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Posts tagged ‘hotels/resorts’

Hotel/Facility Painters: Is Outsourcing Your Paintshop Services in Your Future?

It should come as no surprise to any hotel/resort staff member, when the news arrives that the management and operations of a certain department will be outsourced.

 

Other mid-to-large sized for-profit employers have been farming or “outsourcing” for needed services for years. More and more local, county and state governments have been contracting out for the management and operation of entities under their umbrella.

 

What throws a hard, curve ball is when the outsourcing company is going to move in its own people to staff that department, which is a part of the organization. EXAMPLES: Food and Beverage/Catering, Pools and Gazebos, Housekeeping/Laundry, Security, Sales, Conventions.

 

With a large department, the outsourcing company may opt to employ certain existing hotel staff members. Persons experienced working in that area, and with its targeted guests and visitors.

 

Usually, these persons need to complete new, pre-employment forms for the external company. Including for federal and state tax withholdings. Usually, the persons do not need to go through the hotel’s Human Resources’ job application and screening process.

 

So far, hotel engineering departments have been exempted from the contracted outsourcing system of employment. Some exceptions exist.

 

  1. The property owners decide to outsource the management and operations of the entire hotel business. Here, existing staff can sign on with the external company, or a designated staffing company.

 

  1. The outsourcing company “out-sources” the hotel’s engineering department services.

Note: Designated staff members may be able to apply to the outside company, to continue to work at the same hotel.

 

  1. The outsourcing company decides to switch engineering operations to a temporary and on-call arrangement. For all positions and tasks, or for certain positions and tasks.

Note: Usually, some of the current engineering staff members are offered the opportunity to work in his/her current – or a similar – position, but as a temporary or on-call worker.

 

In all cases, some positions are eliminated. Some job quotas are reduced. A lot of department re-organization takes place.

 

In smaller businesses – eg. hotels and inns, clinics, hospitals – the services of a full-time painter may not be needed any longer. They may not be affordable. Within the budget.

 

Thus, the career hotel/facility painter needs to be ready to adapt. And, to switch “employers,” if and when the time comes.

 

At the same time, take note!

 

Not all outsourcing arrangements work. Many get axed at some point. Department management and operations are returned to in-house people. Former staff members may be re-hired. Experienced employees are put back in charge of operating their respective department.

 

After reasonable tries, more city and county governments are voting against renewing their contracts with outsourcing companies. Businesses are tightening up qualifications and expectations for their outsourcing contractors. They are more closely, and accurately, computing the bottom line.

  1. “Are we really saving money? “
  2. “What’s the trade-off been within – and for – our community?”

Hotels and resorts are listening to their experienced staff members, about major organizational and ethical problems dealing with the outsource company’s people. Hospitals report losing once loyal employees and community support. Also they report an increase in serious liability quality-of-service and patient treatment issues.

 

What can a hotel painter do to influence top management and owners in deciding which way to go?

 

  1. Show a greater and more sincere interest in your hotel, and especially in your teammates. What’s really going on with them? What’s great, so-so, not good at all? Share in any on-going dialogue among your coworkers. Your bosses, too. TIP: Hold back a little here. Keep “person,” “personal,” and “personality” out of this.
  2. Show an interest in the “outsourcing” discussion. Periodically, exchange a few ideas with your chief engineer. Especially, if you’re the lead painter and help him handle a lot of the troubleshooting.
  3. Discreetly ask questions. Try to find out the reasons management is looking at outsourcing your job. Or, the entire engineering department.

 

THEN, ZERO IN ON YOUR POSITION…YOUR FUTURE.

 

  1. Update the hotel’s job description for your job. Provide a clear, detailed picture of exactly what you do there. Include both standard and special skills and abilities that your hotel’s painter must have. To get the job done! NOTE: Now is not the time to underestimate and undervalue what the real job entails. Now is not the time for humility.
  2. List the types of tasks, orders, projects, and emergency jobs you have done. Estimate the frequency with which you’ve done each. Indicate the location of each on the property. TIP: Keep your own on-site painter’s photo gallery up to date, and captioned!
  3. List the customer service functions you perform. That includes for team members, fellow staff members, managers; guests, visitors; suppliers, vendors, contractors; inspectors; and the community.
  4. Offer your experience and insight as input to the (a) chief engineer and (b) general manager. Limit what you offer in information to details that will positively support your bosses’ true position. Also, their short-range and long-range goals.

 

Final Note: As the staff painter, you are often in a unique and influential position. You tend to come into regular contact with coworkers and managers in many of the departments and work areas within the hotel’s organization. You tend to “brush shoulders” with certain aspects of the hotel or facility’s actual business.

 

Bottom Line: You may be able to play a key role in management’s decision to outsource. Or not.

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“Press toward the mark that you want to leave behind.”  RDH

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Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

Copyright 2012, 2015, 2017. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

Hotel Painting During a Major Downturn

In lodging, the slow season varies in different regions of the country – even in ertain areas within a given state.

 

The climate – weather – has a lot to do with it. So do school terms, vacation times – both school and employment, busy seasons in a specific industry, trade or business. And a host of other “issues.”

 

In Florida, the slower season tends to fall between the second week of January through March, or even April.

 

If you’re a staff painter working in Florida, the slower season is a good time to get things done. Fewer guests and visitors, fewer emergency calls and work orders, and fewer interruptions.

 

But the “slower season” is also the period of lower revenues, lowered budget, and much lower supply of resources.

 

If you’re a contract painter, the slower period may be the right time to branch out and to do some freelance work.

 

TEN “SLOWER SEASON” SOLUTIONS FOR THE STAFF PAINTER

 

  1. Before Day 1 of the slow season, decide with your chief engineer (a) what work orders and projects must stay on the roster, and (b) what projects must be shelved.
  2. Take a closer look at that list of necessary work orders and projects. Whittle it down by 25 percent.
  3. Then, prioritize those according to daily and weekly jobs.
  4. Next, establish a budget, or cost estimate, for each – based on the supplies needed to do each.
  5. Take a closer look. You may see that the list of necessary work orders and projects can be shortened. Example: Working on “bathrooms re-paint” project can be spread out over a longer period of time. Say five bathrooms a week or every two weeks, versus five a day.
  6. The toughest time: Shelve the “necessary” work orders and projects that require the most outlay of money for materials and supplies. Note: That may be the most money for few supplies. TIP: This amount may end up being your allotment for paintshop emergencies. Your contingency fund.
  7. Now you’re ready to schedule out your work load for each week during the dry spell, budget-wise.
  8. Be prepared for additional cutbacks (a) across-the-board organizationally, then (b)unilaterally throughout your Engineering Department.
  9. When you’re asked or expected to perform paintshop miracles during an already “bare bones” massive budget freeze, here’s what you do next:
  10. GET CREATIVE. GET TOUGH. GET WISE.

 

TWO DO GOOD-FEEL GOOD TIPS:

  1. Seek out and volunteer to perform other essential tasks in your department – eg. maintenance, grounds.
  2. Volunteer to split your work-day time. Help out in another busier department that has also suffered staff cutbacks – eg. housekeeping, kitchen, guest services

 

Your bottom line objectives during any slower season:

  1. Keep the paintshop running.
  2. Keep your job.

 

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The “slower season” does not mean it’s the time for you to slow down on the job.

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Thank you for staying on task, whatever your regular job description.

Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob” blog.

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

MEET “VICTORIA!”

val2

The main character in

Victoria’s Valentine,

our family’s V-Day tale this year.

 

“Victoria” is really “Delilah.” Age: 5+ years here.

Owner/Rescuer: Darlene Serpa, Serpentine Saint Bernards,

Saint Bernard Rescue Foundation, Clearlake, California.

Source: Darlene serpatierra@mchsi.com.

Paintshop: 21st Century Work Partners: Software Programs and Hand-Held Devices

Twenty-seven year old painter Ben got a big shock when he returned to work after a two-week vacation.

 

“Effective immediately…” started the memo. A hand-held tablet would be his “work partner” wherever he went throughout each work day.

 

Using the device, he would be expected to perform the following functions on a daily basis:

 

  1. Clock in and clock out.
  2. Select from list the exact tasks and work orders he would be completing that day.
  3. Select from list the project(s) he would be working on – and the stage of each.
  4. Select products, materials and supplies he would be using for each task, work order and project. That included colors by name and manufacturer product number.
  5. List each work order as it came to him, indicating the start, pause/delay and completion times of each; list of products, supplies and tools for each; brief description of problem(s) incurred; and, future recommendations.
  6. List quantity/amount of each product, material and supply used.
  7. Submit weekly requisitions for basic products, materials and supplies needed to work on any painting task within the next two weeks.
  8. Record when requisition orders were filled, then when supplies were actually delivered.
  9. Maintain paintshop inventory on weekly basis.
  10. Log all communications with supervisor(s) related to each task, work order and project.
  11. Maintain contact list of manufacturers’ representatives, supply stores, sales staffs, etc.

 

In other words, a fair percentage of Ben’s work time would be spent using the hand-held device.

 

“I don’t have a problem with it,” he e-mailed. “But it cuts into my actual painting time like you wouldn’t believe.” He added that he needed to share more details about how the system worked. “No time.”

 

“What’s nice about it is, at any time, I can plug my hand-held into any printer at the hotel, and print out a copy of any file, communication, list, worksheet, chart, color palette sheet, etc. That’s been a big help.”

 

Ben added that the devices are kept in the department when not in use. Locked up at the end of the day in a cabinet inside the chief engineer’s office.

 

I think the concept is great. And full access to a hand-held device with a top quality painting or paintshop software program can save the painter a lot of paperwork, time, and money. Especially when the painter is allowed ample control about how he uses it.

 

RECOMMENDED PAINTER/PAINTING CONTRACTOR SOFTWARE PROGRAMS

1. General and cross-function: www.getjobber.com; www.knowify.com; www.go.intouchinsight.com;

2. Estimating, bidding, invoicing: www.paintestimating.com; www.invoice2go-enterprise.com; www.quickpaintingproposals.com; 3. Business: www.CorkCRM.com.

 

By the way, most of the above online software companies offers an APP version. Ben suggested checking into the possibility of purchasing/downloading and interfacing two or more systems.

 

“Your paintshop and engineering department may need to use more than one program to cover your bases. Also, your department might need to sit down with an IT creative and develop a few custom sub-programs. Example: A running and cross-referencing inventory list.”

 

Thanks, Ben, for the information.

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Smart paintshop practices include whatever support systems and devices that will make work easier. 

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Thanks to everyone for revisiting “Painting with Bob” in 2017.

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

Painter’s View: Pro Linebacker on Property

A True Hotel New Year’s Tale…

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

“Or two large families,” I grinned.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

“What’s up, Bob?”

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

“WHAT?!?”  Neither man got it.

 

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

 

Then, the engineering teammates did get it.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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Many thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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

Painter’s View: Ten Spaces and Ten Reasons to Paint on New Year’s Week-end

New Year’s week-end is a great time to pick up a brush, and paint.

 

Because of the busy holidays, at least some of your regular schedule is probably still on hold. You’re in a more relaxed, “winding down” mode. And, you’re already psyched up to try new things, new ways.

 

 TEN REASONS TO PAINT ON NEW YEAR’S WEEK-END

 

  1. You may have more time off to paint things other than assigned work orders and tasks.
  2. Paint stores are running super pre-2017 sales.
  3. Many product manufacturers’ websites and apps are offering two-and-three-for-one discounts.
  4. Manufacturers are offering introductory discounts on paint products in the new 2017 colors.
  5. You may need a physical outlet to vent that holiday season stress.
  6. At work, your chief engineer may be more amenable to your doing that creative project that you’ve suggested.
  7. At home, the holiday spirit will still be wide open for creative expression.
  8. Your energy and enthusiasm levels are still at a high.
  9. Your willingness may be greater to accept a little help from your crew.
  10. You “need to paint this now” – while you’re in the mood.

 

 TEN SPACES TO PAINT ON NEW YEAR’S WEEK-END

 

  1. Rooms at home: a bathroom, bedroom, sun porch, study/den, attic room, sewing room.

TIP: Steer clear of high activity areas during the holidays – eg. kitchen, media room.

  1. Areas at home: workroom in basement or garage, garage/barn loft, small apartment, workshop.
  2. Rentals: apartment, loft, duplex unit; small house, condo or townhome.
  3. Home-based work space: office, writing/artist studio, computer room/alcove, assembly room.
  4. On-site work spaces: bosses’ offices and bathrooms, art gallery offices, shop offices; kitchen/lunch room; non-profit offices, workrooms, or restrooms.
  5. Furniture: simply designed chairs, table in good condition, smaller dresser/chest, bed, smooth-surface desk, picture/mirror frames; bookcases, storage units.
  6. Built-ins: eating nooks, window seat areas, bookshelves, cabinetry doors/frames, home office cubicle.
  7. Fun spaces: Jewelry/treasure boxes; children’s sleeping loft or playhouse; children’s toy chest; dollhouse, play barn/fort; doghouse.
  8. Elderly friend/relative space: front entry, living/dining area, bedroom, den/study, enclosed sun room; ALF/retirement community apartment or villa.

TIP: Pre-arrange for the resident to stay with a neighbor, relative or friend for the week-end. Or,              perhaps in your home?

  1. Your church: Unless the buildings are new, nearly every room/area may need a pro painter’s touch.

TIP: Look for smaller rooms that have been ignored or neglected aesthetically. Examples: Sunday             school rooms, library room, workroom, bulletin/newsletter/printing room, office workroom and storage rooms; kitchen/pantry; choir practice room and robe storage.

 

TOP TIP: Make it a project of your choice. Make it a do-good, do-well endeavor.

 

P. S. My New Year’s project: Applying matching faux finish pattern to two, curbside discarded, two-drawer metal file cabinets.

 

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Happy New Year, everyone. Enjoy. Stay safe. Be well.

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Here’s hoping to hear from you in the New Year – 2017.

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

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

Painter’s View: “Mrs. J,” Homeless Hotel Resident

Mrs. “J” lived on the second floor of Building 300-400. That is, toward the back of the hotel property.

 

She and her three young children had been there for nearly a year. Victims of an abusive husband/father and home foreclosure, they owned what had fitted into three suitcases. And, they had nowhere else to go.

 

Sooner than later, the woman’s money started to run out. She had extreme difficulties paying the rent on the guest room. More frequently, her children were seen foraging for food left in trash bins setting throughout the property. The middle child even took to sneaking into the Food Court, and asking the cook for uneaten food.

 

Our G.M. took a “Samaritan” approach to Mrs. “J” and her children. He did the same for the more than ten other families that had nowhere else to go.

 

Among other things, he made certain that the families – especially the children – had a Christmas. Holiday food, warmer clothing and new shoes, even gifts. And, he discreetly invited the staff to help out, too.

 

On Christmas Eve morning, I started my shift early. At 7:00 A.M. Mrs. “J” stood at the corner of her building, closest to my usual parking spot. She approached me slowly.

 

She looked down at my name badge. “Robert, I’ve been waiting for you.” Her eyes looked sunken.  There were fresh bruises on the left side of her face and neck, also her left arm and both hands.

 

“Mrs. ‘J,’ what happened to you?” The woman wobbled, trying not to fall against my truck.

 

“I’m okay now. He…uh…He left.”

 

“He…Who left? Your husband was here? He found you?” A sick sensation hit my stomach.

 

“Yes. But he’s all gone now…Won’t be back.”

 

“How do you know that?”

 

“Because I have no money to give him.”

 

No money? I thought. The woman was on her own. She was struggling to keep a roof over her children’s heads, and food in their stomachs.

 

I did not ask her. I just pushed the button on my mobile, and asked for “Security.”

 

Mrs. “J” and her children needed a little extra help. I wondered: How many other temporary hotel residents here needed this type of extra help?

 

That Christmas season marked a new, trumped up security plan for our special guests. One that carried over into the following year. It was a plan that no one on the staff really talked about. Yet, everyone on the staff knew about, and discreetly helped, to carry it out.

 

In previous years, I’ve posted about homelessness in America, and homelessness in Central Florida. I’ve posted about our Santa/G.M’s humanitarian  heart, and the kind hearts of his elves/staff.

 

It may be six years after Mrs. “J’s” Christmas attack. It may be close to three years, since I posted the first piece about hotel homeless residents/guests.

 

Let me reassure you: Christmas of 2016: Many destitute individuals and families call hotel rooms their homes.

 

A Painter’s Plan…

 

Are you, or will you be, staying at a hotel, resort or lodge this holiday season?

 

  1. Please keep your eyes and ears open for guests that need some help.
  2. Let the first staff member you see that you’ve noticed that another guest – especially any child – is struggling.
  3. Notify Security promptly if any guest or family appears to be in a crisis mode.
  4. Do not approach the needy guest yourself. Do not reach out to help.

 

You will be doing enough – the right thing – by contacting the hotel staff.

 

At Christmas time, “persons with special needs” go far beyond the traditional definition of “special needs.” It encompasses anyone – of any age – that needs help from someone else. To survive!

 

A message to the rest of us: Eyes open. Ears alert. Heads up. Heart open. Enough to recognize that another person needs help. And enough to call for help!

 

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Painters and decorators: Thank you for brightening and freshening up the world of others.

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And, thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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

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