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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Celebrate an Administrative Professional

What’s your Love Language? If it is possible, I have two. Well actually I have one dominant one – Acts of Service followed closely by Quality Time. So if someone is doing something nice for me while spending time with me – well look out.

Today is Administrative Professionals Day. In the A Cleaner World corporate office, we don’t need much of a reason to celebrate. After all, Crystal once proposed that we get a cake for Sherlock Holmes’s birthday. But one particular year, instead of the normal gift, cake, or flowers, Chris took us all to a luncheon at the High Point Country Club.

It was such a treat -- not just because of the good food, door prizes, lovely speaker, or laughter. I think also because he did all the work himself, and he attended it with us – laughing and enjoying as much as we did.

If you are so blessed to have an Administrative Professional in your life – you know that behind the scenes person that makes your life much easier – take a few minutes today to let them know how much you appreciate them. It could have a lasting impression.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

A Special Rug

Greg recently picked up a rug from a customer’s home, but it wasn’t just any rug. This was a 100% Chinese silk rug that cost $14,000 and took two years for the customer to find.

As always, he thoroughly inspected it and discussed the issues with the customer before leaving. There were three major things going on with the rug. First, someone had used a grocery store spotter on the rug to try and remove a stain. It didn’t ruin the colors (which sometimes can happen) but it did make the area brittle and stiff as the cleaner caused all the silk fibers to get matted together. Second, there were several areas where the pile was worn in the wrong direction. A rug has a particular way or direction. When you groom a rug in the right direction, it appears shiny. When it is worn or groomed incorrectly, it looks dark and dirty. This primarily comes about by foot traffic and never rotating the rug. Finally, she had pets. Pets typically mean urine stains.

Greg took the rug to our dedicated rug facility and immediately went to work. He was able to get out all the crunchiness from the spotting cleaner, reverse the pile into the proper direction, and remove all evidence of pet urine.

Our customer worried and fretted until he returned the rug. When she saw it, she was pleased. In fact she was better than pleased – she told Greg that it hadn’t looked that good since the day she brought it home from the showroom. I completely understand why she worried and fretted, given the time and money she put into finding the perfect rug. But knowing what I know, I could have saved her all that worry. Her rug was in good hands.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Meet Our Rug Expert

I’ve known Greg, the managing partner of A Cleaner World Carpet Cleaning, for over 15 years. Whenever I think of Greg, I think of the guy I know personally – a fun guy with non-stop witty one-liners. But he has a serious side – he is truly committed to taking good care of his customers, whether it’s returning a rug to them in showroom shape or helping them make an educated and wise rug purchase.

Here’s a great example of what I’m talking about. Recently, a customer dropped off a rug for cleaning explaining that the rug was putting off a powdery, dusty substance. The first step in the process is a thorough inspection; Greg inspects the entire rug including the fringe, body, edges, and back before beginning the cleaning process. So while inspecting this particular rug, Greg noticed that the underside of the rug had begun to separate from the top.

Backing separation is a common occurrence -- the secondary backing is glued together by a thin layer of latex. Latex deteriorates over time and simply loses the ability to hold the rug layers together. And while there might be instances where the old latex can be removed and the layers be re-glued, it is a process that is both time consuming and expensive.

Greg contacted the customer and shared what he found. He also stated that cleaning the rug would not solve the problem. The customer came by to pick up the rug and explained that he was just going to apply the money he would have spent on cleaning the old rug toward the purchase of a new rug. Greg asked the customer if he had a few minutes, and he took the customer to our processing room and showed him a number of rugs – pointing out the differences in construction and explaining what to look for as he started shopping for a new rug.

That’s the way he approaches running his business – looking for the best way to take care of his customers even if it means simply taking time to educate – and hopefully throwing in a few good one-liners along the way so that they too can see his fun side.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

It’s Prom Time

According to promgirl.com, going to the prom could cost anywhere from $175 to $2100. That’s a big range, but $2100 – really? Here’s how they break it down:

Prom Tickets - $20 – 250
Pre-prom Dinner - $25 – 130 per person
Hair, Makeup, Nails - $30 – 275
Gown - $100 – 400
Boutonniere - $10 – 20
Formal Photography - $30 – 125
Limousine Rental - $200 – 500

My goodness. I am thankful that I have 10 years before I need to worry about this. It looks like we’re going to have to set up a prom fund alongside Gray’s college fund. So reading what I did on promgirl.com, here are some suggestions toward a more affordable prom.

First there are things you can’t do much about like prom tickets. They are what they are. And really the boutonniere and corsage aren’t too expensive. But here are the things you can control:

Dinner – Figure out how many kids you can accommodate and create a restaurant like environment in someone’s home. Have someone like me that loves to cook whip up a gourmet meal and have some cool grownups (not anyone’s parents) act as servers.

Hair, Makeup, Nails – Let the girls get together and help each other get ready. Kids these days are incredibly sophisticated and creative. They will all end up looking great and will have lots of fun in the process.

Gown – I’m all for borrowing and then adding a few accessories. There are also sites and places where you can rent perfectly lovely dresses and such. Just make sure you are doing business with a reputable establishment.

Formal Photography and Limo Rental – Are these things really necessary? Take pictures beforehand. Besides they all have iPhones and will be snapping photos of themselves all night. If you are comfortable with it, let your kids borrow the nice family car. If not, again see if some cool adults will ‘chauffer’ them around.

Finally, set a budget, tell your child up front, and stick with it. Let them figure out where they want the money to go and what they can live without. That way it takes the stress off of you.
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