Some time ago, I was offered a trip to Shreveport, Louisiana for a warranty class at Frymaster. I was asked along as I handled parts ordering for our service department, Southtown Food Service.
When we got on the plane, I noticed the seats were huge and actually had a piece that kicked out under your feet so that you could lounge! It was a comfortable flight up until we got to Dallas where we had to transfer to a prop plane. Propeller planes are very small, noisy, and the trips are normally short. I was just starting to feel nauseous when they announced we would be landing – it was late and I was glad when we finally reached the hotel.
The next morning we toured the two Frymaster locations. Both of the warehouses were exceptionally clean and their processes were very well structured. The tour ended at our classroom where we were handed a Frymaster warranty handbook and served lunch. For the next few hours, we learned how to tell the steel type of a frytank, how many hours it took to replace one, and how to know when the labor was covered. Our teacher explained how chain restaurants, such as McDonald’s and Burger King, each had their own set of warranty guidelines and by looking at a serial number, you could tell the year it was manufactured. We were told what a CFESA (Commercial Food Equipment Service Association) form was and how to fill one out correctly so that your claims would be processed on the first submittal. After class was over, I ate a quick dinner and lay across the bed, absorbing all I learned that day.
It got windy and suddenly thunder boomed in the distance. It started to rain pretty hard and I went to sleep with watching the lightening light up the sky. The next morning I met my colleague in the lobby to catch our bus to the airport. The clerk told us they had been waiting for us – there were big storms rolling in. They had moved our flight up an hour and had already started to board our plane! We began running and I almost felt famous, like a movie star that the airlines would never leave behind. They kept calling and we kept running, it seemed like the gate was miles away!
Finally we reached the gate and entered the plane – I never saw so many angry people in one place, all staring at me! I kept apologizing as we made our way to our seats and was glad when I could sit down and hide my face from the glares. I had learned a lot on my trip to Shreveport, but was glad I didn’t have to travel for a living, that’s for sure!