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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Joe McDaniel, Manager at A Cleaner World Boone

When Joe McDaniel was in the Army stationed at Fort Bragg, he fell in love with North Carolina. As an outdoor enthusiast, it offered all the things he enjoyed – hiking, skiing, and fishing. So when he completed his tour of duty, he decided to stay.

Many times our best A Cleaner World managers aren’t originally hired to be managers. That’s exactly how it went with Joe. He actually came to us looking for part-time weekend and evening work to help supplement his income. As soon as he walked in the door to apply, Mike Feudale (A Cleaner World District Manager) told the manager she needed to hire him. When I asked Mike why, he couldn’t really put his finger on it but he said he saw something special in him immediately.

After only working a couple of weeks, the store manager became ill. Joe was asked and agreed to fill the position on a temporary basis. When it was determined that the manager couldn’t return, Joe was offered the position.

When I asked Joe what he liked most about A Cleaner World, he said the people. He loves the people he works with and for, he loves the community, and most of all he loves his customers. That comes through in so many things he does – from being involved with the sheriff’s office, The Salvation Army, and high school to those little extra things he does for his customers.

Here’s a great example of a little extra thing. When Joe started making his regular runs to the post office and bank, he noticed that many of those folks were his customers. He also recognized that many of them kept the same hours he did, often making it difficult to drop off and pick up their clothes. So he offered to take their express bags back with him, process their clothes, and bring back clean clothes on his next visit. That little extra thing has made him a huge hit at many local businesses.

Those little things have also made him a huge hit in our eyes too. Great job Joe and continued success in the great town of Boone!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Meet LaMonica Cureton

She knows probably 80% of the voices that call into our office without even having to ask who is calling. Her big smile welcomes you if you walk into the front door of our corporate office. She knows the office work flow, maintains the logistics, and puts out many fires. And I almost let her get away from us.

Fourteen years ago, we had a need for a Receptionist/Data Entry Professional. Because we needed someone right away, I called a temporary agency to help us out while we looked for someone permanent. I interviewed. I hired. I told the temporary agency we no longer needed LaMonica.

Big mistake. Huge mistake. Once she was gone, we realized what a fantastic job she did. She caught on quickly. She made great judgment calls. Her work was accurate and timely. It wasn’t that I didn’t consider her – I just didn’t think it was what she was looking for. When I called the temporary agency back in the hopes that well – just perhaps – I found out how disappointed she was that we didn’t hire her on full-time. When she came back in, I made sure she knew that I was also disappointed that I didn’t hire her on full-time in the first place.

It’s a good thing that I can admit when I make a mistake. It’s also a good thing that she’s a forgiving person. She’s been an asset ever since – having answered thousands of phone calls and probably making even more key strokes – and she still comes in everyday with that fantastic smile.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Some Tidbits On Blue Jeans

Yves Saint Laurent once said, “I wish I had invented blue jeans. They have expression, modesty, sex appeal, simplicity – all I hope for in my clothes.” Barb Mitchell once said, “I wish blue jeans had never been invented.”

I’m guessing Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis wouldn’t have liked that comment. My love/hate relationship with blue jeans and my quest to find the perfect pair dates way back. In fact, I remember wearing dresses to school in junior high because I felt so uncomfortable in jeans. If only khakis and yoga pants had been popular back then.

Here are some interesting facts about jeans:

• In 1853 Levi Strauss started selling blue jeans under the name Levis in San Francisco.
• Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis received a patent in 1873 to make the first pair of men’s denim work pants.
• Jeans were originally worn by workers because the material was strong and didn’t wear out easily.
• James Dean popularized jeans when he starred in Rebel without a Cause, prompting the youth rebellion during the 1950s.
• Skinny jeans actually date back to the 1950s with celebrities like Gene Autry and Sandra Dee wearing their pants very slim to the ankle.
• Jeans became high fashion in the 1980’s when famous designers started making and putting their labels on them.
• According to Wikipedia, Americans spent more than $15 billion on jeans in 2005.
• North America accounts for 39% of global purchases for blue jeans per denimsandjeans.com.
• According to Cotton Incorporated, the average woman owns eight pairs of jeans.
• According to askmen.com, the average man owns seven pairs of jeans.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Yet Another Washing Machine Problem

While my HE washing machine has definitely been a money saver, I’m not sure I’d purchase another one. Here’s why -- the thing requires too much attention. I swear I don’t remember having to clean all kinds of places in my top-load washing machine.

Here’s the latest funk I found:

That’s the soap drawer. That’s also nasty.

In an April 2012 blog post, I commented on the down side of having a HE washer – my problem was a musty smell from the laundry room. After researching, I found that lots of folks have the same problem and that the smell comes from mold and mildew issues. That really troubled me – I was washing our clothes and linens in a nasty washing machine. I started doing all the things the article suggested but apparently I need to do more. After I made this latest discovery, I went back to see if the article mentioned the soap dispenser. It didn’t specifically. It mentioned following the manufacturers recommendations for maintenance and cleaning, which does include information on cleaning the soap drawer. So perhaps the one last thing I should have done is read the owner’s manual – if not actually earlier as a preventative measure.

So if I were to offer any takeaways on new appliances they would be:

1. Read the owner’s manual immediately. Don’t wait two years when you start having problems with the appliance.
2. If you purchase a front load/HE washing machine, be prepared to give it a little extra care.

And as a p.s. I’d like to say that I really am a cleanly person even though most of my blog posts make me appear not to be.
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