Five years ago, Jim Freeze joined the ranks of the My Pet’s Brace family. He had retired years earlier from his career as an electrical engineer and was working part-time in a nearby home improvement store. Our owner knew him through the local Rotary Club and felt his engineering background would prove beneficial in helping us through some especially busy times. Little did he know…
In no time at all, Mr. Freeze learned the ropes of pouring casts – the first step in turning the cast into a dog brace. He quickly moved on to pulling plastic and machining braces. His methodical and meticulous nature along with his excellent work ethic made us realize Mr. Freeze wasn’t just someone to help us out during busy times. We needed him full-time!
As with any business, there are challenges to meet and problems to solve. Can we do this better? How can we make that more efficient? Mr. Freeze with his engineering background rose to the challenge. He seemed able to solve any mechanical issue that came along, suggested ways to improve things, and always did it with a willing nature and a smile on his face.
Then came the real challenge – when we outgrew our original building and moved to a facility three times bigger. We needed to have larger and more efficient workstations, improved capabilities for working on multiple braces simultaneously, better storage, etc., and we wanted all of this to be neat, orderly, efficient, and of course, we wanted it yesterday. Once again, Mr. Freeze came to the rescue. “Sure, I can do that”. Or, “Yes, I can figure something out,” seemed to be his mantra. There wasn’t a problem he couldn’t solve.
Over the years, Mr. Freeze stopped working on braces and became our go-to maintenance man (although he was more than willing to jump in and help with brace production when the need arose). No matter what we needed, we could count on Mr. Freeze to come to our rescue. From working on the furnace to painting to unjamming the shredder to designing and fabricating vacuum forming stations, to creating revolving storage spaces, to making or creating anything and everything we needed. Our mantra became, “Talk to Mr. Freeze; he can take care of that!”
Needless to say, when our beloved Mr. Freeze announced he was retiring for the second time, we were crushed. What will we do without our problem-solving-fix-anything-can-do-attitude maintenance person? We will miss you greatly, Mr. Freeze, that’s what we will do.
Mr. Freeze, with a smile on our faces and tears in our eyes, we wish you the absolute best. At 83 years young, you have earned the right to retire… again. Your age may say retirement time, but your youthful thinking and jovial attitude prove you are decades younger. Enjoy whatever it is you choose to do. Travel with your wife (once COVID ends), go kayaking, have fun. Above all, enjoy life. We may end up with another maintenance person, but we will never find anyone to replace you. You are truly one in a million!