Volume 41, Issue 9 - September 2006

Issue@Hand

People Power
by Deb Levy

This is a people issue. As Bob Lawrence of Craftsman Fabricated Glass says in his candid interview beginning on page 116: “Hire good people and let them go.” It’s as true throughout this issue as it is in life.

I’d like to introduce you to some people you might otherwise not know. Donnie Critchley Jr. is a glazier and board-up guy who works for Woodbridge Glass in the Virginia city of the same name. Donnie showed up in my office at 4 a.m. one Saturday morning, only 45 minutes after I’d called, to board up a window that was broken in an attempted burglary. He was extremely courteous and professional, even though our office was his fourth of six stops that night. “I don’t mind doing the board-ups,” said Donnie. “It really helps people. We see them under stress and try to make it better. Maybe that’s how I’ve lasted so long,” said the veteran of 25 years.

Thanks, too, to the many people who wrote after our last issue. “Your column really hit home with us,” e-mailed one shop manager who prefers not to be identified. “We would pick and choose which emergency work we did very carefully. We still plan to, but we are not going to advertise 24-hour board-ups, just emergency service in certain areas.” 

“We have run the same yellow page ad for the past seven years without really looking at it,” wrote another reader. “We stopped doing overnights years ago, but forgot it was still listed in our ad. Thanks for making us look.”

Thanks, too, to everyone who wrote with suggestions, ideas and offers to put in security glass. You just reinforce for me what great people our readers are.

I thought of another person while looking through this issue. He was a young Hispanic man I met a while back when I was visiting a relatively new glass plant. The manager there had come from a plant in Mexico and mentioned that a number of workers had come with him. We took a lot of pictures of the plant and the workers. I got a great shot of the manager and the young man working on some equipment. Now I am not the world’s greatest photographer, so when I take a decent picture, I know we will use it. I knew the manager’s name and I asked the young man for his. 

The young man turned to me and frowned. “Joe Lewis,” he said.

“Joe Lewis?” I repeated. “Like the boxer? You have the same name? What a coincidence.” He just smiled and left the room.
I’d like to say I got it right away, but I was an hour into my drive home before it occurred to me that the young man’s name probably was not Joe Lewis and that he most likely did not want to be identified. 

Ellen Giard’s excellent report on immigration reminded me of him and made me wonder just how many Joe Lewises there are out there in the glass industry. Ellen’s report begins on page 122.

This is a people issue internally as well. It’s the largest issue USGlass has ever published and its production has been quite a feat for our advertisers, editorial, sales and production crews. I’d like to thank them for their hard work, effort, tears and laughs throughout this issue.

We’d like to invite you to come visit all of us at booth 724 at the upcoming Las Vegas show. We’ll be there (and we are giving away a laptop as well), so please, people, stop by.

USG
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