Sadly enough, one of my favorite jokes is this…
A horse walks into a bar and the bar tender says “Why the long face”?
Classic joke, and most likely not as funny as the time I first heard it and the friend involved in telling it to me. And for some reason when I tell or hear a bad joke or pun, I always have the urge to say “try the veal, I’ll be here all week”. I really have no idea where I saw or heard the phrase but it raises the vision of a bad comedian at a nightclub pushing the veal purchased by the club owner who over bought. Not really the best recommendation or motive.
It brings to light many other situations we have all been in where we are dealing with someone who either doesn’t know about a product or situation or who has other motives to recommend something which may not be best for the situation. I recently purchased a drill bit for tile. I needed a bit to drill three holes in ceramic tile. I had never bought a special bit for tile and asked for a recommendation, it was simple for the associate to recommend the most expensive bit they had, pull it off the shelf, hand it to me and walk away. After staring at the drill bits for a few minutes I found another tile bit, not nearly as fancy or expensive, but capable of doing the job – and so I bought it.
That was clearly an associate with experience and knowledge, but not very helpful. It is also a problem when dealing with someone who is inexperienced. They may have good intentions but not the knowledge necessary to be helpful. And the situation can get exponentially worse when they can’t admit they don’t know or are afraid to ask for help from another, more experienced co-worker. Next thing you know, they are recommending the ant and roach killer as a solution for cleaning your oven.
I prefer to work with someone who has experience but also understands I could use a little money-saving in my life. Or a new person who is not afraid to ask for some assistance in finding a solution.
Here at EXAIR we have both. Joe Panfalone who affectionately refers to himself as the “senior” engineer has been with EXAIR for fifteen years. Prior to EXAIR he was in manufacturing for a couple of companies. He has seen and heard it all, solved problems in many industries and has a clear idea of manufacturing processes, problems and solutions. Neal Raker has been around for 13 years, with a manufacturing and engineering background. Neal is extremely thorough and detailed in his explanations and direction. He is very patient with customers and great at recommending the best solution for an application. And our newest Application Engineer, Brian Farno has been helping our customers for 6 months. He came from being a field service tech in the machine tool industry. He has been exposed to many factories, machine shops and processes which give him a great ability to understand what you all are speaking to him about. And don’t worry if he puts you on hold for a moment, he is probably just asking the rest of us a question so he can help you better. And as for me, I am quickly approaching eleven years at EXAIR with a background in mechanical power transmission.
We often make recommendations for customers based upon the information they give us. We all enjoy keeping our customers pointed in the right direction toward a solution. With our experience, we are able to offer the best product not the most expensive one. Many times we are able to offer a variety of choices which could potentially work, making sure to explain the benefits of each solution. And even if one of us who has been around a while is unable to offer a solution, we will ask each other for advice on the application.
So don’t fret, you will not hear us say…”Two guys walk into a bar, the third one ducks… – Try the air nozzles, we’ll be here all week”.