News From Our Team

Wednesday, May 25th, 2005

We’ve hired two professional retailers this year with years of experience. Tom comes to our furniture, bar and billiard departments with many years of experience managing jewelry and furniture stores and even owning his own. Mac comes to us with 28 years of experience in the swimming pool and spa industry; as a builder, service technician, manager, and also owning his own pool company. That gives him the same amount of experience as Kip, and three less than me! Please introduce yourself if you see them—they want to get to know all of our customers.

Amanda will not be back with us until late June. She’s doing a semester in Australia as an exchange student. Since their seasons are the opposite of ours, their semesters have different timing. We can’t wait to see her back!

We gave Patrick a promotion to Sales Coordinator and sent him and his wife, Sarah, on a trip to the Virgin Islands this January. It’s gratifying to watch how he has learned, grown and matured. Everyone here relies on him for his knowledge and energy. We sent Kip and his wife, Chrissy, on a Western Caribbean cruise last September–right in between the hurricanes! They had a great time, but Jeanne and I watched the Weather Channel every night worried that we tried to give them a reward that may have turned out badly!

I reported a bit prematurely on my eye patch in the newsletter last August.  As I said then, I’ve been fighting an eye disease for three years. Since then, the disease won. I was effectively out of work from December 15th to February 28th due to cascading failures in my right eye. Massachusetts Eye and Ear brought in two surgeons for me Christmas night and a whole team the next morning. Long story short, I’m blind in one eye now (the other works just fine), but I could hardly work most of that time due to pain, drugs, side effects and trips to the hospital.

I couldn’t read or write (which is 90% of my job) for most of that time. Kip wrote my orders for me, Cyndi and Jeanne drove me to the office for short periods of time, but I got way behind on my work.

It was a big year for scholarships. Last year, Jeanne and I presented college scholarships to Liz, Taylor, Mark, Jacob and Amanda. It’s going to be a lot more in 2005—every single teenager working here right now will be in college in September. I just realized what you parents with more than one kid in college are going through! Now please help us and buy a pool float or maybe even a heater so we can afford to keep giving them out.

These scholarships are for your benefit, you know. That’s how you get such great, knowledgeable help from us, while we still keep our prices competitive with Wal-mart. We fire average and even good employees and keep excellent employees for years. Our typical summer-help team member starts as a high school sophomore or junior and is either fired within a year, or stays for six years. We have teenagers with more training and experience than some managers  of our competitors.

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