Love is in the Air! You never know when you’re going to fall in love. It’s one of those mysteries of life that can’t be predicted, and when it happens, it’s wonderful and surprising. Our story is like that. Aram and I were set up by mutual friends, and it took us a while to coordinate a date with two busy schedules. At that time, Aram was traveling a lot for work, and she was on the road almost every week. It was tough to fit dating into the mix. I consider myself a very lucky man that she made time for me one Sunday evening before getting on a plane for work the next day. During the date, the conversation flowed. You know how, once in a while, you meet someone, and the chemistry is just there? That was the case with us. From the beginning, Aram respected me enough to make it clear what she wanted from a romantic relationship. At one point during the dinner, Aram said, “I just want to throw this out on the table. If kids are not an option, I think this will probably be our last date.” I had two kids, but still, my first thought was, “Wow, this is moving fast.” Later, as I processed what she’d said, I realized Aram’s statement defined exactly what I was looking for in a romantic partner: someone who was honest enough to respect themselves and others. The more I thought about her, the more I appreciated her values and honesty. We were at Larkspur Restaurant that night, and as I think about it now, it was the beginning of something very special. Many wonderful dates later, Aram and I went on a trip to Mexico. We were on vacation, relaxing in a resort in Cabo San Lucas. I’d arranged for us to have a special dinner during one of our nights there. I asked that we both wear white for the special occasion. Our dinner was in a remote area of the bay, and we had to take a golf cart and walk through a rocky part of the beach to get to our secluded spot. When we arrived, we found a table set for two, and a musician played guitar nearby. Aram looked absolutely beautiful. I was so nervous that I knew I had to ask her to marry me before dinner. As the sun set over the bay, I knelt before Aram and opened the box, and there was the ring. Music played under a pink-orange sky as I proposed to her. It was a beautiful, memorable moment. We’ve gone back to that resort since and reflected on that unforgettable moment.
Fast forward to present day. Five years into our relationship, we have a 3-year-old, an 8-month-old, an 11-year old, and a puppy who make up our beautiful, unique family. Aram and I are so grateful to have found one another and to have a relationship built on trust and respect. We look forward to celebrating our story this Valentine’s Day.
Wishing you a happy day with your special someone,
Tips to Get the Most out of Your Time MAKE YOUR MEETINGS MATTER
ALLOW EXCEPTIONS There’s no surer way to make an attendee anxious than pulling them away from an important task. Nobody should skip out on a meeting simply because they don’t want to go. If, however, their time could be more wisely spent, you shouldn’t force them to attend. Prioritize who needs to be at the meeting and whose time could be better used elsewhere. START WITH BIG IDEAS A meeting should be a forum for hashing out concerns and tackling big-picture concepts. If you’re listing off a slew of granular changes, those aren’t the ingredients for a productive meeting. Information like that can be disseminated in other forms. As you discuss a larger concern, details relating to it will arise during your discussion. Ask yourself if the meeting has a larger topic that merits discussion. ENGAGE YOUR PARTICIPANTS A meeting should be just that. If you’re not expecting collaboration, don’t call it a meeting. Tell your staff you’re giving a presentation and they’ll come ready to take notes. But if you want to actually have a meeting, every participant should come ready and willing to engage with the ideas on the table. What’s your favorite part of the job? Working for Dave is awesome. He’s one of those people who truly cares. He’s constantly updating and improving what we do. I don’t do the same thing every day, which makes my job fun. I love it. What’s it like working with your family? We all get along great. To enjoy your job, you have to enjoy the company you work for and the people you work with, so it’s wonderful to have that. My wife is the co-plant manager, my daughter runs the wash-and-fold, and her husband is the night driver and cleaner. They all do a bit of everything. Here, I’m their boss, but at home, it’s a little different. What do you like to do outside of work? I play with my grandkids. I have six of them, and three live here. Right now, my granddaughter loves making kindness rocks — you find a rock, paint a kind message on it, and leave it for others to find. So, we’ll go out and look for rocks, find just the right ones, and paint them. We walk around quite a bit on the weekends. Even when it was just 11 degrees in December, we were still walking outside and collecting rocks.
Ask yourself, “What are the biggest time wasters in my office?” If your workplace is like most, it’s a safe guess that social media and meetings are on your list. Maybe there’s a way you can eliminate social media from your office or, at least, curtail its use. However, meetings are an essential part of effective workplace communication. The question, then, isn’t how to get rid of meetings, but rather how to make them more efficient. With that in mind, here are a few tips for getting the most out of your meetings.
HAVE A GAME PLAN If you don’t have a reason for a meeting, don’t have a meeting. Weekly meetings can be a great way to catch your staff up on the latest news and issues at the office, but there’s no need to make them the same length of time every week. You should never feel like you need to fill a certain number of minutes. Instead, get to the heart of what you’re talking about, allow the staff to ask questions, and then get back to work.
Z’s Secrets for Happiness, On and Off the Job
Dave Zimmerman, or “Z” as he’s known to most of us, is our go-to man. When you need something done, you go to Z because you know he’ll be there for you. Z is our general manager, and he’s been with the company for almost a decade. He was here when we were getting our first equipment in place, he was here when we pressed our first shirts, and he was here as we installed four new shirt presses last month. We sat down with Dave to ask him a few questions and learn his secrets to happiness.
What’s it like to watch a company grow from the very beginning? I’ve loved seeing the change and being a major part of it. Dave [Coyle] asks for something to get done, and I want to make it happen. I truly enjoy finding ways to make things happen. It gives me the freedom to problem-solve. It’s been great.
2 • In The Bag Cleaners • inthebagcleaners.com • (316) 267-3407
Return of the Red Bag
Bacon-Wrapped Tater Tot Bombs
You think of the cleaners as the place you take your dresses, your suits, and anything else you wouldn’t throw in the washer. But In The Bag encourages you to bring us your everyday laundry. We’ll do the work so you can have more fun. A February Special On our cover, you read the sweet story of how Dave and Aram met, and how their love has grown from there. You can tell the two are very in touch with one another. The idea to offer wash-and-fold came about when Dave noticed the additional burden put on Aram when she tried to wash and fold the entire family’s laundry. She was stressed out a few days every week trying to get it all done. Dave thought, “If there’s a service we can provide that can help my family, aren’t there others out there who would benefit from it, too?” Why would dry cleaners also offer wash-and-fold service?
that delicate wash cycle once a month, it eliminates your entire process of laundry. The wash-and-fold service is meant to do laundry like you do at home, from delicates to casual wear. It’s an especially good solution for people who have more casual work environments. Laundry is priced by the pound, so bring in as much or little as you have (most laundry machines hold 10–12 pounds of laundry). Three times a year, our wash-and-fold service goes one step further with a red bag. When you purchase a red bag for $99, you can use it for an unlimited amount of laundry for 30 days. Bring us as much laundry as you can fit in the red bag for no additional cost per pound. Looking for a way to ease the burden of laundry day for your significant other? Sure, you can get chocolate and flowers, but why not get them something that will make their life easier? With the extra time, you’ll have more time to enjoy together.
Sure, your showoff pal can wrap a tater tot with a piece of bacon and call it “The Daniel,” but you can take it a step further. Prepare a couple batches of these savory snacks for your Super Bowl party or the next family get-together. Snag a few for yourself before they disappear!
2 cups frozen tater tots, defrosted 1 ounce sharp cheddar, cut into 1/4-inch squares
• • •
4 slices bacon, quartered
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1. Heat oven to 400 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. 2. Press a cheese square into each tot, then wrap with a piece of bacon. Dredge each tot in brown sugar. 3. Place tots seam side down on baking sheet. Bake for 20–25 minutes, using metal tongs to turn halfway through. 4. Garnish with parsley, if desired, and serve immediately.
(Recipe inspired by ThisGrandmaIsFun.com.)
And the wash-and-fold service was born. Not only does it eliminate doing
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1951 N. Ohio Ave Wichita, KS 67214 (316) 267-3407 | www.inthebagcleaners.com
INSIDE This ISSUE
Dave and Aram’s Love Story
Do Your Meetings Matter? A Word From ‘Z’ (Our Other Dave) Eliminate Laundry Day All February Long Not Sure What to Bring to the Super Bowl Party?
The Most Romantic Destinations on Earth The Best Valentine’s Getaways to Fantasize About
Valentine’s Day is for fancy dinners, heart-shaped boxes packed with subpar chocolates, and fantasizing about the magical places you and your beau would have escaped to — if only you had the PTO. So, grab a glass of bottom-shelf cab sauv, cuddle up next to your special someone, and try to make them feel bad for taking you to Chili’s instead of whisking you away to one of these picturesque fantasy lands. UDAIPUR, INDIA These days, meandering through the cobblestone streets of Paris with your loved one is très passé. All the real high-rolling romantics are migrating southeast to the famous Oberoi Udaivilas hotel in western India. Set in a traditional Mewari palace, visitors will feel like royalty as they stroll around the labyrinthine gardens that surround the elaborate cream-colored structure. Travelers can relax beside one of the many glassy pools sprinkled throughout the estate, all of which are enthusiastically attended by an unparalleled service staff. POSITANO, ITALY More than perhaps anywhere in the world, this place looks like it was lifted straight from a sappy romance novelist’s imagination. You and your partner can kick back on a balcony overlooking
the entirety of this seaside town, taking in the century-old multicolored Italian architecture perched precariously on the verdant mountainside. Too small to accommodate swarms of tourists, it’s the perfect place to while away the hours ambling from shop to shop, sampling the delicious local cuisine, and maybe taking a dip along the 300-meter beach. THE MALDIVES From a water villa smack dab in the midst of the glassy, ultra-blue Indian Ocean, you and your main squeeze can enjoy utter seclusion. Sip champagne in the shade of a palm overlooking an otherworldly sunset or get a little more adventurous, strap on a mask, and check out the abundant aquatic wildlife. Many hotels in the area even include access to an array of boats, perfect for your own private excursion along the mild waves. Of course, you could also always just stare, dumbfounded, into the horizon, wondering how such a place could actually exist on Earth.
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