Creating kitchens and baths for finicky customers since 1993

backsplash features inset metal tiles for accent and texture

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Three weeks later?!?

I'm looking here at my most recent post, and seeing a date now nearly THREE WEEKS old! How can that be? I simply cannot believe how time really does fly sometimes. The experts are absolutely right, too: changing jobs is stressfull! These are all great people to work with, and things are moving along just fine, but this is most assuredly mind-draining.

Mike and I finished our first big kitchen (see previous post), and it turned out very well. A picture would be worth 1,000 words here, but I haven't gotten that organized yet. Sorry. The customer is very happy: that's the most important result. Since then we've been racing around the county installing shower doors for Gary. Even better, we have a couple countertops for Pete to do these next few days. Plenty of other jobs on the horizon; but receiving special-order product and lining up the other assorted ducks takes time. I've even quoted a few jobs of our own, too. (Something I rarely had time to do with CP, so I'm a little rusty!)

All in all, the weather is improving, and the real remodelling season looms near. The bugs will be ironed out, the new names firmly remembered, and the newness of it all will fade. Then I'll be complaining about the lack of leisure time. Which is just fine. I'll have pic's in the future, so these posts will consist of more than words. Spring is in the air!

Thanks to all my great customers, for your kind words and encouragement. And here's to my as-yet-unmet future customers: can't wait to meet you! That's my update, for now.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Movin' On...

It's been a couple weeks since I posted here. They've been two weeks of new faces, new places, and a new "boss." Mike and I have been busy building a new kitchen for a very nice couple in Fairport, Doug and Jan B. The good part is that our work is still being done under the watchful eye of Pete S. That has certainly helped with the transition from Chase-Pitkin to T. McKenna Plumbing, Inc. This is a big job with a great deal of detail, plus the need to work in conjunction with a new electrical contractor and with an in-house plumber. Both of these have been a pleasure to work with. So has the customer, for that matter--even though he is almost always home. (Sometimes the "always-home" customer can be a royal...!)

We've now done three completely different shower doors, with another on the way. These are higher-end enclosures, compared to the typical CP sale. Two have been true-custom doors: measured and built specifically for one installation. Although I have plenty of experience with shower doors, they can present their own quirky challenges--and they don't pay so much that we can afford much lost time or error. So far, so good.

It's not all wine and roses, of course. Aside from Pete, we don't really know any of the "crew." (At CP, we knew dozens of long-timers from years of association.) There are new procedures and expectations, which we will simply have to get used to. Furthermore, there is still plenty of uncertainty for us regarding the future of this young relationship. We don't yet have a true feel for what volume of work we can expect, and of what general mix. Those things just take time. I've also had to shelve my lovely custom magnetic signs, and have nothing with which to replace them yet. I'd like to look a bit more "official," with something identifying us as authorized T-Mack contractors. A couple of presentable company shirts or hats would be a good move, too. Those are minor details, and just part of the move.

The hardest part of all this is leaving so many good people behind. The folks we knew are winding up their last weeks at CP, or are already long gone. Some have even contacted me via their new employers, sending out feelers regarding a continued work relationship. Others have moved on with no forwarding address; I may never hear from some of these people again. The stores will close soon, under liquidation rules. I have neither the time nor the ready cash to be too concerned with whatever bargains that might present. It's silly to say, but I'd feel like a human vulture if I were to scour the aisles for deals. I'll stick to the present, and make the adjustments that must be made. One of my very favorite songs from the group Boston is Don't Look Back: that sums things up quite well, I think. Until next time, then...