Every year around this time, Sonic employees are very aware of how our manufacturing shop is progressing. No doubt the rest of the year we all pay attention to the production in our shop. However, this time of year is special. According to the owner/director of Sonic, Rob Brakeman, if all the work is completed in a timely fashion, then Sonic will shutdown between Christmas and the New Year. As you might imagine our shop foreman, Anthony, is inundated with ‘helpful’ inquiries from the rest of Sonic staff as to the progress the shop is making toward this goal. These ‘helpful’ folks are often the same people to push the button (a few times too many) on the dancing/singing snowman which resides in our lobby during December.
The good news is that in the 12 years that I have been employed here at Sonic there has only been one year where Sonic was too busy to close for the holidays. One of my former employers used to say, “if you can’t get your job done in 40 hours a week, then you are not doing it right and we need to retrain you.” Similar to this philosophy Sonic beleives that the year should end with rest and time for family and friends.
Personally, this is the best time to be off, because my wife and two daughters are also off during this time. This is about the only time of the year when all of our schedules sync up and we can all relax at the same time. No papers to grade, no classes or camps to attend and no Sonic. So, my family really looks forward to this time off together and we usually head to Florida to visit friends and family while enjoying some bright sunshine and warm temperatures.
I have found that after the shutdown I can’t wait to return to work. I’m excited to get the new year kicked off and begin to make contact with the customers who have ongoing projects. There is always a view toward new projects and the promise of new initiatives to increase capacity, streamline production and make new and improved products. Sonic has been helping our clients improve their processes, products and capture efficiencies throughout their operations for over 50 years.
Many of our employees have been here at Sonic for multiple years, in fact up to 40 years in one case. And 20-30 year tenures are not unusual here & I think in part it is because Sonic as an organization values the rest and rejuvenation that occurs once a year at the holidays. If you are able this holiday season to take a moment to spend with your loved ones — make sure you seize this opportunity. Time with loved ones will surely feed your soul and allow you to return to the work you value with new perspective and energy.
Sonic will be closed December 23, 2016 and reopen January 3, 2017. We hope you are able to enjoy this time with your loved ones. We do appreciate that not everyone has this time off, so carve a moment out for yourself during this season. Sonic also knows that some of our customers operate 24/7 in critical industries. For all of these clients please call me on my cell phone if you need support while Sonic is shut down at 203-526-5947. While I will most likely be in Florida when you call, don’t hesitate to contact me. I will find the Sonic employee closest to the building and we will overnight that critical spare part to your door. Just like the coveted holiday break, customer service and long-term relationships with our clients are part of our culture here at Sonic.
Happy Holidays and Happy New Year! I look forward to working with all of you in 2017.