Sunday, January 24, 2010

Chicago, Chicago

My husband, our son and I arrived home late last night after six full days in Chicago. Cary and Brandon were in training to become certified Bernina Sewing Machine Technicians. As a new Bernina dealer we want to provide top notch service. Even though it is a well known fact around here that my husband is capable of doing anything I ask of him, certified training is the only way to go.

A great tec person is worth their weight in gold and the only way "good" becomes "great" is through experience and training. After all, nobody wants to trust their sewing machine "baby" to unqualified hands. I am happy to report that I feel very confident that once my customers meet Brandon, they will be willing to trust their "baby" to MY baby.

Little did I know that years ago when Brandon was using my scrap basket to make ponytail scrunchies as a way to meet girls, I actually had a Tec in training! I should have seen the clues, especially because he developed an interested in exactly what my machines could do much earlier than his sisters.

To prep Brandon for his repair class, I insisted that he actually sew several things starting with Christmas gifts for his sisters. He learn to embroider and experienced several successes as well as a few failures before attending training. I think it is important that he understand YOUR level of frustration when something is wrong with your machine.

His experience certainly helped him understand what to look for in training. It also helped build his confidence along with the fact that he has unlimited access to this amazing Chicago Tec department that is staffed by Swiss Technician if he ever feels he is in over his head.
While my Tecs spent long days ripping apart and reassembling thousand dollar sewing machines I spent the week in new dealer training classes.

Six days is a long time to spend on a business trip. It means 5 nights of sleeping in a Holiday Inn while the work at home keeps piling up. In my case it also meant spending from 8am until 6pm each and every day in a hotel conference room with the same people. That could have been a recipe for disaster. Thankfully, it was a very enjoyable group! I think that we would all agree that our tour of the home office was the highlight of the week.

You can see us in their spotless warehouse ohhhing and awhing over carton after carton of sewing machine accessories. LOOK AT THAT STACK OF MACHINES! They would fill several tractor trailer trucks. With the top of the line selling for around $12,000, can you imagine what that pile of goodies is worth? The Bernina warehouse also houses Brewer, a book pattern and notions distributor. I would have gladly skipped lunch if they would have allowed me to roam these aisles and peek inside all of those bins of goodies! - maybe next time.

Now I have to get back to work and catch up on my quilt shop responsibilities.

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