soild cover poolThe countdown to Memorial Day

 By Bob Hebert

 

                    We all must be a little crazy, says one who should know

April is traditionally a transition period for New England swimming pool people. Sometime within the next few weeks, we will miraculously transform into a facsimile of a platoon sergeant directing troops on the beach at Iwo Jima. This is quite an amazing transformation, considering that right now we more closely resemble the Maytag repairman. Though I have been working in the industry for several years, I still look at each upcoming pool season with a service manager’s sense of impending disaster. I know from experience that the season sneaks up on us and catches us off guard, no matter how prepared we think we are.  We send out service contracts in March, call customers, and schedule as much early work as possible. Early April usually goes fairly well. Jobs are completed on time, money is coming in, and sometimes you even get four days in a row without rain. A sense of security and confidence is building. “Hey,this is great! I’m in control.” A setup? You bet! Along comes that first really warm week. The phones are ringing off the hook, one of the trucks breaks down and no matter how early you go into the shop, there is always a woman waiting in the parking lot with a jar of water in her hand. The confidence you have been carrying around inside is suddenly and mercilessly ripped away, leaving you one gigantic bundle of raw nerves.

It’s now the week before Memorial Day!

You’ve eaten dinner at 9 or 10 o’clock every night and have broken three dates in the last week and a half. Come to think of it, you’ve only had three dates in the last week and a half (batting 1,000). The married guys go home and wake their kids to kiss them goodnight. Wednesday before Memorial Day: It’s crunch time and your pedal is to the metal: “Yes, Ma’am, that is your vacuum hose returning water to the pool. We have temporarily bypassed your leaking return line. Yes, Ma’am, that is probably why you added three inches of water a day last year. No, Ma’am, we can’t fix it before your  party on Monday. We will be back two weeks when we have time to fix it properly.  “No, Ma’am, the line repair isn’t included in the price of the opening.” Get in, get out, move on the next job. Those raw nerves that so tender a while back have calloused. You ‘re tough; you’re mean; you’re a service machine. Friday before Memorial Day: pressure is electrifying. There is too much to do. Everyone has working for two weeks without a day off.  If you don’t get Sunday and Monday off there will either a mutiny or a mass suicide. Everyone works until dark. There is still much to do; you’ll never finish. Five p.m., Saturday before Memorial Day: It’s time to kick back, You’ve done it! There are a loose ends out there but nothing won’t wait until Tuesday. You call a date, promise to be on time, go out Saturday night and overdo it. Sunday afternoon while snoozing on the sofa, pretending to watch the ballgame, it hits you- you have done the impossible. You’ve accomplished  more in the last six weeks than a top G.M. executive could have in three months. The gauntlet was thrown, the challenge accepted and met the battle head on and won. The feelings of pride accomplishment are exhilarating. I know of no other industry demands so much of its people in so little time. The question must be asked: Why do we do it? Why we get don’t a 9-5 job, take weekend and eat dinner with our family every night? The answer is obvious, we’re all crazy!open pool

Bob Hebert is currently general manager for Fort Wayne Pools of New England in Bloomfield, Conn. At the time he wrote this article, he’d been working as a distributor sales rep for Bay-state Pool Supplies (now Fort Wayne Pools of New England) for three years.
This timeless industry chestnut first appeared in the May/June 1988 issue of “The Starting Block,” the newsletter of the Connecticut Chapter of the National Spa & Pool Institute. All though tailored to that market, it has a sprightliness we thought might appeal to a broader audience.
POOL & SPA NEWS May 7, 2006

At Aquajoy Spa And Pool we have been playing the crazy game for 30 years and it is always a race in the end. And we are ready to do it again!  Help us a little by scheduling early and letting us know if there are issues that need to be addressed!  Call (630) 774 4515 or Email us today.