Soon it will be one-year since I left New York City and the traditional business world where I worked 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM Monday thru Friday for the fortune 500 company, Ecolab. It was time for me to move on as I had gotten married and my husband and I were building a house in Arizona. What was ahead of me was a quiet thrill. In life we go through stages and cycles and when doors of different colors appear and the door knob turns easily it is a good thing to go through it.
Ecolab and I found each other in 2007. I was hired to support the managers in the field in the New York Area. District Managers, Territory Managers, Sales Specialist Managers, the Area Vice President, the office manager and any visitor from any other Ecolab port in the world, and even other administrative support associates. When I walked through the door in February of 2007 it was a dream job in many ways. From day one the benefits started, I was given my own office with phone, computer, fax and printing capabilities. I was taught the Ecolab way from a manual and from my associates…Ecolab has its special formula for a lot of things, but the bottom line for this company was the numbers. At first it was an adjustment for my radical not-for-profit self with a strong background in journalism…and human services, but it was also a journey to learn about systems, corporate hierarchy, different personalities and the way teams work: That while making money they also made kindness and good relations … internally and externally.
By watching and listening to the Ecolab managers, and learning about their lives and families and how they related to their customers, I started to see a model in business for a healthy relating style. It was strong, committed, caring and determined to get the job done; and that the word from the person who showed up at the job it was their bond and they would deliver product, programs and machines to the best of their ability.
The six years I spent at the office on Broadway in New York City went fast. The daytime family was traditional and clear on their objectives…a group of mostly men…going into the city bucking nasty traffic and meter maids and tickets that consumed them and challenged the company to come up with alternate guidelines so the money wasn’t sucked into the NYC traffic department. The men or “the guys” also plodded away with maintaining the customer, and finding new ones. They blitzed in teams until the special blitzing events threw them into friendly competition and more money. Ask them for more and they will do it. When the customer needed an installation over the weekend or into the night and wee hours of the morning…Ecolab managers did it.
April 12th will be one-year of departure for me since I walked out the double-door on the 18th floor soon to forget the code to get inside the suite of offices. To forget the daily grind of rising in the morning to be part of the Ecolab wheel…a spoke in the cog…but turning a different wheel in the doorknob in this adventure of life. Then occasionally I turn around and look back and remember Ecolab on the 18th floor in New York City and that it was so much more than a double wooden door and a large corporate money making and customer satisfying business. Ecolab is its people. The workers, the guys who work until the ties they are required to wear are spinning to the side of their collar. The fine hairs on their heads flipping forward from sweat during installs and it is the kind hearted souls that bring the meat home for their families…everyday…for years and years.
I may have left you, my Ecolab teachers, but inside you will always be a door I will remember that walking through was a gift that will live inside of me forever.
Special guys and gals: Jeff Amore, Tony DiMari, Darryl Schwartz, Frank Capasa, Vicki Frankenberg, Aida Nosadini, Mark Tuchman, Chuck Melnyk, Steve Sylvester, Ed Hand and Richard Spadanuta.