This has been a tough couple of weeks for me. I’ve been extremely frustrated with my contractors – specifically, my graphics guy and my computer guy.

My graphics guy has been having a hard time making it as a small business person so has taken a part-time job. Consequently, I can never get hold of him, and it’s like pulling teeth to get him to return a phone call. Of course, that was a problem before he got a part-time job – it’s just worse, now. I’ve had similar problems with graphics people in the past – I put it down to their artsy temperament!

However, I have a business to run and this model isn’t serving me well. A couple of weekends ago, I spent 8 hours trying to create a graphic my graphics guy could do in 15 minutes. I’ve pretty much decided I have to take a course and learn how to run my graphics program so I have the basics – time and money out the door because I can’t find a good contractor!

My computer guy is a whole ‘nother story! He answers his phone and makes appointments with me. Here’s a little history for the last couple of weeks:

We set an appointment for the 18th – I had a list of small-to-medium issues I needed taken care of – most important of which was setting up a network.

He had several issues he needed to research so took the laptop so he could work on it at his shop and was supposed to have it back to me on the 24th, at the latest.

Meanwhile, he only fixed a couple of very minor issues on my list, and left my computer in worse shape than when he came! (For instance, I wanted the laptop to be able to print, but now my desktop computer defaults to the laptop printer, and I can’t get it to default to where it should be! Eeeek!)

I called to confirm on the 23rd and was assured I’d have it on the 24th.

On the 26th, I still didn’t have the laptop, so I called again.

He immediately goes on the offense saying he called but I wasn’t home and he thought I might have gone out of town! Well, that’s ridiculous – I was probably on the phone, and he didn’t leave a message or call the next day.

His response to me was “I did due diligence.”

That evening (the 26th), his assistant called and wanted me to meet him ½ mile from my house to pick up the computer, because he didn’t want to bother to take down directions to my house.

Yesterday (the 30th), I called to set up a remote session to finish setting up the network and we set an appointment for between 2:00-2:30. I never heard from him.

So, today I’m on the phone calling new computer guys – I have to have one, but I need one I can count on.

“What’s the moral of this story?” you ask. “Why should we care about your personnel problems?” Well, dog trainers are contractors. We should be very aware of the service (and impression) we’re giving to our clients. We shouldn’t get complacent and think that because we’ve been working with them long enough to have a friendly relationship, we can slack on our service. The “due diligence” comment from my computer guy was really the straw that broke this camel’s back. I don’t want due diligence from my contractors – I want great service.

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