American author Henry David Thoreau once said, “What is once well done is done forever.”

This holds especially true in the HVACR industry.

How often have we all observed a shoddy coworker and thought, “How is that person still employed?” Unfortunately, I find myself thinking that more times than I’d care to admit.


My garbage disposal abruptly stopped working recently.

Food rose from my drain and flooded my sink. While I did my best to clean and disinfect the surface, the smell of rotten food permeated the kitchen.

Disgusted, I called my apartment complex’s maintenance team.

Days went by without a response. Then a week. Then a week and a half. Every time I called, I received the same response, “Someone will be out first thing in the morning.”

With every passing hour, my frustration grew. The smell was unbearable on day one. Imagine the stench on day 10.

Finally, after a long day of work, I approached my entryway to find a yellow slip of paper that noted, “Your garbage disposal is fixed.”

Hallelujah. I finally had my kitchen back.

Two days later, I filled my sink with scraps, flipped the disposal on, and nothing. No sound, no grinding — nada enchilada. It was dead — again.

Dreading another call to maintenance, I phoned a friend. Fifteen minutes after she arrived, the disposal was working like it never had before. Since then, I haven’t had a single problem. Someone not technically qualified fixed it better than the maintenance man himself. Why? She took her time, analyzed the situation, and solved the problem.

I’d rather not smear this maintenance man in print, however this is not the first bad experience I’ve had with him. Since moving into this apartment, my hall closet doors have been repaired at least four times. Rather than fix them properly, it was evident that maintenance patched them together as quickly as possible before moving on to the next tenant’s issue.

This led me to consider how a quality installation is everything to a customer and to a company’s reputation. When you step into customers’ homes, they are depending on you to not only fix the problem for the moment, but to fix it for the long haul. If someone is paying you for your services, then you need to go the extra mile to ensure they’re getting their money’s worth.

You have one job — why not do it to the fullest extent? If my maintenance man would take the time to slow down and fix the issue correctly the first time, I wouldn’t have to call him once a month to re-fix his original job.

In a recent article I wrote for The NEWS, I discussed how multiple studies from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) stated that four out of 10 homes built in the U.S. contain improper HVAC designs and equipment. That seems hard to believe, right? But, it’s true. And how often do you hear contractors discussing the amount of times they’ve had to go out and fix another technician’s mistakes? Too often.

Quality installation is something that should be at the top of every technician’s mind every time he or she steps foot onto a job.

Keep in mind why you’re there — to complete a job that you specialize in. Customers are vulnerable to the work that you do. Contractors who get it right the first time, every time receive more repeat business, referrals, and positive reviews. Slow down if you have to, as you’ll reap the rewards in the long run.

Strive to be a problem solver instead of a Mr. Fix it.

Publication date: 9/11/2017

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