Commercial painting projects are very common place for us, but not all commercial painting projects are the same. Some projects are done in unoccupied spaces before a client moves in as part of a tenant improvement project, some projects are performed during regular business hours and some projects require a night shift due to the nature of the business where we are painting. Several years ago we were asked to do some painting in a retail space that was opened 7 days a week, 10:00 am – 6:00 pm, so in this situation the paint crew took several night shifts to perform the requested work due to limited hours and the need to have the retail space completely restored for business before opening the following morning.
At times our team performs our work independent of anyone, some clients will hire a security guard and other businesses require a member from the company to be on site while we are painting. Now on this occasion we had the facility manager onsite with our team overnight while the crew worked. The project was painting several areas of the store broken down into small areas each night so the paint could dry and items restocked before the store opened the following morning. Contents were removed from the area of work, masking used to cover all areas not being worked on at any given night, and then the prep and painting proceeded.
Since the team was not spread out across the store and were just working in the designated place, they quickly lost track of the facility manger. At the beginning of the night shifts the facility manager would make small talk with the crew, but after some time, it became apparent that this small talk was getting in the way of the painting progress. As the team moved through the first night, addressing the necessary steps of the painting process and cleaning up as they went, they lost track of the facility manager. The store was locked down for the evening, so at the beginning of the shift the crew made sure they had all supplies, materials and tools inside the store with them along with food for break times. At first break no one could find the facility manager, mind you they did not look really hard, but thought nothing of it as they went through the night performing the painting they were there to do. As it was getting closer to the end of their shift and the painting was done for the evening and the retail space restored for opening in a few hours, the job foreman was getting anxious to leave and turn the crew loose for the night. The facility manager was nowhere to be found and everyone wanted to get out of there to head to bed.
Since the crew was locked in the store, they reached out to our project manager to have them (in the middle of the night) “call” the facility manager in order to let them know they were done painting for the night, to have a quality control check of the work and to get let out of the building. Now our project manager who was at their home sleeping and woke up to the job foreman’s call and tried calling the facility manager, with no luck. Now the retail store was not super large, but had many unique features in the store. The crew members checked the dressing rooms, the restrooms and several other areas only to find the facility manager sound asleep on a couch towards the back of the retail space near the fireplace.
This was a bit of an awkward situation for the painters. The phone call did not wake the sleeping facility manager and the loud talking of the painters also did not wake the sleeping facility manager. No one felt super comfortable “shaking” the sleeping individual awake, since the volume of the snoring indicated that this person was good and asleep. Finally out of desperation, the job foreman approached the sleeping facility manager and briskly nudged their shoulder while shouting fairly loudly to awaken “sleeping beauty”. Of course, there was some awkwardness and a bit of embarrassment on the part of the sleeping facility manager as they wiped the drool from their cheek, getting up to engage with our team. Needless to say this process went on for three more nights; our crew came in, did the painting needed for the night, while the facility manager feel fast asleep on the couch near the fireplace.
The project was complete and the client was very pleased with our work (we’ve had an ongoing relationship with the retailer for over 8 years now. Several facility managers have come and gone over those 8 years, but only one was such a sound sleeper. So no matter if your facility manager falls asleep on the job, no worries, and our team will not! Our team of highly skilled painters address many projects requiring a wide variety of skills, but this was the one and only time that the painters needed to brush up on their “wake up call” skills, but professionalism prevailed and all was well that ended well. Let us know if we can be of service on your next project.
Until the next funny story in the Adventures at Wheeler Painting and Restoration Services, be well and do good.