Take Pride In Your Work

Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko on Pexels.com

I love dependable service people. I have been especially supportive of them during the pandemic. When the rest of us were staying home and working virtually, they had to be out in the thick of things, often ending up sick with Covid and bordering on financial ruin as they lost work either from being ill or not having materials with which to work. They’ve taken abuse for having long wait times which were out of their control as they waited for materials. Somehow they still managed to get jobs done by hook or crook. I applaud them for being the backbone of our society.

I called a company out to install a new fence. They did an exceptional job and did not charge us a dime more than they had contracted to do even though the cost of lumber had soared and unexpected problems required more time to complete the job. I would recommend them to anyone without reservation. I appreciated their attention to detail and their willingness to work extra hours to speed along the process. 

Our chimney was falling apart and three different contractors made appointments to inspect the damage but never showed up. We finally took the advice of neighbors and called a local fellow who responded immediately and came to inspect the damage after a long day at work. He was honest, fair and did exactly what he said he would do. I now gaze at the chimney with a sense of relief and a belief that it will be sturdy for a very long time. 

We also had a major drainage problem. The side of our house was a swamp seven days a week no matter whether or not it had rained. We got some outrageous estimates of what it would take to solve the problem until our old handyman told us about a guy named Nat whom he believed would give us outstanding work for a good price. 

Nat came to the house right away and gave us three different solutions and their respective costs. We decide to go all out and still paid less than half of what the others had estimated it would take. It became apparent right away that Nat was a perfectionist who was not going to stop his work until it was perfect. Much as with the fence, getting the landscape back into good shape took an inordinate amount of time, but Nat and his crew were undaunted. Like artistic engineers they installed drains and catch basins and regraded the land until the water drained precisely out into the street and to the gutter. They laid a beautiful walkway and even seeded the bare soil with grass. It was a pleasure to watch them toiling until everything was just right. I did not mind paying them for a job that exceeded expectations. 

We also had to replace our back door because it was rotting and water came into our kitchen every time it rained. The man who installed the new door spent hours making certain that it fit just right and that it had a perfect seal when it was closed. Watching him work was like taking a master class in carpentry.

Then there was the repair of our trailer that was damaged at the end of our trip last July. Our insurance adjustor wanted to do the bare minimum. They suggested that we drive our trailer to someone that we did not know in Katy who would quickly seal a few cracks and install a new air conditioner. Instead we stuck with a guy who had serviced our trailer many times. He was known as an honest man who did things right. We were willing to pay him more for ensuring that our home away from home would not leak. We trusted him.

Months went by while our trailer that had always been stored under a cover sat in the blistering sun. We patiently understood supply chain problems. We had already guessed that it might take a bit of time for the materials needed to repair the roof to arrive. We did not complain. We were model customers. Finally we got the call for which we had been waiting for five months. Our trailer was supposedly as good as new. It was our unexpected Christmas gift. 

The first thing we noticed is that pieces of the new air conditioner were hanging from the ceiling. The trim on the exhaust fan in the bathroom was not secured. Part of the floor had come unglued and was curling up because of being unprotected from the heat for five months. After a few embarrassed excuses the so called “cosmetic” features were quickly set right. We took our trailer to its home in a storage facility and left it there until after the holidays when we planned to give it a thorough cleaning and maybe even take it out for a spin to a state park. 

It was then that we turned on the supposedly brand new air conditioner. It sounded like an old washing machine run by a pack of gerbils on a treadmill. It was not cooling either. Suddenly our patience was gone. The shoddy lack of concern for doing things properly was too much to bear after our willingness to overlook the fact that nobody had ever bothered to give us an update during our long wait or to apologize for the lousy quality of the work that left things obviously undone. We realized that whoever installed the air conditioner probably had never tested it to see if it was working. 

We have referred many people to our fence builders, our chimney repairer and our drainage artisan. They have been as happy with the craftsmanship of these workers as we have. They too have gladly recommended them to friends and family. A job well done with a sense of pride always results in even more business. Being lax and uncaring, on the other hand says something negative about a person’s honesty and abilities. 

We tend to be loyal customers. We kept the same plumber, air conditioning repairman, mechanic, barbers, hair dressers, manicurists, exterminators, carpet cleaners, painters, electricians and handymen for years. We send them more business and value them as the incredible workers that they are. A sloppy job loses our good will. No matter what you may be doing for others, do it with pride. It only takes one lousy job to tarnish your reputation and right now I’m not feeling so good about a trailer repair company that did not seem to care about making our trailer feel like home again. It really does not take that much to do right by people and the benefits that you gain by doing so are immeasurable.