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Wednesday, December 28, 2011


While writing this blog post, I pondered titles. All kinds of ideas ran through my mind and as they did, I kept coming back to this word – ‘thoughtful’. So I decided to look up the definition of thoughtful. Here’s what thefreedictionary.com said:

1. Engrossed in thought; contemplative.
2. Exhibiting or characterized by careful thought.
3. Having or showing heed for the well-being or happiness of others and a propensity for anticipating their needs or wishes.

I’d like to introduce you to Tim Rolle, Manager of A Cleaner World in Apex and a person that exemplifies thoughtful. Here are three reasons to support my statement.

1. Besides dabbling in social media, I am also an accountant. One thing I always appreciated and liked about Tim is that his paperwork was always precise. And if it wasn’t, he’d take the time and put careful thought toward finding and fixing the issue.
2. Some time ago, Tim was at the corporate office for some training. He brought each of the ladies in the office a small box of Godiva Truffles. I don’t think I need to expand on this one any further.
3. Earlier this year, Tim was leaving his store around 5:30 on a Saturday. A customer pulled into the parking lot and saw the store was closed but noticed someone in a car trying to get her attention. It was Tim, and he asked her if she needed to pick up dry cleaning. He offered to open the store back up for her. She was so grateful as her husband needed his clothes for a trip he was leaving for the next day. She sent Chris Edwards, President of A Cleaner World, a note a few days later expressing her gratitude for Tim going out of his way to make sure she was taken care of. Furthermore she went on to say that not only did Tim remember her last name, but he recalled her husband’s first name and remembered details of conversations they’d had about their family.

Now I rest my case. Those examples are just three of many that show how thoughtful Tim Rolle really is.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

An Office Tradition

I love Christmas. I especially love Christmas Parties. Well it’s more like I love food – and the food served at Christmas Parties always tastes especially good to me.

When I started at A Cleaner World, there was a Christmas Celebration in place – a breakfast where the District Managers and the head of maintenance would cook for the office staff. They also cleaned up the mess. The menu was two different breakfast sandwiches, and there were no special orders.

It’s funny how things evolve over time. The no special order rule got thrown out the window when I arrived. As the other guys cooked, Mike Feudale would run around the office before assembly to see who had a special order. Then the menu expanded as folks brought a cheeseball, veggies, and a cookie plate.

In the beginning we exchanged small gifts. But one year we had a long-time employee get diagnosed with a terminal illness. That year we decided to pool our money together and give it to that family. That was a good thing. After that, we started playing ‘Dirty Santa’. Dirty Santa was always lots of fun – especially the year that someone decided to bring a cake from Ganache Bakery. There was a battle for that one – and I am proud to say that I walked away with it!

I have fond memories of that annual celebration. My guess is that they’ll be having it again this week. I’d like to go ahead and place my special order…and of course I’ll be having a diet coke with it.

Whatever your celebrations or traditions – we wish you a Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Commercial and Uniform Division

I recently talked with my favorite A Cleaner World runner, Mike Feudale, to learn more about a new business we ventured into about a year ago – Commercial Services. I started by admitting that I didn’t know much about the industry. So he first told me everything that’s offered:

• Bar towels
• Shop towels
• Wet and dry mops
• Restroom supplies
• Aprons
• Customized uniforms
• Indoor and outdoor mats, which can have logos or special messages
• Direct sell, with very competitive prices, logoed items like t-shirts and ball caps

I took lots of notes on the process, but let me cut the boring stuff out and tell you the cool stuff. You sign up for the service. You tell us the items you need. Together we set up a schedule based on what’s best for your business. We come when we’re supposed to. We take the dirty stuff. We bring you fresh stuff. My 5 year old son would describe the set up as “easy peasy lemon squeezy.”

Besides the easy part, there are other advantages to using our commercial services:

• Uniforms and mats make a business look professional
• Mats stop 70% of dirt on shoes from going past the front door
• Mats also help during inclement weather to prevent slip hazards
• Renting doesn’t require a large upfront financial investment
• Worn out items are replaced automatically
• Items are properly maintained
• Products are better quality than those purchased retail by the general public
• We’re associated with Apparelmaster, a 72 unit franchise that gives us the bulk buying power to keep prices low and quality high
• We’re a small local family owned business that responsive to our customer’s needs. We live and work here too.

Our customers are happy. Just ask Sarah and Justin, owners of CafĂ© Roche in Winston-Salem. They called late one afternoon because they had just run out of bar towels. They weren’t scheduled for service for a few more days. Scottie, the division’s Sales Manager 336-870-6299, gladly made an additional delivery after closing to make sure they were set for the next business day. “Not only do they do a great job with the routine service,” said Sarah, “but they came through for us when we were in a pinch. We couldn’t be more pleased.”

So the bottom line is this -- If you have a front door, we can help you.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Christmas Tree Safety

I have so many fond childhood memories. Here’s one of my favorite – for years on the day after Thanksgiving, we’d drive to Darwin Reugers’, a man my parents knew that had a tree farm, house to pick out and cut the Christmas tree. Then we would head home to decorate the tree. It was a huge tradition, and my mom would always have something special baked. Of course, we’d have hot chocolate too. My husband and I have started a similar tradition with our son. In fact, he started asking about the tree about a week before Thanksgiving.

According to fire-extinguisher101.com, fires during the holiday season injure approximately 2600 people and cause over $930 million in damage annually. Chuck Brammer, President/Owner of A Cleaner World Restoration Dry Cleaning, shares some tips to help ensure you and your family have a safe Christmas:

• It is best to buy a tree that is still growing and cut it yourself. If you are buying one that is pre-cut, make sure it is still healthy.
• Be sure the tree has a fresh cut before putting it into your stand. Once cut, tree trunks typically seal over within 12 hours, preventing them from soaking up water.
• Before taking it in, repeatedly drop the tree trunk on an outdoor surface until most of the old, dry needles have fallen off or have the tree farm put it through the machine that shakes and wraps it.
• Water the tree daily.
• Keep the tree away from heat sources because heat dries out trees. The cooler it stays, the better.
• Be careful not to overload outlets. It is best not to link more than three strands of lights together unless the instructions specifically say it is fine.
• Don’t leave the lights on while gone or asleep.

We hope these tips help you have a safe and Merry Christmas.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

25th Give A Kid A Coat Campaign Wraps Up

Give A Kid A Coat wrapped up its 25th campaign a few days ago after collecting 20,846 coats this year, and over 744,000 coats inception to date. That’s a lot! As someone who has had the privilege of helping with this well-oiled machine, I’d like to say thanks to several groups.

First, a number of years ago Ray Edwards and his wife Sallie came up with the idea of sponsoring a coat drive in the Triad. I’m sure they had no idea at the time what an important role it would play in our community. Twenty-five years later, Chris Edwards still continues the tradition. I think it is important to thank the three of them for their lasting support. They would all shy away from this, pointing out that we should focus on the campaign and the need, not them. But it really couldn’t happen without their support.

I also think it is important to thank both A Cleaner World store managers and their staff. Many of them come in on Sundays to clean coats so that they are ready for The Salvation Army.

Speaking of The Salvation Army, there are so many individuals to thank there. From the truck driver that picks up the coats weekly to the employees and volunteers that help those find just the right coat to the captains and majors juggling lots of balls. The Salvation Army is full of kind-hearted generous people.

We can’t forget the folks at Fox 8 and 1075KZL. What an enthusiastic, talented, and passionate group! Every year they come to the table with new ideas to help make the campaign fresh and exciting.

Finally, thank you to everyone that donated a coat or money to purchase new coats. Obviously if there were no coats, then……

I know I’ve said before that Give A Kid A Coat is a group effort, and it really is. Each part is unique and equally important, and the program wouldn’t work if one piece was missing. Thanks to all the contributions, LOTS of Triad residents have been warm for the last 25 years.
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