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The Tale of One Shop Continues…

Another visit with Paul and Teresa Slate

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In the third chapter of our saga, the
Slates adopt a shop dog and discover it’s difficult to supervise
friends

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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 July journal.

July According to Teresa

– Since July 4 was on a Thursday this year,
the guys in the shop opted to work Thursday and be off Friday.
This provided a well-deserved three-day weekend. We checked with
our suppliers and notified customers of our plans. On Thursday,
we decided to order barbecue and invite families for lunch. This
provided a nice and informal social time with our families and
each other.

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– We’ve come to a disappointing realization
after a couple of bad experiences: It’s not best to hire people
you know personally. There may be some delightful exceptions to
this, but our revelations so far have been that those people generally
expect special treatment and then have hurt feelings or become
angry when they must leave. It’s also much easier to be firm and
direct with someone who is not a close friend. We are now looking
for another detail tech.

– Last month, we told of ordering a new paint
booth, which is a positive-pressure downdraft paint booth with
a heated air-makeup unit (a spray and cure type). This month has
been preparation time. We had to move two 12,000-pound frame machines
and knock out a 12-foot-by-10-foot wall between the metal and
paint shop. Paul and the men in the shop rallied together and
did all of this themselves. They used jacks to lift and move the
frame machines (it still took 10 men), and they used scaffolding
and a saw to cut through two layers of concrete blocks. We could
have hired out these preparations, but we think it will be more
meaningful to each man to have achieved these goals together.
It also saved us a little money.

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– We now have a body shop dog – an English
Springer Spaniel named Champ who’s 7 months old. Champ’s previous
owners were unable to keep him, so we joyfully took him. He goes
to the shop with us each day and has his own bed under my desk,
along with his shop toys, food and water. We’ve been pleasantly
surprised by how much the guys in the shop, as well as customers,
enjoy having Champ around. He’s clean, friendly and well-behaved,
so we feel he’s an asset to our office environment.

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