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Sharpening the Saw at MB Jessee Painting

Sharpening the Saw at MB Jessee Painting
Sharpening the Saw at MB Jessee Painting
Sharpening the Saw at MB Jessee Painting

We’ve been in the wonderful position at MB Jessee this year to be able to hire. As a result, we have quite a few new faces around the table at our company meetings. Matt and I thought it would be a good time to have a half day team training to educate our new painters on ‘The MB Jessee Way’ and as a refresher for our veterans. We called it ‘Sharpening The Saw.’

Our plan was simple. We organized the meeting with just a few key components, asked each of the MB Jessee foremen to lead a portion of the meeting with a topic they felt was critical, and we hoped for a lot of participation from our guys. We sketched ourselves out a rough map to follow: How We Look, How We Act, and What We Do. A quick call to our neighbors here in Oakland, Carrie Dove Catering, to provide a delectable breakfast for everyone to chow down on mid-morning and we were off and running.

Many people call themselves painters. But their idea is vastly different from the MB Jessee definition! We’ve all seen the guys in cut-off paint spattered jeans, t-shirts so covered with paint you can’t actually see what color they once were, and tennis shoes working away at an unkempt jobsite. Um, that is not ‘The MB Jessee Way’! Our Foreman, John, lead this topic by example. Crisp and clean from his the top of his MB Jessee cap to the bottom of his work boots. The professional way that you appear and how you carry yourself matters, John told us, and sets the tone for the whole project. John closed with a rejoinder to look your best by “showing your belt!”

The next stop on our road map was How We Act. Our estimator Ricardo, foreman Richard and I set up the discussion around the themes of going the extra mile for our clients, respecting each other, and professional conduct at all times. We had a lot of great feedback from all of our guys during this segment. Some of our favorite takeaways were:

  • There is no I in team—so let’s all work together
  • It’s more than what you know, it’s how much you care
  • Pause, think, choose
  • What does our client need today and how can we deliver it? Go the extra mile!

After a morning full of talk, we were ready to eat! We had a lovely breakfast of baked French toast, maple sausage, breakfast potatoes, fruit salad and a frittata. Everyone sat together in our shop and chatted and laughed. It was terrific!

After a spread like that, we were all ready for a bit of a stretch! Next stop on our map: What We Do. Again we looked to our foremen to lead the way. Vicente demonstrated how to properly set up a shop. He showed the multiple steps MB Jessee uses to protect a client’s home by using a plastic masking film, then a masking paper and then a drop cloth on top. Only then did he then begin to set up the paint cans etc. This methodical setup ensures that no spills or drips will get on any of our client’s belongings and allows us to “wrap it up like a burrito” at the end of every day, leaving our client’s home as clean as we found it—even mid-project!

Rigo was up next with ladder safety. He used an old MB Jessee teaching technique we call Know, Show, Do. He first explained how to use a ladder safely and then showed us himself how to do it. Lastly, to cement it in our minds, he had a couple of the guys do it—even Matt!

We closed out our long morning of training with a great wrap up discussion. It was an informative and educational day for everyone at MB Jessee Painting. And best of all—we got so many ideas for our next training. We’ll see everyone in September!

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Customer Reviews

“The kitchen looks NEW! You guys are amazing.”

“I just wanted to thank you all for doing such a phenomenal job on our recent house painting. We are very happy with the outcome and can't say enough good things about the crew. Everyone working on the project was outstanding and made it a great experience. Thanks to everyone.”

— Daylan

“Awesome work by highly experienced, professional painters. They were: Conscious about the amount of time it would take. Ours had a lot of pre-work and took 3 weeks. Accommodating when we added a few last-minute changes Understanding when a heatwave hit and we remove some of the plastic sheeting over windows, which they had to put back up the next day. Accessible, especially the on-site crew (Hi Jose & Victor!) -- always answering questions and checking in. The end result is a perfect paint job that makes our 94-year-old house look brand new. I would definitely hire MBJ again”

— Stacey R.
Oakland, CA

“Hello Matt,Just another notice of thanks to your wonderful crew, Rigoberto, Javier and John. They did fantastic work, with Rigo providing meticulous and conscientious attention to the details and excellent woodwork finishing, as evidenced by the beautiful fireplace. Javier did a fantastic job in the bathroom especially, it looks "brand new," and John always does quality work, both with the interior and exterior. I can tell they care about what they do. Rigo's "punch out" was very thorough, too. I will call again when I need some more work and will definitely recommend your company and fine crew. I also felt as a homeowner, I could leave my house in their good hands during the day and that took a lot of worry from me, they were honest, prompt and reliable. They were also very kind, respectful and clean in their work, very professional. Thank you.”

— Beth Marx & Melissa Kirsch

“I want to express my thanks for a job well done. The rooms look great and there is no problem with any marks on the all the trim, floor, carpet, etc. The paint job is lovely. I also want to express my thanks for the level of professionalism the foreman showed in running the job. He was very attentive to any changes I needed to make, was extremely careful in getting the faux paint color and effect correct. Thanks so much for a job well done.”

— Suzan D’Arcy

“Just had MB Jessee paint the interior of our house and they did a wonderful job. They tackled some crazy wallpaper as well as painted some very high ceilings and walls. The whole process was quick and they did a great job! We are very pleased. I was also very impressed by the crew. They were very personable, kind and actually took pride in the work they were doing. In one of our conversations with the lead Ricardo, he actually told me he was very proud of how the rooms had turned out. I agree sir! It turned out great and it's not often you hear someone thinking of your home like they would theirs, and putting that level of work and quality into it. That made a huge difference in how I viewed this company. Ricardo, you were fantastic and thank you for the great job, we will be using you again.”

— Jeff M.
Danville, CA

“I can't say enough about how courteous and professional my foreman was. He was on time every morning and arrived cheerful and ready to go. He is highly organized and very thoughtful. He was extremely careful and respectful when moving my belongings - a mature professional.”

— Nora Robinson

“Edy and crew are hard at work. They are doing a great job. Very professional outfit you have. Your crew is a delight. You may use me for a reference!”

— Heidi B
Walnut Creek

“It was a great experience working with MB Jessee. The crew was careful and thorough as they painted the house, sealed stucco cracks, repaired dry-rotted wood, stained the deck, etc. Robert, Gersson, Jose, and all of the people involved in the process from the estimate to the job completion were friendly and professional.”

— Mike C.
Livermore, CA

“The entire MB Jessee team is courteous, efficient and professional. From scheduling and estimating to the crew managers and crew, they all did an excellent job on a small (but complicated) two room project in my house. I'm already thinking about getting them scheduled for the next project in the spring.”

— Cari Cheney

“Julie,Just to let you know I am very appreciative of your crew catching the plumbing/mold problem. It was very astute of them. I wanted to let you know that again your crew has done excellent work here, please pass this along to Mr. Jessee. There are some bumps in the road here, but the painting and your crew has not been one of them. Their work is the only thing going right currently, and this crew is very nice and respectful. It is much appreciated. Thank you again.”

— Beth

“M.B. Jessee painted the exterior of my Spanish house over 9 years ago, and they did such an incredible job that they are still getting referrals from me today. The paint is holding up perfectly -- there is absolutely no peeling chipping or any other deterioration. I still remember that my final walk-through list consisted of items written on one side of a 3x5 index card (and I'm REAL picky about my house!) However, when Matt and I did that walk-through over HALF the items were no longer an issue, as his team had noticed them first and they had already been resolved.”

— JoAnn Newcomb