What’s wrong with these people?

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Apparently, a lot of small business people are doing great. They must be, since they don’t seem to want to work.

Earlier this month I spoke about an electrical contractor who gave me the runaround for nearly two weeks. After failing to show up twice and not returning several calls, I gave up and called someone else.

The guy seemed promising. Just a few hours after my call he dropped by to size up the job (installing two outlets and two light switches). He noted it was an easy job he could take care of quickly, and we set an appointment for the following day. As with the first guy, he didn’t show. He did, however, call me that evening to apologize, and noted he’d be in my area in a couple days and would call to give me a time when he’d come. Those days passed, and no call. I contacted him a couple days later and he promised to get back to me the following Monday and set a time for that afternoon.

I’m sure you’re way ahead of me on this. Of course, he never called. And, just like that first electrician, all my subsequent calls to him went directly to voicemail and I’ve received no return call. I don’t get it. Are these people in business or aren’t they? Yeah, I get that my job is small, but at the very least, if you’re not interested in doing the work for me, just tell me so. It won’t hurt my feelings, honest.

In fact, I appreciate your being up front, because it means I can get someone else without having to go days or weeks waiting to find out if you’ll bother to come. I understand not wanting to do a small job – I’ve turned down small assignments myself that weren’t worth my time.

But that’s the key: I turned them down without making them wait for an answer. I was right up front and told them I couldn’t do it, thanked them for thinking of me, and usually suggested someone else. I certainly didn’t string them along for a week or two and then simply pretend they don’t exist in the hope they’d just go away and leave me alone.

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