From Tony, my operations manager's, overnight report:
"While Ernie was doing the floor at ..... a pipe burst in the ceiling and started pouring water down on top of him. He was able to get his wet-vac and keep the water from flooding the building until I arrived. I spoke to Bob, the emergency contact, who walked me through where to find the shut off valve for the water pipes. Had to climb up above the ceiling but I got everything shut off. Lucky for them we were there when this happened so there was no real damage except for the wet ceiling and water in the light fixtures."
And, from our Phoenix janitorial service client, this morning:
"Good morning Gentlemen, There was a call on my voice mail this morning from Tony. He called at 10:30pm last night. Please apologize to him for my not answering. The problem was water was coming out by one of the light fixtures in the showroom. It turned out to be an old hot water heater we have upstairs. It hasn’t worked for years, but somehow the valve got turned on. Probably pressure or something. Tony called Bob and I think he walked him through it. We really appreciate him calling and taking care of it. You really train your teams well. Please let him know we appreciate everything he did."
It's all in the details, and in contingency planning. We stress communication; we're careful to get several after-hours emergency phone numbers from the client (three in this case; two of them did not answer); we encourage our folks to take the initiative to better serve our clients, and protect their facilities. The latter is particularly significant; we provide office cleaning Phoenix, so have keys to client facilities, and feel just a bit of responsibility for them. And our floor techs generally carry wet-vacs.