Jul 7, 2006

There's My Time and Then There's Contractor Time

I was reading about a survey done by Watson Wyatt, an employee benefits consulting company. It seems that 34 percent of middle managers were rated as above average on their last performance review. That means that 66% were average or below. Wouldn't 50% be average or above and 50% average or below? Seems fishy to me. The lovely Mrs. Sneed opined that she would be interested to know what percent were rated below average, because in our experience managers are reluctant to be honest enough with underperformers to rate them as such. That got me to thinking about a customer service experience I had yesterday. The lovely Mrs. Sneed and I are having some work done at Casa Sneed. We are having some interior walls extended and the joint painted. Work was to start yesterday. The contractor had promised to call me when his guys left the shop so that I could get home to let them in. The approximate ETA was 10:30 am. First problem, no call. Since I didn't have the contractor's cell number on me, I left work at 10:30 and drove home to see if they were idling in my driveway. They weren't there. I called my guy and he said the truck broke down, but that the workmen would be there by 1:00 pm. I waited and I waited. At 1:45 pm I called him again. No answer but I left a message. At 2 o'clock, one guy showed up in what was clearly not a work vehicle. He came in surveyed the situation and said he would be back at 8:00 am today. Then he left. Most of my day was wasted. My advice for business, as well as life, is to do what you promise and the world will beat a path to your door. Now on the saner things. (click for larger image) This is a Fishhook Pincushion Cactus. This tiny cactus reaches about 6" in height. It has dense needles so thick that it is difficult to see the actual body of the plant. There is a ring of blossoms around the top, with one open flower. Like many desert plants this cactus blooms during the rainy season. It typically grows beneath a "nurse plant" that provides shade from the desert sun and protection from predators, accidental trampling and other dangers such as frost. Saguaro Cacti with the best chance to reach maturity also grow beneath nurse plants. This photo shows a Saguaro that has out grown its need for the nurse plant, in this case a Palo Verde tree. It is difficult to gauge the age of a saguaro, but this one is likely 30-40 years old, in my opinion. The Saguaro often outcompetes the nurse plant for valuable water resulting in the tree's death. Have a good day. Merle Tag:

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