It's Wednesday morning and we are in the midst of a major storm that is wreaking havoc all over the southland. Shawn, our superintendant, has been out on emergency repair calls since 2:00 this morning. He is now in the war room on his radio, speaking with one of our crews at a major mall, trying to take care of another company's faulty repair work. Shawn's attention to detail and his ability to run a bullet proof safety program has enabled us to begin everyday with rock solid, guaranteed performance.

Our customers know the procedure we use to coordinate their calls; most of the time things go perfectly as planned. Carl, our trouble shooting project manager, is on the phone trying to gauge the severity of a call while Bridget, our leak response coordinator, sorts out the incoming requests. The rain is blasting noise right through the walls as everyone mans their battle stations.

Jeff, our controller, is handing out more radio sets so all of our response crews can be dispatched, diverted, directed, delayed or recalled. Shawn's voice just came over the intercom informing Bridget that one of the two fax machines has jammed. Uh oh!

Joyce, the sales secretary, has just gotten off the phone with a client that wants an estimate for a repair, in writing, before we are allowed to help him with his emergency. Sometimes a verbal won't do! She and Bridget are incredibly pleasant with impatient calls; they realize that people sometimes just don't understand the degree of difficulty in taking care of everyone during an emergency.

Shawn just walked by, talking on his radio, on his way to the bathroom, finished his business and walked back out, still talking, without missing a beat. I could hear Ron's voice explaining something to him, the whole time he was in there. Now that's multi-tasking! Joyce is trying to explain to a client that the roads are blocked so we can't guarantee an ETA with any confidence. Boy, she's good.

We bought lunch so the staff can stay in for lunch and handle the calls. I just overheard Carl asking Shawn "Which one's tuna?" Shawn answered "stick your finger in it." Carl's now screaming to Jeff "Where's my sandwich?" Jeff yelled back at him "Its on your desk!" Carl just called him a Homo Sapien. Jeff is laughing as he heads for his own meal.

Tony, our president, is on the line with one of the consultants, trying to get out a bid for a pretty large project. Its amazing how this can go on while so many calls come in but the staff behaves like a well-oiled police dispatch division. Tony always loves to tell a good story but he's on restriction while they handle the emergencies.

Junior, one of our power foremen, has just come in looking for some Evans shirts. He just peeked his head into my office with a big ole grin. I ask, "How's it going Junior?" He just smiles and answers, "Back to the rain." Junior's demeanor is always happy and caring; always the friend.

Rick, our sheet metal manager is on vacation. How did he luck out?

John, our commercial roofing wizard, is talking with Bridget and Joyce about our adobe acrobat vs. fax vs. e-mail vs something else. I'm sure they'll get it. Thankfully, they have the good sense not to ask me for input. Sheer brilliance as far as I'm concerned. Uh oh, I think I just heard John say "Lets back up a second."

Carl just took Junior over to his desk and started screaming at him about the call he got regarding one of his clients. He then made him listen to the customer's message, who proceeded to say that she could not believe how professional and helpful Junior and Shawn have been throughout the project. The job's not done, but the level of care has been wonderful. That's what Junior's all about. Nothing but net!

Steve just called in for a status report; he could teach a class on the art of the filling out paperwork. No kidding, he's great at it.

Rigo and Ramon are out doing the difficult, off-the-wall repairs. They like the hard ones and always seem to fix them.

Ron, our other power foreman, is out at the mall, troubleshooting the roofs. He's the kind of guy that thinks about how he can do something better, even when he's off work. He'll come in with an idea that came to him while he was eating dinner the night before!

Frank is out handling the other part of the mall. Nothing bugs him. I don't care what he's asked to do, he does it. And his efficient use of time is on the mark. He's one of those guys that is always on the move; a "Just Do It" type of person. And like all our guys, he knows how to break down a problem so it's manageble and understandable. He does have strange eating habits though. No mayo, no vegetables, nothing exotic for old Franky.

I can hear Bridget talking to herself, must have had a grumpy customer. We only handle our existing customer's problems during emergencies; sometimes people don't want to hear this. She is very nice to people she can't help.

Oscar's our San Diego guy; we can depend on him to go get it done and make sure of no returns. He's always friendly and courteous even when he's driving great distances to please.

Shawn just took a call from the city regarding an inspection. He's the master at dealing with bureaucrats. Always cool and logical; he never blows his top. He does all this with a wry sense of humor-and a plug of tobacco pushing out his lip.

Henry just took another leak request; Carl says he always seems to know what he's doing. That's important because we have no way of getting to each emergency and laying out a plan. Our men have to be able to get to the site, interact with the tenant, find the problem, stop the damage, and get to the next job while negotiating rain-delayed highways; and be polite no matter how soaking wet they get.

Santiago is "The Man" when it comes to keeping us supplied and ready to roll. I've never seen Santiago not doing something; he's incredible. And, Santiago never laughs at my crappy spanish. What a guy!

And then there's Chucky. What can I say about Mr. Love. Chucky is always willing to help. Always. He may use caution tape for a belt, but he's the GQ of tanker drivers and champion permit puller in my book. He's the King of Individuality. Pretty good guitarist too.

I'm very proud of this company's work ethic and ability do get things done-not only in an emergency-but when handling the day-to-day stuff; always looking for a more efficient way to do things. Walking through the building, you can hear each person handling the job as a professional. No passing the buck, no "its not my problem," or "I have no idea," just plain old perfect service like it was meant to be.

I just got a call from a buddy of mine, another roofing contractor, who has to go to a deposition at his lawyer's office tomorrow concerning some lawsuit he's involved in. He's a little embarassed because he just roofed his lawyer's building and its leaking. Hmmmm.