Passion Exposed

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There is an old saying that if one gets the opportunity to work with those things he is passionate about, then success is assured.  Well I don’t know about the success part, but once in a while I get the opportunity to rant and rave about one of my passions: the property preservation business.

Taking leave from writing a normal stand-alone post, I instead chose to show you my response to another response made by Steve Maxim of Maxim Enterprises.  Steve and I are friends and we enjoy challenging each other.  Anyway, after pouring out my passions on my response to him, I don’t think I have it in me to write another word today.

In order to see the whole picture, you need to start with the original story.  Go read the original post and follow the comments.  Please add your own comments.

Hi Steve. I think you are maybe just trying to have a good time and play with me on this issue. I put a lot of value in your opinions and I think I could have written your response by myself without your help. I know that you use such a system and we’ve talked about it but somehow it does not rub me wrong like the majority of them do. Maybe you have the only fair report card system, I don’t know – just a guess.

First, let me say that our property preservation business and our inspection businesses both still work with companies that send us a report card. Vickie, the real boss, strives for a perfect score and sulks for days if she does not get there each and every month. When she gets a good report card she runs to me like a 1st grader and says “see, see, see!”. Okay, so much for that because she never shows me the penalties and deductions that accompany all the reports! I still have to say we’re talking about money here – not run home to mommy fuzzy feelings.

Maybe I just have a problem with the terminology: “report cards” or “scoring system” or such. You know when I was in elementary, junior high or high school I may have gotten a bad report card and dreaded going home and participating in the close contact family time – but you know what – I don’t remember anybody at the school ripping the shirt off my back and stealing my lunch money before they sent me home with the report card!

Or maybe I’m just pissed with the whole idea in general. When I hire someone to cut my lawn, a real independent contractor unlike property preservation contractors, I am not going to give her a report card. If I like her work she will be back again; if not, she will be replaced. She knows this without me saying so. (Thanks for the idea Steve. Next time someone cuts my lawn, I’m going to run out and give her a report card. I’ll video the whole thing and publish it here so everyone can see how a real independent contractors reacts to it!)

Or maybe I should find my comfort zone with the whole thing. I would love to do that but as long as one company uses 55 to 100 as an “A” and another uses 99 to 100 for an “A”; I’m still saying it’s a scam. How about a $75 dollar for not making a timely phone call or how about $500 for not reporting a first time vacant within 24 hours, or how about $65 for reporting on the correct property when the work order furnishes a transcribed wrong number. Maybe the “report card” system started with good intentions but if so, it has become nothing more than another scheme for stealing from inspectors and contractors.

What would make me happy? Openness! Too many companies hide behind their “proprietary information” shield. Hey, we all do the same stuff here and pretty much in the same way (remember the HUD regs?), why not tell everyone upfront about the penalties if they are indeed so necessary. Look at it as a money saving measure – no more report cards!

All I want is what is best for the people in the field. I’m willing to accept even a win-win arrangement where all benefit. Right now, contractors and inspectors are loosing. The only questions is how much and that is determined by what companies they are working for and the “standard” of the day.

Steve, here’s a good idea. Go purchase some 12 year old scotch and bring it down here to God’s country. We’ll talk about report cards some too!

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