Fired Up: On movies, the glass biz and the end goal


I can’t recall where we were going, but in an unusual turn of events, my whole family was in the car and we were waiting for my dad. After a few minutes of waiting in the driveway, my mother sent me in to see what was taking my father so long. When I got in the house, I heard laughter from upstairs. I checked to see what was so funny, and saw my dad in front of the TV. He was still laughing when he said, “The fact that someone could write a movie that made these two guys brothers is amazing.”

What was my dad watching, you may ask? “Twins,” with Danny DeVito and Arnold Schwarzenegger. A physically perfect and super intelligent Julius Benedict, developed from a science experiment, was on a search for his long-lost, less-than-perfect, twin brother, Vincent Benedict, who was the accidental bi-product of the same science experiment.

Well, 20 or so years later, I had a similar movie moment and was struck by a storyline about two unlikely people crossing paths, in “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days.” Benjamin Barry is an advertising executive and ladies' man. To help land a big campaign, he bets his boss that he can make a woman fall in love with him in 10 days. Andie Anderson covers the "How To" beat for "Composure" magazine. Her assignment is to write an article on "How to Lose a Guy in 10 days" using classic dating mistakes. The two meet in a bar shortly after the bet is made, and the rest is rom-com history.  

These two movies have taken on a life of their own in my household, and my sons never pass up an opportunity to poke fun at me when “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days” comes on TV. But, what do these movies have to do with a blog post for Glass Magazine? Not much, really. But, they are a good, comical segue into how we find ourselves in our current profession or career.

In “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days,” Andie Anderson didn’t want to cover the “How To” beat for the fictitious “Composure” magazine. She went to journalism school and wanted to write about subjects and topics she cared about. 

A couple of years ago, TGP hosted an editor tour. I remember speaking to one of the young editors who had recently graduated from a prestigious university with a graduate degree in journalism. She reminded me of Andie Anderson. The editor went to school and graduated with a journalistic skillset. She talked about her dreams and aspirations of winning a Pulitzer Prize. I hope she does. But for the time being, she finds herself in the glass business like so many of us. Sure, for some, a family business led them to the glass industry. But more often than not, life happens and we fall into these niche industries, or get pulled in one direction or another as our careers progress. In our case, it’s glass, windows, doors, curtain wall and fenestration.

How did you find yourself here? How long did you think you would stay? It’s interesting to think about where we all started, what our ultimate goal is, and how it has changed with time. Amazon’s workplace challenge comes to mind. Once a year, the company offers to pay full-time associates at their fulfillment centers up to $5,000 to leave. But if they accept, they can never work at the company again. The counter-intuitive offer sounds risky, but according to Amazon, few people accept. According to CEO Jeff Bezos, “The goal is to encourage folks to take a moment and think about what they really want.” This, the company believes, actually helps enhance employee engagement.

So, take a moment. What is your end goal? How has it changed and what are you working towards? Frost yourself.

David Vermeulen is the national sales manager for Technical Glass Products (TGP), a supplier of fire-rated glass and framing systems, and other specialty architectural glazing. TGP works closely with architects, designers and other building professionals, providing them with the state-of-the-art products, service and support to maximize design aesthetics and safety in commercial and institutional buildings around the world. Contact him at 800/426-0279.

The opinions expressed here are those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Glass Association, Glass Magazine editors, or other glassblog contributors.


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