Window Film Brings People Together
As I’m writing this I am on the Eurostar Train heading from London to Brussels Belgium. You may remember from last month’s blog that I was heading to London to help our company with several 2012 Olympic projects. While over here I got called to Brussels to assess 24,000 lineal meters of security film attachment on a large building (that’s over 78,000 lineal feet). Apparently the Dutch installers weren’t totally familiar with the installation procedure as they had completed 15,000 meters of it and it began to fall off—not what you want out of an attachment system. We were called in for our expertise and solutions. So I am heading over there to oversee and train our crew to finish the 9,000 meters left and to repair the other 15,000.
World travel continued as last week I was flown to Muscat, Oman to install 450 square feet of clear 7 mil security film on a new bank branch being built for one of our international customers. It was a very interesting experience and I thought I would share it with you.
When I got to the job site there were construction crews onsite putting on all the finishing touches to the interior space. All the workers were from the subcontinent of India and didn’t speak a word of English. That made us even since I didn’t speak a word of Hindi. I wouldn’t say they were unfriendly but they were cautious and curious.
You know when you start installing a project or film on a home and the customer will watch you do a window or two just out of curiosity—imagine 12 uncommunicative workers all standing behind you in total silence watching while you install the first window. When I had finished they all dispersed and went back to their respective jobs.
About an hour later I came across two of them that had picked through my dirty trimmings and were trying to install it on their cell phones. These were your basic cell phones and not touch screens. I think they thought I would be upset but I gave them the universal thumbs up. I then went to my clean scraps and gave them a small piece along with a pair of scissors. I motioned for them to cut the shape they needed for their phone and I would install it. They were extremely grateful and happy. Just when I was finishing the second phone, I realized that the other 10 workers were lined up behind me and wearing big smiles. More scraps and 30 minutes later I had 12 new friends.
For the rest of the job as I finished each window one of them would run over and pick up my trash wipe up the floor, smile and nod. It was their way of repaying my kindness with kindness. Who says you need to speak the language to communicate? No discussion about religion or politics, just a mutual propensity for window film and respect for a fellow earthling.
When I finished they helped me carry out my tools and boxes to the cab and shook my hand.
I must say that the natives of Oman were very friendly and polite. Many citizens did speak English so it made it easy to get around. It was just hot (104 – 110 degrees), reminding me of home in Arizona.
While in Oman I was surprised by all the U.S. retail chain stores. The signs looked a little different, but the logo was unmistakable. Here are a few for you to guess on and play “Name This Place.” Next month I’ll show you the rest of the signs.
Before I went to Oman I downloaded the iSpeak App for Arabic to English to my iPhone. What a great help that was. I could type in what I wanted to say, hit the translate button and the phone would speak the phrase in Arabic and type it out as well. The only drawback for using this app is you have to have cell service or a WiFi connection to get the translation. So I spent some time coming up with standard questions and statements and saving them in the app so I had them at the ready. “Hello,” “thank you,” and “where is the toilet,” were very helpful. Now I have iSpeak French and Dutch as well. Chinese might be next.
Last month my survey asked how many film companies you represent. It was a first place tie between one, three and four at 25 percent each. Taking a solo second place was five-plus at 16.7 percent and bringing up the rear was two garnering only 8.3 percent. If we look at the overall numbers, 75 percent of the responding dealers sell more than one brand of film. I guess the day of the monogamous dealer is a dying breed.
This month I want the installers to tell me how they trim the film on the glass. In the past I used a trim card exclusively but after seeing many awesome installers doing the freehand I developed the skill. Actually, I use both methods depending on the frames and sometimes both methods on the same window. I found if the window has an aluminum channeled frame it’s best to use a trim card along the bottom. This gives a little more gap between any pooled water and the edge of the film, thus eliminating those pesky fingers from popping up.
Finally I want to give a shout out to Mike Nesler in Las Vegas. Thank you for your comments and I would love to discuss the industry sometime. Our Managing Director, Steve Chambers, said to say hello…also my wrist is actually doing pretty good. I don’t have all my strength back yet but it keeps getting better every day.
Quote of the Month
“Good judgment comes from experience, and often experience comes from bad judgment.”
US author and social activist