Wednesday, July 18, 2012

I Need An Analogy

Last evening I was measuring doors at a hospital for a 2nd shift customer.  When walking these types of facilities I always look for door educational opportunities to share with my customer.  I know doors isn't exactly on the top of  most folks list of what they want to learn about.

My customer walked me up to a restroom wood door and said we need to replace this.  I recognized this door and knew we had replaced it within the last 2 years so I asked why.  He opened the door and it was evident, the door was split on the door edge by the top hinge.  I knew exactly what happened.  The door has a closer on it and the cleaning crew used a broom handle or some object to prop the door open time and time again.  While that may be good for my sales it is definitely not good for my customer.  As I was measuring the door I offered several suggestions on ways to educate the staff to treat the doors and hardware properly in order to get full use out of the material.  My customer shook his head and said nothing will work. 

As I was driving home I wondered how could I reach an employee who probably makes minimum wage at a thankless job.  Ultimately the replacement door or any other material that doesn't last its normal lifetime comes out of an employees paycheck by not receiving raises due to ever escalating operating costs.  I wondered if an analogy would work but so far haven't been able to come up with one.

Thoughts, comments and suggestions are welcome in the comment section below.

Thanks very much for reading!


  1. I cannot think of an analogy but did have an idea. Maintenance costs should be shared with employes, as well as major areas of concern and how they could make a positive impact. Then, any savings to the maintenance budget could be shared in some way with the employees.

  2. Sorry, I can't think of one & while the hospital administrator is probably right a few reminders occasionally help followed with some peer pressure from some that might care. The only other thing is seeing about a different closer that will allow the door to stay open

  3. Amanda - I like your idea and actually made that suggestion.

    Sean - I wondered if the subject was even broached. There are hold open closer arms but this was a 20 min rated door so unable to use. Thanks!

  4. I like Amanda's idea. If you post that there is a "$500 Maintenance Budget", from which the unused portion will fund a party or bonus for the employees, you'll see people being more careful. I'd go so far as to post the items that are sucking money away from the pool.

  5. How about -“ As one door closes in life, another one will open. If the door is handled properly, it will stay open longer” - LoL sorry Ginny, this is all I have, I know, don't quit my day job :-)

  6. Ginny,
    I'm not really sure you can get through to the employees indirectly. There would have to be exact proof that it was caused by them and then a policy in place. If it was proven then there would have to be some type of monetary punishment.
    Generally a minimum wage employee doesn't really care as they are already being paid so little that they figure they are being taken advantage of anyway. Boils down to they think the company doesn't care about them so why would they care about the company. That's a hard mindset to change.

  7. Hi Ginny,
    Not to be "salesy" on you, but I read this post and thought it sounded like a perfect application for our FRP doors. They're tough, available in many finishes, and have several fire-ratings available. Let me know if you want some information. In the meantime, good luck and I hope you can solve your customer's problem once and for all!

  8. Chad - Thanks for reading and commenting. I like the idea and always felt a bonus program would work.
    Donna - Thanks for the laugh!
    Todd - Thanks for all the support my friend.
    Rick - Lol, thanks! They have tried FRP doors but so far it is a no go. Thanks for reading.