or she might bring to the attention of a less experienced painter.

 

  1. Completely strain the paint prior to siphoning or pressurizing. This step cannot be stressed enough.
  2. Make sure that all system filters are clean. Replace at regular intervals.
  3. Make sure the spray tip is not worn, and does not leak as you trigger the gun.
  4. Assess hourly use of each spray tip per manufacturer recommendations with type of paint.
  5. Thin paint or coating material to the proper viscosity NOTE: This will increase ease of paint flow and pumping efficiency.
  6. At all times, maintain a posture and spray gun motion which is perpendicular to the surface. 7. Cover everything within close proximity to the work that does not get painted. Use plastic sheeting, paper and drop cloths.
  7. Use a mask as necessary – one appropriate for the product, space, exposure, ventilation, etc.

 

How to Optimize Ease and Speed in Unison

 

Normally, I would consider it difficult to work fast and for the work to be easy at the same time. It takes some concentration to achieve what you’re looking for. There a few things you can do.

 

  1. Spray finish as much as possible before having to bring out the roller and brush. Your productivity will be considerably higher; and the hand tool use won’t have worn you out.

 

  1. Use a roller system in place of where you typically would have used a brush.

 

  1. Upgrade or vary the brush size from what you would normally use.

 

  1. Provide the highest level of surface preparation available.

 

To make a paint job easier, it is not necessary to cut corners or costs. Ease comes with experience: knowing how to complete a task using a sound and simple method versus getting too involved.

 

Start simple and build from there. Example: Don’t try to strip wood without using a chemical remover.

 

Fast means: You will be done sooner and generally make more money. Just don’t sacrifice quality and end up back where you started: behind schedule.

 

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I hope that you enjoyed your Thanksgiving holiday. Thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob,”

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

 

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