“HOT OFF THE PRESS” Dry Cleaning News
(248) 543-0340 | www.janetdaviscleaners.com 27607Woodward Ave., Berkley, MI 48072 | 3645 Maple Rd., Bloomfield, MI 48301
A CHANGE IN PERSPECTIVE
When I was a sophomore in high school, my teacher gave my classmates and me a list of 10 classic novels and asked that we pick one to read. Not having the slightest idea what it was about, I hesitantly selected George Orwell’s “1984.” I look back on that novel today and realize that a dystopian science- fiction narrative exploring omnipresent government surveillance is so much more interesting to me now than it was when I was a teenager. Books are like that, though; the way they’re interpreted can change right along with the reader’s perspective. So when I saw on the calendar that Sept. 6 is National Read a Book Day, I couldn’t help but think about how differently I view some of the books I encountered growing up.
took place when I was still in high school. My mom had heard about it, and she recommended it to me because she thought I would find the topic interesting. It was interesting, and I knew it was important, but at that age, I just didn’t pick everything up. Fast-forward into the future, when that material became not only pertinent to the success of our business, but truly life- changing. I picked up Gerber’s book for the second time three years ago. We had just come out of the recession, a difficult time that forced us to change our business practices from proactive to reactive. We were unsure exactly how the economy was going to affect our trade, so we just had to take everything as it came. Post-recession, I made it my goal to get our business back to a proactive state. I remembered the book I read at 16 and decided to consult it. The book’s story-like structure immediately jogged my memory. The narrative provides an overview to help you set up organized systems in your business so you can run the business without the business running you. It’s comparable to the view from an airplane. As you gaze out the window at the plane’s wings, the clouds, and the vast surrounding landscape, you don’t need to break down the mechanical aspects necessary for aviation to understand that the plane is successfully flying. Gerber’s book offers overarching ideas to help entrepreneurs manage a successful company without offering the nuts and bolts required to get there. But that is where responsibility, ownership, experience, and intrinsic motivation come into play.
Inspired by Gerber’s ideas, we started trying to find ways to incorporate them. One of the primary takeaways was the ability to create job positions with clear descriptions and expectations. Because our company is made up of only 20 people, it is not uncommon for one employee’s responsibilities to include more than one position. With our emphasis on family and teamwork, we wanted to maintain this aspect; however, we needed to make the process of hiring new employees more effective, and Gerber’s mindset really helped us in that endeavor. But the most important takeaway from his book was to do a better job sharing our vision of always putting our customers’ needs first, especially with those on our team who never meet with customers. In the three years since I read that book, the productivity per employee hasn’t changed, but the overall attitude definitely has. Even the employees who don’t get to talk with the customers face-to-face still understand the necessity of customer focus and delight, and that understanding has truly made all the difference at our company. Through reading Gerber’s book again, it illustrates to me better that perception means everything. Just because a story doesn’t resonate with you the first time you read it doesn’t mean you won’t find it applicable in the future. So in honor of National Read a Book Day, I encourage you to revisit some of the books you read in the past; they might mean something completely different in your present.
“Just because a story doesn’t resonate with you the first time you read it doesn’t mean you won’t find it applicable in the future.”
I have to start out by saying I love reading, and I read often. I like receiving book recommendations, and I am one of the few people I know who likes to read books for a second or even third time through. Of course, most people tell me that the books I read are somewhat boring in nature because most of them are related to business or finance, but I thoroughly enjoy them nevertheless. Throughout my reading history, one of the so-called “boring” books that stands out in particular is “The E-Myth: Why Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It” by Michael E. Gerber. Like “1984,” my first experience with this book
–Kyle Matthews 1 (248) 543-0340
Involved But Not Overbearing PARENT-TEACHER ETIQUETTE TO SUPPORT Y UR CHILD’S DEVELOPMENT
Helicopter parents are the bane of every teacher’s existence. With the return of back-to-school season, it’s vital to find a happy medium between the tiger mom who bares her teeth at the smallest setback in her child’s schooling and the laissez-faire parent who is totally disengaged from their kid’s education. Here are a few tips to keep you involved in your child’s educational development while fostering relationships with their teachers in a way that won’t drive all of you up the wall. 1. BE A LITTLE EMPATHETIC. Teachers are some of the hardest- working people in the world, wrangling the disparate needs of around 20-200 children day in and day out while attempting to get them to actually learn something. It’s a high-stress, low-paying job. In the midst of grading 300 research papers written by 12-year- olds, the last thing they need is the added pressure of concerned parents bearing down on them. If you can approach a teacher from a position of understanding and be willing to give them the benefit of the doubt, you’ll be off to a good start. 2. SHOW UP AND KEEP AN OPEN MIND. Ask any teacher in the country, and they’ll undoubtedly tell you that one of the best predictors of a child’s success is whether or not their parents make an appearance at parent-teacher conferences. Your engagement should go beyond that. Use the teacher’s preferred method of communication to stay in semi-regular contact with them — always ensuring that you keep an open mind about any praise, suggestions, or concerns they have about your child. 3. TEACH YOUR CHILD TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY. Aside from leaving your kid completely to their own devices, one of the worst things you can do is swoop in to solve their problems for them at the slightest hint of adversity. Maybe that D your kid got on their algebra test really was their fault. It’s important to acknowledge your child’s missteps, but you should also try to equip them with the tools necessary to advocate for themselves. Learning to articulate what’s going wrong or what they need from their teacher will help them to develop positive and effective communication skills. The key is to work together with your child’s teacher without being overbearing. Don’t come in with guns blazing at the first sign of an educational slip. Think of your kid’s schooling as a collaborative effort — maybe one in which you’re a little less involved than the teacher — and you’ll be giving your child the best chance of success.
What was the last piece of juicy gossip you heard? Perhaps it was about a former classmate marrying his high school sweetheart. Perhaps it was about your sister finally going on a date with that coworker she’s been crushing on for months. Perhaps it was about your favorite celebrity getting plastic surgery to make his fans believe he has immaculate pecs. Regardless of the topic of conversation, you were probably raised to believe you should never gossip. Here at Janet Davis Cleaners, we want to change your mind. Have you ever considered the idea that referrals are kind of like gossip? As a child, you were likely (and rightfully) taught that gossiping was a negative behavior and to avoid engaging in it out of politeness. Interestingly, though, the premise of gossiping is quite relevant in the business world, particularly when focusing on the power of referrals. Here at Janet Davis Cleaners, we all know that sharing is caring — another practice we learned as kids. According to the Edelmen Trust Barometer, 84 percent of customers trust recommendations from people they consider credible sources, meaning that a huge portion of our population is more likely to partake in a service or purchase a product because their friends told them to. Small businesses are dependent on your referrals and your gossip. Obviously, they help with client growth, but referrals also help show us areas where we excel and areas where we can improve. Since our company began in 1938, our biggest focus has been on finding ways to make our customers’ experiences satisfactory, and referrals are a great indicator that we are doing something right. Whether you have been a customer for 10 days or 10 years, we encourage you to indulge in a little gossip and share your experiences with us with your friends and family. How Your Chats With Your Friends Can Help Us THE GOOD KIND OF GOSSIP
IS CAMPING SEASON OVER?
3 Tips to Help You Preserve the Life of Your Sleeping Bag
3. AIR OUT YOUR BAG If you are embarking on a multi-day camping trip, be sure to turn your sleeping bag inside out at some point during the day, especially if you are in a humid climate. Additionally, avoid leaving your bag in direct sunlight for too long — UV rays can damage the fabric. Use these tips to extend the life of your camping gear. When you’re ready to retire your sleeping bag for the season, be sure to let us know so we can help with any or all of your cleaning needs.
Now that summer is winding down and school is starting back up again, it’s time to pack up your camping gear and stow it away until next year. Most campers understand the importance of making sure items such as tents and dishes are clean before being put away, but one piece of gear that often gets overlooked is the sleeping bag. Here at Janet Davis Cleaners, we offer cleaning services to help rid your sleeping bag of any stains and odors it may have picked up in the great outdoors while still preserving its natural oils and protective features. And let’s face it: Good camping gear can get really expensive, so proper cleaning and care is necessary. Because we know the longevity of your camping gear relies on more than just an annual cleaning, here are three tips
to help you preserve your sleeping bag for years to come.
1. SLEEP IN CLEAN CLOTHES Body oil, sweat, and dirt build up on your skin after a day of hiking, swimming, or cooking. To help preserve your bag’s insulating power, avoid crawling into your sleeping bag without changing your clothes, even if you are exhausted. Plus, climbing into your bag smelling like whatever you cooked for dinner will attract insects and animals.
2. PROTECT YOUR BAG FROM THE GROUND
If you decide to ditch the tent in order to watch the stars, put a sleeping pad down first. Some bags feature durable waterproof fabric on all sides, but debris like pine needles, sticks, and conifer pitch can ruin it.
Panzanella, a Tuscan favorite, is a salad that features hearty chunks of bread instead of leafy greens as its base. What could be better for a late-summer cookout?
• 1 small loaf French bread,
• 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced • 1 cucumber, sliced into rounds • 20 basil leaves, chopped
cut into 1-inch cubes (6 cups)
• 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil • 2 large tomatoes, cubed • 2 red bell peppers, seeded and cubed
• Salt, to taste • Vinaigrette
1. In a large sauté pan, set to medium-low heat and add olive oil. Add bread and 1 teaspoon salt, and toss often for 10 minutes or until toasted. 2. In a large bowl, mix vegetables and herbs. Toss in bread and your favorite vinaigrette and mix again. 3. Serve immediately or let sit 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.
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(248) 543-0340 www.janetdaviscleaners.com INSIDE THIS ISSUE
27607Woodward Ave. Berkley, MI 48072
Why You Should Reread Books
The 3 Keys to Parent-Teacher Etiquette
Has Anyone Ever Encouraged You to Gossip?
Let Us Help You Clean Your Camping Gear
International Talk Like a Pirate Day
YO HO HO, LANDLUBBERS! Celebrate Talk Like a Pirate Day
Ahoy, matey! Wednesday, Sept. 19, is International Talk Like a Pirate Day. Brush up on your pirate vocabulary, grab your eye patch, get your puffy shirt dry cleaned, and bring a little seafaring fun to your office or classroom. THE HISTORY OF THESE SWASHBUCKLING SHENANIGANS The holiday began as an inside joke between pals John Baur and Mark Summers in 1995. For reasons not even understood by themselves, they began speaking like pirates while playing racquetball, saying things to each other like, “That be a fine cannonade” (“Nice shot, dude”) and “Now watch as I fire a broadside straight into your yardarm” (“But watch this”). They decided Talk Like a Pirate Day needed to become official, so they chose Sept. 13, which was Summers’ wife’s birthday (and the only date he could remember besides Christmas and the Super Bowl). In 2002, they pitched the idea to humor columnist Dave Barry, who promoted it in his syndicated column, and the concept quickly spread internationally. DID PIRATES REALLY TALK LIKE THAT? The “pirate-speak” popularized in movies and Disney attractions probably sounds nothing like real pirates did in centuries past.
Today’s swashbuckling phrases delivered in a strong Southwest England accent can be traced back to Robert Newton’s 1950 portrayal of Long John Silver in the movie “Treasure
Island.” Historically, English-speaking pirates probably sounded more like Johnny Depp’s Captain Jack Sparrow. Unfortunately, the pirates of the Golden Age didn’t leave behind any YouTube videos to confirm this.
LEARN THE LINGO, LANDLUBBER Participating in Talk Like a Pirate Day is easy — you just need to know a few key phrases. “Ahoy, matey” means “Hello, friend!” “Blimey, that son of a biscuit-eater hornswaggled me out of me doubloons” means “Darn it, that jerk cheated me out of my money!” “Shiver me timbers, that old salt is three sheets to the wind” means “Wow, that old sailor has had too much beer.” And if a pirate (or your boss) says, “Swab the deck, ye bilge rat, or it’s Davy Jones’ locker for ye!” start mopping the floor immediately.
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