Volume 35, Number 11, November 2000
by Lyle R. Hill
Mr. Hill, I dont want to be pushy but I really need to have
your final draft of the employee memo by the end of the day if Im to have enough
time to process it and get it ready for mailing.
there really is a lot to be thankful for
Bobbie Rovner and I began working together in January of 1976
almost 25 years ago
and shes fantastic. But by now, I know the difference between the words she
uses and what shes really trying to tell me. For instance, by calling me Mr.
Hill instead of one of the other names she commonly uses for me, I know that she
wants me to take her seriously. And by saying that she doesnt want to get
pushy shes actually letting me know that if I dont respond in an
acceptable amount of time, Im in big trouble. Ive seen her reduce grown men
big men like T-Bone and Meat Hooks
to trembling, whimpering shadows of their
real selves. But I was busy ... she would just have to wait.
Listen, Bobbie, Ill do the memo first thing tomorrow. Right now Im
trying to finish off an article for USGlass and Ellen Giard left me a message saying it
had to be in today. And if I dont get it done, shell have that editor with the
funny name, Tara Taffera, call me, or worse yet, the Levy Lady. So you see, I gotta get
She stood there
staring at me. She didnt say a word but I knew
what she was thinking. She was challenging me
daring me not to give in to her
wishes. In essence, asking me who I wanted to disappoint
those three tough cookies
from USGlass or her. Well let me tell you right now, Im no pushover. I can be plenty
tough when I need to be, and I dont particularly like being threatened or told what
to do by anybody. And who does she think she is anyway? Who exactly is working for whom?
Enough is enough and I intended to deal with this situation in my usual, straightforward
Hand me the memo, Ms. Rovner, and Ill get right on it.
Now at this particular point in time, I was trying to decide which article to finish off
and submit to USGlass for the November edition. I actually had two that were just about
complete. One dealt with the story of a smart-mouth hardware storeowner that I had
encountered. It was to be titled The Wise Guy, and would touch on everything
from short pay issues to the arrogant demeanor that I think infects our
industry in certain circles. The other article had to do with the absurd manner in which
we certify certain of our industrys technicians. It was to be titled,
But Not Qualified. In both cases, a fair amount of fun was
being poked at the way business is done in and around our industry. And lets face
it, theres more than enough absurdity and craziness to go around, and Im not
always sure that anyone needs me to point it out. In fact, from the letters and calls I
get on a pretty regular basis, some of you see the wackiness even better than
I do. But in looking at the memo that Ms. Rovner had asked me to finalize, I realized that
maybe the articles Id been working on should wait
at least for a little
while. For you see, the memo Bobbie wanted me to finish dealt with the Thanksgiving
holiday and talked about the positive side of all that we have. And to be sure, it was a
bit of a change if not a relief to look at the positive side of things for at least a few
minutes. No, Im not losing it and no one would confuse me with a starry
eyed dreamer, but in spite of our problems and concerns, weve got a lot of good for
which to be thankful.
To begin, we have a great country
and by the time you read this our democratic
process will have elected a new president. And regardless of which turkey you voted for,
be thankful that you had the right to choose. Be thankful for your health
I certainly am! And while youre at it, join me in being thankful for
the opportunity to worship in keeping with your beliefs. Many a Sunday Ive sat in
church thinking about the importance of religious freedom and how fortunate we are to have
it. It wouldnt hurt you to be thankful for some of the people in this industry also
yes, I know some of them drive you nuts
but a lot of them are honest,
people who actually care about their customers and who treat
co-workers, suppliers and everyone that they deal with in a respectful manner. And lastly,
let me say THANKS to you for putting up with me and for reading this column from time to
time. Your comments and encouragement really are appreciated and I honestly do thank you.
Oh yeah, I got Bobbies memo finished on time so that worked out OK too
Lyle Hill is president of MTH Industries-Glass America of Chicago, IL.
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