Verbatim Column

Do you find yourself texting with a teenager who has replied quicker than anyone else you text and then after your rather quick response–in an effort to keep the conversation going–you get crickets for as much as hours, days, or weeks? That’s social networking on a personal level that I experience within my family of texters. Social media platforms have their own rhythm, quasi-rules, and protocols that are just as easily ignored as texting with a distracted teen. Plusses and minuses combine to give social media a middle of the road rating here. However, would we be as attracted to social media if the immediacy and openness weren’t always a wild card possibility?

In this column, adopted from the familiar “Heard on the Street” format, we offer our responders a chance to answer the question posed in the title. These are their replies reported verbatim.

 

PROS AND CONS

Hi, my name is Judy and I have a social media click and send problem!! It has been 10 minutes since my last post and I’m not sure I can wait to check my phone too much longer!!!

Kidding aside.

I think this is a pretty safe description of my evening life at home as a single person. I mean I can only watch so many Hallmark Christmas reruns – LOL.

Seriously, I gave a talk two years ago at a legislative dinner and I opened the talk with, “silence is agreement.” We as business owners have always felt we should never talk religion or politics for fear of losing customers, but I believe our silence has put our industry and our freedom of religion (whatever that may be for you) where we are today. Silence has clearly not worked for us. I will not get into mudslinging and have offered on several occasions for anyone who would like to have a civil debate, come to the office, the coffee is always on. No one has come I might add. I can’t lie. Once in a while I have a response on something I have posted that gets my blood pressure up and I take the bait. But for the most part I try to take the high road, the view is much better! Social media can be a blessing or a curse – we just need to decide how we are going to use it J

Judy Taranovich

Proctor Gas

Proctor, Vermont

 

Personally:

Like: keeping in touch with family and friends. I love the photos of our families and their travels.

Dislike: takes up too much time that could be some real quality time doing other things!!

Business:

Dislike: can affect employee productivity.

Like: following propane groups for good information on our industry. Also allows our company to keep our clients better informed of what’s happening in our business.

I’m struggling with the realization that the internet and social media are great tools but can certainly affect how the next generations might struggle to interact with people and customers!! Also, in light of recent online challenge events, I have a real concern of the effects of social media on younger children. We need to learn how to use the tools but avoid the pitfalls!!

Susan Peterson

Rural Computer Consultants

Bird Island, Minnesota

 

I am ambivalent towards social media. Though I appreciate the ability to reach people in new and exciting ways, both as an individual and as a business, I must admit I am puzzled by people’s seeming interest in relatively uninteresting individuals/events. I guess that makes me old. LOL.

Leslie Woodward

Fairview Fittings

Oakville, Ontario, CANADA

 

Social media has evolved into a medium that has to be very carefully used. For business we keep things simple and like to recognize people and their efforts. We try to appeal to customer feelings and emotions and keep it light. It is an effective venue to keep your network informed on your activity and impact on the industry.

 Ed Varney

Rego Products

 McKinney, Texas

 

Social media has provided an efficient means to stay connected to family and friends. Although it’s not as personal as a visit or a phone call, it does allow us to stay in touch with more people in a timely manner. For NPGA, social media has created new opportunities for interaction between members. The PLAN tool is one example that will save members time and expense in their transportation operations.

Bruce Swiecicki

National Propane Gas Association

 Tinley Park, Illinois

 

I do not use Facebook or Twitter and am not a huge fan of social media in general.  Anyone can make a statement about you or your company that could be untrue; but once it is posted, it is out there.  Our company has experienced both nice and negative comments on Facebook.  We found that the negative statements were made by potential customers who did not like the reason we were unable to service them and, in most cases, left out a lot of the facts.  I do, however, appreciate that my kids are able to keep me updated with the latest news from our very large family who is on Facebook!

Rosie Buschur

McMahan’s Bottle Gas

Dayton, Ohio

 

I would say that social media has had a significant impact on our marketing and advertising methods. A decade ago, we would have only advertised in printed publications and maybe on Google. Today we can also advertise through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and the list goes on. I don’t know if these new advertising methods have made the process better or worse, but one thing is for sure – there are plenty of ways for those social media companies to generate ad revenue for themselves!

Jason Soulon

Westmor Industries

Shawnee, Kansas

 

As an organization social media has helped us market our services and products and given us leads for new customers.  We also can do testimonials and promote our customers’ businesses.

Personally social media is a great way to connect and network with people.

The frustrating part of social media is the negativity of statements with no ability to have a conversation which has made many barriers in relationships.  I will only use social media as a connection tool.

Laurie Irish-Jones

Irish Propane

Buffalo, New York

 

At P3 Propane Safety, we believe that social media has made a significant impact on how we connect with others in the propane industry. It’s a critical tool in our mission to help marketers across the US promote safety, reduce risk, save money, and increase efficiency within their companies.

Social media has allowed us to interact and engage in real-time with people working in our industry to create a stronger relationship and provide information about how we can help companies promote and implement effective safety and compliance strategies.

Jerry Schimmel

P3 Propane Safety

 Cumberland, Rhode Island

 

THUMBS UP AND THUMBS DOWN

The number one advantage for businesses using social media marketing is reaching large audiences. Millions of people use social media platforms daily making it a great opportunity to reach those interested in your products or services. With any marketing strategy there can be disadvantages and the number one downside to social media is that you can receive negative feedback. Businesses and individuals alike are wise to be judicious with their social media use.

Notifications are likely pinging your smart phone this very minute from one of the platforms you may enjoy. I wish you posts that fascinate, wonderful photos and hilarious memes.

 

Nancy Coop, Cetane Associates

 

This column was first published in the December 2021 issue of Butane-Propane News.


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We were very pleased to have such a knowledgeable and experienced company in our corner with the team at Cetane. It was obvious that they knew the best process and how to get the ball over the goal line. Their advice throughout the process was greatly appreciated and we thoroughly enjoyed working with them.

— Steve Lombardi, Brodeur’s Oil, Moosup, CT
Verbatim Column

Are there optimal times to develop new habits? Certainly, at the beginning of a new year is a traditional time to set a resolution to change elements of our lives that we deem need improvement. During the past year-plus, I’ve heard from many friends and colleagues that they took the unknown stretch of time of the pandemic to polish up some areas of their lives. As the heating season puts many of our lives into overdrive, what do our colleagues say about habits they want to adopt?

In this column, adopted from the familiar “Heard on the Street” format, we offer our responders a chance to answer the question posed in the title. These are their replies reported verbatim.

 

HABITS FOR THE MIND

Measure twice – cut once!! This is an age old saying in the trade field used for making good decisions and avoiding mistakes. I would like to repurpose this for myself.

I would say a new habit I would like to start is ‘consider twice – speak once”.  In this time in history with the attacks on our industry and political challenges we face, sometimes I have a tendency to speak before I think. (Right Eric Kuster, LOL) I am however, Italian, so I’m not sure keeping my opinions to myself is really in my wheelhouse.

Judy Taranovich

Proctor Gas

Proctor, Vermont

 

New habits I want to develop:

  1. Meditation daily
  2. Gratitude journal daily
  3. A walk outside daily
  4. Reading 30 minutes a day the myriads of business books I have with the goal of reading them all!

That is my habit stack!

Laurie Irish-Jones

Irish Propane

Buffalo, New York

 

Some habits I would like to implement or improve on are…casual conversation with every team, having intentional one on one time with each of my kids, scheduled think time, and drinking the recommended amount of water every day.

Lauren Clark

Bergquist

Toledo, Ohio

 

I’d like to develop the habit of being present in the “now”…not distracted by thoughts of reliving the past or anticipating the future. Unless, of course, the time is right for doing that.

Bruce Swiecicki

National Propane Gas Association

Tinley Park, Illinois

 

I would say active listening and being 100% engaged in a conversation.  I have a tendency to multi-task through conversations which leads to assumptions and misunderstandings.  On a personal level it hinders a meaningful relationship and in a business setting it erodes both team cohesion and trust. The good news is active listening can be acquired and developed with practice.  If I can master this very important skillset, the results will be tremendous and the rewards bountiful!

Hayley Karicofe

AmeriGas

Churchville, Virginia

 

HABITS FOR THE BODY

New Habits I’d like to develop:

I’ve spent so many years working long hours that I’d like to get a better balance in my life.  I’d like to get back to doing Yoga.  I’m trying to get in a habit of getting more sleep.  I just learned how to play pickleball, so I hope to play that more and work less as I near retirement!

Susan Peterson

Rural Computer Consultants

Bird Island, Minnesota

 

I really need to improve my exercise habits. When I go to the gym regularly I feel better physically and I am able to be more productive.

Jason Soulon

Westmor Industries

Shawnee, Kansas

 

HABITS FOR THE SPIRIT

Like many people, we live busy, hectic, and sometimes stressful lives!  One of the habits I need to develop is to remind myself to take time to enjoy the little opportunities life offers. For instance, I received a nice note from a friend the other day just to let me know she is thinking of me.  It was so kind of her but made me think that I need to send more notes like that!  It is easy to forget that while those little things don’t necessarily have to take that much extra time, they brighten someone’s day.  And the rewards received in return are countless!

Rosie Buschur

McMahan’s Bottle Gas

Dayton, Ohio

 

In my efforts to continually improve my business life, I would like to improve on my management of people and clear communications to my staff and customers. In my personal life, I am always trying to be the best person I can be. One habit to improve is a more positive outlook on life. Also making more time for my family. I have six grandchildren and I try to visit with them one on one as often as I can. We share stories and talk about anything they want. I try to help them become great people.

Ed Varney

Rego Products

 McKinney, Texas

 

When I think of the word habit, and its meaning to me, automatically my immediate thought process indicates that it is something “bad”, too much of, or too little of. The inference is lack of discipline. A few examples would be procrastination, eating too much fast food on the run, or not enough visits to Planet Fitness to workout.   There are numerous definitions of habit that makes sense to me; A recurrent, often unconscious pattern of behavior that is acquired through frequent repetition (Park in empty spots so my car doesn’t get dinged) something that you do often and regularly, sometimes without knowing that you are doing it (Look both ways before you cross a street), or a customary practice (Getting Up early).

I am trying to work on developing and maintaining new habits that will contribute to self-improvement and harmony

  1. Do a better job of connecting and fostering relationships, with relatives, friends, and business associates
  2. Focus on eating healthier foods and exercise
  3. Explore ways to find time to “chillax”-relax and spend more quality time with my immediate family

Jerry Schimmel

P3 Propane Safety

Cumberland, Rhode Island

 

I would like to be more intentional about spending quiet time in reflection.  When I reflect at the end of the day, I remember the person’s facial expressions during a conversation that I had missed at the time.  I notice if I was too abrupt or confusing when it comes to my communication style.  Reflection teaches me things I missed in the moment like a smile or a smell.  After reading a book or hearing a presentation reflection teaches me how I can apply the new knowledge to problems and/or circumstances in my life. Our world is so fast-paced, we all need to slow down, get quiet and reflect.

Julie Johnson

Ted Johnson Propane

Baldwin Park, California

 

MIND, BODY AND SPIRIT

Although there’s an effort made here to sort these replies, there is an overlapping reality that many of the habits we might take on affect all three of these areas of our lives. Isn’t it true (or possible) that a game of pickleball can lift the spirits, add to fitness, and create better mental acuity?

I tapped into a few blogs on making/breaking/keeping habits. From the behavioral experts, the collective wisdom is that new habits we want to tackle have the best chance for success if we begin small. The idea is to make it so simple that we have no excuse not to do the new habit. A couple examples that resonated were (1) making an increase in weights during workouts very slowly to give the body a chance to adapt and strengthen and (2) rather than setting a goal of 10 minutes a day to meditate, begin with one minute. A strategy to start small feels easy—it takes away the excuses of not starting and eliminates the need to wait for that lightning bolt of motivation.

Another blog suggested tying in a new habit to an existing habit. This involves looking for patterns in our days and thinking about how we can create new, positive ones. Many of us have morning routines that are our strongest routines, so the experts suggest that is a great place to “stack on a new habit.” They say the key to habit developing is to make tiny commitments and focus on small wins. The old-fashioned approach of incremental progress is the current day recommendation. Dedicated commitment is still what has proven to lead to change.

 

Nancy Coop, Cetane Associates

 

This column was first published in the November 2021 issue of Butane-Propane News.


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We were very pleased to have such a knowledgeable and experienced company in our corner with the team at Cetane. It was obvious that they knew the best process and how to get the ball over the goal line. Their advice throughout the process was greatly appreciated and we thoroughly enjoyed working with them.

— Steve Lombardi, Brodeur’s Oil, Moosup, CT
Verbatim Column

Certainly not a hard-hitting question for this month’s column, but it does make one stop and think. Which gifts in the form of a bauble, trinket, photo, name, adventure, or living being do our colleagues share with us? Please read on, enjoy their answers, and take a moment to consider what ranks as “the best” gift in your life so far.

In this column, adopted from the familiar “Heard on the Street” format, we offer our responders a chance to answer the question posed in the title. These are their replies reported verbatim.

 

TRULY “THE BEST” GIFTS EVER!

I’ve received many great gifts throughout my life, but there can be only one “best” gift. In my case, once I thought about it, it was an easy choice because I’ve only received it once, many years ago. It’s a small statue of The Incredible Hulk with an inscription that says, “World’s Best Dad.”

Bruce Swiecicki

National Propane Gas Association

Tinley Park, Illinois

 

The best gift I have been received is a handwritten card and framed photo of my 12-year-old granddaughter and me thanking me for being her music teacher and being her “wicked cool Papa.” I also received a beautiful canvas photo of all my grandchildren for Christmas. Both of them made me cry with love for them.

Ed Varney

Rego Products

McKinney, Texas

 

My Mother’s maiden name was ‘Maude’ and when I was little, I always wanted to be a ‘Maude’ too. My favourite stuffed animal back then was a blue mouse I named “Maudie mouse”, whom I still possess. I used to always ask my mom why my middle name was ‘Ann’ and not Maude? She told me if I liked Maude so much, I should just use it, and no one would know the difference. I’d say, “well I would know.”

Fast forward years later to my 21st Birthday – my gift? A legal name change to Leslie MAUDE Woodward – I was so happy! Ann was really gone, and I got to be the Maude I always wanted to be.

Of course, it didn’t stop there… my son, who probably will never forgive me, is the proud possessor of Maude as a middle name also.

The reason this was my favourite gift? My Mom’s brother had died at a young age and there were “no more Maude’s” and that always made me so sad. I thought that my becoming a Maude, even though only through a middle name, would somehow stop that from happening. I still like to think it worked.

Leslie Woodward

Fairview Fittings

Oakville, Ontario, CANADA

 

The best ‘gift’ I ever received was for our 25th wedding anniversary.  My husband gifted me with a beautiful new diamond.  It was not the diamond that made it the best gift ever, (although it IS gorgeous).  It was that he actually was making payments to the jeweler for a long time ahead of the date.  My favorite part though was that after 25 years of discussing financial planning and better ways of handling money that he had actually done it AND done it in advance!

Susan Peterson

Rural Computer Consultants

Bird Island, Minnesota

 

I’m going to have to say the best gift I have ever received was from a complete stranger. Jimmy and I were not able to have children of our own and so we looked into adoption. On October 14th 1991 we received a call – a fourteen year old girl who I never met had carried her child to term knowing she would not be able to raise him but abortion was not an option for her. I can’t think of a more generous selfless gift. Why was it the best? If you have ever had the blessing of holding your child (wither from below the heart or in it) for the first time the answer to Why is clear.

Judy Taranovich

Proctor Gas

Proctor, Vermont

 

I would say Bella, my rescue from the pound.  I wasn’t expecting her, someone thought I needed her.  They were right, she has brought me much joy over the past 5 years.  There’s nothing else in the world quite like a dog’s love.  Those days I feel frustrated, she’s right there with a paw to my heart and gazes deep in my eyes like she’s saying, “no worries, I’m here for you”. She doesn’t care if I screwed up royally, she still loves me just as she did the day before.  I took her to SPCA and we picked out another rescue, Walker, which we both adore!  If I could rescue them all, I would! Best gift ever!

Hayley Karicofe

AmeriGas

Churchville, Virginia

 

I have received numerous gifts throughout my life that were so special, and the obvious choice would be the wonderful foundation my parents gave me as a child.  But, there is one gift that stands out.  My husband surprised me for my 50th birthday with a cruise to the Southern Caribbean.  He planned the trip for eight months and was able to keep it a surprise!  When he presented it to me, I had about two weeks to prepare.  It was an amazing trip and remains my favorite vacation of all those I have been privileged to experience.

Rosie Buschur

McMahan’s Bottle Gas

Dayton, Ohio

 

WHY IS THE GIFT SIGNIFICANT?

As is true for most of us, I have given and received gifts that have been meaningful to me, many are treasured still. Looking into the psychology of gifts on a common search engine, I wasn’t surprised to learn it is often the case that the giver, rather than the recipient, reaps the biggest psychological gains from gift giving.

Gifts are universal symbols of gratitude, can build relationships, or make someone feel special. They are used to congratulate, sympathize, and appreciate. It’s clear that when we hand over a gift to another, we are handing over more than what’s in the box. Strong messages are sent without words as we turn to gifts hoping to convey complex feelings. Yes, giving and receiving gifts are complicated and important parts of our human interaction. Selecting just the right gift comes with the pressure of matching it to our intended affection.

Famously, nations give gifts (think the Statue of Liberty) and so do individuals (think flowers) as proxies of our appreciation. Next time you are lucky enough to be opening a gift, tear into the decorative paper and enjoy your carefully wrapped proxy of real affection.

 

Nancy Coop, Cetane Associates

 

This column was first published in the October 2021 issue of Butane-Propane News.


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We were very pleased to have such a knowledgeable and experienced company in our corner with the team at Cetane. It was obvious that they knew the best process and how to get the ball over the goal line. Their advice throughout the process was greatly appreciated and we thoroughly enjoyed working with them.

— Steve Lombardi, Brodeur’s Oil, Moosup, CT
Verbatim Column

This is the kind of question that pulls back the curtain on some of our colleagues’ more familiar lives in propane. From lifelong learning to horses and service, career switches, courage and music, this interesting group shares their little-known backgrounds which often reveal that a career in propane was not Plan A. There is, also, a surprising and fortunate narrow escape that provides a measure of gratitude for the present.

In this column, adopted from the familiar “Heard on the Street” format, we offer our responders a chance to answer the question posed in the title. These are their replies reported verbatim.

 

SEVEN SURPRISING STORIES

I have very strangely kept taking courses long after I had finished University. I graduated (at the regular age) with a BA in Economics and the year after received my MBA in Finance. All good so far. As the years went by, I kept wishing I had taken history, my favourite subject in High School. So, the next thing I knew I had an MA in history. I thought I should keep going, so I began my PhD.  After I had finished my comprehensives but had not yet completed my thesis, I realized this was becoming just a bit too much to juggle, so I stopped. Well – now I had a half-written thesis that I thought I should change into an Historical Novel. But – maybe I should take some courses to improve my fiction writing skills? Anyway… last year I received my MA in Creative and Critical Writing from the University of Gloucestershire. You’ll be relieved to know that after a BA, three Masters degrees and an ABD PhD, I’ve decided I should probably stop now.

Leslie Woodward

Fairview Fittings

Oakville, Ontario, CANADA

 

My life was on a very different path until I met Mr. Hank Hill of the east!

100 years and 100 lbs. ago I was fresh out of a college (1977) geared towards animal husbandry and business management for running a equestrian center. I was first headed to do an understudy program with one of the top trainers in the country and then, return to manage my first stable (1978). I trained, showed and gave riding lessons. In 1979 I met Jimmy and although I ran the stables until 1986, a combination of a really bad horse accident and a Propane business that required 110% of our time forced the horses out. My love for horses remains but, I have no regrets (except, maybe for my stupid move that caused the horse accident!!!).

Judy Taranovich

Proctor Gas

Proctor, Vermont

 

One thing that might be surprising is that I am celebrating 40 years in the propane industry.  Another fun fact is that I started riding horses when I was 10 years old.  My first horse named Salty used to bolt back to his stall as soon as I got him into the riding arena. It only took a few of those tricks before I learned how to gain his respect. I finally retired from owning horses and show jumping in 2008.  Then as an encore, I was able to “give back” all of the life lessons I learned from horses to at-risk children in LA County.

 Julie Johnson

Ted Johnson Propane

Baldwin Park, California

 

I’ve been in the propane industry since the year that I graduated college. However, people might be surprised to learn that I didn’t plan for a career in our industry. In my early twenties I planned for a career in law enforcement, and I hold a degree in the administration of justice.

Jason Soulon

Westmor Industries

Shawnee, Kansas

 

I flew helicopters in Vietnam in 1970-1971 For the 1St. Cavalry Division of the US Army. I was awarded the Purple Heart for wounds received in combat. I got out of the army and went through Bible College. In 2009 I returned to Vietnam on a site seeing vacation. Unbeknownst to me I was traveling with a group of Vets that were looking for soldiers that were killed during the war but their bodies were never recovered.  MIA’s.  Missing In Action. We discovered a previously undiscovered helicopter crash site that had 3 crew members that were not recovered. In 2019 The MIA accounting command began an excavation of the crash site.  We hope to recover some remains this year and repatriate them and give their families closure.

Chuck Kinnie

Shasta Gas Propane

Shasta, California

 

I have six sisters and one brother!  We all have a great love of music, and it has always been an important part of our lives.   If the record player or radio wasn’t going, someone was playing the piano or guitar.

My parents loved to hear us sing and we spent a lot of time each summer on our swings singing to my youngest sister who suffered from mental retardation.  She loved it, as did our neighbors!  We were all part of the church choir from a young age and some of us still participate today.   Parties always included time for playing our guitars and a singalong.  In fact, the evening I met my husband I played the piano and guitar with him.  When I think of all those times, all the weddings and guitar Masses we sang, it brings back such wonderful memories.

Rosie Buschur

McMahan’s Bottle Gas

Dayton, Ohio

 

I’ve had two ‘careers’ in my adult life.  Both involved owning a business. First, I was a retailer, owning a miniature department store in one town and then expanding to a second location 15 miles away.  I did that for 20 years. Second, I joined in and owned part of Rural Computer Consultants, with two of my brothers.  I’ve been with RCC now for 23 years.  I highly recommend a career change at some point in life.  For me it was invigorating and really kept my mind sharp.  My children might disagree with my sharp mind, until they ask me a business question! 😊 THOSE things I remember!

Susan Peterson

Rural Computer Consultants

Bird Island, Minnesota

ONE THANKFUL STORY

 

I was in the World Trade Center the morning of September 11, 2001. It was my very first day of work post college in New York City. Thankfully, I left the WTC for a meeting a few blocks away minutes before American Airlines Flight 11 hit the North Tower. After the planes hit and the towers fell, I was stuck inside the basement of an office building on Wall Street for hours. In the afternoon, I was finally able to walk out to the East River and get on a police boat which took me to New Jersey.

Kara T. Tucker

Koppy’s Propane, Inc.

Williamstown, Pennsylvania

 

ON TRACK OR SIDETRACKED?

When I was a kid I wanted to be a ballerina, a typical childhood dream that was scuttled early on. The closest I came was to teach disco dancing in the 70s. When my brother was a kid he dreamed of being a pilot and had a nearly life-sized poster above his bed of a cockpit. His job today is charter pilot and he lives in a beach town where he is awakened each morning from the sound of jets taking off at the nearby airport. He’s one of the few people I know who successfully pursued his boyhood dreams…and he has some surprising stories to share because of it.

The best laid life plans often take divergent paths. If so, are these twists and turns really surprising or simply all part of the unpredictable nature of life?

 

Nancy Coop, Cetane Associates

 

This column was first published in the September 2021 issue of Butane-Propane News.


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We were very pleased to have such a knowledgeable and experienced company in our corner with the team at Cetane. It was obvious that they knew the best process and how to get the ball over the goal line. Their advice throughout the process was greatly appreciated and we thoroughly enjoyed working with them.

— Steve Lombardi, Brodeur’s Oil, Moosup, CT
Verbatim Column

Like many of you, I’ve recently been attending webinars on the topic of rebranding propane. The first thing to understand is who our target audience is when we talk about our fuel and the presenters are teaching us the answer is Millennials and Generation Z—those who will be or have recently become homeowners of the future. The second thing to learn is that this mighty group of people aged 18-40 years old have different concerns than those of earlier generations.

I mention the younger generations since our responders this month are members of the newly named Young Gassers organization’s 30 Under 30 class of 2021. As you read their responses to this month’s question, perhaps you’ll notice a difference in their sense of what time is to them. Where do they place the value of time in their daily lives? And what are the circumstances where they lose track of time?

In this column, adopted from the familiar “Heard on the Street” format, we offer our responders a chance to answer the question posed in the title. These are their replies reported verbatim.

 

TEMPUS FUGIT

The person who coined the idiom, “time flies when you’re having fun,” surely has never been through an audit. We recently went through an extensive DOT audit; needless to say, it was stressful, but it also was quite the learning experience for us. Luckily, we passed with flying colors, however being fully engaged in making sure our ducks were in a row surely made time fly!

Trevor Wendt

Wendt’s Propane and Oil

Sanborn, New York

 

There are a couple of activities that come to mind that make me lose track of time.

The first is being involved in conversations about topics I am interested in with people I look up to–time seems to move very fast for me in these situations.

I also lose track of time if I am working on a project that is intriguing or is something I am passionate about–this is another one where I look up at the clock and realize half of the day is already over though it feels like I just sat down.

Austin Davidson

United Pacific Energy

Reno, Nevada

 

I lose track of time when I am working with my team. Planning our sales strategies, discussing customer feedback, reviewing wins and losses, or just helping out in the warehouse. It’s easy to feel like I’m just pushing through a pile of work on my own sometimes, but when we really engage and work together, we get a lot done and usually have fun while we’re at it. Anything that gets a conversation going makes the time fly by and forms real relationships that really make the day enjoyable.

Daryl Patjas

Maxquip Inc.

Toronto, Ontario CANADA

 

Fully engaging in the task at hand.  Whether it be something exciting, or something mundane and dull, full engagement blocks out any distractions or interruptions.  With these distractions, time becomes frivolous and irrelevant.

Nate DePrinzio

Total Comfort Gas

Ormond Beach, Florida

 

If something comes up that wasn’t exactly on the schedule for that day–such as an emergency situation where your attention is solely on resolving the situation–it can make me lose track of time.

Garrett Salmon

S&S Gas Service Inc.

Summerville, Georgia

 

You know the old saying, “Time flies when you’re having fun”? Well, it’s true. Enjoying what I do makes me lose track of time. There is always something new to learn and there is never a dull moment with my team around.

Stephanie Ulam

Berkeley Propane Company

Moncks Corner, South Carolina

 

I lose track of time primarily due to the minicomputer, otherwise known as an iPhone, that a majority of us depend on daily and lives in our pocket.  Don’t get me wrong, having an unlimited amount of information at your fingertips at all times can be quite helpful.  However, it can also be extremely distracting. I find myself going from emails to social media to google, back to emails, back to social media for what seems brief until I look at the clock…

Caleb Warner

Bergquist Inc.

Kansas City, Missouri

 

A well planned out day with time-sensitive tasks to complete makes me lose track of time, along with doing service work for customers. Maintaining a clear focus on the job in front of you ensures all procedures are followed and the installation is safe. In my free time, I can get lost in the pursuit of bass or walleye while fishing.

Eric Pirkl

ThompsonGas

Owatonna, Minnesota

 

Believe it or not, relationships make me lose track of time at work. As a manager of people, relationships are key. My management style is all about meeting people where they are at. So, I often times will find myself outside at the loading station with my bobtail drivers chatting with them about their stops that day, sports, their families, etc. I can easily spend a lot of time talking with my team, both about work and about life in general.

Relationships with my customers are also key. I’ve found that regular interaction with customers (both small and large) are incredibly important. This regular communication ensures their propane needs are being met and gives me a chance to work on any area where my team and I may be lacking.

I’ve realized a lot of my day can often times just be spent talking. While relationship management is important, I also have many other things to look after as a manager. What works best for me is time management and planning. My mornings are strategically task oriented. I get all of the projects, follow-ups, inventory, payroll, etc. out of the way first thing in the morning. This allows me to freely engage with both my customers and employees throughout the day without having to worry about deadlines.

Kristen Williams (Abraham)

Superior Plus Propane

Sterling, Massachusetts

 

I like to keep it simple, Sunday morning coffee with my husband and two dogs Marley and Cooper is what makes me lose track of time. I measure in cups of coffee instead.

Laura Mabey

BASE Engineering Inc.

Saint John, New Brunswick CANADA

 

BAD NEWS, GOOD NEWS

These young professionals share ideas from their perspectives—each unique and conveying something of their relationship with the sense of passing time. They seem clear-headed and provide balance. There is a suggestion that prioritizing work, family, and personal goals, can improve your daily joy. Slowing down, paying close attention are helpful in the process. C.S. Lewis reminds us that the future arrives for all of us at the same rate, “sixty minutes an hour.”

Recently my fourteen-year-old granddaughter Stella told me, in her thoughtful way, that she now realizes her great challenge is to keep her focus and be present in the moment. She’s right, of course, that caring and attention can bring calm and a feeling of being present. We certainly know that time is not going to wait for us in any circumstance. So, I will sign off with a quote from career coach and speaker Michael Altshuler, “The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.”

 

Nancy Coop, Cetane Associates

 

This column was first published in the August 2021 issue of Butane-Propane News.


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We were very pleased to have such a knowledgeable and experienced company in our corner with the team at Cetane. It was obvious that they knew the best process and how to get the ball over the goal line. Their advice throughout the process was greatly appreciated and we thoroughly enjoyed working with them.

— Steve Lombardi, Brodeur’s Oil, Moosup, CT