Just Showing Up

Good help is hard to find. I think we’ve all heard that, if not said that, particularly if you’re a homeowner.

One of the themes of our home ownership, however, goes a tad more basic than even that. Even good help can be no help at all, if they don’t show up.

I would seem like that would be one of the most fundamental aspects of doing work of any sort, for anyone.

Showing up.

And I mean that quite literally.

For years we had a landscaping service that would show up … sometimes. Oh, we were on a regular, weekly schedule, it’s just that half the time — perhaps even more — the designated day would roll around and the workers wouldn’t. When we finally found a service that seemed to be reliable, we were overjoyed. In fact, so much so, that we probably cut them some slack when it came to quality simply because they were reliable.

The devil you know, versus the devil that doesn’t show up.

The unreliable yard service is my poster child for the issue because it persisted for a long time, and across multiple requests for consistency until one day … surprise, surprise … they were no longer in business. Yes, we’d looked for others in the mean time, and they were typically just as bad. The folks that showed up could be counted on, and — years later, now — they’re still with us today (and I’m pleased to say that quality has improved somewhat as well).

But the problem is much greater than that. We see it in so many aspects of the service and services industry. People take on a responsibility to be somewhere at an appointed time — perhaps even a recurring schedule at appointed time (often known as “a job”) — and they end up losing the work, their employment, or in some cases their businesses. Not because they did a bad job, but because they were unreliable. Because they didn’t show up when they said they would. Even the best in any profession loses incredible value if they can’t be counted on.¬†(And yes, I know, “stuff happens” — but it shouldn’t be happening with regularity, and with so many communications options available today there’s almost no reason not to send word.)

That’s why my gratitude today is for the businesses and people that do it right. It came to mind as we had some tree work done (by Heritage Tree Care). They showed up when promised, they communicated before, during, and after, and they did a great job. We love them for the great job they do, but honestly … many people have our business just by showing up when promised. Not only is that important all by itself, but it’s an indicator of the responsibility they’re likely to take for the work they do.

So to all of the business people, services, employees, and others who meet their commitment, who keep their appointments, who show up when promised: thank you. You’d be surprised at how much we’ve come to appreciate that one simple gesture.

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