Friday, May 22, 2015

Worth doing well

I am not cut out to be a homeowner, but I live in a house anyway. This means hiring people (usually men!) to do some chores, such as yard work, plumbing, painting, fixing--that stuff.

Twenty years ago, I was naive about this--I earnestly considered outrageous bids of hundreds of dollars for what I knew to be an hour's work. Everyone, it seemed, was out to play the old gal here.

Now, I negotiate--if they say one hundred and fifty, I say, I maybe could pay a hundred or maybe one-twenty-five--only a few times has anyone turned away and left.

But I do think sometimes they use this as an excuse to do a half-done job. The old adage of "underpromise, over deliver" is rarely in evidence.

Let me tell you from my life experience--don't do that! If you accept a job, do your best.

Why? Because you have integrity. Because that is how you roll.

Clean the job site. Don't leave parts and packaging around and drive off. Don't, as one guy did, lean a broken fence up and drive off with $200 as the thing slowly sinks to the ground. Don't--as did some roofers across the street--put new shingles on top of old and call it a day. (A few weeks later, another company came and tore everything off and started over.)

I once paid quite dearly for some weedeating and asked could they also take a couple of bags of yard waste already stacked up. Sure--for $50. I said well, OK, never mind. They left it there. No way would they toss them on the truck parked next to them--even though I was a repeat customer--without that $50.

You maybe thinking I am a cheap old bat. I have been self-employed my whole life--I know how the game works. But I never did this...barely met expectations and expected to be hired again.

One thing men do without being asked, though, is coil up hoses...what is it about an uncoiled hose they can't stand?

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