Man, has it been a tough year in the glass biz! Haven’t been many highlights this year. Businesses closing, filing bankruptcy, or up and disappearing without a known cause. People changing seats, or otherwise aren’t where they were a year ago. I don’t know what you pay your elves, but how are they holding up? Did you have to cut benefits or salary to stay even? I gotta believe there are a lot of parents looking to you to pick up the slack for the layoffs, jobs that never got off the boards, etc.
Someone did a cartoon about Christmas a couple of years ago: “What I really want for Christmas this year is a project in touch with reality.” On costs, on schedule, on what it really takes to do it exactly right to meet the owner’s, architect’s and everyone’s expectations with a fair profit. Not fat, not barely getting in the black, but fair and reasonable. One where it hasn’t been cut out from under us before we start, that just because it was ordered today doesn’t mean it can ship tomorrow.
Do you know construction unemployment’s the highest it’s been in a while? Did you change how you operated? Everyone’s looking internally to see if changes should be made. We’re doing that here, too, trying to find better/cheaper/faster ways of doing what we do best.
Can you bring everybody a dose of faith, hope and charity that we won’t all throttle each other as we implement these changes? Faith in the direction we’re headed, in the management team for pointing us in the right direction (heck, they’re part of the change, too with just as much to risk as any of the rest of us further down the totem pole). Hope that it will all be for the good, and charity for those with less opportunities than we have to steer our own ship, that we can still find a way within ourselves to support those worse off than we are.
It’s been tough. One guy (you know him, I think, he’s a big real estate tycoon, owns a couple of casinos) we all know and love in the glass industry says he wants to be our president. Of the USA, not GANA. That would be ok, but please bless him that he not dis his own countrymen by going overseas to buy windows or curtain walls for one of his projects. He likes the products his countrymen make, he says, but the exchange rate makes it too easy for him to go elsewhere. Please bless him with a change of heart.
Truth in advertising would be great. You got anything that can help there? Especially when it comes to this green building stuff. We hear all the time that glass can be recycled. But every time there’s an old building demolished, they leave the glass in it. And blow it up and the glass ends up in the landfill. Why don’t they take LEED credits away for that from the building that’s built on the demo’d site? What I’d like for Christmas is an easy way to strip IGU’s of their spacers and seals, easily remove the low-E or reflective coatings. To delaminate laminated glass. For these processes to be economical. I’ll ask my boss for start-up equity and get that business going.
Any way you can infuse the economy? The Dems and Repubs are having their customary who’s in charge, who’s going to get which federal handouts. Heck, the folks in DC said they didn’t want to extend unemployment benefits, there wasn’t enough money to pay for it, but wanted to keep the old tax cuts in place. Huh? This new health insurance thing has everyone scared as to what’s coming. Anything you can do settle that down? And any way to speed up the recovery faster’n the 2014 predicted at BEC (and other venues) this year?
I know this sounds like I’m complaining. I’m not. Just so you know: I’m grateful for a good job, to be able to provide for my family. I really enjoy the people I’ve been associated with at work lo these many years. I’m lucky to work in a business that I’m still excited about, considering I fell into it by chance. I have my health and, God willing, will have for many more years. I have a loving wife who has yet to come to her senses, lose her patience and throw me out. And children now nearly raised who’ve done the one thing they could do to make up for all the times we doubted what we did in bringing them into the world: they’ve given us grandkids.
Which brings me to the one thing I really would like, Santa. At Thanksgiving, I was chased and was chasing a couple of two-year-old grandkids around the house, playing hide-and-seek, peek-a-boo, etc. Is there any way to make that pay? I like my job and all that, but I’d really like to do that full time.
And Santa, I know you’re good, this is one we need you to please pass upstairs to the Big Man (if He’s not already listening): never let me forget about the men and women in the military, making sure we can enjoy the bounties of this good land and this way of life. One of them this year is ours, about to go in harm’s way. As every parent knows, there are not enough hours in the day to plead for their protection. Good, bad or indifferent, this is still the good ol’ US of A. I wouldn’t live anywhere else. I’m grateful for the good blessings of this land, and the people who have died for me to be able to enjoy it.
Never let me forget the reason for the season, that I can and should have good will toward all men, and do all I can to be of service and comfort to them all year long. And as the boy said, “God bless us, God bless us everyone.” Best wishes for the best of the season to you and yours, wherever you may be. Thanks for listening.
The Knicks. All 18 of us (19 in June).
PS: Is there anything left to get the Eagles in the Super Bowl in the Cowboys’ stadium in February? Please, just this one year, please, I’m beggin’ ya…