The Wheel that Squeaks the Most

wheelI know times have changed and people have changed, but I have yet to get accustomed to the way service people as well as municipalities conduct themselves. Not so many weeks ago, a client was attempting to have some work done on a home they were preparing for sale. It soon became evident that getting qualified people to come and make the necessary repairs was challenging. I consider myself quite fortunate to have a handful of people I can call who are not only talented in their skills, but also fair in their prices.

Perhaps North Iowa lacks enough competitive skilled workers. Every time I’ve had a “no show” while waiting for someone to come and give an estimate for future work or an existing repair, I immediately think how long someone like that would last in the sales arena. Just today, I spoke with someone who was supposed to work on getting a problem situation corrected beginning five years ago. Again, I wondered how long this person would last in a job where each day there is an accounting of things to do as well as planning for things to be done.

No one of us are perfect in our jobs, but at least some of us work at providing valued services each and every day. We should not feel as though we are being held hostage by some corporate customer service department where we’re treated as nothing more than a number. A young man who was supposed to return my call on Saturday, finally called early this afternoon after my leaving messages on his cell phone at least four times since Saturday morning. I asked him why he didn’t return my calls, and his only answer was, “I was busy.” He doesn’t realize it, but he would be one of the last people I would call for goods or services. Unless someone is really in the loop of business, most have no idea how much time is wasted on follow-up calls.

A businessman whom I’ve known for sometime mentioned to me several days ago that he’s glad the retirement years are soon to arrive for him due to the changes in the business environment. He mentioned how it has become more difficult to keep his business running due to the lack of incentive within his company. I did mention how much I dis-like pestering tradespeople to do something. Perhaps they live by the saying, “The wheel that squeaks the most, gets the grease.” There is a footnote to that saying that most haven’t heard, and that is: “And, if the wheel squeaks too much, it gets changed.”

Joe Chodur

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