b'PAGE 18 / NATIONAL CLOTHESLINE / JANUARY, 2020S T BY D ON D ESROSIERSHIRT ALESThe pain of shirts is in the traininghirts are a pain because it ment. But when a drycleaner take longer than pressing it in this way: If you are doing 90 badforacornucopiaofrea-S takesawhiletotraina has three drycleaning pressers the first place. shirts per hour, you are pro- sons, not the least of which ispresser. and one shirt presser, who is Also,thenewemployee ducing a shirt in 45 seconds.the wedge that it cements be-Pressing shirts is more of a most expendable? Hard to say, doesnthaveanegativeim- If the press job is unaccept- tweenemployeeandem-specialty than other items, so Isuppose,butIguessthat pact. able, how often can you take ployer.muchsothatwesometimes youdratherholdontothe If a new employee is being that shirt and make it perfect You surely lose control overoverpay a shirt presser just be- shirt presser. trainedbyyourbestpants or acceptable in 45 seconds or the employee if you are inca-cause we have found someone I have been to many plants presser who usually presses 36 less in the touch-up area? pable of doing his or her job.that is good and we want to and am told that the person pants per hour, but cant today To make all this even more When you see a substandardkeep that person on the staff. pressing pants (or some otherIf a presser does an inferior garment type) is a brand newpress job on a shirt, the touch employeefirstorsecond Often these training issues arise due up necessary may take longer day. I cant immediately tell.than it took to press the shirt I admit that the smaller the to the managers inability to train (correctly or incorrectly) in the plant,themoreevidentthisfirst place. This is important would be, but the fact is that because they arent capable of pressing. and contributes heavily to the drycleaning pressers can oftenmaking shirts a royal pain. cover each other.Conversely,whenanin- The shirt presser is on her because he or she is training distasteful, picture a two-per- press job, you can not tell thespector finds a pressing defect own. If several pressers in the the newcomer, you get a dou- sonunitwithanewpresser difference between equipmenton,say,apairofpants,the drycleaningdepartmentare ble-whammy: no 36 pants per and an experienced one. errors and operator errors. Youtouch-upnecessarytobring contributing to the total output hour plus entry-level produc- Doestheexperienced dont know if this defect canthe garment from unacceptable ofthedepartment,anew tivity from the new presser. presser make up for the defi- bepreventedbyfollow-upto acceptable often takes mere presseror a weak oneThis probably doesnt hap- ciencies of the new employee? training or not.seconds. A quick pass with the will not slow down the others. pen. What is more likely is an Ordoestheinexperienced Frankly,youtaketheall-steam iron or dancing the In some shirt departments, introductory training session, presserslowdownthenew pressers word for it. That ispantsstill on the hangerthe total output is only as fast followedbyintermittentfol- one? You already know the an- likeabookkeeperauditingover a puffer and youre done. as the slowest presser. I dont low-ups. Speed will come with swer. himself.WiththemanagersTrythatwithshirts.Itwill think that this is ever true in practice. I think that a key reason for inabilitytotrain,youbreedyield poor results. the drycleaning arena. Conversely, in the shirt de- all of these training issues is laisez-faire quality and worse,I remember the manager of Also, if a new drycleaning partment, it takes a concerted that in many plants, the man- decliningqualitystandards.a competitor telling me about presser needs to be trained, it effort to train a presser. An in- agers cant train because they Raising the quality standards25 years ago that it took her usually does not require 100 troductorytrainingsession arentcapableofpressing. is completely out of the ques-oneyearofworkingwitha percentofatrainerstime. will not make the grade lest we Many times, I ask the manager tion.Howmuchdoesthatnew employee before she felt That is, a trainer will show a plan to accept poor quality. to press. Usually I ask this so suck?like that employee could hold newbie how to press a pair of Ifanewemployeeisal- that I can evaluate the super- So,inthefinalanalysis,her own on a shirt press. pants or a sweater in an hour lowed to learn as they go the visors ability to train, figuring whenwefindanemployeeShewasactuallymuch or less. Then the trainer can re- resulting quality will likely be that the first step to assuring who doesnt need much train-more blunt: I gotta carry them turn to his own station. very poor. that they can train is assuring ing (which is extremely impor-for a year before theyre any The trainee may not be per- Worse still, is the all-impor- that they know the job in the tantbecausewemaynotbegood to me. fect,butiftheyaremerely tantfactthattouch-uptime first place. able to train her anyway), weImnotsurethatIagree slow,shearrepetitionmight will exceed the original press Some of them are not only pay her too much. We do thiswith that, but they did have make them a little faster. time. This is the most distress- incapable of training or press- to keep her around.old clunky equipment that is Ifthequalityissubstan- ing fact about training a shirt ingbutactuallylookdown Byitself,thatisntsuchavery hard to train on. It isnt so dard, it is unlikely that re-do- presser. upon the chore and the people bad thing. A presser who cantdifficult with the newer equip- ingadrycleaningpiecewill If you doubt this, look at it who are paid to do it. This is pressisworsethanasingerwho cant sing or a dancer whocant dance.If you have a good qualityemployee,youwantthemaround and you want to keepthem. But is the presser goodfortherightreasons?Isthepressergoodbecauseshedoesntcalloutsickorgiveyou a hard time.Or is a presser good be-cause she is reliable and profi-cient at her job?Don Desrosiers has been in thedrycleaning and shirt launderingbusinesssince1978.Heisawork-flow engineer and a man-agementconsultantwhopro-vides services to shirt launderersanddrycleanersthroughTail-wind Systems. He is a member ofthe Society of Professional Con-sultantsandwinnerofDLIsCommitment to Professionalismaward.Hecanbereachedat186 Narrow Ave., Westport, MA02790orathisofficebyfax(508)636-8839;bycell(508)965-3163;ore-mailattail-windsystems@charter.net.TheTailwindwebsiteisTo learn more, see the Index of Advertisers on page 34 or visit www.natclo.com/ads www.tailwind systems.com.'