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GGP December 2013

Fabricator View 64 December 2013 The season to be jolly? Not according to Danny Williams. Our regular columnist reveals why, in the build up to Christmas, he finds the combination of customers, homeowners and staff so stressful. Ibelieve that, overall, I am regarded as a reasonably happy soul. Yes, I will have a whinge now and again, but I enjoy a joke as much as the next man. December, however, tends to test that…. To the best of my knowledge, Christmas day has been the same date now for some years, an unchanged and well established occasion in most Western households. Few grown ups, therefore, would be incapable of telling you the date of Christmas Day when asked. So, why do Mr and Mrs Smith and Jones at home leave it so late to order their spanking new windows or conservatory when they specifically want it to wow the in-laws when they visit? If I had a slice of Christmas pudding for every time I’ve heard ‘we want to have our Christmas dinner in our new conservatory’ I would be the size of Santa himself. It has become something of a running joke in the weeks running up to the festive season. Order the damned thing in September, or even October, and we would avoid the stress it causes for everyone, not least the homeowner themselves! Christmas is in the winter and winter can be the worst time to install such things. It’s wet and cold and when it snows and the ground freezes, as it inevitably will, work comes to a halt. We know these things will happen, as sure as eggs is eggs, but still people leave everything until the last minute. Just like the Pony Express, we at Pioneer have a reputation for getting through when many others will give up or not even try. Although I cannot specifically blame Christmas for this, a huge frustration is when an installer is not on site to receive goods, because they couldn’t be bothered to turn up. “I didn’t think you’d make it”, they say. Well you might have asked before you decided to stay in your pit, is my reply. The Christmas mindset of staff also drives me hazelnuts, too. As soon as they open the first door of their advent calendars, the countdown begins. It’s a nightmare keeping them focused on the job at a time of the year that, for reasons I’ve just been ranting about, is the most difficult. They’re all happy and full of good cheer of course, that’s wonderful, but Mrs Jones wants her Christmas dinner in her new conservatory or to show off her new windows to her catty sister-inlaw and they don’t seem to remember that at all. Then they want Christmas Eve off to do their shopping or to help the missus carry a ridiculous turkey that will end up in curry for weeks afterwards. So, I become the miserable Scrooge of a boss because I tell them ‘no’ and that we need the factory sorted so it’s nice and tidy for when we return after what seems like months off. Seasoned veteran And don't get me started on cash flow at this time of the year. I’m funding the Maldives holidays of so many of my customers that you’d have thought at least one of them would have the courtesy to ask me to go with them! Well, the money must be going on nice holidays because it certainly doesn’t come my way as we chase them for the cash they owe us this side of Yuletide. Which of course does tend to make me grumpy in the New Year when the taps are turned on full again and they want our market leading service, despite owning us a truckload of cash – the same sum as a luxury holiday in the Maldives, coincidentally. Now, I should be used to all of this, being a seasoned veteran in all things double glazing. I know that we will always have these issues, that this time of year with the weather, Christmas, New Year, yadayadaya. What has changed is that I now have this, a column in a magazine, through which I can have a damned good moan about it. Which of course, makes me very happy indeed. May I sincerely wish both of my readers a very Happy Christmas indeed. See you in 2014. “The Christmas mindset of staff also drives me hazelnuts, too”


GGP December 2013
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