90-Year-Old Glass Doctor Sales Rep Ponders Retirement
February 11, 2008 // Franchising.com // - Cecil Lawrence is thinking about retiring on Feb. 11, when he celebrates his 90th birthday. He probably won't, though. The outside sales representative for Glass Doctor of North Texas retired once already. He wore out three RVs over the years traveling across the country.
"I just can't stay in the house. With the RVs, you just pick up your house and take it with you," Lawrence said. "But it got hard to be on the road. This job keeps me active. I'm used to being out with people. I just enjoy it too much. I have a group of car dealerships that I call on. I can't quit now, people would miss me."
Since he was called out of retirement in 2004, Lawrence has helped Glass Doctor of North Texas expand its business into auto glass repair and replacement services. His wealth of knowledge – Lawrence retired from Harmon AutoGlass in 2003 after 32 years in auto glass sales –youthful enthusiasm and reputation among Dallas-area car dealers have made him an inspiration to the team at Glass Doctor of North Texas.
Auto glass is actually Lawrence's second career. He worked as a car salesman for three different dealerships after he came to Dallas in 1961 from Seminole, Okla. Lawrence started his career in car sales when he settled in Seminole after World War II with his wife and twin daughters. His war experience shaped his career.
"I learned patience and loyalty during the wartime. You got used to taking orders and working hard," said Lawrence, who was a communication and navigation specialist on B-29, B-26 and B-25 bombers during the war, with a tour a duty in the European theater. "It used to be you worked somewhere until you retired. Now so many businesses get bought and sold so quickly, because they look at the numbers not the people."
Lawrence still values people, treats them honestly and serves them expectedly.
"Loyalty is important to the customer too. I treat every job ticket the same," Lawrence said. "People know what they are going to get with me. I give them good quality service at a fair price. I tell them the price up front. I might take a customer to lunch but if I do it's not to wine and dine them, it's to thank them for their business. I'll buy lunch for the entire staff, not only the dealer."
When he isn't serving customers, Lawrence cares for his wife, Laverne, who struggles with cancer. He also keeps up with his seven grandchildren.
For his loyalty to the Glass Doctor of North Texas family, Lawrence will be honored with a birthday celebration on Feb. 11 during the grand opening of the new Glass Doctor of North Texas shop in late February at 2001 Midway Road in Carrollton.
"It is such an honor to have a veteran of 'The Greatest Generation' as a part of our business," said Larry Patterson, owner of Glass Doctor of North Texas. "Cecil is an inspiration to all of us. Cecil will not be retiring any time soon. He loves what he does, he loves the people that he serves, and he always takes care of our customers. We are going to have fun honoring him on his 90th birthday this year. I look forward to celebrating 100 with him!"
For more information, contact Larry Patterson at (972) 271-6800.