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Edition 382 – Contrasting Styles

Our house has been a construction zone the past month. Following last year’s weather and flooding, we suffered some internal damage that, finally, we were able to book in the repairs for.

On the first day of proceedings, we had two young tradesman turn up. Jai and Levi arrived on time, all prepared for the day ahead. Inside the tradies van was all the gear that was necessary for any eventuality that takes place on site.

These two young gentleman, one the owner of his own small business, the other his assistant, were meticulous in the way they went about their work. They spent the first hour on site, walking through the house and getting an update on what needed to be repaired. They then proceeded to lay plastic drop sheets everywhere – over the top of furniture and in all the traffic areas. It was only then, they went to work.

Throughout the day, Jai and Levi removed the ceiling in our bedroom and in our back living room, a monumental task in anyone’s books. Every step of the way, as one of them was doing the gyprock removal and replacement, the other was constantly vacuuming, to ensure the dust was kept to a minimum. They were outstanding and in a single day, had attended to all the heavy work that was needed. Fast, efficient, and considerate – what more could you ask for?

Next day, well, that’s a different story? It was the Plasterer’s turn and he was tasked with preparing all the replacement ceiling and cornices for painting. His work was untidy and ultimately led to the painter needing to spend an additional two days on site to tidy up the poor workmanship. When he wrapped up proceedings at the end of the day, the Plasterer merely dragged the drop sheets, full of dust and dried plaster, through the house, leaving a trail of mess for us to clean up. We thought the fact he didn’t turn up with all his tools of trade was bad enough, however, the piece de resistance was to come.

I’m working away in my study when I hear the Plasterer wander into the bathroom and use the facilities with the bathroom door open. I’m just grateful that I was home when it happened so that Trish didn’t have to be confronted with the situation on her own. To top it off, when I went searching for the spoon he asked for earlier in the day to eat his lunch with, I couldn’t find it until, when putting the contents of the dishwasher away, I opened up the cutlery drawer only to find the dirty spoon, replete with food still on it, placed inside the drawer. I may have actually dry-retched at that point.

The wash-up of all of this:

  1. Extra time on the job for the tradespeople engaged by the insurance company.
  2. Reduced profit on the job.
  3. Reputational damage to the insurance company as a result of the use of poor tradespeople.
  4. Over investment with the client to hose down the concerns and get the relationship back on track, which involved having to go above and beyond to keep the client (i.e. us) happy.

The contrasting styles of the two different days was stunning. The good was really good, yet the bad was truly awful. The two young tradesman saw the work they did today, led to more work tomorrow, which guaranteed the success of their business. Yet, the plasterer saw his job as, merely, a job – nothing more, nothing less.

For those of you with staff, take the time to observe how your team go about their work on a daily basis. What are they like on site? How are they when they’re face-to-face with your clients and customers. What’s the language they use? Are they proud of what they’re doing and of the business they work for? Or, is it merely a job, that pays the bills, until a better job comes along?

This Week’s Tip

“Sometimes, it takes years to win a client, and minutes to lose them!