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  • Writer's pictureSarah

Do you have a monkey on your back?

So I'm sat here upstairs at the desk, watching out of the window at a bit of a carry on.

Let me paint you a picture ... (not sure what you call an upcoming pun? Anyway ...)

Across the drive from me, an elderly couple have recently moved in.

They've had lots of work done to the house including a lot of new fencing, and trellis going around the side of the house and garden. And they've had a shed put up in the garden.

They've hired painters to paint all of this lovely new wood. Grey, in fact.

They came on Monday - just one guy, at first.

I noticed how the old couple would come out on a semi-regular basis and just sort of hover around. Watching.

On the second day the painter brought a colleague. One would work on one part of the fence, the other would come at it from the other end.

The old couple then split up and monitor each guy.

This went on for three more days.

Clearly things weren't going as quickly as they (painter or elderly couple?) would like so come Friday (bank holiday) there were four people painting.

The elderly couple couldn't split themselves four ways and so they'd pick an average space between the four poor souls, and just sort of watch.

Every now and then you would see them pull the leader of this team to one side to show them something - something on a panel not to their liking, I assume.

Unfortunately for the painters the weather was decent, and so the couple stayed outside for much of the day.

Right now I can see the leader of the team, who I assume is the owner of the business, having what looks like a heated discussion with the elderly couple about something.

Having attentive customers is good, often helpful. Their knowledge on a subject, or ideas on their wants and desires, are more detailed than your own understanding, And they can pass along information that helps with the job at hand.

But sometimes it can be like having a monkey on your back.

Work becomes harder than it should be.

Perhaps it's never good enough.

You bend over backwards to try and appease your client.

You put so much work in the job becomes unprofitable.

And when the job has finished you're out of pocket and without the prospect of additional work or recommendation.

Sometimes you can spot very difficult customers early on, if you can, often it is better to turn the work down.

This will save you time, money, and grief in the long run.

Best, Sarah

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