The Doctor, the Plumber and the Cabinet Maker


The Doctor

I was troubled…it all started with the Doctor…we had to take my 3-year old son for an opinion on a medical matter. We decided to take him to the hospital in our area with the best reputation. We were referred to the esteemed specialist doctor by the hospital administration. During the brief, ten minute consultation with the doctor, he advised us the child would need surgery and that this was a small procedure that would only take a morning in the theatre. “Oh, and on your way out… just make an appointment with my assistant at reception to book the theatre.”

Being the sceptical parents that we are, we decided to not hasten into anything quickly (especially  not into a traumatising event such as putting a 3-year old through surgery!) So I hopped onto Google and lo and behold found thousands of sites, flooded with information about this particular problem. Now, of course you have to use your brain and understand that not that everything you read on the internet is necessarily believable, but  obviously when you start looking at information from reputable organisations and you find that the advice you have been given is really questionable.

We decided to wait and not act on this “urgent” surgery and within 6 months the problem sorted itself out.

This troubled me…

If you can not trust the advice of a Specialist, who has spent years studying medicine and then went on to get years of experience

The Plumber

Not long after this, I started developing a problem with my Geyser. It required a new thermostat and a release valve. After the insurance sent the guy out, the plumber attempted to charge me for double the amount – he figured he could charge the insurance company and me for the same job.

This really troubled me…

These things are most definitely everyday occurrences in most peoples’ lives. The troubling thing is that it appears seems that most people just accept these kinds of incidents as part of life. “That’s just the way life is…”, “You can’t trust anyone anymore…” and “Jip, that’s just the way life is…” are common responses and then we just go on with our lives.

Why are we content with being treated with dishonesty? Why do we put-up with lack of integrity? Why do we not take people to task for not delivering on what they promise to deliver?

I don’t know … why do you think?

The Cabinet Maker

 Now let me tell you about the Cabinet maker. This is a different story though. One of hope, trust and of quality. During the same time that I had my encounters with the Doctor and the Plumber, we decided to redo our kitchen.

We gathered quotations from various Cabinet Makers and decided on one of them. This guy went out of his way, from the first day to clearly explain what his plan of action was going to be and how these plans might inconvenience us. He went out of his way to be friendly, accommodating and in his dealings he consistently delivered quality work, while doing what he said he would do.  When things happened that were beyond his control, he communicated this and how it would affect his deliverables.

The end product was one of pleasure, since the Cabinet Maker took pride in not only his work, but also in his dealings with his clients, it made is a satisfying and pleasant experience for all concerned.

Change – It starts with me!

What I do know, is that from today, going forward, starting with me, how people treat me, is going to change!

I will stand-up and say when I’m not happy, report dishonest dealings, insist on proper service delivery. No longer will I think up excuses on behalf of others, trying to rationalise their behaviour. No longer will I settle for mediocrity and let others abuse my kind heartedness. Just because I’m friendly, does not mean you can take advantage of me!

If I can make a positive difference and these actions rub-off on others, then eventually…together, we will start making a significant difference that will grow and start making an incredible difference…for everyone!

Do you accept bad/dishonest/poor advice or service?

Do you say the difficult things, even when it’s not in your nature to do so?

Do you just let things ‘glide’ because….

Let me know what you think, click HERE

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~ by Danie van den Berg on 26/01/2010.

3 Responses to “The Doctor, the Plumber and the Cabinet Maker”

  1. Dis belangrik om die lig te laat val op werke van die duisternis. As die lig stilbly, gaan als nie op die einde in duisternis verval nie?

  2. Mmm it makes one wonder about ethics, honesty and how many people are purely in it for the money.

    Did the specialist study long and hard? Yes. Does it warrant his fees? Yes. The problem perhaps is more in the time he is/was willing to allocate and also the lack of time he spend to investigate.

    Plumbers…in general not a favourite of mine…

  3. Interesting title – the reader wants to know more! A good idea to bring unprofessionalism to light, reminding us not to be too gullible and be wary of chancers. And strategically a very good move to bring in a spark of hope, pride in workmanship and the feeling that everything is not lost on earth. More anecdotes of this kind will be appreciated.

    Change…While the contents are both positive and motivational, I personally find the need for practical markers on how to overcome that ever-present debilitating condition:- Fear! Fear of the unknown (exiting one’s comfort zone might lead to disastrous consequences)fear of failure/ success/lack of emotional intelligence to exercise the change in small steps.

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