Shall We Give Away The Farm Too?

Happy New Year. I believe this will be a better year than last. Happy times are ahead for your business if you “will” it that way. I can’t say that new customers will abound in this downsizing and casual world of garment wear today. But I hope things will get better for all of you hard working owners, managers and employees.

I Weep For The Future If We Don’t Get Involved

When tossing away commitments to association membership and work, we are indeed “giving away the farm!” Another key thing I would hope for is a renewed interest in our local, State, National and International Drycleaning and Laundry associations. It’s sad enough to see garment numbers dwindle and equally sad to see a lack of interest in membership and activity with our associations. Somewhere along the line we have given up loyalty and time for our membership organizations.

My point is that if more than the usual handful of dedicated participants choose not to get involved, we are indeed going to lose the farm. I would hate to see that happen. When I look back and re-member all the dedicated folks who I have been associated with over the years, and how they have dedicated themselves, and still do, to association work, I look happy at the past and sorry for the future of these institutions. Dedicated folks who were always ready to give up their time and money to fly around the country and attend meetings and serve as ambassadors for you and me. These loyal people have made our life as drycleaners safe as possible from over regulation and care label problems to name just a few.

We must not ignore the only means we have of helping our industry into this New Year. If we act like the few who have always been there to lead and help and not join them, we again will lose the farm. We must learn from our past and lost leaders who paved the way for our associations to be vibrant and growing. I trust the new generation of plant owners will look at the past and realize there is strength in numbers. Just to use our national association DLI as an example, can you imagine losing them? I, along with many, many others traveled the country to serve on the board of directors to help keep the association vital and in turn helping to serve the drycleaners and launderers in this country.

All Of These Fine People I Know

It would be unfair of me to try and list all of these wonderful people I know who have served over the past 42 years I have been involved in association work. Many have gone on to be Allied Trades people of some participating companies that serve drycleaners and launderers, headed up by an equally important organization as the Allied Trades Association TCATA. I watched many of these fine folks in these groups go on to helping on an international level such as the International Drycleaning Congress. Their dedication and personal expense to serve you has not gone unnoticed by most of us. The ones who aren’t participating will never know the dedication of these fine people I have known over the years.

Yes, Sir; No, Sir

Think of a world without someone who will represent you in a world that sometimes mocks our industry. We have been the butt of many jokes over the years such as being referred to as a chiseler by referring to someone who was “taken to the cleaners.” I still cringe when I hear some ignoramus make that joke. Respect for this industry seems to have traveled the way of the lack of respect for most things in life these days such as human life, respecting anyone older than you. Yes, ma’am and no ma’am, yes sir and no sir flew the coop a couple of generations back. Shame for shame. Respect for your property, your folks your friends, your elders and your industry are the same to me.

For those of us who dutifully served over the years, thanks to you all and most of you deserved a medal for your service. I wish I was rich enough to go and see all of my fine friends who served this industry. I would buy them all a five-star meal! So for those left and those coming into the industry I say, do your best to join and help your associations. The world will be better for it.

I’m headin’ to the wagon now, these boots are killin’ me!

About Kenney Slatten

Kenney Slatten Training Company is a Dry Cleaning and Laundry Consulting Firm Specializing in Environmental Training and Certification. Kenney Slatten Training Company, or KSTC, is based in Texas with offices in Arizona and California. Kenney Slatten is a certified instructor/trainer for the Drycleaning & Laundry Institute (DLI), is actively involved in the San Diego Drycleaners Association, the California Cleaners Association, is an Allied Trade board member of DLI, the Executive Director of Western States Drycleaners & Launderers Association, a member of the International Drycleaners Congress, and a columnist for American Drycleaner and Western Cleaner and Launderer magazines. The Kenney Slatten Training Company provides the only complete environmental training and inspection process. Started in 1987, Kenny became the first instructor for California E.P.A, OSHA, and state regulations. Kenney publishes a 36 point plant requirement every year in trade publications which is his guide for plant training and certification. We are the only company that provides dry cleaning and laundry specific environmental training. Kenney Slatten is a third generation drycleaner/laundryman from Houston, Texas. His company, KSTC, can teach you the skills you need to have a successful plant. His wagon is found all over the country parked under a tree just waiting for the next call to come to your plant. He can be reached at (800) 429-3990; e-mail: kslatten@aol.com or go to: www. kstraining.com.