Attention: Professional Painters & Carpenters!!
If You Have a Positive Attitude, Love a Challenge, And Are Willing To Give More To Get More – We Want to Talk With You!
Are you a hard-working, personable, frustrated painter or carpenter who craves peace of mind at work?
If so, read on.
My name is Tom and I am looking for some very extraordinary people who would like to share some exciting adventures with our company (LOPCO Contracting) and who wants to enjoy a slice of the good life. Are you that person? Maybe. Maybe not. The first thing it depends on is me. You see, if I’m not your kind of employer, then what we have to offer may not be your idea of how life at work should be lived.
So let’s start with me. Here’s what my life is like. First of all, I’m an early riser. I usually get up around 3am, do calisthenics (push-ups and exercises of this nature), read a bit, iron my clothes, get showered and dressed, toast an English muffin to eat in the truck on the way in, say my morning prayers, and I am on my way to the shop. I grab a cup of coffee from D&D and then head right to my desk as soon as I enter the door. I catch up on paperwork while nobody is around knocking on my door, calling my phone, or reaching out to me through whatever means they are able to grab my attention to answer any question that may come up on their radar screen that they believe needs my ear.
Around 6:45am, I meet with our Production Manager and review with him what is going on at the various sites we have operating that day. At 7am our Office Manager comes in and I take some time to review with her the tasks that need to be focused on for that day. After this meeting, our staff tends to start to come in and I work with our Production Manager to get things moving.
From here my day takes a whole bunch of different shapes and directions. I meet with potential clients, existing clients, and general business associates at various points during the day to do everything from discussing potential business to existing business and everything in between. Along the way I stop by as many sites as possible to shake hands, kiss babies, and make sure that everything is functioning the way that it should be.
If any major problems come up, I make every effort possible to attack them head on as I realize the buck does stop with me.
I have a 10-year old daughter (from a previous relationship) who is my pride and joy. I live with my daughter (yes, I have placement of her), my girlfriend of 7 years (I have pretty much considered her my wife for quite some time now), her daughter (which I consider my daughter as well), and my girlfriend’s brother (who is quiet, a good dude, and generally keeps to himself).
My 10-year old daughter is involved with competitive cheerleading and much of my time away from work is involved carting her around to tumbling workouts, practices, and competitions all over kingdom come – I even own (with a partner of mine) the gym that she cheers at – Cheer UP Athletics in Providence, RI!!
I do enjoy time with the wife and although we both have VERY hectic schedules we do make time to attend a variety of events together and spend time as a family as well.
As challenging as it is, we also make every effort possible to eat dinner as a family as often as we are able to.
The New York Yankees are my favorite baseball team. This often gets me in trouble around these parts but hey, whether you run an industry leading contracting company or are the most storied team in the history of professional sports – haters gonna hate – RIGHT???
I am a neutral football fan but do enjoy watching great football being played as football was a HUGE part of my life for over 20 years. The New England Patriots, although I would not consider myself a fan of their team, do currently fit in this category (I am a ginormous Bill Belichick fan!) and it is entertaining to me as they are hated on about as much (if not more than at this point!) as the Yankees.
My mother passed away just under 20 years ago as I was in the process of walking on to play football at the University of South Carolina. She was my best friend, I think about her every day and truly miss her beyond belief.
This is all quite a load!
Too busy actually – especially as the business continues to head where it is heading…
For the past 3 months, I have spent my time at work with my brains being like a hamster on an exercise wheel that keeps running and running and running and running and running…
Why have my brains been like this? Good question. The answer is simple. You see, up until 3 months ago, my brains were great! They were great because we had a very special staff that was able to handle all of the work – both on the painting side and the carpentry side – that came through the door in a very well-paced manner. I thought this would last forever but this has ended for insane reasons beyond the ability of any human to control as our volume of business has exploded!
Well, such is life. But what’s done is done and 3 months of my brains being mashed potatoes is more than enough for anyone and now it is time for me to climb out of the craziness and find our company some extraordinary people that may be able to help calm the foolishness.
So why write such a lengthy piece on our website? Am I some kind of business owner with plenty of time on their hands and nothing to do but ramble on and on…???
No, I am not. I run a business that is never short on work and has me firing away on all cylinders – ALL of the time!!! I am very active within the community with our business (cleaning up rivers and building beds for children that do not have a bed to sleep on at night amongst other things). I am also very involved within the industry as I sit on the Board of Directors of 2 key industry associations and am also President of a local chapter of one too. As mentioned, my family life and time away from work is also EXTREMELY active – ESPECIALLY with Cheer UP!!
So once again, why do I have to write such a lengthy piece? Well, actually, I don’t. We currently have a field staff of 20+ solid employees, all very diverse in who they are and what they do. We have been fortunate enough to have done great at attracting quality people over the years and we hope to continue to do so.
But you know what else? I’ve also had people work with us who were not so outstanding. In fact, we’ve had more than a few who although they had ‘potential’ and seemed great as we hired them, turn out to be straight up bummers!
A wise person once told me ‘potential’ was a “fancy French word meaning ain’t done **** yet”. Over time, we have found this to be very true.
There are also those who talk the talk, but do not walk the walk as they seem tremendous during our whole hiring process (which is admittedly quite intense – with good reason!) but then do not pan out as advertised.
Want some examples? You sure? OK, you asked for it. Try these on for size:
Carl the Crybaby. Carl came on board as a painter several years ago. Everything with Carl was “woe is me”. Although a good painter, Carl could not seemingly go a day without whining about something. “I do not get paid enough for what I do.” “This tool is too dull/sharp.” “It’s too hot/cold.” I cannot stand WHINY individuals.
Bert the Business Owner. Bert came on board as a carpenter who had previously run his own business. Bert found it extremely challenging to adapt to a company that had actual systems in place to run and manage the business on a daily basis. Bert was also set in his ways of doing things (being non-open minded and thinking his ways to be far superior to all else that is out there) and over time definitively proved not to be open to new ideas and ways of doing things.
Brian the Brash. Brian came on board as a carpenter who was highly skilled and seemed very gung-ho about being a part of our company. As time went on, Brian’s true personality showed as he proved to be rude, disrespectful, demeaning, and condescending of others. He did not uplift others but brought them down (probably to make himself feel good in some sick way…). This is a personality that we just could not stand and we felt a huge load off of our shoulders when we parted ways.
Frank the Fun-sucker. Frank came on board as a painter who seemed like he really wanted to better the life of him and his family. Soon it became evident though that Frank was a Fun-sucker. He would walk in the room and suck all of the fun right out of it (comparable to Eeyore from Winnie-the-Pooh…). Life seemed to slow down to an excruciating pace when Frank was around, he seemed to move like molasses and have a negative view about everything. Not good.
Tevin the Talkative. Tevin came on board as a carpenter. Tevin came with great references and what appeared to be an impressive work history. As Tevin became ingrained within our company it is a wonder how he was able to get anything productive done – EVER – at any company he had EVER worked at. EVER!! This dude just would not shut his trap to save his life. Not only did this keep Tevin from being as great as he could be, it certainly impeded the work of those around him as well. This did not last long.
Igor the Impatient. Igor came on board as a painter. These days, more than ever it certainly seems, people are not as willing to put in their dues as they have been in the past. Igor fits into this category. Igor thought he could come in as a mid-level painter, bust his tail for 3 months, and then be paid the same as our top level guys. No. That’s not quite how it works around here. Anybody can work hard for 3 months. Can someone prove their worth over an extended period of time and be patient as we truly evaluate where things should be set on a pay scale? That is the question. The answer with Igor became very obvious very quickly.
I can go on and on…
All of these examples are true (with the exception of their names). They have not been fabricated and are in fact presented MILDLY!
Thus far, I have not even described what I consider the worst category of an employee at all.
These are the employees that may actually be clinically CRAZY. Do you want to know how I can tell? It’s pretty simple. You see, these are the potential employees who do not exhibit any of the problems mentioned in the examples above and who, for some unexplainable reason, are not interested in working with us!
Can you picture that?!?!?!
What do I want in an employee (notice I said EMPLOYEE and not SUBCONTRACTOR!)? I have got a pretty good idea yet I must admit, I am a bit flexible. However, I do have a VERY CLEAR awareness of what I DON’T want and it is in these areas that I am NOT flexible at all. So let’s begin with that. Here we go:
7 Things Tom Does NOT Want in an Employee!
#1) BAD ATTITUDE. This is my number one ‘absolutely not!’. You can do many things in terms of molding people and guiding them through whatever systems you have in place to run your business. If they have a bad attitude however, all hope is lost. People are generally wired a certain way. If they have a bad attitude or negative outlook on life, they will do us totally no good. Perhaps attitudes can be overshadowed by how well people do the job they are hired to do from a skill perspective in many cases and at many companies – just NOT at this one.
#2) BAD WORK ETHIC. This item is right behind #1 above. It is conceivable that some people looking for employment have never had the privilege of being around someone with an impeccable work ethic and thus have no idea what it really means to work hard. I can appreciate that but it is going to be awful challenging to keep up with our employees if you do not have a proper work ethic. Our people in the field will eat someone like this for breakfast. They are tremendously hard working and will not stand for someone who does not put forth the effort of others around them – regardless of skill level.
#3) I DONT WANT A SLOB. Yes, I said it, we cannot have slobs working with us. Due to the nature of what we do, we are consistently in very public and private places. We cannot work with someone who does not properly professionally prepare themselves or their work areas or does not clean up after themselves after a long day. Our employees are expected to dress and act neat as they are representing themselves and our company at all times. Disorganized and disheveled individuals will be a ridiculous burden to have on staff and if you are thinking of working with us but have no idea how to be clean, professional, and organized – even on a personal level – we are probably not the right fit for each other.
#4) SELFISHNESS. “I cleaned my area, I’m outta here!.” That’s great jackwagon but we play a team sport around these parts. We have no time for selfish individuals. If you finish what may be termed “your tasks” early and are awaiting others to finish theirs, we do NOT need people who are NOT willing to jump in and help their fellow employees. We take this to another level at our company as we constantly are involved within our local community and our employees are expected to do the same. We participate in a variety of events throughout the year in our community and we believe it necessary for our employees to volunteer their time and help out in at least two of them. If you do not find this necessary, that is tremendous! Please stop reading this ad right now.
#5) A THIEF. There are many things that we are willing to work with people on in terms of things that may have happened in their past which they are not too proud of. Being a thief is not one of them. Our clients put an awful lot of trust in us to make sure that only trustworthy people are allowed around their property working on their projects. While I openly acknowledge that everybody has an individual situation that has to be evaluated on a per applicant basis, if you have been convicted of larceny in 3 out of the last 4 years, it is going to be really difficult to convince me that you should be working with us on a bedroom project around someone’s crown jewels; just sayin’…
#6) A MERCENARY FOR HIRE. We look at mercenaries for hire as trade workers who could care less about the actual company that they are working for and have absolutely no allegiance to anybody whatsoever. These types of individuals typically may work for a new company on almost a yearly basis (changing after every winter) and even have been known to alternate in between 2 or 3 different companies over a period of time. Every year, whoever is willing to pay them the most, whether the smallest, most unprofessional, schmuck-in-the-truck operation or the most professional company in the history of their industry, it makes no difference to this person. Above all else, cash rules and if they are able to be paid in green – even BETTER. That outlook on employment does not fly here. If you are NOT someone looking for a stable, long term position with a company that truly does strive to do things the right way, you are NOT for us.
#7) A NONCONFORMIST. Someone who does not like to follow rules, does not like to work within systems, or likes to roam to the beat of their own drum will NOT work out with us. Don’t get me wrong. Our employees actually help create the rules of our company. The trick is that as our rules have been established over time, they have been expected to be followed. If you are someone with the thought process of it does not matter when you come in or when you leave as long as you get the job done, that’s not going to quite work out over here. We are constantly in the process of creating new systems and tweaking ones in place that have already been in existence. If you are not someone that can help us with this type of situation and would typically do what you have always done instead of working within our systems and processes and helping us to improve them, you are NOT who I am looking for.
Sooooo…that’s my laundry list of what I do not want and cannot stand. Now comes the difficult part. I feel kind of strange explaining what I DO want in an employee. On one hand, if I get too detailed it may seem like I am some insensitive, out-of-touch elitist who is living in some type of dream world in terms of what he wants in an ‘ideal’ employee.
On the other hand, I am positive that if I don’t set some parameters, this ad will be answered by many looking for employment with whom we are not at all well-suited for.
With this being said, please relax a bit. What I am about to present is not set in stone and I am not as stringent in reality as it may seem in print.
Anyhoo, here I go…
My idea of the ‘ideal’ employee is someone who is SUPER positive. The glass is ALWAYS half-full where they are coming from. They approach each project with the vigor and determination of doing things correctly and although they may come across frustrating situations, they have the wherewithal to stay focused and correctly complete the task at hand.
This person of whom I speak is fearless of heights and is comfortable handling ladders. They are in good enough physical condition to work for long hours in environments that are not always the best (temperatures, as one example, may at times be anywhere from 25 degrees Fahrenheit to 110).
The ideal employee will be independent and be able to find a way to get to work no matter what! They will have or have the desire to have their own tools for the job which they are hired to do.
I like employees that are constantly working on improving themselves – physically, spiritually, personally, and emotionally.
Perhaps most of all, the ideal employee is EXTREMELY coachable and has a high willingness to learn – no matter how long they have been in the industry.
So there you have it.
After all this, if you are still interested, what can you anticipate from me?
Well, the first word in this ad is ‘Professional’ and I mean just that. Though ‘Professional’ does not mean ‘Prude’. The way we look at it, it means that we are respectful with regard to everything we do. Whether the way we approach our employees or our clients, we try to do everything as correctly as possible with the best interests of all in mind.
I was always brought up to treat others the way that I would like to be treated and in running our business, I always strive to do just that.
We are grateful to be looked at by many as amongst the leaders in our industry and we have been able to rise to this position because of the effort of many individuals over the past 20+ years. We have always tried to listen and incorporate ideas from our employees and our goal is to respect and listen to everyone’s opinion as you never know where the next great idea in terms of improving our business is going to come from…
Does any of this sound appealing to you?
I hope so. This is all truthful and I have made every attempt possible to make it as honest as can be with the hope of also making it at least slightly entertaining.
Are you a bit hesitant in taking the next step and inquiring with us about more information about employment? I don’t knock you for that. Before I sat down to put this all together I read a number of ‘help wanted’ ads from other companies and they scared the heck out of me. I’m always leery of the companies and individuals putting those types of ads out there.
Seriously. Have you seen any of them? I’m sure you have, especially if you have been in the industry for any length of time. They usually appear like this:
“Looking for experienced painter/carpenter. Must have own tools and own transportation. Wage based on experience.”
“Hiring painters/carpenters. All workers must agree to be issued a 1099 form at the end of the year.
No druggies, no alcoholics, no people who need to be paid on a daily basis.”
“Looking for a skilled painter/carpenter. Candidate must have own transportation and tools. Must be able to follow instructions and be good interacting with customers. Please send a description of work experience.”
And on…and on…and on…and on…
How scary are these?
We’re not really like that. I promise. We are an ACTUAL, professional, growing company who would like to shore up our existing staff with painters and carpenters who strive for a career in an industry that is attracting them like a magnet.
Whether they are someone who believes they really want to be a painter but does not even know how to hold a paint brush or if they are someone who has been a finish carpenter for 25 years, we would love to hear from you if you are ok with all that has been presented to you thus far.
If you believe you may be what we are looking for or are even the least bit inquisitive after reading all of the above,
Maybe we will be the right fit for each other. Maybe we will not be. At the very least, you will not be responding to an ad from some sicko that is just looking to fill an immediate labor need and not something long term and perhaps, just perhaps, we may have an open slot for the career you have always wanted.
Thank you for taking the time to read this piece!