Don’t Put Me on Hold

It’s that time of year: I’m knee deep in projects, battening down the hatches before the stormy blasts of winter. Projects are basically millions of little steps all strung together. I’m not the guy who repairs the elevator, removes the tree or installs the roof. The conductor doesn’t play an instrument. The conductor gets everyone playing an instrument to coordinate their playing. I know and hire some pretty skilled people. But my pet peeve of recent is having to search to find that skill which is no one’s specialty but everyone’s necessity: communication.

Good service providers rightly see communication as secondary (however not ancillary) to the service they offer. Do first and best what you get paid for. However, that doesn’t entail that communication is necessary only when everything else is done and you have a spare moment. No news is not good news, it’s simply no news. And I like news.

I traffic in information. The best vendors know the importance of keeping me informed. Who, what, when, where and why—just like newspaper reporting. They know it ain’t good enough just to do the job. Remember, I’m the one who pays the invoices. It is important to keep me happy.

Hey, I get it: everyone’s super-busy right now. You busy, me busy. But communication is fundamental. It’s not what you do after the job is done. It is an intrinsic part of the job. You don’t get a no-contact pass for being busy. You get failing marks for poor time management. Surgeons and very few others are not expected to make calls while they’re working.

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