Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Sealed with a handshake

There are few things I dread and despise more than house renovations. The language of construction coupled with the dust and disarray of construction have defeated me numerous times before. Alas, that most dreaded day has arrived once again.

One of the upstairs showers has a rusted pan. Well, that might not be the right term, but it leaks and the entire thing has to be replaced. Tiles have to be removed, the leaking pan replaced along with a myriad of additional mysterious things, and new tiles installed. Because the vintage floor tiles match the vintage shower tiles, but not the new shower tiles, they will also need to be replaced.  

After struggling with the decision to proceed for a shameful amount of time, I have hired a builder and he has brought me a tile man who can do the shower. Tonight the tile man came to price the project. I liked him. There was something about the quiet way he met my eye when we were introduced that inspired confidence. 

I showed him the project, listened as he explained what would need to be done, and held my breath as he did a quick calculation. The price was right and we moved to a discussion of the timetable. "I can start tomorrow, he said. "I have another job that starts next week, but I will completely finish this job before I start that one." This man was speaking my language! I smiled and said, "Agreed. What time will you be here tomorrow?" He reached out his hand and said, "I will be here at 8:00," and smiled. The deal was sealed. 

I cannot remember the last time I made a business deal that was sealed with a word and a handshake. I make verbal contracts all the time, but there was something about the handshake that sealed the deal quite nicely. It told me that this was a man of his word and I could count on him to do what he said. 

A man of his word. Isn't that a wonderful description? I'd like that to be how people describe me, wouldn't you? It's simple really. 
Say what you mean. 
Mean what you say. 
Do what you promise. 

This man looked  me in the eye, shook my hand, and said, "It will take me eight days to do the work in the shower, one more day for the floor." By June 11th, I should have a new shower and floor. If he really means what he said, I will. I'm counting on it. 

Say what you mean. 
Mean what you say. 
Do what you promise.

It's a good way to do business. It's a good way to live, too.