Hard to find good help.

vacuumA friend of mine, diagnosed with asthma, was recently told that she needed to stop vacuuming and dusting in her home.

I know. Tragic.

Mary planned her budget, paid some bills off, and looked for someone clean her home. Her husband Bill found a company that claimed they would make their image sparkle, and asked for a home visit. The owner stopped by and offered a quote, left some paperwork, and the couple hired the cleaning company to stop by a week later.

Their experience was less than ideal. Dusty base boards. Dust on doors and furniture. Floors not cleaned all the way into the corners. Rugs poorly vacuumed. Within a couple of days, they had found enough obvious areas that had not been cleaned, and decided it was not worth attempting to have the cleaning company back.

Bill sent an e-mail to the owner thanking her for her time, but informing her that they “would not be continuing with her services.” He wished her the best in her future business endeavors, and went back to the drawing board.

Fast forward a week, and the owner, we’ll call her Crystal, phoned Mary, and asked what went wrong. Mary ¬†explained that between the list of rules that Crystal left and the results of her first cleaning, that she didn’t feel like it was a good match.

Crystal went off. Started interrupting. Very deffensive, she repeated “your house was dirty!” multiple times. After asking Mary what went wrong, she refused to listen to the answer, made no attempt to salvage the relationship, and in the end, hung up on Mary.

I was discussing this with my wife, and this really seems indicative to us of what we’ve experienced ourselves. In spite of the nastiest economic situation since the Great Depression, it is really hard to find good service these days. My friend Melissa at Wisefly auto glass will talk to you about quality all day long… I’m mentioning her here mostly to try to bait her into telling a story about quality, but I’m sure she’ll agree. It is getting increasingly tough to find good help these days.

One of my favorite TV personalities, Tom Colicchio of Top Chef fame, was in a TV spot yesterday talking about the Shine a Light program sponsored by American Express and NBC Universal. The invitation is simple. Share a program about a small business you know that you find inspiring.

You know what’s sad? I had a hard time thinking of anyone I would want to nominate (apologies to Melissa, of course, but as I haven’t personally done business with Wisefly, it would be hard to make that nomination). I have companies with which I am personally associated that I really like and am passionate about, but as far as a small business that I patronize regularly and feel really “gets it” better than almost anyone else, I am having a hard time coming up with anything.

I hope your experience is different. In this economy, I want to hear about the people who really get it. I only have so much money to spend on goods and services, and I want to be able to patronize businesses owned by people who bring the same care and attention to the way they treat their customers as I try to bring to mine. If you know of someone deserving, please head on over to Shine a Light and let them know. And share your story here, too, if you have a few moments.

Photo Credit: “Sun” by melle_oh / CC BY 2.0

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