Professionalism or Common Courtesy?

Professionalism or Common Courtesy?

Let’s talk about professionalism. Maybe not even professionalism. How about common courtesy?

If you were meeting a friend for dinner and were going to be late, wouldn’t you call them to let them know? Isn’t that the polite thing to do?

If someone is expecting you and you are not going to be there at the prearranged time, you need to let them know, as to not waste their time.

Time is something that we all seem to not have enough of these days.

Time is precious – isn’t that how the saying goes? Everyone, at some point, wishes that they had more time.

As a business owner, it is important that you remember that your customer’s time is precious to them and to be respectful of that time.

Let me explain why I am on this topic today.

My Story

Tom and I have recently been working on renovating a rental property that we own. I have been the one overseeing things. Up until the very end, things have gone very smoothly (mostly because my husband has great working relationships with the contractors) and I couldn’t have been happier. Everyone has been able to schedule around each other. Things have been completed on schedule and everyone has been on time. That is, until this particular day.

It was a half day of school for our girls. I knew this when I scheduled granite to be installed in the kitchen that day. The granite installers were to be at the apartment between 12PM and 2PM. I had asked my parents if they could get the girls off the bus and keep them until I got home later that evening. Everything was scheduled. No problem.

I headed up to the apartment and made myself comfortable. I dove into a small pile of paperwork that I brought with me from home and waited for the granite to arrive.

1:30 PM –  I was getting a little frustrated that they were not here and I had not heard from them. I knew that the window of time was between 12 and 2, so they still had about 30 minutes to spare.

2:15 PM – Still no sign of them.

2:35 PM – No installer and no phone call.

Where Are They?

2:40 PM – I decided it was time for me to call them and make sure that I had the correct date and time.  I called the office and explained to them who I was and that I was supposed to be having granite installed between 12PM and 2PM. I told him that no one was there yet and I had not heard from anyone as to what time I should be expecting them. He apologized and put me on hold while he tried to call the installer. The gentleman came back on the line and let me know that he was unable to get in touch with the installer at that time. He did try to assure me that they should be on their way to me. I explained to him that this is not our residence, I had been waiting here since 12 PM this afternoon and I had 4 daughters who I needed to plan for while I am away. He reassured me that they would be there any minute. I told him that I would like a call back from him within 30 minutes letting me know when I could expect the installer to arrive.

2:55 PM – I received a call from the installer to tell me that he wouldn’t be able to get to me until around 4:30 PM. This was 2 1/2 hours later than what they scheduled with me, and I didn’t even get a phone call from them. I had to call them to find out what was happening.

4:45 PM –  They finally showed up to install the granite and finished around 7:30 PM.

I lost my entire day while I waited around for them and then I lost my night with my husband and kids while they actually installed the granite. To say that I was frustrated is an understatement!

Has this happened to you?

Have you ever had an experience like this with a contractor? It is beyond frustrating! One of the times that I called the office, they explained to me that the installer came in late today because one of his guys was hurt. At that point, I explained to him that I understand that things happen. Someone gets hurt, a job runs longer than expected, traffic is bad, all those reasons are understandable. However, there needs to be some level of professionalism and common courtesy.


Had they called me to let me know that things were running behind schedule, I could have rearranged my schedule accordingly. The customer should not have to call the office and/or try to track down the installer. If you are going to be late or there is an unforeseen issue, most times, your customer will be accommodating and understanding if you just contact them as soon as possible so that they can rework their schedule for the day.

This is one thing that we stress with our office staff and technicians. Every call must be answered, every message returned and if there is a problem or you are running late, you call the customer immediately to give them as much notice as possible of any changes in scheduling. We want you to know that you can count on us to be there when we tell you we are going to be there!

Your Story

Leave us a note in the comments telling us if you have ever had an issue like this with a contractor and how you handled it.

Share this article