This is the story of one of history’s very special men and an almighty cock-up of almost biblical proportion but stick with it, there are lessons to be learned.
The man involved was of course, as the title suggests Noah, the one we all know and love from biblical times. The man solely charged with the saving of all living things on earth, just prior to the great floods. I’m sure you’ve all heard the story, but recent discoveries have since been made and I’m afraid the story now, has to be retold.
At the time of this epic tale, Noah was a man of a great many years of age. Next to Methuselah, he was recorded as being the second oldest man in the whole of human history. The bible reports he was well over 600 years of age at the time. And as the story goes, he was an extremely talented carpenter to boot.
Being a man of great purity and solid in his faith, Noah was specially chosen and later charged by the good Lord to embark on an extraordinary construction project of huge scale and even greater importance. Full of divine inspiration, he set to it almost immediately.
Toiling under the full force of his religious convictions and working both day and night, Noah made significant progress in his recent quest. Woods of all varieties were shaped, carved and cut to size in preparation for the project’s final fix and everything was steaming along quite nicely. People came along in their thousands to see what Noah was doing and whilst being impressed at his considerable talents, they also scoffed and jeered at him for the assumed folly of his convictions and actions.
Time went by and the project progressed smoothly and Noah was now at the stage where he was ready for assembling all his component parts together. To date, God was pleased with his choice of builder. Nothing was amiss and Noah’s timing was right on target. Nobody could wish for any better. All of God’s creatures were being herded together by Noah’s family and just like the story goes; two by two they were caged and tended, readied for the big day.
It was like this for another two weeks, everything happily marching forward, when things started to veer desperately off course. God had spotted a major flaw developing and suggested his chief angel should immediately go and see Noah before things got totally out of hand.
Merrily working for his Lord, Noah was in his workshop sawing at yet another large piece of wood. The angel, standing only feet away from him, coughed to attract Noah’s attention. Nothing happened. He tried twice again with similar results. It wasn’t until the angel physically touched Noah on the shoulder, that our hero realised he was not alone.
“I’ve come to check on your progress,” said the angel, “kindly walk me through things would you?”
Noah looked up, smiling at his visitor, “Okay, shall we start with the animals?” he replied. His guest nodded.
The couple walked around all the enclosures inspecting the livestock. Noah and his family had done a fantastic job in their selections, all the animals were shining examples of great health and they all seemed very content in their caged surroundings.
“Very good job Noah, you have gone to a lot of trouble to look after these creatures. The Lord will be extremely pleased.” The angel remarked, “But, don’t you think you have gone a little bit overboard in constructing these fantastic surroundings for them?”
Noah looked at him with a puzzled expression, but carried on with the tour unabated.
The angel was naturally a little vexed by the sight of the boating lake, bowling greens, the pitch and putt fields, the swings and the ornamental rockeries he encountered…
“And what’s this all about?” the angel demanded.
Proudly Noah pointed across the flower beds to the newly constructed band-stand. “Oh that’s our new centrepiece. On Fridays, before we close for the Sabbath, we have concerts here.”
“Stop right there!” shouted the baffled angel. “Something is not quite right here. Please take me through it all just one more time.”
“A mini zoo – Two of every animal, just like He requested,” Noah replied, “the kiddies love it and their parents pack out the tearooms. Teas, coffees, ice-creams, scones and jam, we just can’t sell enough of them.”
Completely bemused now, the ever so slightly perplexed winged messenger carefully consulted the contents of his clipboard.
“There’s obviously been some huge mistake here Noah,” he said. “I was expecting at least a boat of some sort. I thought God had instructed you to build an ark.”
Frowning and full of his own embarrassment, Noah quickly re-adjusted his hearing aid.
“Are you sure about that?” He queried, “I could have sworn he said park.”
And that, in a very roundabout way, brings me to the whole point of this blog entry, which is…
Be sure you know what you need to know before you begin. Even if that means writing out itemised quotes, detailed drawings or comprehensive work instructions, then so be it.
Spend a little time with your customers; get to know them and what they want. When they tell you something, write it down, repeat it back to them even and show them that you are both on the same page. Some companies even go to the hassle of photo-shopping images with the finished works in place. So basically, if you give yourself no room for any error, then there won’t be any. And your customers will appreciate the extra trouble you have gone to which builds a better rapport between you.
It works for me and it works for my customers too. Their testimonials lay proof of just that.