Recently someone asked me “What question do you get asked most often?”
I have been dubbed my many a customer as “The Hardware Guru”,
“The Fastener Man with the Answers, Etc, etc.”
I thought for a good long time and came to the conclusion that because I receive such a vast variety of questions regarding aircraft hardware and our business, it is difficult to recall what I get asked most often and each season it changes a bit.
Of course I could tell you about the hundreds of “Tech support calls that lead to fastener and fitting enlightenment” but that question is hardly blog worthy. Instead I decided to tell you about something that is very important to me, Personal Integrity and Conviction.
If there is one thing we don’t want in Aviation, or our personal lives, it’s something fake, counterfeit, or bogus.
I make every effort to share this basic value set with my family, friends, and employees. This sets the stage for personal integrity and honesty being included as a major part of our company, and hopefully each individual’s personal lives as well.
It is not necessary that everyone agree on everything, and there can be some BIG personal differences between people; even so one should stand up and hold firm to what they truly believe, providing they understand why they believe it is worth standing firm for.
Every few months a frantic customer will call us needing hardware delivered to their facility first thing on a Saturday morning. Having operated a Repair Station I understand this AOG situation, however it is my personal conviction to keep the seventh-day Sabbath. So myself or one of our sales people, kindly explain that we do not ship for Saturday deliveries under any circumstance and the soonest we can have the hardware to them is early Monday morning. Sometimes the customer is satisfied and places the order, but every once in a while they become so disappointed that I need to handle the situation personally.
After patiently listening to the desperate pleas for a Saturday delivery, I get a chance to speak. I share with them, “ I am a Sabbath keeper, this means that I believe that our Lord and Savior worked for six long days to make this beautiful earth for us, and on the seventh day, (commonly known as Saturday), he rested. This is also the Fourth of the Ten Commandments. I do my best to follow in his footsteps. I do not contract, or intentionally involve myself in any form of commerce on the Sabbath”
These words are often met with a moment of silence. Then I typically hear one of two responses… either I am met with understanding and respect because I am a person who stands up for my convictions, or I still face a frustrated person who seems to be unconcerned for the businessman with a personal moral standing different from their own. With either response I receive I politely thank the customer for their business, and express hope that they get their situation resolved. I also offer to have the order shipped to their location for delivery Monday morning. I understand many people may not have the same convictions as I do. I also hope that we may have mutual respect for each others convictions and thus each one of us may maintain our personal integrity.
In a world where people are changing their moral standings and convictions more often than they are changing their clothes, I still believe in holding fast. Genuine Aircraft Hardware Co. has been in business for more than 25 years and for that entire time I have done my best to hold true to my convictions, whether they are popular or not.
When you call, I will always do my best to answer your technical questions about hardware and related items. I frequently have to look up things that I have not yet added to my memory bank.
I also learn things from my customers and try to make the new knowledge available for the next inquiry.
I will do my best to aid you in your pursuit of this related knowledge. I would like to have all the answers but I do not. The secret to getting answers is “to seek and to find” and that my friend is the reason for this letter, to let you know what I have found, and why I do almost anything to help you the customer, except cross my beliefs.
May God Bless You.
Tom Brink, President.
Genuine Aircraft Hardware. Company.
Footnote: I figured it out! the question I am asked most often when I first meet someone, at a trade show, or while on the road making visits, is actually............"What question do you get asked most often?"