Jewish World Review August 3, 2001 / 14 Menachem-Av, 5761
http://www.jewishworldreview.com -- THERE'S a little tip for all you young folk who may be aspiring electricians, plumbers, contractors and handymen or might be thinking about doing it for a living -- CAUTION: YOU ARE ABOUT TO ENTER A LINE OF WORK WHICH OFFERS A SERVICE TO PEOPLE. THIS MEANS THREE THINGS:
1. YOU WILL BE REQUIRED TO PROVIDE A SPECIFIC SERVICE OF WHICH YOU SHOULD BE REASONABLY KNOWLEDGEABLE AND SOMEWHAT CAPABLE OF PERFORMING.
2. YOU WILL BE REQUIRED TO DEAL WITH OTHER HUMAN BEINGS IN A CIVILIZED, COURTEOUS MANNER.
3. YOU ARE SELLING YOUR SERVICES TO THE PUBLIC AT LARGE, SO YOU REALLY SHOULD TRY TO ANSWER TELEPHONE CALLS AND RETURN MESSAGES FROM CLIENTS AND PROSPECTIVE CLIENTS.
My advice is, if you feel you cannot meet all of the above qualifications, please do the world a favor and go into some other line of employment. Preferably a vocation where you can work without interfacing with anyone else. Digging post holes somewhere out in Death Valley would be one suggestion.
Just what is the problem with so many so-called "service people" that they seem to be incapable or unwilling to provide "service?" They carry cell phones and pagers around with them at all times and yet they won't return a call in less than three days, if your lucky. And once you schedule an appointment with them it's a toss up whether they will actually show up on time or at all.
I had a recent experience with a handyman who's name I got from an ad in a local community paper. At first, he seemed okay, even friendly. His prices were a bit high I thought, but if he's reliable, it would be worth it. It turned out this guy never answers a phone call, he lets his answering machine pick up all calls at all times -- even when he's there. If he feels like it, he'll call you back ...maybe. (actually, if you're really lucky, he won't call you back at all.)
Among many other things, he did some work for us on a toilet. After the work was done, that night we were sitting in the den when we heard a loud crash from the bathroom. The toilet tank had filled with so much water that it literally blew the top off! We quickly turned the valve off under the toilet to keep the tank from overflowing and we called the handyman. Of course we got his answering machine. We left a desperate plea for help but he never returned our call that night. We called him again the following day -- nothing -- never returned the call. And this is after we paid him about $800 for what amounted to a day's work.
So that's the end of this guy as far as I'm concerned. I'll never use him again, nor will anyone else who knows me. He lost a lot of potential work because he's a flake. One thing -- you should always check to see if the guy has a state license number. This jerk didn't have one and that should have tipped me off.
The good news is, we have found another handyman who is terrific, reasonably priced, on time, and even answers his
phone! What a joy! How nice! And what a novelty it is to find a service person who actually performs the service you're
hiring him for. I may legally adopt this
JWR contributor Greg Crosby, former creative head for Walt Disney publications, has written thousands of comics, hundreds of children's books, dozens of essays, and a letter to his congressman. You may contact him by clicking here.