What makes you good at what you do? | TruckMount Forums #1 Carpet Cleaning Forums

What makes you good at what you do?

Richard Baldwin

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In a followup to the other post "Rolling up the hose reel" I wanted to touch on the subject of work quality and continue to use my young upstart whippersnapper helper as an example.

For lack of a better name, lets just call him "whippersnapper".

Whippersnapper likes to grab the wand and start cleaning now. Most of the time he picks it up before I do and just starts cleaning. Great! I like to see that. If Im all caught up on my end of things I stand there and watch him clean for a bit here and there. He holds the wand exactly the same way as I showed him, uses the exact same techniques, draws at the same speed, overlaps and double vacs. And yet... the customers come out after and point out streaks, dinginess, dirt that didnt quite come up right. I quickly grab the wand and go over it again, the exact same way, and it comes up clean and perfect as it usually does for me.

Whippersnapper asks me afterwards "So what did you do that was different"
I cant answer that question because honestly I do not know what I do that is different. I watch carefully and I cant see any difference from what he does to what I do, and yet, my work comes out... better. I dont know why.

Lets take a trip down to the basketball court where I meet up with my good friend Micheal Jordon. I stand beside him and hold the basketball exactly the same way, crouch in the same exact style, use the same force and toss the ball in the exact same way as he does. Mike's ball does a perfect "swish" without even touching the rim. My ball bounces off the backboard and goes rolling down the hall, down a flight of steps and into a muddy garden under a thorny bush. I did everything exactly the same as mike, so why did that happen? Why does that usually happen? To simply say "I suck at basketball" isnt enough, and perhaps isnt entirely true, it may be more accurate to say I havent learned enough basketball, or played enough, or have the natural ability that Mike has.

To wrap it up, I have to keep a close eye on the work whippersnapper does. We had some furniture to do the other day. I cleaned the couch and 2 chairs and let him do the last chair. The customer came into the room after all was done, with no idea of who cleaned what, zeroed in on whippersnappers chair and started pointing at dirt on the ends of the arms. She never even glanced at the chairs I cleaned, and yet, had no idea that the chair she inspected was cleaned by whippersnapper and not me. I had to reclean the chair, and got the arms clean, not trying to show up whippersnapper but I cant let bad work go unnoticed or unfixed even if it does appear to be non-confidence in my young apprentice. And the more he senses me not having confidence in him, the worse he is going to do. He needs his own confidence in order to continue to improve from here. I can show him the wand, the sprayer, the rake and how to put blocks under furniture, but he must learn himself on how to do it all well, and this could take some time.

I think back to when I was in my first year as a carpet tech working for another company. I remember there were some dark filter lines under a small dresser I had to move. I sprayed them and pulled the wand across. They didnt come out. Oh well. Then while collecting the cheque the lady asked me about the dark lines that were obviously still there. "Im sorry I couldnt get them out, I tried" I responded. "oh ok , I guess" She said.
If that was me today, those filter lines would be 100% gone, and quite easily. Because today, 10 years, 37072 homes and 4871 couches later, I know how to get filter lines out within seconds. So, when I was a whippersnapper I thought I knew all about cleaning too, but hindsight is 20/20 they say.
 

Mick Ellis

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The answer could be that now your a perfectionist.
You did say once the filter lines did not come out? But now they would.
Whippersnapper may have the mentality of, i am going to be paid the same money if that mark comes out or not, knowing full well the Master will go over it if the customer is NOT happy?
Thats just a possibility.

Mick :biggrin::biggrin:
 

Ho0tz04

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Sep 28, 2008
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Richard, let me get my thoughts together, and I will email you on some things that will benefit both you, and whippersnaper. I started cleaning carpet when I was 18, I'm now 22. I don't pretend to know everything, but there are a few things that I'm sure of. Reply with your email address, and like i said I'll get my thoughts together to hopefully help you out.
 

Scrubbs

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Richard, sometimes the grasshopper must learn to jump all on thier own.

I know when I was being trained (all about 3 days worth), I learned real quick when the owner sent me back on the rechecks with NO PAY!!!!
When I started my own company, one of my first rules is do your own rechecks for no pay, or pay me my wage to do them. My helpers usually start to understand what to look for and how to do it after the first time they pay me my wage.
Just a thought,

Mark
 

Dave Rampage

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What makes me the best at what I do? I have to be the best at what I do. I take pride in delivering more than I promise. I deliver a complete cleaning experience that nobody else can equal.

Dave
Posted via Mobile Device
 

Steve Toburen

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What makes me the best at what I do?

I type fast.

Steve Toburen
Director of Training
Jon-don's Strategies for Success

PS Not having a life other than the Internet helps too. Plus it is a huge advantage that I am always one or two time zones ahead of Utah whcih means that I can usually beat my Internet rival, Scotty Warrington, to the punch! :)
 

James Cooper

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my mindset has always been that there ws no way I was going to leave a home without making sure I had done my best .

Having said that , I always tell the customer if they have any problem whatsoever to call me , and I do explain any potential problems that they may have .

James
 

Steve Jr.

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What makes me the best at what i do ?


My Dad, he started the biz when i was 6 he was always on the road so the only way I could spend time with him was to be in the truck. I learned quickly any job worth doing, do it right the first time. Now that I'm 35 all jobs are approached the same way. But my typing skills are so so
 

Brent

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For me its good communication skills and do the best job that can be done on the carpets or whatever im cleaning. This is mostly a customer service job.
 

Richard Baldwin

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Richard, How can I remove the dark filter marks?

Thanks

Citrus Gel works pretty good, run a bead along the dark line and gently scrub it in with a brush. Then flush and extract with the wand back and forth. On the edges at the wall you have to angle the wand so that the jets hit the edge at 45degrees, saturate and extract, double vac. You can disconnect your hose from the wand to vac the edges too.

Be frugal with the citrus gel, its almost 20 dollars a pint. (in Canada)
 

Richard Baldwin

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Richard, sometimes the grasshopper must learn to jump all on thier own.

I know when I was being trained (all about 3 days worth), I learned real quick when the owner sent me back on the rechecks with NO PAY!!!!
When I started my own company, one of my first rules is do your own rechecks for no pay, or pay me my wage to do them. My helpers usually start to understand what to look for and how to do it after the first time they pay me my wage.
Just a thought,

Mark

My wife (co-owner and runs the office) and I have agreed that when spring comes, whippersnapper, should he still be with us, will be going on commission. We will be paying for his uniforms, his IICRC course, and even his insurance to drive our van ($1800/yr) In exchange, he will not be paid for re-do's and callbacks and must go back and do them whenever a custy calls. He is 100% responsible for satisfying his customers. Up until now whenever he got a callback I went out and fixed things for him. No more hand holding!
He will have to take this offer or move on, we will write it up and he will sign an employee agreement. And i agree, its the only way to get him to learn fast to do the job right... the first time. After six months of hand holding and training and covering for him, its time for him to perform as he should. (Which just happens to be one of our company mottos!)

In cases where the two of us are on the job, he earns half his regular commission for that job.
In cases where hourly labor is needed, he can get hourly pay on top of his commissions.
I'll have to figure out something for when he is car cleaning, probly hourly.