September 30, 2019

What Job Can You Give To A Sixty-Year Old Glazier With A Bad Back?

By Paul Bieber

Oh this one is easy. Is it his job to be the person you blame your high worker’s comp insurance rates on? The buzzer says NO.  Now I know, his job becomes the floor sweeper and waste basket remover; after all he can’t lift anything heavy. And the buzzer says: NOOOOO.

Well, what’s left for a slightly disabled senior citizen? C’mon, you know this one. He should become your apprentice trainer and teacher. At 60-years old he has seen a lot and has been at every type of job site and handled every type of glass. Don’t throw him out with the broken mirrors. Keep him active in the company and use his knowledge and experiences to help you down the road. Hiring is tough now. You are probably hiring rookies with no experiences. Ask your senior citizen to be in charge of rookie introduction to our trade. Maybe four hours a day for the rookie’s first month, then drop down to two hours a day for the second and third month.

Instead of gaining a worker’s comp claim or an unemployment rate hike, let the veteran be the teacher. This will cost you way less in the long run. Let’s say he teaches in the shop a half-day, and then works with your front-office folks to help them answer phone calls about new types of glass or helps them ask the right questions so you can do a rapid estimate. 

Not every 60-year old glazier can do this. But what if you invested a day or two to help train a good glazier to do this? You come out way ahead. Maybe you have someone who wants to work part-time. Maybe he needs six months of rehab  from a back injury. Keeping him on the payroll helps him and you!

Our industry is becoming more technical every day. Let your “teacher” meet with factory reps and attend trade shows. Give him trade magazines and literature from your vendors. Keep him learning so he can become a better teacher.

Pay him what he earned. He will feel proud to contribute to your company.  You will save tons of money by preventing mistakes. Good luck with this idea. It is a sure winner.