Volume 42, Issue 10 - October 2007

the Business

Answering the Mail

by Lyle R. Hill 
Before the technological advances of the Modern Era (which I describe as everything that has been happening since 1980), answering the mail was relatively easy, even if it wasnít always quick and efficient. Basically, you got letters and you sent letters. There were no fax machines, voicemail systems, cell phones, text messaging or computers. But now, in the Modern Era, you get some form of mail not only daily but, in many cases, instantaneously. Itís really a bit overwhelming. So I have decided, in an effort to get caught up a bit while also hammering out an article for good old USGlass magazine, to answer some of my mail publicly Ö and thank you in advance for letting me do this.

From Louis Ferrusi of Performance Glass Associates, via voice mail: 
Did you get the copy of the Chicago Tribune sports section dated March 14, 1968, that I sent you, which had on its front page an unbelievable picture of Ted Mazula (also of Performance Glass Associates)? Can you believe it?

Response: Yes, Louis, I did receive it, and while I was a bit stunned at first, I recovered quickly once I remembered that Ted is, after all, from Iowa. Iíll say no more about this at this time because those of you who know Ted should ask him to not only show you the picture but also to explain it to you himself. Iíd be interested in knowing what he says!

From Chuck Pianko of Glenside Glass, via e-mail:
 I am writing to you regarding an article that you wrote several years ago in which you gave advice on how to deal with a troublesome situation. I have an individual that may benefit from what you had to say. Could you contact me and help me track down the article in question?

Response: Without thinking Chuck, I forwarded your request on to the fine people at USGlass magazine and I have been told that they found the article you were looking for and sent a copy of it to you. However, Chuck, you have now made me seriously question whether or not I should continue to write for USGlass. In fact, Iím a little frightened by this entire situation. You see, I donít feel comfortable giving advice because my fear is that someone might actually follow it. A few years ago I wrote an article called The Impala and in it, I more or less encouraged people to be willing to take risks Ö to be willing to make mistakes Ö to be courageous and unafraid. Well, Chuck, a guy wrote to me and told me that after reading my article, he had quit his job as a tech working for an auto glass replacement company because he had decided to pursue his life long dream of being a stand-up comedian. He was about 40 at the time and had a wife and three kids. I think you can imagine how this story ended so pleaseóall of youóbelieve me when I tell you that you should not take anything that I write seriously and you should not interpret anything that comes from me as being advice or a recommendation of any kind. And if any of you are looking for a semi-funny, forty-four year old former AG technician, please call me.

From Bob Ferguson of Bobís Glass & Mirror, via e-mail: 
There is a rumor circulating about that claims that you have been contacted by and are working with a law firm that is looking into perhaps filing a class action suit of some type (for price fixing presumably) with regards to the energy surcharge situation. Is there any truth to this?

Response: Bob, you are one of several people who have asked me this question during the past couple of months, so evidently there is indeed some type of rumor afloat. However, all I can say is Ö I have nothing to say at this time.

From Debbie Olson of Glass & Mirror America, via a phone call: 
Mr. Hill, if I baked you a plate full of homemade cookies would you please mention in your column that our wonderful George Osha took first place in the Wal-Mart Ohio River Bass Fishing Tournament and won $2,500 in the process? Also, while youíre at it, could you mention that our sensational Don Brown has been a finalist in several high profile tournaments over the past few years and has been consistently ranked as one of the Midwestís top anglers, and could you also mention that our very talented Bernardo Ryspecki is currently president of Chicagoís Pike Buster Fishing Club, and could you also mention thatÖ

Response: Whoa, slow down lady. Do you really think I can be bought with homemade cookies? And, even if I could be bought with homemade cookies, how much do you think a plate full of cookies entitles you to in the first place? I canít believe some of you people. Shame on you. Shame I say!

From Dale Eckelberry of Hughes Glass, via e-mail:
 I was just re-reading one of your articles on the energy surcharge matter and I want you to know that this is an issue that will never go away!

Response: Yes it will, Dale. You have just gotta be patient. By the way, you havenít been talking to a guy by the name of Bob Ferguson lately have you?

Closing Comments: In the interest of brevity, clarity and common sense, I altered some of the above messages slightly so I could use them for this column and, by the way Debbie Olson, I prefer chocolate chip! 

Lyle Hill is president of MTH Industries of Chicago. Mr. Hillís opinions are solely his own and not necessarily those of this magazine.

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No reproduction of any type without expressed written permission.