Money & Power

There is always one common denominator in a global crisis, be it financial, enviornmental, or pandemic. The rich and the powerful are above doing their, or any, part.

These days, our news is full of warnings to isolate, quarantine and use social distancing to stop the spread of the potentially fatal COVID 19. We are told to wash our hands at every opportunity and to clean all surfaces and clothing regularly . We are told how to cough and how to sneeze. We are told to close all non-essential businesses – restaurants, bars, clothing stores, hairdressers and the like. We are told to keep this virus from spreading beyond the capabilities of our health system. It is in our best interests and those of our families, friends and neighbours to control the spread of this virus as it has already proven capable of devastating results if it is not controlled.

The problem is not with what is being done. It is with what is not being done. For every list of non-essential services that are to be closed down, there is a list of essential services. That list should be a no brainer. Medical facilities, grocery stores, veterinarian services, gasoline stations, utility companies, the trucking industry, railroads and the like. Essential services.

However,  there are businesses and  services that get carte blanche because they straddle the line of essential and non essensial service – like manufacturing plants. If they are producing essential items – food, medicine and the like, then yes, they must be allowed to operate under strict regulations. They must do everything in their power to protect their employees – and in turn, their employees’ families and communities. What about construction? If it is an emergency repair or securing a jobsite, yes do it, responsibly – otherwise SHUT IT DOWN.  Oilfields, potash mines and the like. There are stockpiles of their products around the globe right now. SHUT THEM DOWN.

The thing is – if we shut down all non-essential work in Canada for a month, this virus would be contained and we would all be able to get back to a virtually normal life within weeks.

The problem is, that will not happen. The rich and the powerful will not allow it. Therefore, our politicians will not allow it – until it is too late. There is an old saying “Doing the same thing, in the same way, and expecting different results, is insanity.” We watched this virus, get out of control in one country after another while politicians dragged their feet. Let’s try that Canada! (Because that’s not the definition of insanity.)

Fieldtrip

Trippin’ Out

The boss had to head out of town so I had the dubious pleasure of another site walk thru. Took a company truck just to add to the challenge. I don’t mind driving it but have to admit I am less than graceful trying to get in and out. It’s not even a 4×4 so I don’t know why it it such a stretch to get into it.

Got a goodly amount of exercise and fresh air walking around our football stadium. ‘Go Riders!’.

Made it through the walk, made a few contacts, handed out some info on our product for this project.  Other than being attacked by a clingy entrance mat on the way in, it was all good.

Stopped for coffee and donuts on my way back to the office.   Another mission successfully completed.

Building Memories

Acrovyn Crashrails & Corner Guards

This week I have been enjoying one of my first ‘lasts’ at work. The western sales rep for one of our biggest, and my favourite, supplier is in town. Construction Specialties manufactures many products (Acrovyn wall protection, entrance mats and foot grilles, hospital tracks and curtains, expansion joints, louvres, sunshades and more). I love their products, I love the quality of their products, and I love the people I deal with from this company – including and especially Peter.

Peter has been our rep for ages now and he is great to deal with. He is a great guy period. He knows the industry inside out and always has some interesting news for us. (This week it was paperless drywall – and the non porous reason behind it. It is a healthcare thing and way more interesting than it sounds). Peter knows his company and he definitely knows his products. If we have a problem or need support for anything, he is on it. He is respectful and decent. There is no question that he has our backs. We feel we can be totally honest and upfront with him and he is totally honest and upfront with us. It has been a great relationship for both sides from day one.

This week Peter is here for the annual Construction Specifications Canada tradeshow. He comes every year for it and spends the better part of a day with us. We (my boss Brian, Peter, and I) spend the morning catching up on news, go for a nice lunch, back to the office to discuss more business and then we meet for supper at one of Regina’s best steak houses. It is always fun. This year was special. This year will be my last for this get together. This year was also a bit of a celebration for one of my best years and definitely my best sale ever. It was an impressive sale by any standards and I was so happy to end my career on such a positive note. (For the record, I have never been one to spend my time chasing BIG sales. I take care of the little sales and our customers just trust me enough to bring the big sales to me.) 🙂

I will have a lot of ‘lasts’ and ‘goodbyes’ in the next few months. It is kind of sad, but I know that I am fortunate that I get to make these special memories before I retire.

It’s What I Do …. for now

Retirement is coming. Some days it seems like it will never get here and other days it seems like the weeks are flying by. In 245 days I will be retired. In reality, I only have another 144 days left, after deducting for Christmas break, our trip to Costa Rica, weekends and stat holidays. Considering how far I have come, I am darn close to the finish line.

For anyone who is interested, I thought I would share a few pictures of a few of the products I have been selling for the past fifteen years.

Residential Sales – Railcraft Railing and Duradek vinyl decking – back in my residential sales days.
On to Commercial Sales – Insulated Shutters that we installed in a building the size of seven football fields.
Acrovyn Wall Protection. Miles and miles of handrail, crashrail, corner guards and sheet material.
Corflex Operable walls – We are the go to company for operable walls in Saskatchewan.
Cubicle Track and Privacy Curtains for Health Facilities
Corflex Accordion Doors – popular in schools and church halls
Corflex Acoustic Glasswalls are getting more and more popular as high-end companies and public facilities increase the use of flex space.
Security Grilles, used most often in malls, but sometimes used to beef up entrances to banks, pharmacies, jewellery stores and the like.
Sopers Washbay Curtains – just one of many areas that we did in a huge facility.
Hockey Nets to maximize ice space and safety for hockey practice🇨🇦
Toolboards specially designed by my boss for a massive, modern autobody shop in Regina. (Some professional engineering required!)

We carry several more products – foot grilles, aluminum shutters, rolling grilles, access hatches, and industrial ladders just to name a few.

A lot of our sales come from tendered projects but we do a fair amount of aftermarket, designbuild, and retail sales. In my mind, the thing to remember is “every sale matters“. I have sold 50 curtain carriers and had clients come back to buy thousands of dollars worth of curtains. Regardless of the contract or the sale, do it right. Every sale is an opportunity to gain a loyal customer. Really, it is that easy.