Monday, May 28, 2012

The Lucky Flock of Geese

Chuck Carpenter, owner of Washington Roofing and Insulation, once told me a story about when he was a young kid back from the military. Since it is Memorial Day, it seemed like a good time to share.

He and his buddy had returned home and were offered an opportunity to go goose hunting with a guide for free. The guide wanted to pay respects for the young men, thank them for the service they provided the country, and take them on a hunt.

The guide was excellent, calling to the birds over Cheyenne Bottoms in Great Bend, Kansas, bringing them closer to the boys. There were many geese coming in and the guide told them to get ready. When the time came the birds were so close that they could have jumped up to tackle them. The guide said, "NOW" and chuck and his buddy started to shoot.

After the dust settled, the two military boys anxiously looked around to count their prizes.

Not a bird had been dropped.

After the group got back home, the guide looked at the sheepish crew and said, "Do you want to know why you didn't bring down any geese?"

Chuck and his friend were very embarrassed. Excellent shooters, they couldn't understand what happened.

"It is because you didn't focus, boys. You shot randomly. You need to pick one bird at a time, and focus."

Chuck learned a very big lesson that day. He told me it has helped him through life and is one of the reasons Washington Roofing and Insulation is successful. Each job, each client . . .  gets his ultimate attention . . . his focus. And who would have thought that it all boiled down to a flock of lucky geese and a professional hunting guide.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Retail Box Store Has Leaky Roof

(Warning, this blog post will be more opinionated than normal.)

As a professional roofing contractor working across the Midwest in Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas and Iowa, we work hard to keep these blog posts fairly neutral in nature and try to present material in a professional manner -- leaving the opinions up to the reader.

But not this time. This time will be personal and a bit more opinionated . . . apologies in advance if anyone is offended.

On my day "away from the office" I was making the required "errand" rounds throughout the Kansas City metro which required me to stop off at one of the larger retail chains in the area. It was Sunday, and the rain decided to follow me around the area to let me know that I may want to come back in another life as a duck.

As I entered the establishment and started to shop, I noticed buckets scattered throughout in various isles of the store. Upon further inspection (and inspect, I did) it was obvious they were "catching drips" buckets. Their roof was leaking . . . and it was leaking everywhere.

Not only was this an inconvenience to employees and shoppers, but it also sent off a huge warning signal. Is upper management so unorganized that they cannot prepare for roof maintenance issues? Does the company not have the funds available? Are they using "cheap" subcontractors for quantity, not quality products and craftsmanship? Talk about a liability situation . . . throw some buckets and moisture on the floors with people pushing shopping carts around and cross your fingers. How can such a huge corporation with chains throughout most of the United States allow such a disaster?

Perhaps my concern is due, in part, to the fact that I am part of the roofing industry and I know how important it is to maintain your roof, especially in the commercial arena. Or perhaps my concern is due to the fact I am a consumer, a parent and a resident of the area. Whichever way, I ponder what the next "storm" will bring for that particular facility.