Recent General Posts
Day 14: The Day I Considered Corona's Impact on N-95 Couture
In the restoration and remediation industry, we have been wearing N-95 particulate respirators for years and systematically include them in our regular supplies. The masks have always been slightly uncomfortable, hot and not flattering. Over the years, I have seen people wear them upside down, with one strap around their head instead of two, and on their forehead because it was too hot and what’s a few mold spores going do to me anyway. Hard to argue with that logic, I mean how much harm could a few microscopic particulates do to a person. This is where I insert the hand hitting the forehead emoji. I see people in their cars with windows rolled up, air conditioning cranking, radio jamming and a mask around their face. I wonder if they know something I don’t. I am excited though, maybe COVID-19 will do to the respirator industry what Uber did to the taxi-cab industry. The bland hospital white look that screams, ‘there must something wrong with that guy,’ could be replaced with something much cooler. I am not creative enough to know what that is, but I know the bar is so low it would be hard to be disappointed with any attempt. Get Nike or Yeti or someone like that involved and we have a chance for something better, I think. Anyway, in the meantime, I will keep doing my part and wearing my N-95 in public like it is Halloween. In case you see me driving around with it on, roll down the window and wave. Just know that I want to talk to you, it is not personal but it hurts my jaw too much with it on. I wonder if they make children’s sizes for the house.
Day 9: The Day I Taught My Son to Bump Elbows
Day 9 In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Dr. Anthony Fauci said he can see a future where we do not shake hands anymore. I know people who, prior to the pandemic, would only fist or elbow bump to say hi. I thought it was weird but I guess they were ahead of their time. Heck, before all of this, I had no issues with a Golden Corral buffet – but now I am thinking twice. In our business, we are inside many properties; most are fairly clean and organized, but some not as much. We all have a lot of stuff, but some have more than others – I try not to judge. All of this makes me think the service industry may never be the same after COVID-19. Perhaps in the future our team will begin a project by setting containment areas around all work areas to protect everyone while we work. Meaning, by design we do not have much interaction with our client and we seal off the area we are working in regardless of the service being provided. Will air scrubbers, with the HEPA filters that can remove particulates as tiny as 0.3 microns from the air, be required in work spaces? If an employee calls out sick, for any reason, does this mean they stay home for two weeks? I guess we all have to wait and see what happens. On the bright side, if I see you at the Golden Corral, life is back to normal. This is my new barometer on normal – will I eat at the Corral? So when we dip our strawberry into the same chocolate trough, just as the previous 139 (hygienic) people before us did, just know that I want to shake your hand – but an elbow bump will have to do, you know, because our hands will be full with plates of chocolate strawberries.
Day 10: The Day
Day 10 I can verify that, despite COVID-19, every company’s A/R (accounts receivable) department is up running smoothly right now. The invoices are printed almost ahead of schedule, then mailed, emailed, faxed and texted to you. On the other hand, the A/P (accounts payable) departments appear to be having major technical difficulties – does COVID-19 affect the ability to print checks to pay bills? (Really guys, I saw it on the Internet – the virus can smear ink! JUST JOKING) Trying to get ahold of anyone in an accounts payable department at a mortgage company, for example, is like changing a diaper. You are kind of used to the process and do not think it will be that bad, only to realize this next experience is worse than you could imagine, makes you wonder how it was even possible to reach this level and you think about your life choices for a second. Once you do get through to someone, chances are they are just taking messages. This person always makes me feel confident the message is taken accurately and sent with urgency to the exact person I was seeking. So, for now, we will keep sending emails and leaving messages. On the bright side, the Bucs signed Tom Brady. Life is good. -Jeremy George
Day 11: The Day Someone Sneezed Four Times
Day 11 They had to come inside. Outside the front door they stood, clutching a check and looking earnest, kind even. Under normal circumstances, they could turn the door handle and walk right inside. But in the Covid-19 world, I had to unlock the deadbolt myself. Through the glass door I made eye contact – they appeared ok so I turned the key. The check was surrendered without issue, and then they did something unconscionable. It was beyond belief. They sneezed. Not just once, but four times. (In case you can’t picture it: “Achoo! Achoo! Achoo! Achoo!”) Two months ago, I probably would have said, ‘Bless you’ (I actually do not know why I say this), offered a tissue and forgotten about the incident. Today however... I wanted to channel my inner Hulk and heave them through the glass window that I had just looked through and decided they were ok. I thought horrible thoughts about their character, I made judgments about their values and sense and I contemplated giving them their check back. (I quickly got over the last part and made the deposit with ease.) As a sneezer myself, I realize my life will probably never be back to normal. I have tried to hold a sneeze in, but the inner forces always win and somehow create what is now considered a disgusting hand. I suppose I could sneeze in my mask but that seems potentially messy too. I get it, I do not want to be around us sneezers either – sneeze at home, weirdo! Anyway, on the bright side, you can still bring your sneeze-riddled checks to the office but you just have to put it under the front mat while we stare at you from the glass window, in a non-judgmental way of course. If you need a tissue, just ask: We will crack the door enough to offer you one, just try not to touch the box. Or sneeze. --Jeremy George
Day 7: The Day No One Else Was Around
Day 7, 5:59 p.m Struggled a little bit today… I like people. I like being around people, I like talking to people and I like interacting with people. I consider myself a people person. I know a lot of different kinds of people and not all of them are ‘people people.’ The longer this drags on, I am starting to understand their thought process more. People I have found, in general, can have a lot of needs. One of my favorite George Carlin rants is when he talks about people’s needs in a way only he could: “We hear this all the time now, ‘My needs aren’t being met.’ You know what I tell them? Drop some of your needs.” If only it were that simple. For now though, the roads are empty, the office is empty, the phone calls are slower than normal and I am wondering when do I get to see all the people again? In the short term, I will handle the silence but look forward to people’s needs, interactions and laughter. I am not sure when this over but until the national TP shortage has ended, the office will remain empty because that is one need that cannot be dropped.
Day 8: The Day No One Laughed
They have all been exposed.
Every one of them.
The smiles, the chuckles, even the belly laughs...
Each morning, we hold the Work-In-Progress meeting, and until last week they happened around a white table in our conference room. I cannot help myself from making a joke or two. Admittedly, some of the attempts at humor are not good, but complete bombs are rare – at least that is what I thought.
The in-person meeting brings at least a few laughs, but attempting jokes on Zoom meetings is a different beast. They generate nothing. I think everyone might have been pretending to laugh the whole time. Maybe it was just a pity laugh - ugh, the worst kind.
In their defense, they have a variety of excuses to choose from to explain the crickets. “I did laugh but I was on mute and by the time I could unmute the subject had moved on.” Or, “I was laughing but the internet connection was unstable and I had to reboot my internet browser,” “I accidentally hit ‘leave meeting’ because I was laughing so hard,” “You cannot see me laughing because my hand is in front of my face and I am muted.”
Lastly, “No, you are right I am not laughing because it was not funny anyway and it is annoying being on this Zoom call wishing three other people on this call would understand what the mute button actually accomplishes so forgive me, nothing is actually funny right now.”
All this time I misread the crowd, I guess they really are the more serious type. Maybe I should look into introducing complex spreadsheets into our Zoom meeting and ask everyone to take part in explaining a different section. That actually sounds worse.
On the bright side, without all the fake laughs, now our WIP meetings should really zoom.
Terrible, I know. I do see their point, I have to get better.
Day 6: The Day Amanda Was Asked To Maintain Her Professionalism
Day 6, 4:47 p.m. (Today we turn the blog over to Amanda, who has anchored the office team at SERVPRO of West Pasco for 24 years) Thursday 3/26 was my first day working from home. I was so excited! I was all set up at my dining room table. The day was very busy and I worked longer than my normal shift. I was on a roll. I was unstoppable! I thought to myself: “Wow. This is great. No interruptions / very quiet / when this is all said and done I might ask my superiors if I can work from home 2-3 days a week.” Friday morning – I get up excited! Ready to rock and roll – again. Ughy. Some technical issues. Going from 2 large computer screens down to 1 very small notebook screen is challenging. I’m scrolling all over the place. Where the heck is my QBO page? OMG – did I really just close out of Work Centers for the 4th time in the last half hour? How the heck do I get back to the server?? Oh geeze – calls and texts are coming in. People need my assistance. I have to focus.1:00 pm on Friday – I am now doing laps around my living room – waving my arms and getting loud. Frustration of all the changes and unknown are setting in. Okay. I’m getting louder. I may have let a profanity or 2 slip out. During my semi-moderate “freak-out” – my 17-year-old daughter enters the room and states: “Mother, please, try to remember that you are at work and try to maintain your professionalism!”
July 2018 Employee of the Month
Our most sincere thanks and congratulations go to Michelle Spencer, SERVPRO of Wesley Chapel’s July 2018 Employee of the Month. Michelle is a perennial client favorite, with her special ability to see immediately identify solutions to big problems and a dedication to doing it right every time the first time. This month alone, our office received multiple calls from clients who picked up the phone just to praise Michelle for her hard work and commitment to customer satisfaction.
As a skilled member of our in-house construction team, Michelle first arrives onsite following stabilization of a water or fire damage, and is tasked with the carpentry and other skilled tasks required to put it back together. With nearly a decade of restoration experience under her belt, Michelle uses her expertise to calm the customers’ nerves, making for a smooth transition as we make it “like it never even happened.”
Off the jobsite, Michelle is a central figure in our company culture, taking the lead on fun projects like making clever and creative costumes for community events, such as our annual entry in the West Pasco Chamber of Commerce YPG Chasco Bowling Tournament or our float for local parades. When it comes to fun, she takes it as seriously as she takes her work in clients’ homes.
Thank you, Michelle, for your upbeat personality, can-do attitude and for being a leader in our production.
June 2018 Employee of the Month
Choosing an employee of the month every 30 days is a tough job when you’ve got such an outstanding team - but we’d like to thank Mike for making this month’s choice easy. Huge shout out to SERVPRO of Wesley Chapel’s June 2018 Employee of the Month, Mike Esposito.
Customer service is always a top priority at SERVPRO of Wesley Chapel; however, last month Mike went above the call of duty. After he was unable to contact a customer for a few days (this was unlike the customer as she was always quick to return phone calls) Mike began to worry. He took multiple trips to the home, even after hours to see if he could reach her and eventually calling authorities to conduct a welfare check. Finally, he was able to verify she was alright, but his diligence turned out to be worthwhile.
We appreciate all that Mike did to verify the safety of our customer. In our line of work, due to the complex nature of restoration projects, we tend to spend significant time with our clients, get to know them, and develop important professional relationships. Ultimately, we are committed to our company values that recognize and promote the value of humanity and the ties that bind all of us together.
Thank you, Mike, for living our values in your daily work.
10 Years Strong: Thanks to a Loyal and Loved Team Member
All hail the King, Doug!
Last week we stopped the trucks for a few hours to take time to recognize, thank, and honor the man we have called “The King” at SERVPRO of Wesley Chapel for the past 10 years.
Each year with an outstanding employee like Doug G. on the team is an achievement on its own, but it’s not just about how long he’s been wearing green; it’s about what he’s done while he’s been here.
Doug joined the SERVPRO team in January 2008 and has served the company with loyalty and dedication for a decade. Rising up the ranks from Restoration Technician to Production Manager and now Warehouse Manager, Doug has learned the technical ins and outs of the operation, as well as the nuances of our business in Dade City. He has been a mentor to many, teaching new technicians the skills and ways of SERVPRO, and how we do it “in green.”
Above all, Doug is a reliable, trustworthy person who brings his humor and wit, as well as competence and confidence, every day. Thanks, Doug, for 10 good years.
All hail the King!
March 2018 Employee of the Month
Shanna Rostis, Employee of the Month for March 2018.
Huge thank yous and congratulations to Shanna Rostis, SERVPRO of Wesley Chapel’s Employee of the Month for March 2018.
We’re recognizing Shanna for her continuous hard work juggling more files than anyone can count. Shanna makes it look like a cake walk, but to the professionally trained eye it’s more like popcorn on a hot skillet. In the midst of it all, Shanna’s top-notch customer service and easy-going attitude doesn’t go unnoticed, as she is a favorite among all clients.
If managing numerous client files wasn’t enough, Shanna has also taken on a special project to help make our reconstruction projects as efficient and organized as possible with a new software tool. Scheduling multiple subcontractors on the same project can be tedious, but no worries -- Shanna and Buildertrend are here to save the day.
Thank you, Shanna, for your continuous hard work, dedication, and for being a ray of sunshine during the most saturated of days. SERVPRO of Wesley Chapel appreciates all you do!
Employee Spotlight: The Incredible Sheldon Borris
You'll never catch Sheldon without his beanie!
This month, for the Hardest Decision We Have To Make Every 30 Days, we spotlight our talented carpenter, Sheldon Borris.
Sheldon joined our team in early 2016, but he was no stranger to the SERVPRO system. He came to SERVPRO of East Pasco after nearly a decade working with another franchise in New Jersey, where he escaped cold winters in favor of the Florida sub-tropics.
Sheldon is a native of Trinidad and Tobago, and brings his island attitude with him. He is always smiling and laughing as he goes about his day, and his supervisors and teammates say he’s a joy to work with. “Anytime you ask him to do something, he says ‘No problem, got it!’,” said Jeremy George, executive director at SERVPRO of East Pasco. Clients often remark about Sheldon and their appreciation for his skilled work and awesome demeanor.
Although there are countless reasons to spotlight Sheldon, he was selected this month specifically for an outstanding containment structure he built to properly demarcate during a mold remediation. He built the containment with a painstaking attention to detail and extremely accurate carpentry skills, allowing our team to efficiently and properly complete the project easily and quickly.
Thank you, Sheldon, for being a leader in our production department and for all you contribute to our company culture.
Employee Spotlight: Leah, Direct Project Coordinator
It begins with Leah and ends "Like it never even happened."
This month we shine the spotlight on Leah, our newly appointed Direct Project Coordinator.
In her new role, Leah handles water damage claims from soup to nuts – beginning with client’s first call, she sees the projects through to completion, working closely with the SERVPRO team, clients, and third parties.
Leah joined the SERVPRO of East Pasco team last fall, initially as a Project Coordinator partnered with a Project Manager working on reconstruction projects. Succeeding in that position, she seized the opportunity to move over to the company’s direct work side of the business. Leah’s experience, confidence, and calming nature made her a perfect fit for her new role.
We asked Leah a few questions about her job.
Every day you field calls from clients facing disasters in their homes and businesses. What is the first thing you want them to know?
They need to know that “We are here to help!” Customers aren’t calling because their house is full of cupcakes and rainbows. One of the most stressful times you’ll face as a home/business owner is when disaster strikes and it’s imperative to know that I will assist in any way that I can.
What advice do you have for a homeowner or business owner who needs to call SERVPRO?
Stay calm. Like I said, we're here to help, and our team has seen thousands of unique water damages over our 25 years in operation.
When you call SERVPRO, we will ask the following specific details about your home:
- Name/address/phone number
- What caused your water loss?
- Has the leak been fixed?
- How many rooms were affected?
- What type of flooring do you have?
- Is there standing water? Water or electric available?
- Were walls or ceilings affected?
- Do you see visible mold?
- All pertinent insurance information
What is the best part of your new job?
The best part of my job is being able to use my calm nature to assist customers during their loss and to make it “Like it never even happened.” I enjoy working a job from start to finish and being a consistent point of contact for the customer, the adjusters, and our team making the process run smoothly and more effectively.
April 2017 Employee of the Month
Kayla (on the left) and Stacey posing for a picture after competing with the SERVPRO team in a lip sync battle sponsored by United Way of Pasco County
Big thanks and congratulations to Kayla Canup, our Employee of the Month at SERVPRO of East Pasco.
We're recognizing Kayla specifically for her can-do attitude and for stepping up to help with a special project that, to be fair, was totally outside of her training and skill set. As our A/R and Social Media Specialist, she typically works inside the office and is known among the 3-year-olds who frequent the office as "the lady who wears the pretty dresses."
But when we asked her to help run a project assisting clients dealing with contents damaged by fire, smoke, soot and water, she said "yes" without hesitation. Trading in her "pretty dresses" for a hard hat, Kayla joined the production team for a few long, hot days outside and helped knock the project out of the park. (Read her own account of the adventure here.)http://www.SERVPROeastpasco.com/blog/post/40232/fire-smoke-damage-restoration/on-the-job-training-5-things-from-my-first-fire-damage
And when she's behind the desk doing her usual work, Kayla is professional and skilled, focusing on client service while bringing her positive attitude and team-player commitment to the office culture.
Thank you, Kayla, for being a valued team player at SERVPRO of East Pasco - whether you are wearing your high heels or your hard hat!
No matter how busy Stacey gets, she always has a smile on her face!
Ever wondered what happens behind the scenes here at SERVPRO of East Pasco or what it takes to make it "Like it never happened." In this new monthly series, we’ll take you inside to get to know our team and unravel the great unknown.
This month we sat down with Stacey Carnivale, a project coordinator here at SERVPRO of East Pasco. We wanted to get to know a little about her and what she does. Keep reading for the inside scoop.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
This is my second time around as a project coordinator for SERVPRO – I first joined the team in 1999 and left to raise my daughters before returning again in September 2015. I am originally from Long Island and migrated south in 1979. I grew up on the west coast of Florida and absolutely love living near the water and enjoying all the perks of living in SNOW-free weather all year round. I enjoy going to comedy clubs, concerts, taking weekend getaways, and I love to be on the boat fishing or relaxing at the sandbar with friends and family on the weekends. I LOVE Pizza and all Italian cuisine as I grew up in the restaurant family business, so yes, I love to cook too!
What does your job entail?
Being a project coordinator is a multi-tasking, demanding position that works with a client from start to finish of a construction project. There are many aspects such as timing, scheduling, budgeting, communication and caring about what you do for others. Coordinating between trades in the remodeling of clients homes is challenging and rewarding. We all want the same result: “a happy customer”.
What is most enjoyable about your position?
What I enjoy most about being a project coordinator is the fast-paced environment and helping others in their time of need. When a person's home is destroyed and in need of professional help, it could be very stressful and devastating. Knowing that I can provide people with peace of mind, telling them that we can turn their disaster into something that they would love even more than before, is extremely rewarding to me. ”Like it never even happened."
There you have it! Not only is Stacey one of the fresh, smiling faces behind the SERVPRO of East Pasco team, she is a tremendous part of what goes into making any size project "like it never even happened!" Tune in next month for another Employee Spotlight.
January Employee of the Month
Steven doesn't take a break from work, even when we try to celebrate him!
Congratulations and big thanks to Steven Dobles, who was named Employee of the Month to start off 2017. This comes after he was named Employee of the Year in 2016, and he's keeping it going with his devotion to his trade and commitment to his team.
This month he is recognized for leading the remodel of the SERVPRO office with grace and ease - working after hours to put up fresh paint and molding, moving and assembling furniture and smiling through it all. In the midst of all that he continued to thrill clients with outstanding service and notable craftmanship, and even recruited a former colleague and good friend to join our team.
Thank you, Steven, for your leadership, hard work, fun-loving attitude and all you and Debbie do to support our mission and vision at SERVPRO of East Pasco. We love you, man!
June Employee of the Month
Congratulations and big thanks to Jesus Torres, the June Employee of the Month at SERVPRO of East Pasco.
A Restoration Technician since 2015, Jesus is steadfast and dependable and willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done. He brings to the team many assets, most notably a big smile and a sense of calm.
Thank you, Jesus!
Ready to Double Down in East Pasco
Green and orange galore on the tradeshow floor at the 47th Annual SERVPRO Convention in Las Vegas
What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas - except when what happens is a SERVPRO convention!
Returning home after five days in Sin City, Jeremy George, Executive Director of SERVPRO of East Pasco, brought back with him new ideas, a green and orange kid’s bounce house, and a renewed energy.
“It was a tremendous week. I was much luckier in the classroom than at the blackjack table – I came away with deeper insight into our plans to further improve our communication with clients, team members, and commercial partners, and inspiration to continue to grow and develop our commercial project abilities and expertise. I’m ready to double down and bring SERVPRO of East Pasco to the next level.”
Along with President Andrew T. Froelich, George joined a record-setting group of more than 2,800 franchise owners, key staff, and corporate representatives for the 47th Annual SERVPRO Convention at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas from June 26 to 30. The convention program was designed to unite franchise owners, team members, distributors, associates, and corporate employees in support of SERVPRO’s top three initiatives: Expansion into the commercial workplace, leadership training, and effective communication. It featured a keynote address by motivational speaker Connie Podesta and 28 workshop sessions focused on leadership training and providing resources designed to help each franchise grow and better serve their community.
On behalf of the SERVPRO of West Pasco team, Froelich and George accepted an award for outstanding revenue performance, presented by the corporate owners at the convention Awards Ceremony.
“SERVPRO understands running a small business is a challenge,” said Sue Steen, Chief Executive Officer of SERVPRO Industries, Inc. “Our annual convention gives us the opportunity to recognize individual franchisees that have excelled at building their business, as well as enhancing SERVPRO’s reputation as an industry leader in disaster cleanup, restoration and remediation services. We offer our sincere congratulations to this year’s award winners and to all of the dedicated professionals who work hard every day to provide world-class service to their customers.”
Said Froelich: “While building a successful small business takes work and dedication, our success is also a reflection of the support and exceptional disaster remediation solutions and training we receive as a member of the SERVPRO franchise network. We are proud to accept this award on behalf of our business and our employees, and are grateful to SERVPRO for giving us the tools, framework and training we need to be both successful and a resource to our community when disaster strikes.”
Summer - endless here in Tampa Bay - is synonymous with barbecues, parades and fireworks displays; but along with all the festivities are plenty of visits to emergency rooms—especially during July.
Each year, around 230 people are injured badly enough to require medical treatment after fireworks-related incidents, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. In addition to causing injury, fireworks are also responsible for thousands of house fires each year with millions of dollars in property damage.
There is nothing like firing up the grill during the summer months! Did you know, July is the peak month for grill fires? A backyard barbecue can become dangerous quickly if proper safety precautions aren’t considered. At SERVPRO of East Pasco, we want you to have an enjoyable and safe summer.
Consider the following tips to help ensure your summer celebrations are disaster-free!
- Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors.
- The grill should be placed well away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
- Keep children and pets away from grill area.
- Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill.
- Never leave your grill unattended.
- When using a charcoal grill, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container.
- Anyone using fireworks or standing nearby should wear protective eyewear.
- Do not try to re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks. Keep a bucket of water nearby to fully extinguish fireworks that don’t go off or in case of fire. Children should never pick up fireworks that may be left over as they may still be active.
- The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public display conducted by trained professionals.
For some safe summer fun this weekend, head down to New Port Richey to enjoy the fireworks at the KIAFest Main Street Blast.
May Employee of the Month
All hail the king!
Doug Gribbons - aka "The King" - is the Employee of the Month for May at SERVPRO of East Pasco.
Doug joined our team in January 2008, quickly rising to the top by demonstrating his strong work ethic and no-nonsense leadership skills. Today, as the Production Supervisor, he works in the field verifying client satisfaction and ensuring work meets IICRC standards. He also heads up training for the production department and serves as a mentor to new employees. Doug also is our reigning hot wing-eating champion.
A favorite of clients and colleagues alike, and at the ready with a clever turn of phrase, Doug was selected as Employee of the Month for his steady leadership in the Production Department this spring.
A royal congratulations and thank you, Doug!