In recent months, we’ve visited with Paul
and Teresa Slate, new body shop owners in Tennessee who agreed
to share their experiences – both positive and negative – with
us. In this issue’s update, we read from Teresa’s August journal.
August According to Teresa
– In our last journal we told of our discovery
that hiring people you know is not always best. We have since
hired a man from a local technical school who we didn’t previously
know, which makes it easier to enforce our expectations. We now
have only one employee who we knew prior to owning the shop, and
he seems to be working out sufficiently at this time.
– The "honor" of doing payroll was
given to me. It was a job I never thought I could adequately fill
when we bought the business, but after working in the shop for
more than a year, I now understand enough of the terminology and
can interpret estimates well enough to feel comfortable calculating
pay. That’s not to say I haven’t made some major mistakes, but
everyone has been very patient. My doing payroll allows Paul more
time to directly manage the shop operations.
– The biggest challenge this month has been
the absence of our children: David has returned to high school
and Daniel has begun college. David, 17, works in the office and
has been a tremendous help this summer. He still comes to the
shop every day after school, but I miss having his help during
the day. He’s acquired great people skills through answering the
telephone and dealing with customers.
Daniel, 19, has done a great job keeping the
shop clean, running errands and being a backup to the bodymen
this summer. Also, there’s been a lot of work needed on our facility
to prepare for the new paint booth, and Daniel has accomplished
– We received our new paint booth and began
installation. The old crossdraft booth we removed was almost 40
years old and had no rust in the walls. It sat on a 4-inch concrete
curb that prevented moisture entrapment in the walls.
Often, rust forms over the years as water
gets trapped in the booth base from sitting on the floor. To prevent
long-term rust from forming on the lower sections of the new booth’s
walls, we installed a curb made of two layers of common bricks
that elevated the booth. The booth walls have been erected, and
the next phase will be the installation of doors, lights, air
makeup, ducting and wiring. This has been a big challenge, but
so far, we’re meeting it head on.