After running a restaurant for 14 years, I could tell you a thing or two about back pain. Basically, I run back and forth all day and all night between customers. Then, when the lights are out, and everyone is gone, I start cleaning. Nothing is quite as tortuous as sweeping and mopping once my sciatica was acting starts act up, shooting pain down my leg in icy tendrils. Taking some advice for once, I purchased a steam vacuum that sweeps up and mops all at the same time. I was happy for about six month, then it broke. Since it was meant for personal and not commercial use, the machine took exception to the workload I myself was used to. I went through another one before I realized that I needed something more reliable, preferably one that I did not have to lean so far over to push and guide.

That’s when I heard about the tennant floor scrubber. Due to some inclement weather, one of my suppliers arrived late with a delivery. I was in the middle of mopping and it was just a bad day for my sciatica. The supplier put down my order of napkins and paper towels and asked if he could use a computer. A few seconds later, he was explaining to me that there was a machine that could do the work for me. I side-eyed him because this was right after the second wet vac had gone kaput. Scott just kept pointing to the picture, so I finally looked closer. I gasped when I saw that the tennant floor scrubber had much higher handles than the wet vac. I was already impressed because I wouldn’t have to bend so far over and kill my back. Then, I realized that this gizmo would do a much better job than me and that is was made to be used for much larger spaces than my good-sized restaurant. So, it would not keep breaking down on me.

I used that tennant floor scrubber more than a few years. I also passed on Scott’s advice to many friends with businesses.  Cal Stevens was a friend of mine from high school who owns a hardware store now. Somehow, I got talking about how the tennant floor scrubber or one of its larger brethren could help him clean up without wrecking his back. Two weeks later, he had bought one and thanked me profusely.  I figure by now I should have stock in the company, I have talked it up so much. In reality, I was helping friends and fellow entrepreneurs run their businesses better by keeping them clean and preventing long-term back issues that would have resulted in a higher leave of absence due to illness.

When my son took over the restaurant a few years ago, he also inherited my best worker. He said it was his favorite employee because it worked for free, was quiet and OSHA-compliant. The last I heard, the tennant floor scrubber was still going strong, cleaning floors and saving backs.