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My husband and I recently purchased our first home. Thrilling, I know. Only we made the mistake of timing our life-changing purchase right around the holidays. And then we added a puppy to the mix.
I am a textbook “Type A” multi-tasker, which was why I wasn’t worried about all of these events colliding into one another. I figured I would get out my datebook, carefully budget our expenses and continue to roll with the punches, as per usual. But then we had our first unexpected visitor.
When we were looking at homes, one of the scenes I pictured most often was that of us playing the happy hosts. We would be gently laughing, holding our wine glasses “just so” as the light from the fireplace warmly touched upon our faces. Our home would be immaculately decorated, but not unwelcoming. We would pass along plates of hors d’oeuvres as our guests mingled and nibbled and remarked on our uncanny knack for hospitality.
Then reality hit. Our friends and new neighbors came knocking in the midst of moving day and holiday chaos. There was no warm light from the fireplace, no wine glasses to be passed around and held “just so.” Instead there was a puppy happily destroying pillows and a carpet that desperately needed to be vacuumed. The only manner of hors d’oeuvres I had to serve were microwavable Bagel Bites and a warm can of Coors Light. Offering a seat meant finding an unpacked box or knocking over stacks of papers and housewarming cards that piled up on our couch. In short, there were no remarks on my uncanny knack for hospitality.
It was in the midst of one of these visits (which always managed to be happy despite the circumstances) that I realized carwashers are not afforded the luxury of being caught unprepared by a guest. Your wash must always look its best, no matter your operating hours. Even when doing maintenance at midnight on a Sunday, your employees, your property and even you must still be tidy and presentable. When out and about running errands in town, you must always carry yourself with the utmost of professionalism. You must be ready at any moment to make a first impression, or to continue to live up to the standards your customers have come to expect.
Living in the public eye can be frustrating, of that there is no doubt. Often, we find ourselves serving up a tray of Bagel Bites when nothing else may do. That’s why Professional Carwashing & Detailing has put together this special issue around the concept of modernizing, updating and refreshing the look of your carwash.
I know sometimes events collide and we get bogged down by just the day-to-day operations. Trust me, I’m the one chasing after a puppy and hanging shelves while my husband is away for training. But there is always one moment in the day where we can put together a small tray of hors d’oeuvres and invite the neighbors over. Take advantage of the quiet moments and constantly assure yourself of the vision you have for your carwash. After all, your “neighbors” are actually paying you for the visit!
Kate Carr, Editor in Chief