This is trivial and it’s also everything in the barbaric fabric of our “society”

Monday, 10. October 2011

All my life I’ve wondered exactly why one has so much trouble with “suppliers” and “services” that one is forced to buy. For me, lately, this has included garages, builders, doctors, grief counsellors, dentists, hear aid bandits, greenhouse suppliers, removals people, lawyers, accountants… the list is endless.

From all of these only two have provided what I would call good service, to whit one doctor from about twenty I have seen in the last five years and one tradesman out of about ten. My accountant is brilliant and so have been some of the countless nurses and paramedics I have encountered, though many of these have also been mediocre.

Why no Dr House style diagnosis (they get paid enough; they act like Gods); why does the final bill come in at almost double their estimate (and late; and after they failed to keep their word on any important point; and after they contracted the job out without telling you and without supervising their own subcontractor).

I used to think people just didn’t have very high standards or didn’t even go the first five yards never mind the whole nine. But now, watching our latest ever so friendly builders sizing up essential works to adapt the house and garden for my disability I have finally identified the central problems: a) none of them can communicate, even the doctors b) when they talk to you about the job they are thinking of their time, convenience, profit and have no interest in yours, and c) they don’t know the limits of their own knowledge.

This last one is the most important. Doctors make you pay by wasting your time and taking any approach they can find that atomises the situation according to safe (for them) protocols; they never think creatively like they do in the movies and on TV, never. Builders and tradesmen take on jobs they cannot time, cost or organise requiring skills they do not even have; once they have their fangs into you, their equipment on site and the clock is ticking against your at so much per man day -0 they are actually charging you for their own on the job training and their own sheer uselessness.

How else would it be, you might say. If they were Saint Steve Jobs, the patron saint of shiny plastic they wouldn’t have become builders.

I have from time to time hired minor services from people on Ecademy and in some cases I have found exactly the same thing: that some essential piece of research, design, project logistics has been overlooked and the product is therefore disappointing. You end up doing what they didn’t or couldn’t do because they didn’t care.

Most things I can do myself and when I was learning the CV business back in 1992 I often worked gratis for hours on complex careers simply to train myself and make the concepts and jargon easier for me to get right in future. I didn’t make other people pay for my shortcomings.

God, I really hope I find a way to solve this problem before I die without going postal on one of these dreadful people who do not give 100%, nor even 50% in most cases, yet always make sure that they never suffer the loss and the waste, which shows that they do know and it ain’t just a simple mistake.

The deficit never falls on them.

3 Responses to “This is trivial and it’s also everything in the barbaric fabric of our “society””

  1. Vincent Says:

    That sounds like a brilliant vocation: “to solve this problem”.

    Forgive me, but I can’t help comparing your case with that of Christopher Hitchens. I read his autobiography, Hitch-22. I don’t agree with him about everything, perhaps not on anything, but he has integrity. He has laryngeal cancer and he’s not letting it get in his way, whilst he has the strength.

  2. RealSteveHolmes Says:

    Sounds like a very brave man. Would he like it here, do you think?

  3. Vincent Says:

    You must judge for yourself. I get feeds from this site:

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