Fandeck of Features

Adam Dill, Paint Contractor

That unspoken trust between painter and customer? Let’s speak of it.
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By Sol Rabushka, Contributing Writer

Information provided by product manufacturers.

Here’s our trunkful of products to start off the new year. So big you’ll need an elephant to carry them.
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By Product Manufacturers

Advantages of a Low-Level Lift

Hy-Brid discusses the advantages of low-level lifts.
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By Justin Kissinger, Marketing Manager, Hy-Brid Lifts

Palette of Departments

Talking Myself Into 2018

This is the last time, really, for sure, that we’re going to say this. Maybe.
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By Jerry Rabushka, Editor

Hand Masking Film at

You thought we were talking vehicles, but it was elephants all along.

sponsored by Intertape Polymer Group
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By Jerry Rabushka, Editor

By Jerry Rabushka,

Managing Editor

Talking Myself Into 2018


It’s December! Time, usually, for year in review or resolutions and predictions for the next.

Or not, because we could simply resolve not to do that. But it’s a good time to reflect. One thing I want to avoid doing in 2018 is wasting space in this magazine praising a painter for simply showing up to work. Showing up should be your minimal commitment. Then doing the work. If this doesn’t happen, not sure I can help. If I’ve been on a horse about this for a couple months, it’s because I’ve seen it too much.

I just had this experience with someone who wanted my business in a non-painting capacity. I said, “Let’s meet and talk it over and I’ll bring a check for your service.” Well, you can imagine what happened, or didn’t, and I still have my money.

I was the kid in high school who when people said, “I’ll call you,” I would believe them. I was that same kid in college, and on through life. Sometimes I even believed people would keep appointments they asked for at the National Hardware Show! Now I’m quick with “you didn’t call, so I found something else to do.”

“Here, you can borrow this brush and extension pole for your next job, but I need it back,” I said to a painter who has yet to return said brush and said extension pole, and didn’t show up for the job either.

Here’s a conversation from a previous job: “What would you like the staff to do that they’re not doing now?” “Their work.”

So, what’s my resolution? To be realistic. To practice what I preach and return calls when I need to, show up when I say I will, or if not, at least give enough notice that people can make other plans. To take care of myself so I can take care of others. Or even this: to say no, if no is the best course of action, rather than saying yes and then not doing anything about it.

Will you take out the trash? No. Do the dishes? No. Dinner? No. Laundry? No. See, easy!

I left 2016 with a request for kindness and compassion, and I think one way to do that is just to keep your word. Be the person someone can trust. I have 25 years on the job and there’s some things I can get away with and some I can’t. For instance, I can’t say, “I didn’t feel like filling those pages up so we’re going to just have some white space this month.”

One of my favorite sayings: “Being a professional means doing a good job even when you don’t want to.” I played trumpet in a jazz band for a few years and there were some songs I passionately disliked. But I figured the audience didn’t give a rat-tail brush about whether I liked the song or not and they deserved my best effort. I challenged myself to play with as much spirit as possible, while counting the measures down to the end.

That’s a question I might ask a little more this year: what do you do when you don’t want to go to work but you have to? We’ve all been there. Sure you need the money, but you won’t get the money if you do a lousy job—your impending divorce may be painful, but don’t take it out or Mrs. Smith’s front porch, or worse, Mrs. Smith herself. If you’re the crew chief, how do you positively motivate the crew member who’s usually on it but is going through a rough patch?

Perhaps this year, we’ll try to avoid articles telling you to work harder. Maybe we can help you work better. Let’s try that. I’ll show up if you will.

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Hans Mugler
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