Procrastination is like a credit card. It's a lot of fun until you get the bill.
Unlike a lot of Sunday mornings, there was no hesitation when it came to what I wanted to share, and it's all thanks to Sarasota County Utilities.
Here's the scenario. Three weeks ago I reported a water leak in our front yard. It was a Saturday, and the county sent somebody out immediately. He put white flags on the property to mark the leak and later called to let me know somebody would be out Monday to do the repair. He also gave me "good" news - it was before our meter so we wouldn't be charged for the water usage.
By Thursday when the leak hadn't been repaired I called again. A day later another tech came out and added blue flags, better marking the spot of the leak. A few days later, it still wasn't repaired, and the leak was more significant, with water running down the street in front of three houses to the sewer drain. I called again and a day or two later noticed somebody had added orange flags!
Okay, one more call to complain about thousands of gallons of water going down the drain. At this point we had more flags in our front yard than the Memorial Day Parade. In the conversation I added we were ready to call the local news station, "7 On Our Side," and question the wisdom of nothing being done after almost 2 1/2 weeks.
That must have done the trick, because later in the day four trucks pulled up in front of the house, one of them with a flatbed trailer and a backhoe. It was the textbook definition of overkill. In fact, earlier in the week two neighbors had stopped by to see if I needed help fixing the leak. It was a simple 15-minute repair, although amusing to watch when they had to cut the line to cap it off! For thirty seconds it looked like a geyser in Yellowstone.
So, what's my point this morning? I know this is typical of county government, but as a small business owner, handle problems as quickly as you can. And, don't set up a maze for your clients to wander through in search of help. Take it a step further in your personal life too, and when there is a challenge, fix it. Even more important, do it right the first time, and there's a good chance you won't have to come back again to the same problem.
When I was a kid my Grandma Alice used to darn my socks - it's a lost art today! Then she'd give me a lecture on giving her the ones with the holes early so she could fix them right away. That would send her into her "Stitch in time saves nine" line, which virtually anybody under forty doesn't relate to today! LOL
It's really simple - don't be Sarasota County! Work on solutions right at the time of the challenge. Respond back to everyone involved early and stop wasting energy procrastinating. Most of us have learned the hard way - when you hide from solving a problem it only gets bigger! In the end, it takes twice as much work to resolve or sadly, sometimes it's beyond resolution.
Wishing everybody an outstanding Sunday and a day filled with minimal challenges, peace and a moment to cherish everything you have in your life. We've all been glued to the news this week watching the lives and dreams of thousands of people in California disappear. And, while we might feel helpless because there's so little we can do, keeping everybody out west in our thoughts and prayers can never hurt. As always, go for those eleven-second hugs with those people most special in your life!
Check out "Why?" one of the most popular features on the SCU Blog. It's a very simple concept - one image, one artist and one short sound bite. Each artist shares what makes the image one of their most favorite. We're over 100 artists featured since the project started. Click on the link above and you can scroll through all of the episodes to date.