A Few Thoughts About A Few Things

By Lyle Hill

From time to time, the readers of this monthly column contact me to offer their thoughts, encouragement, criticism, and suggestions for future topics. This is truly appreciated. There are a handful of readers who I have never met in person but feel like I know because we have communicated so many times over the years about various column comments or stories. Occasionally, I get some pushback on something I’ve written, and I’m good with that. Over the past several years, I have been called crazy, funny, stupid, brilliant, and many other things. It’s all in good fun.

Also, from time to time, I am encouraged to write or comment on certain subjects that I conclude aren’t quite appropriate for an entire column but may deserve a comment or two. So for this month’s contribution, I will touch on a few subjects that various readers have encouraged me to get into, but not too deeply. Here we go …

The Energy Surcharge Thing. As I have stated for a long time, the energy surcharge program and how it is handled is an affront to anyone with a brain in the glass industry. I have railed against this surcharge thing and been publicly criticized by both sides for statements I have made. Well, now comes this: “after listening to your feedback … we have made the decision to change the surcharge to a price increase.” So said a memo from Cornerstone Building Brands to its customers in late September. I salute you Cornerstone! And I thank you as well.

Where Is Everybody? From sea to shining sea, the labor shortage in many industries continues to be a plague. And those employers who are finding people to work for them are regularly complaining about the quality/productivity of those they do  get. I don’t see it getting better anytime soon either. The “why” for this is not easily explained. But the problem is real.

Supply and Demand? Supply is down, and demand is up … and therefore, so are prices. I feel for those contractors working on fixed price agreements that were put in place before the price increases we’ve seen over these past few months started popping up. Yes, that dirty word inflation is alive and kicking, and in the long run, everyone suffers.

Homework. I don’t care what some studies are saying. Working from home is not universally a proper and efficient way to run a business. Yes, there are those situations that may be okay with it, but I simply do not buy the concept for most organizations. Maybe I’m too old school, but I think collaboration, knowledge transfer, team building, and support all take a big hit when people are not working in close proximity to one other.

Following the Science. Are you as confused about this statement as I am? Just wondering.

Are You Sure You Want The Job? I do some consulting work for a few organizations and recently interviewed a candidate for a job opening for one of my clients. However, before I could ask my first question, the candidate told me what his requirements were. Specifically, the candidate wanted three weeks of vacation to start and four weeks after five years. He also stated that if he couldn’t work from home at least two days a week, he would only be willing to work four days a week at ten hours a day in the office with Fridays off. When I explained that the job was a 40-hour, eight-hour-a-day job in the office, he told me he wasn’t interested and on the way out the door said, “Good luck.”

I’m Sorry. I regularly get comments on things I have written, and whether they be pro or con, they are always appreciated. A couple of months ago, I was once again critical of certain professions in my monthly column and was taken to task for it. I poked fun at IRS agents, accountants and consultants as well as a few others. I have made fun (in articles) of all of these professions in the past and have never been criticized for it before this.
Now I’m starting to wonder if maybe we have all become a little too sensitive. Or are we perhaps taking ourselves a bit too seriously these days? However, if anyone feels that I owe them an apology, please accept one from me. I don’t take myself seriously, and neither should you. And to everyone … please have a calm, peaceful and enjoyable day. I love you all!

Lyle Hill is the president of Glass.com, an information portal and job generation company for the glass industry. Hill has more than 50 years’ experience in the glass and metal industry and can be reached at lhill@glass.com.

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