Volume 45, Issue 3 - March 2010


50 Reminders for Shop Crews

100 Simple Rules for Glass Shop Workers, Part II
by Paul Bieber

This is the second part of “Simple Rules for Glass Shops,” concentrating on tips for the shop and installation crew.
1. If you wear a hat, wear it correctly, not off to one side. Only Ken Griffey, Jr. looks great in a hat worn backwards.

2. It’s old, but right on … measure twice and cut once.

3. When you work on the interior side of a lived-in jobsite, always put cardboard or sheets of paper on the floor to catch dirt.

4. Leave the house or office where you just installed glass at least as clean as you found it. I guarantee your boss won’t mind you taking an extra couple of minutes to leave a good impression.

5. Follow the recycling rules in your shop.

6. The number one rule in any glass shop is: work safely. ’Nuff said.

7. Use your cut-offs wisely. Sometimes the labor to use a cut-off costs more than the value of the cut-off. If you are not sure about using a cut-off … ask.

8. Clean every piece of glass that you install in every residential job. Your customer will tell their friends.

9. Train a rookie in your shop to the best of your capabilities. You were a rookie once yourself.

10. Be polite at every jobsite … even when the customer is a pain.

11. When you take the second to last sheet of a size, tell the folks who do the ordering.

12. The same as above for supplies. No one wants to run out of silicone or razor blades.

13. Remove all product labels and clean the glue residue. Ask the customer if he wants the labels. If the customer is not there, leave the labels with your work order.

14. When you give the customer any documentation, write it neatly enough that they can read it.

15. When you are in the shop or at a jobsite, inspect incoming glass and metal as it is delivered. You will be the goat if the insulating glass unit doesn’t fit after you have cut out the failed unit.

16. When customers ask questions about other products your shop carries, write it down and tell your boss. Every glass shop is looking for extra business.

17. No smoking in any customer’s house or office. Ever.

18. No shortcuts. Take the extra time to do the job right the first time.

19. If you are on a callback, ask the customer if she or he is satisfied before you leave.

20. It is okay to get a tip, but do not beg. If you get a tip, ask the customer if it is for the whole crew, and then follow their wishes.

21. It is okay to play music in a residential jobsite after you get the permission of the homeowner—but never in an office or active commercial site.

22. Wear clean clothes every day. If your shop has a uniform, wear it with pride.

23. It is okay to grab a once-in-a-while weekend gig helping a friend to install glass, as this is not a customer of your regular employer.

24. Your regular employer is the one who pays your benefits, comp insurance and gives you vacation time. This employer is more important than the under-the-table guy you help.

25. Many people work two jobs. Courtesy says you should tell your regular employer.

26. Look at every lite before you install it. There is nothing wrong with turning a lite to install a small blemish in the least obvious place.

27. Leave your problems in the truck. Always smile in front of customers.

28. Never discuss religion or politics with customers. Do not wear political pins. Never, never, never tell an off-color joke to a customer.

29. Ask if there are other projects at the jobsite that your shop can help with.

30. When you are driving down the road and see a construction project starting up, stop in and see who the general contractor is. Give this information to the estimator back at the shop.

31. Your tools are your best friends. Treat them that way. If you borrow a tool, return it cleaner than it was given to you.

32. Never say bad things about a competitor. Always say good things about your company.

33. Don’t touch your customer other than to shake hands. Do not put your arm on their shoulder as if you are a long-lost friend.

34. Don’t go into a house if there are children under 16 present and no adult is there.

35. If a customer asks you to install a piece of annealed glass, and you know it should be safety glass, don’t do it, even though he or she offers you money.

36. If your jobsite is COD, mention this to the customer prior to doing your work. If you get a bad feeling at this point, have your office speak with the customer. Always have change available and give a receipt if you receive cash.

37. Make sure you know what your company needs when you get a credit card transaction.

38. The office staff are your partners and equals.

39. When glass breaks in the shop or jobsite, tell the boss. He needs to know to keep an accurate inventory.

40. Keep your truck clean. You want the public to look at your truck and think it represents a good company to call. Your company name should be clearly visible and neatly painted.

41. Treat every bench order, whether for a screen repair or a picture frame, like it is the most important order that month.

42. When you come to work late, you may be holding up an entire crew going to a job. Be considerate of your co-workers and the company.

43. Tell the boss when you throw something personal into an order from a supply house.

44. Forgetting your tools or your safety gear at home is a bush-league excuse.

45. Never have a beer with lunch.

46. Be proud of each install you do.

47. The more you learn, the more valuable you are to your company. Read magazines, browse websites and study your industry.

48. Tape measures stretch over time. Check yours once a week against a pre-cut piece of metal at your shop.

49. No employee is excused from these rules, especially family members who must set the best example.

50. The company pays your salary and benefits. Remember this always.

Paul Bieber has 30 years in the glass industry, including 21 years as the executive vice president of Floral Glass in Hauppauge, N.Y., from which he retired in 2005. Mr. Bieber’s opinions are solely his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of this magazine.

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