Tuesday, March 20, 2012

First Day of Spring Home Improvement Challenge

Since it’s about 20+ degrees hotter this March than normal, I’ve been busy working out details with my mother and the contractor I’ve hired to replace her 40 year old air conditioning unit. For the past four years, my father paid the guy to fill it with freon every summer so he and my mother could enjoy a cool environment during the hot, sticky, muggy southeastern season.

I called the same contractor last summer to come over ato work his air conditioning magic once again. He had trouble getting the unit to blow any cool air on the first day. After two days of fumbling with the ancient unit, he declared she was on her last leg and would absolutely have to be replaced in Spring 2012.

So here I am, on the first day of Spring, working on my laptop at my mother’s house and managing this home improvement project (translation: trying to keep my mother from interrupting the contractor’s work and telling him how to do his job).

I love my mother with all my heart, but I wouldn’t like having her as a client. At all. I’ve had clients like my mother. They need help. They don’t know how to do X so they hire you. While you work on X, they interject with lots of unnecessary advice. I always want to ask, “If you could do this, why did you hire me?”

When a client makes constant suggestions that would override the result they are hoping to achieve, you can wind up spending extra time explaining your strategy, demographics/psychographics, how marketing messages are received, etc.

So I’ll be spending the rest of this week working remotely from mom's kitchen table while also protecting the contractor from her non-expert interference. How’s your week shaping up so far?


Lori said...

Oh Kim, I hear you! My mom shadows the repair people. She not just watches them, but she chats them up incessantly while they're trying to work. I'd go mad!

Good luck with the AC. We had ours replaced two years ago. Easy task, but not a cheap one!

Kimberly Ben said...

OMG, Lori - why do they do that??

last weekend I took Mom to Smoothie King (let the bribing begin!), and we discussed giving the contractor the space he needs to get the job done quickly. Thankfully she agreed, and has been letting him work in peace. ;)

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