Just One of Those Weeks

If we at USGlass Magazine hear from each of our 40,000+ subscribers just once a year, that means we hear from an average of 155 or so of them every work day … and some days it feels like it. Good thing it’s one of the favorite parts of my job.

Just this past week, three readers contacted me with issues that tugged at me. All of them revolve around the current economic climate and the bankruptcies and closings our industry has endured. Let me share each story with you and perhaps you can help me fashion some advice for them:

Reader 1 put a plaintive plea on our architectural glass industry chat room concerning his inability to get service in the Atlanta area. Here’s an excerpt: “Been doing business … for over 8 years. I pay my bills on time. I am not difficult to work with. In other words I am a good account … I am about to have to close my doors. I cannot get simple 1/4 tempered on time. It is taking them 10 weeks to complete my order of 22 pieces of glass. …  I sent them a simple IGU for a 5 opening storefront and it took them 6 weeks to complete my order and when it arrived there was fingerprints inside almost every unit. Every insulating glass unit (IGU) looked like someone rubbed their face of sweat before touching the glass. One of the IGUs had the sticker label inside of the IGU. It’s terrible.”

Our reader spread plenty of blame around among at least two suppliers. I feel badly that he is so discouraged. How about it? Any suggestions for how to help him?

Reader 2 caught me with a phone call. He owes a considerable debt to those who are now the creditors of a company that went bankrupt and he doesn’t think he should have to pay it. “I not only bought material from that company,” he said, “that material was to have a warranty and that warranty had value. It’s my understanding that I now how no warranty.” The product delivered, in his opinion, is deficient and he should receive some reduction for it. “Their lawyers tell me to pay and then they will talk about the warranty, but I’m not falling for that.” How about it? Is he right? Morally? Legally?

Reader 3 is an industry supplier who has been having trouble getting paid by another industry supplier. “The gentleman keeps apologizing to me and saying he is very sorry, but he can’t help me now. He says he wants a good relationship with me but has no money. Yet I continue to see him host chat rooms on LinkedIn and exhibit at trade shows. Not sure what to do.” So how about it? What should he do?

Thanks and Kudos

…  to Rich Porayko on the birth of his son. Great father-son pix right here.

…  and to David Rohlfing, Denny Leahy and a great big shout out to Randy Gozum and his brother, Ron, and the entire team at Glass America in Virginia Beach. One of our editors had just begun her vacation with hubby and three daughters in tow when their backlite blew on a Friday night, placing a highly anticipated visit to an American Idol concert in jeopardy. The team at Glass America was awesome and sprang into action and, with the help of the local Pilkington warehouse, had the family back on the road in no time—even on a Saturday morning in late August. (But I would expect nothing less from an AGRSS Registered Shop.) I hear that Randy even gave up his scheduled tennis game on Saturday morning to do the job, and we are all most appreciative.

…to Kris Vockler (@krisvockler) of ICD Coatings, who adds her voice through her blog on Friday. Kris took time from her busy schedule to talk shop and social networking with me last week.

Is It Me or What?

Was I the only one who was extremely pleasantly surprised by the story of the 11-year-old Minnesota boy who sent the puck down the entire length of the rink into the goal in one of those shoot-outs last week? He won $50,000. Except he didn’t. Turns out that, at the last minute, the youngster’s twin substituted in for him and actually made the winning shot.

I expected the rest of the story to be either about the parents who had then continued the charade and let one twin masquerade as the other while they collected the prize or that they had already filed suit against those who were running the contest.

But, then, a funny thing happened. “We thought that honesty was the best policy and that’s the lesson we wanted our kids to learn,” said Dad Pat, who made the boys come clean. Here’s the story.

Wow is that ever refreshing or what? And in a nod to the other lesson the boys are getting to learn—the one about life not being fair—they most likely won’t end up with the prize money. But I think they got something a lot more valuable.

More next week.