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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

“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 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

“Charles finished yesterday and did a fantastic job. We really enjoyed meeting Charles and having him in our home. He is a great guy in addition to his attention to detail in his work, the protection of our floors, walls and furnishings, and his overall interaction with us both. I would be pleased to recommend him to any of my clients.”

— Ken Morrison
Oakland

“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
Oakland

“In September, MBJessee finished painting two sides of our 3-story condominium building (six owners). We were impressed by the professionalism of the company and every one of its workers, Matt Jessee couldn't have been more helpful in planning the project. His painters were well-trained, easy to communicate with and eager to please. In addition to painting the stucco, they made extensive repairs on windows and frames, which will save us considerable money in the future. They finished earlier than anticipated, with as many as five men working on the job, and the scaffolding came down the next day. All of us were delighted with the results. Now my husband and I are looking forward to having MB Jessee paint our own apartment later this month. Matt and Gustavo (who will be our crew leader again) have explained how they will work to make the painting proceed smoothly while we're living here, and they have been endlessly patient with our protracted decision-making process. If you look at their website, you'll learn that MB Jessee is an exemplary company that takes good care of its workers as well as its customers, and contributes public service projects to the community. All in all, we can't recommend MB Jessee highly enough.”

— Jayne W.
San Francisco, CA

“I love the article in the paper on your company. Thank you for supporting our community by painting at the Claremont Middle School. Thanks!”

— Carla Banks

“Today I received a beautiful bouquet from your company. It was totally unexpected and very much appreciated--a lovely surprise. Also today, your crew finished my job. I am so pleased with all their fine work. Richard is absolutely amazing and a total delight to work with. He was also extremely helpful during the paint color process. The interior work in my home far exceeded my expectations. A big thank you to you and the crew for an outstanding job. Thank you, thank you for a terrific job!”

— Barbara
Piedmont

“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

“Julie, by the way, I have never been so impressed with the service of a painting job before! It was like magical elves came and painted our walls without us having to do a thing! It looks amazing and just wanted to let you know how happy we are. Thanks”

— Anja
Piedmont

“I just wanted to send you an email to say that John did such a great job over here today. He is truly a hard worker. He has the perfect balance of friendliness, honesty, and professionalism. I trust him. He takes the time to do the job to the best of his ability and that is what sets him (and your company) apart from the competition. He didn't make me feel rushed. He really made me feel like our job was the most important thing in the world. Thanks again!”

— Jo
Oakland

“I loved working with M.B. Jessee from start to finish on a relatively small paint job that grew a bit. I felt in very good hands from the moment Matt Jessee came out to give me the estimate and talk about my job. He was very easy to talk to and he handled my changes very well. Then the actual work done by Rigoberto and Mario was impeccable. They were neat and meticulous and the paint job looks beautiful. I could not have asked for more and when I did, they accommodated me 100%. I will not hesitate to call M.B. Jessee again and to refer them to friends.”

— Nancy Kurkjian

“Very easy to work with, they did an outstanding job with our project of re-painting our painting our kitchen cabinets. Given the scope of the job and that our kitchen is roughly half of our upstairs living area they did a fantastic job of minimizing the mess. Workmanship was top notch, would definitely recommend.”

— Vince Scola