The Summer of Our Discontent
The Winter of Our Discontent, John Steinbeck's last novel, is the inspiration for today's blog post. The theme of Steinbeck's novel showcases the main character's struggles to maintain integrity and honesty within a corrupt, degenerative society whose external pressures contend against internal beliefs.
With the economic and political turmoil our society faces today, it can be tempting to cut corners, short-change customers, and/or reduce services in order to maintain or increase short-term profitability. Spoiler Alert: In the long term, it never works out that way and the company ends up a shadow of what it once was or going away altogether.
Even more tempting is the siren call to simply hang up the gloves, take off the uniform, then ride off into the sunset of a well-earned retirement. I've known a number of small, independently-owned companies that have done just that only to see their company absorbed into large, nameless corporations lacking the heart and soul of what made the original company so good.
In today's world of on-line answers and software wizardry, Martek Instruments continues to remain true to its beginnings: Offering accurate water quality instrumentation backed by excellent service from people dedicated to making analytical tools that last a long time.
A recent example is a power plant in Alabama that required an instrument upgrade for three operating units. We evaluated their application and recommend our Martek Mark 24 four channel analyzer combined with conductivity and pH sensors. Not only did this combination save them considerable panel space, but the analyzers seamlessly integrated with their existing Data Control System using cabling from the older, out-dated analyzers. We were there throughout the entire process: For the initial consult, installation, and training of plant personnel. Today, the plant is running efficiently and the personnel now have real-time data to keep it that way.
What we do is not glamorous nor does it appeal to a large consumer base. However, it does help those who work to provide us with electricity, pharmaceuticals, and integrated circuits. And that is something both honorable and worthwhile.
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