by Wayne Lee

We have been working overtime for the past weeks. I cannot tell you how sorry I am for not keeping up with the blog!

Going back to before Thanksgiving it has been one job to the next, to the next, and then the next. It has been a stress load of work and, to be honest, a pain … a pain in the back as well as a pain to get folks to understand that they are not the most important function of my life. Here is a real personal story of what has gone on for the past 6-8 weeks:

Getting work is great, and getting booked out is a real joy … until the joy of work takes away from what we are working for. I take each and every job to the next level-not doing the very best is just not what Cardinal Hardwood is all about. Here is the painful part: Over Thanksgiving my family went north to be with family, but my mind was so fixed on my jobs that at no point did my body go into rest and relax mode. All I was able to do was fall asleep in the chair when it should have been time with family. When my eyes were open, my mind was back in Tennessee with four or five jobs we had going or getting ready to start.

The most unfair act a son, brother, dad and husband could have done was done: not enjoy the time with my family! As for the back pain, well, let’s say that it hurts a bunch. Trying to get so much done while never getting real rest and sleep just will destroy the love of doing floors. It became a job, not something I enjoyed doing. The folks we had jobs with were all thinking that they were the only thing that we had going on in our life. The demands from them and their UNREAL requests were a huge burden. Asking us to make them the No. 1 job so that they had the job done before their family came to town … with no regard for our families, or as if we have no life. Well, that came to a quick stop! I had a change in my heart after talking to a dear friend, Kevin M with Benchmark Wood Floors in New Mexico.

I called him to ask how he gets his crews to be the best and never allow the “it is good enough” idea to enter their minds. He said this in so many words: the one thing you cannot do is try to force your skills on a crew. Each crew has skills, and as the boss, it is your job to find out what those skills are and how to best use them. So if we have a great install guy, then use his skills to be the best, likewise if you have a good sander man, then use that man for the best sand job in town. When you work alone, it is easy to get your skills on each job, but then you are also behind, and when you are booked, the jobs just do not get done in time.

So, as luck would have it, Joey and a few of my old crew are laid off from their train jobs until the end of the year, so they are helping me get jobs done, and I am putting the new advice to use. We are doing top-notch work by using the best they have to offer on each job at the right time. That takes a load of worry off of me and allows me to have some fun again on the jobs. All work and no play makes for a very bad life. My back feels better and my stress is reduced. Thanks, Kevin, for the help.

We are still booked into January, but we are getting to the jobs much faster with crews of guys vs. me alone. The work is great, folks love the floors and this Christmas will be family time.

Merry Christmas all, God bless your families.