Scenario No. 1: A regular hotel guest reports that the paint color used to touch up in his room does not match the rest of the wall. He wants the entire wall repainted immediately. It’s after 3 pm on Day 4 of a 7-night stay. He declines management’s offer to move him to a different room, and “comp” him for one night’s stay.
Company Policy: Have the painter inspect the area, and repaint the wall when the guest will be gone for the day.
Common Sense: Painter tries to arrange to repaint the wall, when the guest will be out of the room for at least four (4) hours, to allow the fresh paint fumes to dissipate.
Common Courtesy: Painter talks, one-on-one, with the guest and explains that the hotel values his patronage. The painter emphasizes the importance of repainting the wall, when it’s safest for the guest.
Scenario No. 2: A guest calls the front desk, and reports multiple large black mold buildups in the bathroom. Rooms Manager offers to move the guest to another room. The guest declines.
Company Policy: A housekeeping supervisor assesses the extent of major black mold buildup. She calls the painter to clean up/remove the mold.
Common Sense: Painter uses mild soap and warm water mixture to reduce the level of buildup, and the guest’s exposure to mold spores. The standard chemical bleach solution is not used, to prevent the guest from suffering an adverse reaction to dangerous bleach fumes.
Common Courtesy: Inform the guest that the mild soap/warm water mixture is a temporary, partial solution. Explain that treatment with the more effective bleach solution requires that the room remain unoccupied for at three (3) hours. HEALTH TIP: Place a fan in the room to increase ventilation, and air flow.
Scenario No. 3: The painter finds a guest crying, because she has been locked out of her room. He hears young children crying inside. He tries the key card; it does not work. He learns that the guest owes back rent for the room.
Company Policy: The guest/mother must go to the front office and make payment arrangements. Then the guest will be allowed access into the room.
Common Sense: Painter calls the head of security, to get help for the children a.s.a.p. Painter uses master key card to open the room door. He lets the mother stand in the doorway, and check that her children are safe. Then, he has the guest/mother step back outside. He re-closes and relocks the door.
Common Courtesy: Painter gets permission and assists the guest/mother in getting promptly to the front office, to make payment arrangements. A security officer stands guard outside the guest’s room, to ensure the safety of the children inside.
Scenario No. 4: A customer changes his mind about the paint colors, just applied inside his new martial arts studio. He tries to reject the job, and refuses to pay. He insists that the painters redo the entire job (over 1800 square feet), in time for his grand opening four days away.
Company Policy: (1) Payment in full is due when the paint job is completed, per the terms of the contract. (2) The customer rejected paint job because he changed his mind, not because of any problem with the products and/or workmanship. (3) The “redo” is considered a new paint job. It must be contracted separately, and scheduled at the convenience of both the contractor and customer.
Common Sense: Talk one-on-one with the customer. Find out what’s really bothering him. Does he have the money to pay for the job completed? Did he, or someone else, select the original color scheme? Regardless: Require payment in full of customer’s bill.
Common Courtesy: (1) Offer customer a small cost break for paint job no. 1, if payment in full received within twenty-four hours. (2) If possible, offer to redo the front part of studio in time for the grand opening, using the new colors. Terms: Signed contract for the new paint job, at least one-half prepayment for labor, purchase and delivery, in 24-hours, of all products and materials responsibility of customer.
Scenario No. 5: Exterior paint, applied one week ago, peels off the surface in rain. Commercial customer is upset. (The painters: “Us, too!”)
Company Policy: Call in paint manufacturer’s rep to inspect, and analyze. Nothing wrong found with the paint. Nothing wrong found with the substrate, surface’s preparation, or paint application by the painters. Strike agreement with paint manufacturer: They pay for new prep and finish products, also re-rental of required equipment – eg. hydraulics.
Common Sense: Report to paint manufacturer’s rep all concerns about product (s), and use.
TIP: Check all products, materials, tools, and equipment used for cleaning, removing, prepping.
Common Courtesy: Put customer’s final payment on hold till the job is redone. If possible, offer customer a nominal cost break on the whole job. TIP: Do not take the bulk of cost cut out of labor part.
Painting In, through, with, or in spite of company policy, common sense, and/or common courtesy challenges is part of the job. And, more often than not, it must be played by ear. Each time around.
With experience comes greater perceptivity, clearer understanding, more creativity, and deeper wisdom.
By the way, it might well be that you – the painter – are the more perceptive, understanding, creative, and wiser one when it comes to doing your painting job right!
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Follow through! Stay true to your own high standards and work ethic!
Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob.”