Volume 35, Number 4, April 2000


a message from the publisher


Hit the Road, Jack

If there is one thing USGlass readers are (besides almost always being right), it’s vocal. Your response to my question last month did nothing to dissuade me from that viewpoint.

On this page in March, I had recounted some of the various questions we had received at glass.com™ in the aftermath of the 20/20 news report (see USGlass site and AGRR site). I mentioned that I was having trouble answering only one question —which ironically had come from an installer rather than a customer. “What do you do,” he asked, “when you know the right way to do an installation, but your boss won’t let you? Can you help me?”

I really didn’t know quite what to tell him, but I did tell him his story wasn’t that unique. I’ve heard similar comments from other readers over the years. And I’ve even witnessed the occasional owner at one of our Expos telling his newly-educated crew that “they weren’t going to do it that way, anyway.” Nothing is more demoralizing to a group of guys who are eager to put their hours of training to work (or to organizers like us who devote a lot of time, energy and resources to providing the education) than to hear your boss attempt to negate everything you just learned. It doesn’t happen too often, but when it does it’s depressing—and scary.

Allowing for minor variations, the advice dozens upon dozens of you gave to this installer was the same: “hit the road, find a new job, you’re outta there.”

Adrian Ayotte, president of Architectural Skylight Company in Waterboro, Maine, said it best: “Deb: What should he do?

1. Quit.

2. There is no number two.”

“You can try talking to the boss again, or show him the 20/20 video,” said an e-mailer who preferred to remain anonymous. “But chances are the boss already knows what should be done and chooses not to do it. Do you really want to be working for somebody like that?”

“I guarantee you that I would offer a job to almost anyone who walked in here and had left his last job because he wasn’t allowed to follow proper safety procedures in a hot minute. Here’s an employee who cares, and who wants to do it right—just the kind of guy we’d hire fast.”

Yet another was a bit more candid. “It’s no secret that it’s an employee’s market in the glass business today. We are all screaming for qualified help. Tell your reader to get a job where they appreciate safety and not to look back.”

“Reputable companies want installers that they don’t have to police in order to get the work done right,” said Earl Pitman Jr. of Dothan Glass. “If he is in an area where we have stores tell him to give us a call.”

The good news is that Mr. Pitman may have to stand in line. Tons of others made the same offer to the installer. And maybe, just maybe, his boss will see this and decide to correct the error of his ways. Thanks to all who wrote with their advice and suggestions.

P.S. Speaking of hitting the road, USGlass does exactly that again June 2-3, when we host Glass Expo Pacific Northwest 2000 in Portland, Oregon. It’s the first time a glass industry expo has ever been held in Portland and we are excited to be part of it. Details follow on page 50.


Copyright 2000 Key Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. No reproduction of any type without expressed written permission.