What To Talk About

Sometimes I really struggle trying to find a topic to editorialize on that is relevant to the finishing industry.

Sometimes I really struggle trying to find a topic to editorialize on that is relevant to the finishing industry. Usually something comes across my desk that discusses regulations, the environment or something applicable. But, I guess everyone took his/her summer vacation and left me scrambling.

I looked through the Internet, nothing. I looked through the newspapers, zilch. I finally resorted to the magazine rack in the company lunch room. There I found a Car and Driver from November, 1981.

The issue contained several editorials instead of just one. Peterbilt trucks were the focus of an editorial by Gordon Baxter. This article covered real trucks and did not lump them together with minivans or sport utility vehicles. He talked about trucks as a symbol, trucks as a way of life, particularly in Hardin County, Texas. Where every truck has a gun rack and Hardin County racing stripes (dried tobacco juice slipstreamed along the driver's door). It was great fun to read.

Another editorial by Patrick Bedard was also an amusing read. His column started, "If there's ever been a kink in the hose of progress, it's the Dodge Dart." He goes on to say they won't go, and he knows to avoid getting behind them at a red light. Then he tests the car and realizes it is not the car but the driver that doesn't go.

Cars he is willing to line up behind include Cadillac Eldorados, Marks (Lincolns), Firebird Trans Ams, Corvettes, BMWs and Porsches. He states, "We're not dealing with a hardware problem here; instead, it's the spirit behind the wheel."

I agree. Spirit or attitude determines behavior. It is the spirit that determines whether you are having fun or trudging through a task; whether you are driving or puttering; managing a business or running a sweat shop. It determines whether you care about the finish on that car body or the plating on that bolt or whether it is just another job.

My trucks do not have gun racks in the back windows, and I don't chew and spit when I drive. But my trucks do have dirt in the bed and coffee stains on the seats. And when I drive them, I'm working. When I drive my Camaro, I drive faster than the speed limit (only been caught once). And when I write my editorials, I like to make them relevant, but sometimes they just end up being fun.