Volume 39, Issue 4, April  2004

theBusiness

A Comment or Two ... or Three ... 
OK, Five!!!
by Lyle R. Hill

I’ve never met Dez Farnady, but I’ve talked to a few people who know him and I have no doubt whatsoever that I would like him and enjoy spending time with him if the opportunity arose. Naturally, I read all of Farnady’s articles. They are timely, deadly accurate and delivered in that Dez-Farnady-no-nonsense approach, which we Midwesterners appreciate. But Dez … you missed it big time in your recent article entitled “Three Monkey Act” (see the February 2004 USGlass, page 8) wherein you said that one of our industry’s biggest problems is that we don’t see, listen or speak out on important matters. Well, I totally disagree, although you did get two out of three right. Specifically, as an industry, we never seem to see the obvious or listen to the important, but I know a whole bunch of uninformed people in this industry who don’t see or hear anything because they are so busy speaking out about everything and everybody. I’d love the opportunity to tell a lot of them to open their eyes and ears and do everyone a favor … by shutting up. But that kind of talk is better left to guys like Dez.

C.R.Laurence …
you’ve done it again!!! 

If you’ve ever done a board up job on a cold winter’s night in Chicago (and I have) you gotta love the latest little device that the wonderful guys at CRL have come up with. It’s called the Board up Buddy and is so wonderfully simplistic in its concept that I almost can’t stand it. Once again, I have to tip my hat to Don Friese, Paul Daniels and the rest of the CRL team for helping to make our lives a little easier. Hey … that new rail catalog of yours is pretty nifty too! 

Key Communications … Congratulations!!! 
It just wouldn’t be right not to congratulate Deb Levy and her team on the tenth anniversary of their acquisition of USGlass & Metal magazine. What they have done with this publication (and the others that have been created to serve the glass industry) is absolutely fantastic. Not only do they get it out first … but they get it out right … and unbiased as well. Congratulations and best wishes for another ten successful years. 

The Energy Surcharge 
Thing … worse than I thought!!! 

The negative feelings over the energy surcharge issue run deeper and are much stronger than I would have ever thought. I have written three columns dealing with these surcharges during the past few months and the number of calls and e-mails I get after each one is published is amazing. And the people doing the calling and writing are very vocal about their dislike … and distrust … of the suppliers that are hitting them with these surcharges. As one caller said to me … “I wouldn’t be surprised if the next thing they pull is to hit us with an insurance surcharge because their workers comp rates went up.” Most people feel it’s a sham … or at best a hidden price increase. But here’s my question … does everybody pay the surcharge … and if so, does everybody pay the same surcharge? I bet even the people from New Jersey know the answer to this one. Actually, I had wanted to ask what would happen if everyone, in an act of defiance and independence, refused to pay the surcharge for a month … say July? But the semi-friendly editor of this fine publication told me that this could be considered a boycott, which is illegal, and could get me into a lot of trouble. So I’m not going to ask or suggest any unusual behavior or actions be taken … particularly in July … with regards to the surcharge issue … if you know what I mean. 

The Election …
The Glass Industry Poll is in!!!

Everyone seems to be doing the poll thing these days so I have also done one. The following represents a poll taken by me of 100 glass industry people who are likely to still be in business on election day (finding 100 people who fit this profile was not easy by the way). The results are as follows:

George W. Bush: 14%
John Kerry: 14%
Johnny “The Mooch” Rago: 16%
Koziac “The Polish” Accountant: 3.79%
Max Perlstein: 2%
Don’t know: 8%
Don’t Really Care: 42% 

(This poll comes with a 5% margin of error and a 7% energy surcharge.)


USG

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