Dad, daughter on building relationship
A FAMILY THAT works together stays together.
That may well be the motto that has guided father and daughter team Martin and Martina Mayers in a business that started 30 years ago.
Mayers Furniture cemented roots when Martina was born. Ten years ago, it changed to Triple M’s Building Inc.
It was Martina’s birth that triggered the start of the company, but little did she know that growing up her life was already being shaped, carved out and moulded to step into business with her father.
Today, Martina, who is an assistant joiner to her father, said she wouldn’t trade her profession for the world of riches.
Martina joined her father after she was fired from a job that paid her $250 a week.
Like her father, after giving birth to her first daughter, Martina, 30, also knew things weren’t working out in her first job.
For her, it was a natural transition to work with her father.
“Some things just come naturally. It was passed down to me in my blood stream. After each and every job, I try something else. I started off painting then I started using the power tools. Up to this day, I still help to do every single thing, even mixing concrete. There is nothing that I limit myself to in this industry.
The weight may be a little different. I would not do as much as a man would do but I would know my limits and I would work to suit,” says the small framed mother of three.
Martin was standing closely listening with pride as his daughter talked about her love for the job that he has spent years doing.
She decided to enter the trade at 20 and has not looked back.
Martina admitted she has no formal training but is happy that her father has been able to show her the ropes.
He provided on-the-job training and quipped, “she catches on quickly”.
She then chipped in with a laugh as she glanced his way: “He still hasn’t shown me all the tricks of the trade as yet.”
But Martina’s role in the business goes beyond the manual labour.
“Martina takes care of the books and dealing with the clients, that is her main role,” he said.
While working at a house in Lower Greys in Christ Church recently, the two boasted of their close knit family and the strong bond they share.
Martina grew up with her father’s parents from three months old and from then the closeness grew.
Martin, who is 50, laughed when he shared stories of times when people met them for the first time and automatically thought they were a couple.
Both laughed it off but Martina admitted that sometimes these comments get under her skin.
Martin, still laughing, said he seldom gets upset, even when he hears comments like: “Young girl, wuh you doing with that old man, you aint want a young boy?”
They both also admitted that working together was not only a joy, but easy and comfortable for them.
This family doesn’t only work together but they live together.
Martina is building her own home, pointing out that when that is completed, her father and grandmother would also be moving with her.
“The whole family will be moving together in my home which has four bedrooms and three bathrooms,” she said, explaining that after her grandfather died, they all moved to her father’s home.
Martin, however, said sometimes this close bond with his daughter caused problems with some of his female friends.
“Some people feel I shouldn’t be that close with my family but this is the same bond I had with my father. Some people just don’t understand. For example, mother is 90 years old and she worked the fields. How can I leave my mother on her own at 90? She goes with me wherever I go.”
The father and daughter have made working together and living together easy for them.
They work Sunday to Friday, starting at 6 a.m.
For this team, a typical work day starts with Martina dropping off her father at the site, before taking care of her own children and getting them ready for school.
She later joins her father and they work through the day until 4:30 p.m. when Martina leaves to head back home to her children.
“We plan our days from the night before,” said Martina.
The two decide how they would tackle the next day – if they would work on the inside or outside.
“It is basically about planning because if you don’t plan things may get off track. In this work, if you don’t plan your day’s work, you may not get through. It’s definitely about planning.”
For her, while she loves the job, there are some negatives and positives.
“Everything in life has its ups and downs. There are positives and negatives. The biggest negative is when you are at the end of a job and you are looking for a payment people will want to turn you around. That is the only downside. But majority of the customers do pay.
“The positives to it – I could leave here and go to a PTA meeting and come back – It works out for me.
The majority of time I put the positives before the negatives because if you don’t you will be sceptical all the time and you won’t get work . . ., ” she said.
For Martin, what is 100 per cent positive is having his daughter at his side. He admitted that even though he has been in the business for some years and has the experience to match, “there are things that she picks up on”.
He said he has learnt a lot in the last two years.
“Sometimes she comes with really good ideas. She tries to find ways to make the business more efficient,” he added.
He said a bonus was also the fact that Martina knows her role and doesn’t need supervision.
After an hour being interviewed, the two were ready to get back to work.
With only hours left to complete their job for the day, the two turned their attention back to the storeroom they were trying to complete. (CM)