Working for Joe as his installation apprentice has proven to me that working for small businesses that pursue peak customer satisfaction are also capable of nourishing a happy and enthusiastic workforce.
I obtained the job from word of mouth when my mother was getting her haircut at Joes’ wife’s hair saloon. She had mentioned that Joe needed help pulling staples. So, my mom relayed his information to me and we set a date to interview. The interview worked out great for me, as he put me to work right away.
I started by pulling staples, pushing a broom, and helping wrestle on covers that required a second hand. But as time passed, Joe started teaching me more, and slowly incorporated more tasks into my job description.
I will always remember when we did a job for a fire fighting equipment-manufacturing company that sparked my understanding of the upholstery process. We had ten high-end office chairs that were identical, a perfect contract to learn from. Joe went through each step with me to recover the chairs, exclaiming that I am learning the “wax on – wax off” way. On the third chair, the task was left to me to finish the job. On that day, I learned the fundamentals of this industry that would prove invaluable to me on every future job.
After my senior year, I had to quit working for Joe and pack up for college. In that time, I held jobs as a bulldozer operator and as a sales associate in retail. I did not share the same enthusiasm for these jobs as I did working for Joe. I was also having trouble accommodating school into my schedule with managers and decided to not attend school any longer.
Just when I thought I could not see the light at the end of the tunnel, Joe contacted me to see if I needed work. He also told me he would work around my schedule and that I could have a future in this industry if I pursued it.
Since the time I have been back working at Northern Colorado Upholstery, Joe has continued to teach me how to build high quality furniture.
More recently, Joe turned me loose to rebuild and install a cover on a large sectional. I had the privilege to test out the piece as well because the owner had me watch his house while on vacation. This experience allowed me to test the product we were selling, but also appreciate the scope of how we do things. By building furniture the right way, we have made a product better than the factory.
After several years of working for him, I realized the process that Joe and I have both undertaken to develop my upholstery talents has been taken for granted by me, and am forever grateful.