Honey-do list

This past week my wife reminded me that her mother, sisters, and sister-in-law were coming to visit for four days. Now, this is not one of those posts that rag on the in-laws. I like my mother-in-law. She is nothing but a nice, hard-working, genuine person.

What caught me off guard was the level of chores I needed to get done for them to stay at my house. I think we have a nice house, not overly extravagant, but very functional.

As I sat there on Saturday morning and looked at my list, I knew my day going to be long. I started to move down the list of chores. I like lists, they keep me on track, and I like to cross things off and see some accomplishment.

One of my “to dos” was to paint the front door and attach a new kick plate. My wife and I went to Home Depot and made our (her) decision. Upon returning home, I looked at the front door and saw that there was prep work needed before I could paint.

Prep work can be just as important as the actual job. Without sanding and prepping, the paint would not adhere as well, and the door’s surface would not look as smooth.

I had a consultant who was hired to fill a difficult position. He was very knowledgeable and smart.

I took him to lunch from time-to-time to check-in and see how things are going. His response was generally the same each time:

“Good. A little slow. I wish there was more work.” he said

However, I met with the manager this last week and she was very unhappy. She was very busy and had brought that consultant in to help her finish some projects. She explained that every time she assigned him a project, he ran with it.

The problem is that she had never told him the “companies way” of doing things. She figured he was senior consultant and he should know how to do the work. But, they ended up having to redo some of his work to match the company requirements.

He was completing the projects all wrong. He needed to learn the “company’s way” of doing things. She readily admitted she needed to spend more time coaching him. And when I talked to the consultant, he admitted they had just turned him loose.

She figured, much like my door, since the paint was already on there, no real prep-work was needed. The consultant didn’t see the need to change to meet the needs of the company. After all, he knows the software. But just like the door, there needed to be some adjustment to make sure things were done correctly so the paint (work) would function as needed.

I think many problems could have been avoided through a simple dialogue of the needs and expectations of the project.

I asked for feedback several times as I painted the door. In the end my wife said the door looked good. My only problem,was that five more “to dos” came in while I was trying to paint the door.

Good luck and good times.

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