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John Sciacca Writes...

Features, Reviews and a Blog by John Sciacca

Random Thoughts (Blog)

Random Thoughts (Blog)

Always Do the Right Thing

Posted on May 13, 2013 at 2:50 PM

Da Mayor: Doctor...

Mookie: C'mon, what. What?

Da Mayor: Always do the right thing.

Mookie: That's it?

Da Mayor: That's it.

Do the Right Thing, Spike Lee

A while ago I made the decision to hire someone to do basic mow-and-blow maintenance on my lawn. I made this decision much like many of our custom installation customers hire us; they needed a service – like connecting their system, or wall-mounting a TV or troubleshooting a problem – that they either couldn’t or didn’t want to do themselves.

My gardener – Mr. R – comes every two weeks and he cuts the grass, edges around the driveway and blows down the clippings. Could I do this myself? Sure. But after analyzing how much time it took to do all of this – maintaining the mower, getting the gas, cutting the lawn, cleaning the equipment and putting it away, bagging the grass and then cleaning up afterwards – I decided that my time was more valuable than what I pay Mr. R to do the job for me.

However, Mr. R has a bad habit of driving over sprinkler heads and breaking them. He’s done it FIVE times so far. Then he has the even worse habit of not telling me about it. So instead of dealing with it straight away, at some point I randomly discover that one of the sprinklers has been obliterated and that is has been hemorrhaging water for who-knows-how-many-days.

When I discover this, well, I get pretty pissed off. I no longer think about the great job he did cutting the grass or the time that he is saving me. I am rage-focused to seeing only that damn broken sprinkler and wonder why he didn’t have the courtesy to tell me about it, or, better yet, to take the initiative to repair the problem himself and saving me the time and expense.

Instead I have to spend part of my time digging up sprinkler lines, cutting out the broken parts, driving to Lowe’s to get replacements and then repairing the system and putting the lawn back together.

Do you think this is likely to make me want to recommend Mr. R to others?

Over the years, I have made my share of mistakes on jobsites. I slipped off of a rafter in an attic and fell into a client’s kitchen. (Every bit as awesomely graceful as you are imagining.) I’ve had drills that have “walked” on me and torn up other trades wiring. I’ve “missed” drilling up from a crawl space and came up through a client’s floor. I’ve moved furniture that has scratched up a customer’s hardwood flooring. I’ve dropped a soldering iron onto carpeting. I’ve…well, you get the idea. (Hey, fifteen years is a long time to accumulate some screw-ups...)

Mistakes happen, but if you make one, own up to it. And if it is in your power, rectify it.

In short, do the right thing.

Now, doing the right thing can come in different forms. Click here to continue reading three ways you should always do the right thing...

Categories: May 2013, CTA