We have discovered a foolproof way to tell, instantly, whether service-professionals should be engaged for a job of work, or whether they should be summarily dismissed.
We are pretty sure you will be able to guess our method, so here is a quiz.
Scenario No. One
The shower won’t drain. A plumber is called. The plumber enters the house. Barney approaches and begins a pole-dance around the plumber’s lower legs. The plumber drops to his knees and begins scritching Barney around the ears. Approximately fifteen extra minutes are spent – not wasted, mind, invested – in this non-plumbing activity.
Engage this guy?
The guy went above and beyond the call to fix the shower. It took some doing. If you must know, it involved a back-hoe actually. The guy was up to the task.
Scenario No. Two
A new laptop is purchased. Data needs to be transferred, new programs bought, and so on. A friend’s husband, who has made himself up a fancy business-card claiming he is a computer professional, is contacted. The whippersnapper enters and sees Barney. “I’m allergic to cats,” he says. Barney takes a powder into the next room. Bugs is nowhere to be seen, not that this is unusual but why make things hard for you.
Engage this guy?
The guy spent two hours messing around, did not complete the job, promised to return, did not. Phone calls and e-mails went unanswered. A week later the guy condescended to respond to a desperate e-mail, claiming – despite showing no signs of it during the visit – that he had become sick from the cats and he would not be returning to clean up the mess he left behind.
Why “mess” is because in that first visit, when I asked him to transfer my virus-protection to my new machine, he claimed that would not be necessary. Just hours after he left, I instantly came down with a severe malware and virus situation, rendering the new machine useless for Internet purposes and causing all kinds of anguish involving me running around with a thumb-drive between machines.
Scenario No. Three
A computer-repair company is called. A professional arrives on-site instantly, late Friday of a holiday weekend. Just to make sure, he says, that I get straightened out before the three-day holiday. Barney approaches and begins a pole-dance around the repair-guy’s lower legs. The guy drops to his knees and begins scritching Barney around the ears. Approximately fifteen extra minutes are invested in this non-computer-repair activity. Barney then goes one better and actually jumps up on the guy. Then ensconces himself on the table next to the desktop, as the guy works his magic. Bugsy even makes a cautious appearance, for a good sniff and scritch.
Engage the computer-repair company?
Coming right up, boys.
Oh yes. The quiz. Engage the computer-repair company-professional?
It takes the guy only a modest amount of time to sweep the virus, install the protection, download two programs, build a network so various machines can communicate remotely with each other, restore Internet service, and, subsequently and immediately, answer several e-mail questions about the new systems. Over the holiday weekend.
The price quoted was less than I paid the first guy.
So – will the friend stay married to the first guy?
No wait. That is not the question.
The question is: What’s our method, to evaluate whether to engage or summarily dismiss a professional before any harm is done?
Barney is available at very reasonable rates. This would be money well spent.