June 15, 2017
Paul Brydges
LO President

Paul BrydgesOkay, day two of no rain. Cross your fingers and let’s see how many days we can actually string together. How can it be that clients never understand that sometimes one day of rain can cause 10 days of slow-down on a site. And so far this year, we’ve had record rainfalls in April and a soggy start to May.

Talking with our contracting team, I think every year we gain experience in dealing with clients’ unrealistic expectations, but we also may become a little more jaded when it comes to our responses. In my weekly tours around the province with our contracting teams, we often laugh (and also cry) and try to console each other about some of the crazy phone calls we receive from clients.

Who hasn’t heard the phone ring with questions like; “How soon can you get here, it hasn’t rained in two days? It’s the Wednesday before the May long weekend, can I have my gardens cleaned up for a party before then? I am having family in for Canada Day and I want a pool.”

The list is endless, and just when you think you’ve heard it all, a new question comes across the bow to baffle the limits of logic even further.

Our experience says, talk to friends, colleagues and team members about how crazy it is. Take a breath, take a walk, laugh out loud good and hard.

A great mentor of mine asked me a question once on how I should get from point A to point B in a hurry. My answer, of course, was I run. He asked me to simplify my answer and tell him what motion was required. After some serious head scratching and him looking at me quite perturbed, I began, “I put one foot forward and…” He stopped me there and said, “Exactly! One foot at a time, in front of the other.”

No matter how fast life gets, or how many directions we are trying to go, we all get there the same way — one foot in front of the other. The faster you try to go (like writing this article before the deadline) the slower you get. Going fast causes mistakes and time is then spent going back to fix mistakes, which also adds frustration.

Some clients will simply never wait for good service and product. That fact is hard to take and challenging to let go of, but it is true. Some clients will never fit into the way we do business. Let them go, politely and professionally, and move on to the clients who appreciate and are willing to pay for quality. We can’t chase down every lead, or satisfy every client, but we can do our very best for every one we choose to work with.

Good luck out there this spring. Collaboration is the key to success for all of us. Laugh hard, work hard and live well. Cheers!
Paul Brydges may be reached at paulbrydges.la@sympatico.ca.