For more than a year and a half, I used this column to highlight some of the most interesting anecdotes that surfaced during my discussions with maintenance and engineering managers.
As an editor learning about the profession and the challenges managers face, those candid discussions gave me an inside look at the way commercial and institutional buildings operate, as well as a better understanding of the people maintaining those facilities.
I heard about successful retrofits, struggles with budgets and personnel, and the impact of sustainability. Each time I hung up the phone, the level of respect I had for managers and their staffs went up a notch — or two.
As my career path takes a new turn next month, I will miss those conversations, but I will not forget them. They have changed the way I look at facilities. Now, every time I visit a hospital, attend a sporting event or walk into an office, I look at the spaces with a different perspective.
Before complaining about lights that are too dim or air that is too warm, I can step back and think about those issues in the context of an overall operation.
When deciding where to enroll my kids in school or what hospital to visit for long-term care, the condition of the facilities will be top of mind.
I was fortunate to get a behind-the-scenes look at facilities' maintenance and operations the last four years, and without managers' openness and honesty, my job would have been much more difficult. With that in mind, I'd like to end my last column with two words managers and their staffs don't hear often enough: Thank you.
Chris Matt offers insights gleaned from conversations with managers who make key maintenance and engineering decisions in commercial and institutional facilities.
Successful Planning Includes Taking a Punch - and Getting Up
For Your Insights and Honesty, I Thank You